When I think Westin,the Heavenly Bed & Bath come to mind and after two weeks traveling on safari, I was looking forward to my stay at the Westin Capetown. Of the many Starwood brands, I tend to favor the Westin. My six night stay was paid with a Starwood points +cash (4000 + $60) per night award (the points + cash rate has increased since my stay to 5,000 points + $75).
The hotel is located across from the convention center and there isn’t much in the surrounding area to quickly walk to so they offer free shuttle service to the V&A waterfront. For leisure travelers, you need to know that you can’t really walk anywhere from here – you do need the waterfront shuttle or taxi to get around the city.
Walking into the hotel with its soaring ceiling and massive common space definitely wasn’t like most Westins I’ve been to before it was very open. With no line, I was able to quickly check in. With Gold SPG status, I was upgraded not to the preferred floor but to the club floor which would give me access to the club lounge and private dining room – this was a first for me. For my gold preferred amenity, i picked free internet for my stay (it has since become complimentary for all).
To access my floor, a key card was needed in the elevator lobby. My room was standard Westin – a comfortable, nicely decorated and functional room. I know what to expect at a Westin, generally a good relaxing base to explore from with the comforts of a business hotel catering to guests needs. There was one notice that I hadn’t seen before and that was the sign to use the in-room safe to store valuables. I was surprised by how many notices were in the room/bathroom as reminders but given that this is a convention hotel with quick turnover just like in any city, you need to take care of your valuables. I used the in-room safe at all times – I did not leave anything around the room even if away for a small amount of time. The notices are there for a reason and while I asked the guy behind me if he had a key card to access the floor, not everyone does. Security is important around the world.
Expecting my heavenly shower, I wasn’t disappointed, I had a walk in shower in addition to a soaking tub and separate water closet. A bonus was the heated floor that I kept forgetting to turn on – i was lucky to figure out lights on buttons.
I had mixed dealings with the concierge team – it started off a bit rocky during my travel meltdown but then they were stellar. They arranged for a wireless router in my room (the in-room internet is very slow given that the hotel is full of business/convention visitors online 24/7). They made my restaurant reservations and booked my Table Mountain entrance ticket (I was scheduled on a tour but you still need to wait in line to buy the ticket – this helped me bypass the line and saved time). One concierge walked me to the post office to pick up my luggage, he wheeled it back to the hotel and had it delivered to my room while I used the ATM machine at the convention center (the hotel did not have an ATM on site).
During my stay, the main restaurant wasn’t opened so I ate twice in the small bar area off the lobby – the food was fine, nothing special. The menu was limited and the service was good but I would recommend taking the hotel shuttle to the V&A waterfront as there are a plethora of good dining options there.
I always wonder what special treatment is given to Platinum members (and other high-end elites) and those who can afford the concierge/club level. Well, now I know and it’s a case of “ignorance is bliss” – I was happy not knowing what I was missing and now….I want this all the time! The top floor which houses the gym and spa is the location for the club lounge (a dozen seats and a tv) and private dining room. I visited twice for happy hour and met some interesting people attending the wine convention (a wine judge and a vineyard owner).
For breakfast, the food is displayed in a triangle of tables – two food and one juice/champagne. You are also given a menu of hot entrée options available. For me ,as I did not have platinum status, I had to pay an upcharge of $3 for a hot entrée. I was ok with the $3 breakfast instead of the normal $25+ especially given the hotel location and not much choice around the neighborhood. So the upgrade save me $22/day ($132 in total) for breakfast (I could get used to this, really, I could). The food choices were impressive, I’m not sure every club lounge is like this though.
The dining room had large glass windows with a great view of Capetown which was a nice way to start my day. The servers were friendly and remembered me since I ate early each day during my stay – the room was rarely full.
The Spa was so fabulous it will get its own post – definitely a must on your visit. They were miracle workers!
This is a wonderful Westin property and I had a relaxing stay. It does need to address the in-room wi-fi issue as connectivity was unreliable for me and many others judging from comments heard when I was checking out. Other than that blip, the Westin was a great base camp for my Capetown visit.