Earlier in the month I had my first-ever visit to the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa.
Originally I had planned to stay at the Phoenician, but my wife sought to make spa appointments in advance and when she finally managed to have someone call her back they weren’t helpful or willing to describe their offerings. An unhelpful spa attendant before arriving even (when you’re looking to spend real money on additional premium services) didn’t bode well for the property. And since reports of upgrades there are mixed at best except during their lowest of low seasons in the dead of summer, we decided to bag the property and switch to the Kierland.
Certainly the Westin isn’t as luxe as the Phoenician. Just looking at photos on the various trip review sites will attest to that. But advance reports were good so we decided to check it out.
The Kierland certainly lived up to expectations. We arrived to a lovely Casita Suite upgrade, a separate bedroom and living area with a kitchen and balcony off in a secluded part of the property.
And the hotel offers a club lounge, something the Phoenician does not. We only visited for breakfast so I can’t comment on the evening offerings, but it’s a lovely spot with friendly service (albeit a bit small, and perhaps breakfast should include smoked salmon, but these are minor quibbles).
The resort also has the adjacent “Villas” timeshare operation, so naturally we had a call from the concierge with a ‘welcome gift’ (i.e. timeshare come-on). We ignored the message on our phone, and they didn’t push further.
My wife reports that the spa (four treatments cost about $650) wasn’t really all it’s cracked up to be, with half the treatments mediocre and a busy staff who simply point to the comment cards instead of doing anything to rectify the problem. But that’s a minor complaint, and just requires attenuating expectations. Spas in the United States rarely measure up, especially for the price, and we should just stop building them into plans.
The hotel itself apart from the spa was lovely. Most importantly for my preferences, Platinum recognition was excellent — a suite and a full service club lounge.
Valet parking is $24 a night if I recall correctly, but self-parking wasn’t far away at all and free. The lobby got a bit noisy at night, but the Casitas were far enough away from the action that they were quiet (a reasonably walk or a complimentary golf cart ride gets you there easily).
All in all, recommended and I’d definitely return on my next trip to Scottsdale.