Over the weekend I spent two nights at the Westin Bellevue while apartment hunting in the area. I had heard good things about the Westin, so I was excited to try it out. Since Bellevue is mostly a business area and I was staying over the weekend, I got a reasonable rate of $149 per night.
A friend picked me up at the airport (since there’s no good public transportation from SeaTac to Bellevue) and I arrived at the hotel at around 3PM. The building housing the Westin is beautiful, with the first 20 floors being the hotel, and the higher floors being condominiums.
Check-in was prompt, though as I posted about here, not especially smooth. I asked the agent about the possibility of an upgrade, and she informed me I had been upgraded to a deluxe room. I asked about the possibility of a suite upgrade (given that they were still selling lots of suites online), and she told me my room was a suite. Okay, I figured I misunderstood her the first time around, though as it turns out it wasn’t a suite. As you can see below, it was a pretty standard room, though nicely furnished.
I was out for most of the afternoon, and upon returning to the hotel made a blog post about the situation. I just found it an interesting story and wasn’t looking for any results, though within 20 minutes of posting the story I received a direct message from SPG on Twitter, and a few minutes after that got a call from the front office manager apologizing and offering me a suite.
I had dinner plans so initially declined, though he insisted on having them make the move for me. He just asked that I drop by the front desk for new keys after dinner. Okay, deal!
Anyway, the next room I was assigned, 1428, was much nicer. It was a “corner studio suite.” Interestingly this hotel also has executive suites, though they’re smaller and less expensive, which is the first hotel I’ve seen that at.
The corner studio suite was awesome, with a Heavenly Bed, sitting area, and TV.
Corner studio suite
Corner studio suite
The highlight of the room had to be the panoramic windows overlooking Bellevue and Lake Washington in the distance. The three days I was in the Seattle area had some of the most beautiful weather I’ve seen in a long time, so I really lucked out.
View from my room
The bathroom was pretty interesting. The first room had double sinks and was spacious.
That led to the shower and toilet.
The shower was was surrounded by glass on two sides, so had curtains going all the way around it, which was the first time I’ve seen that. The water pressure and temperature control were excellent.
The hotel’s gym and pool, located on the 4th floor, were nice as well. The gym was huge and had just about all the equipment you could want.
The pool was big enough for laps and there was a hot tub.
I chose breakfast as the Platinum amenity, and was thrilled to find that they offer Platinum members a “proper” breakfast buffet. This is one of the few Starwood properties in the US I’ve stayed at where that’s the case.
Breakfast is served daily in Palomino Restaurant from 6:30AM till 11AM. You get the continental breakfast buffet as a Platinum, and the upgrade to the hot buffet is a very reasonable $4 per person.
While the buffet wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, it had all the basics you could want — fruit, bagels, pastries, lox, cereal, yogurt, etc.
Aside from the check-in agent I had the first time around, all the staff were friendly, courteous, and eager to help. I also really like the location of this hotel, as it’s right in the heart of Bellevue (then again, so is the Hyatt Regency, which is the other major hotel in Bellevue). I’m a huge fan of Bellevue, as it has a ton of great restaurants, shopping, and somehow has a big city feel without being hectic.
Anyway, on the whole I really liked this place, and rank it as one of the best Westins I’ve stayed at in the US.
Welcome to the neighborhood! For future reference, the Sound Transit 560 Express bus goes directly from Sea-Tac to the Bellevue Transit Center, which is just two blocks from the Westin. $3.50 each way.
+1 Merrily - would love to do a Seattle get-together.
I've had the same issues at checkin at this property that you mentioned. Consistent problem
Welcome to the neighborhood!
Don't mean to be rude, but can't you ever be happy with the room you are given at check-in? If you don't get a suite when you check-in, why not accept what you have, as opposed to complaining to SPG that you weren't given a suite...
Welcome to Seattle! I would love to have a Seattle Do to network with fellow travelers. Can we have a party when you've settled in?
If staying at this hotel over the weekend, check out their Shopping Package. You get a $100 gift certificate at check in to use at the shops or restaurants at the mall downstairs. If your purchase is less than $100, the merchant gives you cash for change. Consider this a $100 discount, and this is often cheaper than the pre-paid rate, and you get the points on the full rate!
I always stay here when I'm visiting my client and just checked out today. 15th floor corner rooms have great views and the staff there is almost perfect. Definitely one of the nicer Westin properties in the U.S.
I stay at the Bravern, John Howie's has awesome happy hour if you're here the next time :)
@ Connor -- Hello, neighbor!
@ Rick C -- I have, though never got around to writing a review. Also a very nice hotel, though I slightly preferred the Westin, I think.
@ wxguy -- Hah, good point. Fixed!
@ T3pleShot -- Good to know, thanks!
@ dmodemd -- Not at the hotel, though not far away.
@flyingdrwu, I'm sure they are difficult to make--I saw an entire troop of minion chefs in there folding and stuffing and what not. But not really meeting the hype, (IMHO!)
Did you rent something upstairs? Bellevue was rated (in some mag) as one of the best places to live in the US. Good choice.
@Bluecat... I've actually never been to the Seattle DTF but the ones in Taipei are some of the best in the world... and no big deal but have you ever tried to make them? It's quite quite difficult...
Welcome to Seattle! (or is eastside more appropriate?)
"since there’s no good public transportation from SeaTac to Bellevue"
route 560 (http://www.soundtransit.org/Schedules/ST-Express-Bus/560.xml) takes you from the airport terminal (outside international arrivals) to bellevue downtown (a block from the westin) in around 50 minutes.
Connor-- Lucky doesn't "work"! ;-)
Lucky-- Congrats on your choice of Seattle! Have you been on the Boeing tour in Everett? I'm guessing you must have. It's great!
OH, and BTW, I guess if you are looking for a place in Bellevue we could end up working for the same company ;-)
SPG needs to clear this up with the hotels, as it seems they just treat their top tier guest as crap.
You are fortunate to be a blogger and that SPG follows you. But any other Joe would have been stuck with a mediocre room disguised as "suite".
And SPG is not dumb, eventually you gave a "good review" to what started as shady hotel practices.
OK, minor nitpick. "Two double sinks..." So it had four sinks? :-)
I hope you found an apartment in Seattle!
Welcome to Seattle
for future, there is a bus from SeaTac to downtown Bellevue. Its not quite as nice as a ride, but its adequate enough.
Had two great stays at the Hyatt Bellevue last year. Have you stayed there - or are you planning to? Ran into Kevin Nealon (of SNL and Weeds) in the gym there before his show later that night. Ended up getting tickets. Very funny show.
If you have a chance in the future, take a look at the Bellevue Club hotel. It is not in a central location, but I think it is one of the most beautiful. If you are looking for renting an apartment, then The Bravern, Ten20, Ashton are your best bet (or the Bellevue Towers, but you will be renting from a private owner). I have been living here for 2 years, let me know if you need any help!
I stay just about 2 blocks from the Westin Bellevue. Are u intending to stay in Bellevue? I can provide some recommendations for apartments.
I had almost forgotten what a toilet looked like...so, thanks for that picture. No water glass pictures? :(
I stayed here every week for about 2 years. Love the property. I always asked for a Grand Deluxe Room. I actually prefer these over the suites as they have a nice patio, a door that opens, and a fantastic bathroom with a separate rain shower. If you prefer a view over your own outdoor space, then the suites are better. Hotel accommodated my room request almost every time.
Din Tai Fung is one of the most overrated restaurants--I went there because Gary leff was fawning about the dumplings. let's face it: that dumpling is basically "inside out" won ton soup.
You should save a bookmark to your picture of the blue sky over Seattle. You will need it in the coming 6 months.
Welcome to Seattle!
been in Seattle for the past 7 months for work (actually thought about moving out here myself, so I can attest your decision) and the weather this summer has been PERFECT!
The Bellevue Westin is my favorite domestic Westin. When I've stayed there, I've either had the baloney deluxe room (which is great for a "regular" room) or your suite, which is one of the more creative suites I've stayed in.
@ JetAway -- They do, which I guess explains why they're quite nice.
Do the condo owners have access to the hotel's gym and pool?
@ FlyingDoctorWu -- Yep, had dinner at Din Tai Fung my first night there. Was really good.
Must be nice to have SPG following your blog/twitter.... did you check out Din Tai Fung while you were in Bellevue... it's a little fancy (for Din Tai fung) but solid Xiao Long Bao... If you ultimately move to Seattle (maybe you are?) then I would try to find a place near the Light Rail... good for getting to the airport. And check out Fu man dumplings in the Greenwood arae...
Note to self: Must start travel blog.
Wow, that's the benefit being a famous travel blogger, way to go, lucky!!!!
We were there over the weekend to visit some friends, too. The weather couldn't have been better on Sunday. We visited Deception Pass on Saturday and Mt. Rainier on Sunday. Saw sunrise early Monday morning on the plane, and wished we were staying for another day with beautiful weather!
@ Z -- Post coming on that later today. :-)
I've stayed at this Westin a few times for business, and agree that it's quite nice
@ AdamH -- I signed on something, so not sure that qualifies as successful or a bad impulse decision. :D
So, why did you end up in seattle? or is that for another post?
Was the apartment hunt successful?
There's not much selection here, but the hotels we do have are pretty good. I've never been disappointed.
I used to live in Seattle before so I know how beautiful the weather could be. I'm glad you decided to move there:)