Trip Report with Photos by The Travel Scholar (Page 1 of 2)

This trip report contains contains photographs and personal commentary about my experience staying at the new Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions about what you see here. Please click on any photo for a larger view. Enjoy!

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I stayed at this hotel with my family for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. It was a paid stay, which I booked directly through the Westin web site at at a AAA discount rate of $159.00 per night for a standard, non-smoking room with two double beds. At the time of my booking, I was a Gold Preferred member of Starwood Preferred Guest, the hotel's guest loyalty program. For more information and reservations, you may find the hotel's web site here:

Or, for more information about Starwood Preferred Guest, please visit:

The hotel's front gate is decorated by flamed glass lamps (shown at left).


I arrived at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa on Thursday, 28 November 2002 (Thanksgiving Day) at about 1:30 in the afternoon. As I parked my car in front of the hotel entrance, a member of the valet parking staff immediately greeted me, welcomed all of us to the hotel, and after learning that we were checking in, introduced us to a bellman by name to help us with our luggage. The attendant offered to valet my car, which I accepted, and our bellman escorted us to the front desk.

The front of the hotel is lined with picturesque palm trees.

Valet parking and door staff were always extremely polite and efficient!


As I approached the front desk, I greeted the guest services agent with my name and presented my photo ID and my Starwood Gold Preferred Guest membership card. After another warm welcome, the front desk agent confirmed the dates of my stay, my rate, and my room preference. Upon inquiring about a complimentary upgrade, I was told that I had been upgraded from a "Traditional" to a "Deluxe" room with a "preferred view." At this point, I asked about the possibility of paying for a further upgrade to a suite. She happily obliged for an additional $100 per night and informed me that my room would be located on the Club Level (floors 9, 10, and 11 are considered Club Level at this hotel, and access is key-restricted). Within a few minutes, I was on my way to my room on the 10th floor.

Here are some photos of the main lobby:

The front entrance was a clear sliding glass door flanked
on either side by glass panel waterfalls.

The hotel's lobby bar, "The Rim", is located directly
behind the check-in area.

One of my favourite parts of the hotel lobby is that it is
entirely geared towards being the social hub of the hotel.

Comfortable seating fills the lobby area; service from the bar is
available,but it is not required to make use of the lobby furniture.

Upon entering my room, I encountered what would end up being the only negative aspect of my stay. The room was not a suite. Our bellman suggested that I should phone the front desk and offered to wait whilst I sorted out the issue. The "Service Express" operator confirmed with me that I was, indeed, not in a suite, but rather a "Deluxe Room" on Club Level. After explaining that I had just paid an extra $100 per night for an upgrade to a suite, she placed me on hold to investigate. At the end of the day, her response was that the extra $100 per night was for an upgrade to Club Level, not an upgrade to a suite. After about fifteen to twenty minutes of waiting, I was finally able to speak to the front desk manager. He informed me that he could upgrade me to a suite for $50 per night in addition to the $100 per night to which I had already agreed. After another five minutes of waiting, he finally offered me an "Executive Parlor" suite for the originally agreed-upon $100 rate supplement.

While I was waiting all this time with my family, I was able to have a nice conversation with our bellman. His name was Lyle, and we talked about how much he enjoyed working at the hotel. He should be commended for his patience whilst he waited with us, always being friendly and professional despite standing in the corridor for nearly 1/2 hour!

We all proceeded to the sixth floor, where the front desk manager met me with a new packet of room keys and a curt apology. I thanked him for his efforts. Lyle then escorted us to our new room, which was actually two adjoining rooms via a connecting door. One room served as the bedroom whilst the other served as the parlor. Our bellman helped us settle in with our luggage, offered a sincere apology for our wait, and left us with his name and an offer that we should contact him personally if we needed anything else during our stay.


The featured and aptly named Westin Heavenly Bed

Our "Executive Parlor" suite was the combination of room 6054 (the bedroom) and room 6055 (the Parlor). The suite was nicely appointed with all new furnishings, including one of Westin's Heavenly Beds. Both the bedroom and the Parlor had their own bathroom. And, whilst the bathroom connected to the bedroom had both a bath tub and a shower stall, the bathroom connected to the Parlor had only a shower. Both showers featured Westin's Heavenly Bath dual shower head, and each bathroom featured plush towels, a bathrobe, and Heavenly Bath amenities.

Each of the suite's two rooms had its own desk, three two-line telephones (one cordless phone, one traditional desk phone, and one bathroom phone), television, minibar, closet, drawers, and private deck overlooking the golf course. The Parlor also had its own wet bar and additional sink. Essentially, the way the suite was set up, it was two complete and separate hotel rooms, one of which had a bed where the other had a coffee table, a sofa, and additional chairs.

The room was clean and very well presented, and housekeeping provided excellent, thorough service every day. In addition, the bedroom was also a corner room overlooking the garden courtyard. Here are some additional photos of the suite:

This is the television and desk in the bedroom,
taken from the connecting door.

This is the bedside chair and nightstand. Both rooms had a CD clock radio. The Parlor room had a Bose Wave Radio CD player.

This is the entry way to the bedroom taken from beside the desk,
which is to the left of the photographer.

This is the Parlor room wet bar, connecting door, and entry way taken from beside the desk. We had the pull-out sofa as a bed for family members.

This is one of the two bathrooms. You can see the shower in the mirror, and Heavenly Bath amenities on the counter top.

This is one of the two Heavenly Showers with a bath robe.

This unique towel rack is placed just above the toilet,
across from the shower.

Each of the two rooms in the suite had a private deck overlooking the golf course and the mountains in the distance.


The first few hours at the hotel were a rollercoaster ride between good and bad extremes. The service at the front door was impeccable. The friendliness at check-in was fairly good. The thirty plus minute delay making up for the error of the person checking us in was very bad. The curt attitude of the front desk manager who finally sorted out the room and met me with the new keys was even more disenchanting. But the room was nice, and the service that Lyle, the bellman, gave us was fantastic. It was a bittersweet introduction to the brand new, three week old Westin property to say the least.

After settling into our room, my family and I went to the hotel's Nellie Cashman's Monday Morning Club restaurant for their Thanksgiving buffet. In fact, we found the service at the restaurant to be consistent with our experience at the hotel up to that point. At one moment, the restaurant staff would refold your napkin between each course; at the next moment, you'd need to ask them three times to bring you fresh cutlery! The food, however, was excellent.

We were surprised when our friendly bellman, Lyle, approached our table and interrupted our meal. He had gone out of his way to track us down to the restaurant and to inform us that he'd made arrangements for complimentary breakfast the following morning. He explained that this was a gesture of apology for our check-in hassles, and my family of four would be able to order anything from the full breakfast menu the next day. It was a nice touch to make up for bad first impressions, and for me, it worked. Hats off to Lyle once again!


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