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Previous components to this trip:
Starting with the ratings for my hotel stay (out of ten):
After the debacle with Booking.com we had find a different hotel, and really couldn’t find any deals on Booking.com. Once bitten, twice shy. We were extremely nervous about using Booking.com again as we didn’t want a repeat. So we started scouring all sorts of websites, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Hotels.com etc etc. In the end Hotels.com came up with the option of The Westin Wall Centre, Vancouver Airport Hotel.
After doing a little reconnoiter earlier I ruled out the Marriott, Sheraton and Hilton which were all very closely located to each other and were a bit dated compared with the Westin.
Ever the points junkie, I wanted to get points, but if you book through 3rd party website you won’t get any. In any case the direct price was higher than the Hotels.com price. So I called the Westin Hotel directly and said that I found a deal on Hotels.com and if they could match it, I would book directly with them and they were able to match, and I immediately made the reservation.
So when it came time to leave our previous hotel, the Times Square Suites Hotel, we made our way using a taxi to The Westin Wall Centre, Vancouver Airport Hotel.
Spending a few days in downtown Vancouver was good as it mean that we didn’t need to spend the whole time there.
In fact the whole problem we faced with Booking.com turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it forced us out of Downtown and into the Richmond area.
Don’t get me wrong, if we had stayed in Downtown we would have eaten wonderful Pho every day for lunch, but I am quite glad we weren’t there for the holiday weekend.
My initial impressions of the Westin were very favourable. It appears to be a very new hotel and has been maintained well.
When you first arrive, the check in is actually two desks, I think there was someone else at the desk so I didn’t want to be so obvious in taking the photo. Unfortunately I then forgot to take a photo later. This desk is technically for SPG members, of which I was not really a member. I had only signed up recently and had no points whatsoever!!!
When you are checking in at the reception desk, there is a nice little flavoured ice water dispenser. After a day of walking around in the heat, this was certainly a welcome relief. I generally like to walk but the area around the hotel is under construction so it took a bit of walking around to get to the nearby restaurants/malls.
The dining area was right next to the reception and although they didn’t offer breakfast as part of the package, I didn’t need it as I picked up something when I was out and about during the day. Also I do remember checking out the price of breakfast and thought it was way more expensive than I would consider acceptable. Though I guess that’s how most hotels operate!!!
What was the room like?
It was remarkably spacious. Unfortunately I never got a chance to take a photo of the entire room, as I managed to clutter it up pretty quickly.
In room they provide power sockets right by the study stable which is really helpful when writing trip reports; this one included. Also take note of the starbuck that were provided. It’s really great for those who like coffee in the morning to have the consistency that Starbucks provides.
Also the room was a slightly elongated L shape which meant there was extra room for the luggage with taking up unnecessary space in the room proper.
I participated in what is called the “make a green choice” campaign, which promises either US$5 or 500 star points. I had never heard of this and since this was the first Starwood property I was staying at I had no idea what was the best option.
Though I did find it a bit strange that a green program uses card slipped under the door even it is it recycled/recyclable.
And then there is the gym program. I am not a fitness nut, but sometimes after eating a lot of food, it is necessary to keep the body running.
The gym was pretty well equipped and I was surprised how many people used throughout the day. I was there at varying times of the day and it was almost always being used by a number of people. I literally got this shot as someone was leaving and another person was arriving.
The pool was a slightly different matter. It was empty one day, and then during the holiday week was rammed with kids. I’m glad I didn’t bring my swimming trunks as I wouldn’t have been able to move around. Also the pool was frankly ridiculously small. Archimedes would have probably been close to working out displacement in this pool it was that small.
But not bringing my swimming trunks meant also that I hadn’t brought any gym gear at all. Fortunately the Westin have a solution to that. They lend you gear for $5 for the duration of your stay. What you get is a netted bag (below) with a pair of shoes, and short. The bag also comes with a pair of gym socks, which you get to keep.
So, this was the final stop before making my way back to the UK, first, and then onto Singapore. I was really pleased with this choice, especially given the serious failure I had with Booking.com.
Would I recommend this? Yes. Decent location out of the city, but also close to Richmond, where all the nice food places are.
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