This was our third visit to this property for Easter and the following week, so we have the benefit of comparing this year's stay to prior years/Easter week. Sorry to say that the experience was less satisfying than in prior years. First, the good: great location/proximity to Kierland shopping and restaurants -- not cheap, but lots of trendy options for couples and families alike. Very convenient. Pretty grounds. Good staff at the kid's club (just reserve for the pajama club MONTHS in advance as they only take a handful of kids each night!) (although the older woman at the Mining Company for kids is NOT well-suited to that job). Tom, a poolside server, was delightful. Every bellman/valet was sweet and nice. Food choices are pretty good/ample kid selections. Relatively affordable for a casita / family suite style set up during a peak week (with taxes and the "daily resort fee" -- which as best we can tell gets you the slowest wifi on the planet--still over $600 per night). Love the nightly fire pit and bagpiper and great social opportunities from families with toddlers to teens. HOWEVER this property/staff was NOT suited to handling this peak travel week this year (since we have a point of comparison the "sorry ma'am its just spring break" doesn't cut it). What this translated to was a cast of thousands at the pool. Literally, since the pool entrance is locked until 9am, a snaking line of anxious pool-goers would start to form across the property as early as 8am. Stress level up yet? The line-standers would proceed to save 5-6 chairs each with pool towels and then anyone who simply tried to walk into the pool area at the normal opening time would find that they could basically sit on the cement. While complaints (and there were many--I think the guests "bonded" over the pool complaints) were met with "we are monitoring unattended chairs and will remove belongings within 45 minutes" this simply did not happen, as when you are perched on a square of cement stalking an empty pool chair you have the opportunity to monitor these type of things. I'm sure other resorts have had to figure out how to deal with this these peak times to make sure that the guests attending the resort during this time don't have a miserable experience. Advice: find out how they solve the problem and implement!
The other low point was the Easter festivities. In past years, great egg hunt on the golf course, complimentary petting zoo, moon bounce and face painting. In prior years, delightful. This year, NIGHTMARE. I don't know if the greater Scottsdale community has caught on and realized this is a lovely freebie or what, but for the paying guests, it was awful as there was no realistic chance that your kids was getting anywhere near the attractions. Why not make these things accessible to the hotel guests only? For whatever bonus letting thousands of people onto the golf course for an egg hunt brings to the hotel, can't you make some of it accessible/exclusive for those paying thousands per week to stay? Also, right after the egg hunt, mad rush to the pool -- seemingly for lots of non-hotel guests. My son met one in the pool who said "we aren't staying here but its fun to come to the pool -- they don't care". Indeed. A "wristband" program, presumably designed to keep out the greater Scottsdale community, was sporadically applied. In my entire week stay, I was never asked to verify I was a hotel desk and never received a wristband.
I really really want to return to this Westin. We love Arizona during the spring and this property has all the makings of a wonderful family resort. They need to solve the "peak" issues such as the aforementioned pool issue, the number of waitstaff for drinks and food during the popular dusk/bagpipe playing (impossible to get a drink order fulfilled). It is not a satisfactory response to just say "sorry, we're full to capacity" when there is a complaint that interferes with your stay. Hopefully the Westin Kierland can pull it together--otherwise we are finding a new Scottsdale destination that wants our repeat business!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This inspiring retreat, located in the heart of "new" Scottsdale, will fill you with a sense of old Arizona and delight you with a fresh, modern destination. From family vacations to business meetings, weddings or just a restful getaway, discover our premier Scottsdale resort. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Westin Kierland Hotel Scottsdale
- Westin Kierland Resort
- Westin Scottsdale
- Scottsdale Westin
- The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa Scottsdale, Arizona