Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A midsize, midprice chain hotel in the middle of the city -- but it's nicer than average, not middling
It's a Westin. Translation: It's nice. You won't find innovative design, fun extra touches, or variety in the artwork. But the rooms are clean and comfortable (at 325 square feet, they're spacious but not huge), and have all the Westin signatures -- white-tea-aloe bath products, two-headed showerheads, and the popular "Heavenly" beds. The service is efficient and cordial, but not doting. Indeed, describing the hotel is a lot like describing a Starbucks ("You know, it's a Starbucks ... "), which, incidentally, is another Westin staple: Every room features a coffee machine and several bags of Starbucks brew. This Westin even has a little coffee kiosk (calling it a coffee shop would be an overstatement) in the lobby that "proudly brews Starbucks coffee." There is also a restaurant, 1400 North, and lounge, Liquid 14 which feature staple hotel fare.
Formerly a Wyndham, the 406-room high-rise was taken over by Starwood Hotels in 2007 and fully renovated. Westin's main theme -- wellness and peace of mind -- is ubiquitous at this branch. The best feature is probably the impressive fitness center, which boasts a large selection of modern equipment as well as some nice bonuses, like a yoga/stretching room and personal TV screens on the cardio machines. To remind guests there's a second room in the back of the fitness center, the sign says, "become one with yourself with our exhilarating equipment to the rear of the gym." Next to the coffee kiosk: "Elevate your sense with a freshly brewed rejuvenating elixir at our Starbucks Kiosk." An elixir, eh? Must be some cup of coffee. The truth is that it's more a gimmick than anything else: With the exception of the ban on smoking throughout the hotel, the wellness theme doesn't manifest itself in a way that will affect your stay at all.
Finally, a few tips:
The immediate area around the hotel is a bit quiet at night and on the weekends, but great sights and cafes are still within walking distance.
The name is apt -- the Westin is indeed in the city's center. It's located downtown, half a block from Thomas Circle and the National City Christian Church. But on the other side of Thomas Circle, the area straddles two very disparate neighborhoods: the bustling business district and the vibrant, flourishing residential section at 14th Street, near Logan Circle.
A solid but unspectacular business-oriented downtown hotel, the 406-room Westin boasts a great gym, solid service, and clean, comfortable rooms. But while its rooms and features best those at the more historic Radisson Mayflower, it's also worth considering the nearby Four Points by Sheraton, one of the district's best business hotels.