The Westin Resort & Spa in Whistler is one of my favourite places to stay in near the village due to its participation in the SPG program and I have been upgraded a couple of times before staying here. While I have reviewed this hotel before I would do a more comprehensive review after getting one of the best upgrades in the hotel ever.
A short introduction to the resort: The Westin is probably one of the largest hotels in the Whistler Village and while not directly connected to the village, it is right beside the Whistler gondola. The resort comprises of 2 separate towers linked via the second floor that provides village access. The lobby is located one floor lower has access to the main road below the village.
As befitting a resort, the lobby is cavernous with a nice fireplace and lots of space to lounge in the evening. A staircase leads to the restaurants and shops at the second floor and the business centres in the mezzanine floor. The reception desk is just beside the stairs and the hotel provides guests with a fruit-infused water pitcher for hydration as it is one of the few SPG hotels that does not supply bottled water for guests.
Check-in was efficient like in most SPG properties and I was accorded my SPG Gold benefits allowing me to select bonus points. And the front desk agent even mentioned how I would like my upgraded room. Do note that I actually paid the same rate as the Crystal Lodge for this room at C$129++ (~$105). I have always preferred the West Wing which can be directly accessed from the lobby as the East Wing needs a change of elevator from the lobby, and thus it was also a good thing I obtained a room on the West Wing.
Room No: 976 Category: Loft Penthouse Suite
My room was on the top-most floor and upon entering I realized I had been upgraded to a penthouse loft suite. Due to the architecture of the hotel, some top-floor rooms have tall windows to accommodate the triangular chateau style roof.
There is a kitchenette similar to those found on the basic Studio suites beside the door. Then there is a cabinet beside the kitchenette under the stairs that leads to the loft. The small cabinet under the stairs is suitable to place ski gear and keep it hidden from messing up the whole room!
Opposite the kitchenette is the bathroom which is equally spacious as it has both a bathtub and a walk-in shower. Like all Westins, the signature white tea and aloe amenity is supplied in the room though it always lack the bath & shower gel. As always, it is the first thing I called housekeeping for. The hotel also provides slippers for guests so in terms of amenities, I would say it is on par with most luxury ski accommodations.
And the tall ceilings made for a very spacious feel in the living and dining room itself. The table is large enough for a nice dinner with 4 chairs and there is a closet space beside the table for guests sleeping on the main floor.
That is because the sofa can be converted to a bed on the main floor. Like all the rooms, there is a gas fireplace with a flat screen TV situated above it. And beside the stairs to the loft space, there is a work desk with another chair.
Heading up the stairs, there is another closet, a King-sized bed with a TV cabinet and a second flat-screen TV.
The loft suite does allow for a nice space for a family of 4 and it is very comfortable space for an extended stay. As I understand from the website, there is also a more luxurious Penthouse Suite on the East Wing which features 2 bedrooms and a jacuzzi in the main bedroom. This loft suite though might just be the best type of one-bedroom suite configuration that is the usual upgrades for SPG Platinum guests.
As dusk falls over the village, the suite located in the top floor of the West Wing also provides an amazing view over Whistler Village!
Being one of the largest resort in Whistler, the Westin is complete in terms of amenities. There is a well equipped Avello spa on the same floor as the meeting rooms on the mezzanine floor. Beyond the spa, there is a fitness centre accessible by stairs one floor down, changing rooms and sauna that even has their own lockers. Guests need a key card access to this area.
In the same space, there is 2 hot tubs, one indoor and another outdoor while the swimming pool is also a favourite as the indoor end and outdoor end are connected. I think the architects have made full use of this space and created one of the nicest resort pool and hot tub area for a ski resort hotel.
On the second floor, the resort also houses a shopping arcade of sorts that links both the East and West Wing. The Grill & Vine, Firerock Lounge and Kaze Japanese restaurant are housed in this floor along with the ski valet which is a C$9 charge per guest per day with a maximum charge of C$27 per room per day. All the extra costs like parking (C$30 for self-park and C$34 for valet) and ski valet can thus add up for stays in this property though they did not charge any resort fees if you do not use the ski valet service.
While staying at the Westin is not the cheapest, the price can be minimized by booking through Whistler Blackcomb’s last minute deals site and I still managed to earn SPG Starpoints for the stay as well so it was a great stay. With the same price as the Crystal Lodge, I would pick this hotel any other day. In fact I would still be willing to pay a slight premium for the Westin compared to any other hotels for the points earning ability and the much better rooms and amenities.