Guest Reviewer: Chris
An avid traveler and obsessive points and miles hound, Chris is my travel buddy extraordinaire. I love him for his enthusiasm, his sense of adventure, and his many lounge access credit cards. Hope you enjoy his perspective!
Jen and I recently took a weekend trip to Los Angeles and spent a night at the W West Beverly Hills. Normally we're pretty loyal to Hyatt, but there aren't many good Hyatt options in LA: the Andaz West Hollywood is too "cool" for us, the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza recently closed, the LAX options are depressing, and the rest are just too far away. We decided to look at Starwood options instead, and found the W West Beverly Hills for $288/night using Jen's corporate rate, which seemed like a reasonable enough price.
We arrived at the hotel around 9 AM, and didn't have any expectation of getting a room yet (we just wanted to drop off our bags before heading Universal Studios). Surprisingly, our room was already available, so they were able to issue our room keys and they also asked what time we'd like to check out. I asked if a late checkout would be possible, and they were happy to give us a 4 PM checkout since I was a Starwood Gold member. Starwood Gold normally isn't worth much, so I was glad it at least counted for something in this case.
The hotel itself was very clearly an apartment complex in its former life and you can tell by looking at the structure from the outside and then again by seeing how the rooms are all laid out inside. Despite this fact, I think they did a pretty good job of converting the space and making it fit with the W brand. You'll notice there's a waterfall behind the stairs as you're walking up the front steps and the lobby is full of unique designs and colors, which sort of conflicts with the fact that there's a residential neigborhood outside the front door.
When we entered the elevator, we found it had a camera which would continually take photos and show them in a series on a screen, which gave us some amusement, although Jen was too short to be seen in the photos, which was kind of hilarious. W likes to make its hotels feel fun and hip, which was a nice change from some of the more business-like hotels we've stayed at recently.
Our room, a "Wonderful Studio", was large and featured a king-sized bed and a couch as well as a desk. There was a well-stocked minibar and a complementary bottle of Dasani water. The bathroom had a tub/shower combo and came with Bliss toiletries, which are standard for the W brand. Since we were eager to get to Universal Studios, we didn't spend much time in the room before heading out.
I had the privilege of attending a friend's wedding outside of Tucson, Arizona in May so Chris and I decided to stay at the Westin La Paloma Resort. It was a quite affordable option and the setting was absolutely gorgeous. My family lives in Arizona, but over three hours North of Tucson, so I always seem to forget the fact that Tucson is located right in the middle of the desert.
The Westin La Paloma Resort is nestled up against the Santa Catalina mountains and almost appears to be a natural part of the desert itself.
The resort has five pools, a golf course, a spa, and several restaurants (including a swim-up bar). Unlike the city hotels we've been staying at lately, everything is quite spread out - so much so that you can get a guy with a golf cart drive you to your room from the lobby. All parking is in a two-story lot directly in front of the lobby, so if your room is on the other side of the resort, it might be quite the trek if you have a lot of luggage. Luckily, our room wasn't too far, so we passed on the golf cart and headed to our room to hit the pool and relax before the wedding.
The rooms at the La Paloma are quite spacious. All appeared to have an attached patio to enjoy the desert views and a wonderfully large bathroom with double sinks and a separate shower and bath. In addition, our room had a Heavenly king bed, a seating area with a couch, and a desk. The La Paloma underwent a $35 million renovation that was completed in 2013 and the resort was quite nice, but the decor was understated and muted in traditional Westin style, which can be a bit boring.
Just a twenty-something with a full-time job and a full-time obsession with traveling. It's best to LiveTraveled.