Review: Westin Palace Madrid

Iberia Business Class Chicago (ORD) to Madrid (MAD) A340-600
Westin Palace Madrid
Around Madrid
Dining in Madrid
Hotel Arts Barcelona (A Ritz-Carlton hotel)
Enoteca Paco Perez (Two- Michelin Star Restaurant)
Around Barcelona
Park Hyatt Mallorca
Around Mallorca
Rafa Nadal Academy and museum
Dining in Mallorca
Iberia Business Class Lounge Madrid (International terminal satellite lounge)
Iberia Business Class Madrid (MAD) to Chicago (ORD) A340-600


Westin Palace Madrid

Westin Palace Madrid
Westin Palace Madrid exterior

The Westin Palace Madrid was our accommodation of choice for our three nights in Madrid. We were greeted by a bellman and doorman upon arrival in our Blacklane Mercedes-Benz van. The ride from the Madrid airport is only about eight miles or about 20 minutes depending on traffic.  Our bags were gathered and we were welcomed in to the reception desk.

The Westin Palace Madrid entrance

Upon first appearances the hotel felt elegant, grand, and a bit antique (in a good way). The hotel is over 100 years old and has 470 rooms and 51 suites. Continue reading

Trip Report: Japan 2015 (Part 10) Westin Tokyo


Japan (Part 1) Introduction- A Babymoon…….Sakura Style!?
Japan (Part 2) Japan Airlines First Class Chicago O’Hare to Tokyo Narita
Japan (Part 3) St. Regis Osaka
Japan (Part 4) Around Kyoto
Japan (Part 5) Around Nara
Japan (Part 6) Andaz Tokyo
Japan (Part 7) Around Tokyo
Japan (Part 8) Conrad Tokyo
Japan (Part 9) Fujigoko Sakura viewing (Beautiful full bloom cherry blossoms)
Japan (Part 10) Westin Tokyo
Japan (Part 11) Japan Airlines First Class Lounge
Japan (Part 12) Japan Airlines First Class Tokyo Narita to Chicago O’Hare

Westin Tokyo

Our final night in Tokyo was spent at the Westin Tokyo.  We had a king room and were “upgraded” to a city view room with views of the Tokyo Tower.  The hotel was extremely busy when we arrived.  There was a wedding reception at the hotel and there were quite a bit of guests in the common areas of the property.

After a five minute wait in line to check in we were checked in by a nice front desk agent. He went over our details and assigned us room 1005 on the 10th floor.  I chose points for my SPG gold amenity.

My initial thoughts were the hotel felt like a Vegas hotel.  Tons of people and the restaurant was crowded and right off the lobby. There was a line for the buffet and seemed just like some of the Vegas mega hotels I have seen.

Lobby and front desk area

Lobby area

Lobby area

Bellhop desk

Anyhow, we made our way up to our room and after a few seconds I thought, “This places needs a refresh!”  It felt outdated and in the bathroom it was really obvious. I thought the size of the room was fair but it was smaller than our rooms at the Andaz and Conrad the nights prior.  I would be OK with this room on a business stay if my employer was paying for it but never would I pay cash for this room.  The room did have a few bottles of complimentary water which is appreciated. The room was clean overall but just not very stylish or visually pleasing. Anytime you have a green carpet you’re already down one strike. Continue reading

Trip Report: Kauai 2012 (part 10) Westin Princeville


Intro & United economy plus Chicago to Lihue
Sheraton Kauai resort and spa
Waimea Canyon
St. Regis Princeville
Kayaking to Secret Falls
Queensbath and Hideaway Beach
Hiking Kalalau Trail
Napali coast boat ride
Grand Hyatt Kauai
Westin Princeville
Food and Drink of Kauai


Westin Princeville

There was a large conference taking over the Grand Hyatt thus I could not get a room there for our last night in Kauai.  That means we had to drive back up to the north side of the Island again very close to the St. Regis Princeville where we stayed just a few days prior.  On arrival there were a few parking spots left (free parking when we were there).  We checked in and the front desk agent wished me a happy birthday.  Since this trip was around my birthday and I noted that on the reservation they updated us to a full sized condo unit versus the studio we booked with points.  Our room was quite large and had a lot of amenities!! My wife approved of this room as this was the best Westin we have been too. They also placed a nice happy birthday card for me in the kitchen counter, which was a nice touch.

Our room had a washer and dryer unit, Jacuzzi tub and separate shower, fridge, microwave and pretty much everything that you find in a full kitchen.  The room also had Westin’s trademark heavenly bed and shower.  It also featured separate living a sleeping area separated by a wall.  The room is much like a residential condo unit or a suite in many hotels.


Living and dining area

Continue reading

Trip Report: Maui (part 5) Westin Ka’anapali


Andaz Maui
Road to Hana
Mt. Haleakala and Molokini
Westin Ka’anapali
Food and Drink of Maui

Westin Ka’anapali

On our very last night in Maui we stayed at the Westin Ka’anapali. I wanted to experience the western side of the island and also obtain another Starwood hotel stay. The hotel was available on cash and points and was a decent redemption so it worked out good.

We arrived and the bell staff took our bags and asked if we wanted to self park and I said yes as we were paying for mandatory valet parking of $30 at the Andaz so it was nice to get “free” parking here. There was only one person checking people in so there was about a 10 minute wait to checkin in. She was able to get us into a newly refurbished room. From the outside you can see there is construction going on and they are renovating rooms section by section.

The room was clean and nice-typical Westin rooms. Nothing extraordinary but nice and gets the job done.  The view from the balcony was pretty good and had ocean and pool views to our left. Once in the room I called back down to confirm 4pm checkout as I forgot to ask at checkin. They confirmed that would be OK.

The common areas were pleasant and there are a lot of different pools around the grounds. The grounds are expansive and the property feels more like a mega resort compared to the Andaz. Many more rooms+cheaper prices=more guests. Be prepared for a lot of people in and around the property. It appears Ka’anapali is very touristy with many hotels and timeshares. The plus side to that is there are a lot of bars and restaurants in the area.

On our last day in Maui before flying home in the evening we spent the whole day at the beach sun bathing and having a few drinks.  We did go swimming in the ocean and the beach is nice. There is a bit of a riptide and the waves are kind of strong but the beach is clean and the sand is soft.  Below are some pictures of our room.

DSC04029 DSC04030 DSC04031 Continue reading