Vancouver

The Westin Grand Vancouver

Summary

In the heart of the city just steps away from the Pacific Center mall, a multitude of dining options and situated exactly between the classic beauty of Gastown and the fashion savvy urban Yaletown sits the Westin Grand Hotel. At 33 stories tall with a distinct wave in the building similar to a grand piano which gives this property its name the Westin has only a few rooms on each floor with a total room capacity of 207 yet looks at home amongst the tall skyscrapers of Vancouver. Rooms are clean yet and expectantly comfortable yet underwhelming for hotels in this category. Although in the midst of a refresh which includes updated rooms (for an additional cost) the regular rooms show their age with yellow tinged paint and few accents to make the room pop. This hotel is the antithesis of what business travel represents, efficient, clean and neutral.

That feeling extends to the on-site restaurant and bar, Hidden. While not horrible by any means it also does not delight, for a quick bite or evening drinks and apps it fits the bill but don’t expect anything beyond that. Families, don’t expect anything special here however for those who will spend more time in the city and roaming around vancouver than in a room if you can get a good deal on this hotel take it, otherwise try moving a little closer to the ocean / convention center for a much more enjoyable stay.

Other notable amenities at this hotel are: Fitness center, outdoor saltwater swimming pool, and hot tub.

Details

The lobby, located on the second floor with its winding staircase makes itself the centrepiece of the small lobby area.  With the edges of the lobby hosting Hidden so the restaurant and bar overlooks Robson street. With a good portion of the area a staircase and bar there isn’t very much available for guests checking in. I can imagine on busy times of the
year the lobby becomes packed with tourists and guests.

Upon checking and a short ride on a particularly slow elevator you’ll reach your floor, low number rooms (rooms exposed to the wave shape of the building) have particularly disjointed layouts due to the odd curvature of the exterior glass design. All other rooms follow a standard “box” room layout which is simplistic and logical. In addition these rooms tend to have a nicer view of the mountains although only visible on higher floors. The rooms views at the Westin are not spectacular although they are nice on rooms higher than around 14 or 15 as that’s where the view truly begins to open up.

The rooms are well appointed yet drab. To make up for the boring decor the rooms are fairly large with a sitting area, bedroom and 2 piece bath. The bed is soft as you would expect from the Westin “Heavenly” beds with two side tables and lights. Typical to rooms in Vancouver there is a “master” switch that controls all of the lighting in the room. One quick warning here, the lights on either side of the bed are controlled by the switch in the bedroom however keep in mind that if you plug your phone into the lamps power plug and switch the lights off at the main switch your device will NOT be charging.

The Westin Grand has a small kitchenette which includes a dishwasher, plates and glasses as well as a small bar sink, microwave and toaster. This is handy for families visiting and can help keep the expenses down given the overall cost of Vancouver.

Technology

The bedroom and sitting area both have ~40″ LCD tvs which both have 2 HDMI ports so you can bring your chromecast if needed. The TV’s also have a USB port on the side for charging or powering that chromecast. The HDMI inputs are controlled by the on screen “westin” menu should you need to change inputs. Additionally the sitting area as a fairly fully thought out touchdown area with 3 prong power outlets, network cable jack and light should you want to wire in for some reason.

In room wi-fi is available however if you are not an SPG member I believe there is a cost, SPG members get access for free.

Dinning

There is just one single restaurant in this hotel, Hidden which is also the bar with about 50 seats it’s not a huge restaurant so it does keep a little bit of the intimate charm and social feeling creating a warm atmosphere. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as in-room dining. The meals are quite nice as the atmosphere however it is, much like the rooms pretty standard fare. In-room dining options are fairly good provided you order before midnight, after that the options dry up to pretty much a Tim Hortons menu and in that case, you are better off just going to the lobby, walking next door to the actual Tim Hortons.

Additionally if you are looking for food there are plenty of options in the neighbourhood and within 5 minute walk including all the major North American fast food places, a great homemade pizza shop, various noodle shops, etc… Lots of options just feet away from the hotel. Personally I would opt for local dining as such eating at Hidden as it’s really nothing to write home about. It does get nice and quiet however which is nice to sit down and have a cocktail or two. My favourite drink is the Blue Hawaiian cocktail.

Conference Center

There isn’t a conference center here as a result there are six meeting rooms that can be rented. If you have used the meeting rooms please leave a comment.

SPG Information

The Westin Grand hotel is part of the Starwood Preferred Guest reward program.  Lets talk a little about the SGP points and their value for this hotel. This is an SPG category 4 hotel so it will cost 10,000 hard earned points per night stay on the weekdays and that point value is the same for weekends. This hotel can range from about $250 a night to upwards of $600 which means it’s significantly better to use your points at a busy time when your $/point value is closer to 0.6 per dollar than to waste your points when the hotel cost is just 0.25 per dollar.

Warning / Construction

This hotel is undergoing a fairly major renovation so rooms are being gutted and redecorated.  Various exterior features are being repaired and refreshed so expect some minor inconveniences. That said construction hasn’t created any additional noise however your mileage may very. Additionally I have not really noticed any discounts due to construction here either so don’t expect any deep discounts like other hotels may do, this is Vancouver after all.

  • Interior view of the Westin grand's sitting room area. Kitchenette to the right with small sink, dishwasher, bar fridge, toaster and microwave.
    Interior view of a room at the Westin Grand in Vancouver. Although nice the "old" rooms are quite drab and monochromatic with the overuse of yellows. Rooms are undergoing construction to give a more colourful pop however currently there is a premium charge to stay in those.

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