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Westin Montreal, Canada [Master Thread]

Westin Montreal, Canada [Master Thread]

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Old Jun 26, 09, 12:01 am
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Arrow Westin Montreal, Canada [Master Thread]

We checked in today. Limited staff at the front, however they were very attentive. Checkin seemed to take a while. I think the staff are still learning how everything works.

We were put in an accessible room on the 12th floor, no lounge access. It doesn't appear as SPG gold we got anything special. hm. Going to phone downstairs in the morning to innocently inquire on whether we have access to the lounge or not, as the desk attendant didn't mention it at checkin.

We didn't ask to be moved to a normal room, as the accessible room doesn't seem that much different, save for, presumably, no shelving under the sink to hold linens and the hair dryer. I was tired and just didn't feel like moving.


Other impressions:
Sound travels here. We can hear conversations in the adjacent rooms, particularly the one with the adjoining doorway. Hallway noises are also easily heard from within the room.

Our view is crappy. We can see a highrise of offices about 15 feet from our window. If we crain our necks we can see a bit of open space at the intersection at the end of the block.

We're paying a pretty high rate. I reserved on 06/21, and the cheapest rates were in the $250s. My husband's client has a corporate rate which brought the room down into the $230s. I keep reading about special deals on rooms here, since they're still under construction, but they don't seem valid on the days we're staying.

TWO LEAF SOAPS IN THE BATHROOM. For the record. A nice, large shower in the bathroom (no tub). One Heavenly Bath towel and two normal bath towels. One robe when we indicated 2 guests were staying. Why do they do this?

One of our phones doesn't work. It happens to have the incorrect room number on it, as well. Both are cordless, though, so it's not too big of a deal.


Comparisons with the Sheraton:

The bed is indeed heavenly and much better than the Sweet Sleeper we had at the Sheraton previously this week. The comforters on the Sheraton beds are heavy and hot. The heavenly covers are heavenly.

The sheraton was much quieter. We couldn't hear our neighbors. Hallway noise was minimal (save for the one night sores of graduating high school kids assaulted the hotel with raucous noise well past 3 AM... The poor staff was beside themselves. The other guests were, too... I was the 30th person to call, according to the guest svcs lady).

The Sheraton's lounge is pretty nice -- and they have always given my husband access, whether he has been gold or platinum. (right now he's gold) As mentioned, gold status doesn't seem to get you anything at the Westin.

Smaller flat screen TV at the Westin than what we had that the Sheraton. It looks kind of dinky on the dresser.

Free internet for all at the Westin. As SPG gold we got free internet at the Sheraton, but normally it's close to $17 CDN per night.

The room here is about 50% bigger than what we had at the Sheraton.

Our view at the Sheraton was lovely. Here, as mentioned, it's not.

Central Air with a digital thermostat at the Westin. The Sheraton had a wall unit that was loud and had cumbersome dials for temperature control. That might be one reason why the Westin seems louder, but I don't think so. There were times when we left our AC off, and our room seemed a lot quieter still.

Awesome Métro access from the Westin: about 2.5 blocks away. It's a longer hike from the Sheraton -- although there is access to both the Green and Orange Lines not too far from the Sheraton.

Better choices of restaurants at the Sheraton. Rue Crescent and rue St Catherine offer a broader array and better quality restaurant options -- and many are open into the wee hours. The options near the Westin are a little farther away, more touristy, pricey and, in our experience, not as good.

Toto dual-flush potties at the Sheraton. The Westin has regular lever-flush potties (or at least in the accessible room they do). It seems noisier than the mighty Toto and possibly not as effective.

Proximity key cards at the Sheraton. Regular zippy cards at the Westin. You'd think a brand new hotel would have the fancier door unlockers, but nope.


Verdict: If they give us lounge access, I'll call it a tie -- but only because the client is paying. Otherwise I'd be all over the cheaper rate at the Sheraton. I think it really comes down to which location is better for you. My husband happens to be working across the street from the Sheraton, so it's far preferable. Unfortunately, they were sold out Thurs and Fri night, which is why we're here. We generally like the more contemporary style of Westins, and this one is nice, but something about it seems sort of empty and lacking character. Perhaps the clean lines are too clean. OTOH, the Sheraton is more on the frumpy side. The staff and guests seem to create more of a sense of community, though, which makes it seem homier and inviting. The staff try here, but I think they may still come up a bit short, at least until they find their stride.

We'll be trying Aloft the evening before we fly out, on the 3rd. Looking forward to checking it out.

Unfortunately, the W is out this trip. It is nearly 3 times the cost of the Sheraton with the corporate rate, and that's not going to fly with the client.

I think that about covers it. At the rate we got, I don't think the Westin is offering us sufficient value. If all the amenities were in place, it would be a different story, but I really think we should be paying less than we are, until they are fully operational. This leaves a bit of a sour taste.

I rarely sign on anymore, but I'll try to visit some over the next week or two in case anyone has any questions or comments.
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Old Jun 26, 09, 10:21 am
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update...

While the Sheraton gives SPG Gold members access to the lounge, the Westin does not.

Also, construction noise started at 7-7:30 in the morning. I slept in today and am a sound sleeper, so this is not so much of a concern, but it may be for others.
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Old Jun 26, 09, 10:56 am
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Here is your Gold amenity: TWO LEAF SOAPS IN THE BATHROOM!
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Old Jun 26, 09, 12:32 pm
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Thanks, swise, for such a comprehensive post!
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Old Jul 17, 09, 9:28 am
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Recent Stays Here?

Hi all, looking for any recent feedback for this place. We're considering a trip to Montreal in August and are evaluating SPG properties. Thanks!
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Old Jul 17, 09, 11:24 am
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Originally Posted by Cobijonz View Post
Hi all, looking for any recent feedback for this place. We're considering a trip to Montreal in August and are evaluating SPG properties. Thanks!
All reports seem to be shaky- that there is still a lot of work to be done. If you can swing it, stay at the W Montreal. Its right around the corner from the Westin and they treat plats very well. A bit pricy, but well worth it.
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Old Jul 17, 09, 1:14 pm
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Originally Posted by swise View Post
update...

While the Sheraton gives SPG Gold members access to the lounge, the Westin does not.
Just a reminder that lounge access is not a published/official Gold benefit of the SPG program. What the Sheraton Centre does for Golds is something they do just at that hotel over and above the SPG program guidelines.
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Old Jul 17, 09, 4:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Cobijonz View Post
Hi all, looking for any recent feedback for this place. We're considering a trip to Montreal in August and are evaluating SPG properties. Thanks!
Frequent visitor for Montreal. Stayed at both the Westin Montreal and W Montreal past 2 weeks.

- Westin is still a mess. When I was there, they were doing some kind of a photo shoot in the main lobby, lots of furniture movers, carpets rolled up and sitting on dollys. Smell of construction all over the place, drying paint/plaster, that type of smell. I got a nice corner room on high floor with a view but construction noise woke me early in the mornings. It sounded like someone moving (dragging) furniture around. The front desk staff was real nice about being accommodating but little they could do about it. I moved in the end to the W.

- W Montreal, right round the corner from Westin. Hip and happening locale. My favorite hotel in Montreal. See if you can talk your way into an upgrade/suite. I've been on their top floor (10th) suites couple times and it is a knickers-dropping view from the huge windows and balcony. Try to avoid any of the rooms in the front side of the hotel below the 5th or 6th floor. The noise from the club below carries upwards and trust me, you don't want to hear that at 2 in the morning. That said, the bar is a great place to people watch. It seems everyone coming and going is beautiful. Good place to spend an evening after a hard day's work.
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Old Jul 17, 09, 7:53 pm
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SometimesFlyer, thank you for such a great report as a way to introduce yourself to the forum. It's very helpful.
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Old Jul 17, 09, 8:05 pm
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Originally Posted by swise View Post
As SPG gold we got free internet at the Sheraton, but normally it's close to $17 CDN per night.
Last weekend at the Sheraton Montreal I was given the lounge access as a gold but they didn't offer free internet so I ended up shelling out for that.
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Old Jul 17, 09, 11:09 pm
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6 months

That hotel was opened way too soon... Thanks to seasonality in Northern regions ie. Summer is busy, Winter is dead.
Give them 6 months...
They should still not charge high prices (you can stay at Madonna crib in Montreal- Le St-James for the same price) as it is still a work in progress...
Cheers folks
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Old Jul 30, 09, 10:34 pm
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Staying at the Westin Montreal tonight

Parking
Weird doorman greeting customers -- offered Valet parking. The guy hung around until I gave him a tip -- not impressive.

Lobby
Quite sparse and quite literally dead for the evening -- definitely a quiet spot with hardly any life to it. Staff looked quite listless betraying little enthusiasm for this new property which really should be a flagship for Starwood in Montreal.

Check-in
Two generally friendly associates but far from overly friendly -- but maybe it's just the "Montreal" version of friendly (haha). I tried to make small talk but the responses were dry.

I'm a Plat and was offered the points thank you amenity as well as lounge access. Will see what I think of it tomorrow.

Other than that, no other recognition for Plat -- but that is par for the course I believe at both this and the Sheraton. W and Aloft are much, much better for Plat recognition.

The hotel looked absolutely empty but there was no Plat upgrade offered and I was given a basic king-bedded room on an upper floor.

Room

Nice regular size room but again, nothing special and really no different from the Sheraton Centre Montreal. All in all, if I were to choose solely based on the room, the Sheraton Centre Montreal's renovated rooms at a lower rate win hands down.

Very simple, sparse and unimpressive furnishings -- definitely nothing over the top.

There is a large Philips flat screen TV -- however, the channel selection seems better at the Sheraton Centre Montreal (at least for English-speakers). I couldn't find CNBC, for example and none of the specialty English channels.

The wireless internet is a plus (only wired internet at the Sheraton Centre) and the price (free) is right.

The bathroom is good -- definitely nicer than Sheraton Centre but no bathtub (which would be an issue for some). Generally, better appointed than the Sheraton Centre bathrooms.

The bed is firm and brand new so a slightly better bed than those at the Sheraton Centre but hardly anything noticeable.

A digital panel controls the room temperature. The air conditioning is effective and generally quiet. For a brand new property, they seem to have done very little to try to hide the electrical cords from the lamps on the bedside tables. The positioning of the electrical outlets seem poorly conceived for the room configuration.

Noise
Noise is most definitely an issue. After I checked in tonight, there was pounding going on in the room above me -- almost like someone dropping a bowling ball several times. I could also easily hear hallway conversation.

Conclusion
The staff seem to need a dose of "Westin" as I've had far warmer and friendlier service at most other properties.

I'm a Westin loyalist but would have a really hard time justifying paying a higher rate (even $1 more) for this hotel versus the Sheraton Centre and the Sheraton Centre is hardly a hotel I'd go out of my way to select while in Montreal (the W Montreal, however, would be if the prices were anywhere competitive to the Sheraton Centre). What I mean by this is that in New York City, my hands down choice is the Westin Times Square which doesn't compare to either of the two Sheraton properties in Midtown. The staff are friendly and even recognize me as a repeat customer (two weeks ago, the check-in associate welcomed me back and seemed to have tremendous recall for me and my family). The choice is far more difficult to make between the Sheraton Centre Montreal and the Westin Montreal as this Westin offers very little (if anything) to justify paying a premium over the Sheraton Centre.

Hope this helps!

Last edited by Canada101; Jul 30, 09 at 10:36 pm Reason: Missed info
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Old Jul 31, 09, 7:45 am
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I was going to try out this property, but it really sounds like a dud. I'll give them some time to get their act together. In the meantime, I'll be very, very grateful that the W is my company's preferred hotel
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Old Jul 31, 09, 2:52 pm
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Thumbs down Update

Check out and departure
Line-up was slow so didn't bother and just took the folio slipped under my door. Only two associates working the front desk -- that appears to be the standard.

I always get annoyed when hotels force you to Valet Park, charge you a usurious rate ($25) and then can't deliver on the service.

I called Service Express before coming down and was told it would take 15 minutes (!!!) to get my car brought up. So I decided to head down 15 minutes after calling -- BIG mistake. Another 20 minutes later (so 35 minutes after my call!), the car finally shows up.

A truly underwhelming experience for a brand new property which should do better. Staff are underwhelming. Rooms are underwhelming. Service is underwhelming.

The Westin Montreal does not merit the premium it charges -- sad since I was so looking forward to frequenting a Westin property while in Montreal.
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Old Jul 31, 09, 8:32 pm
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Originally Posted by pitbrian View Post
I was going to try out this property, but it really sounds like a dud. I'll give them some time to get their act together. In the meantime, I'll be very, very grateful that the W is my company's preferred hotel
Ditto. I'm now at the point where my expectations are so low I keep taking a pass in lieu of the other Montreal properties where I know I will have a decent stay.

Cheers,
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