We stay at the Westin Kierland several times a year, as it’s one of our favorite properties in Scottsdale. You may have read that in my Kierland Villas review already, so sorry for the repeat. It’s just that this resort has consistently delivered a fantastic experience for us each time we have stayed there. This time was no exception- well, almost.
I can’t fault the resort for the one thing that grated on our nerves for our entire stay- children. I know, how mean of me! We knew going into this Thanksgiving holiday vacation that the property would be extra family friendly. What I did not anticipate was the lack of oversight of these children by their parents. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I was butted in front of while trying to prepare my breakfast at the lounge, how many outside voices were used in a small closed space, and the sheer lack of respect for other guests using the lounge and it’s benefits. The Kierland has a policy to charge $10/day for every child to use the lounge, assuming there are two parents who are using the lounge for free. So, I found it astonishing that these parents paid $10/day for 3, or sometimes, 4 kids, and that the Westin allowed the kids to enter unsupervised or allowed the familes to come into the lounge during the day and pillage the snacks and leave a trail of food on the ground and dishes on the tables. In addition, these parents let their kids fill their bowls and cups to the brim, knowing full well the kids would not eat or drink nearly that much, hence creating a shortage of food and drink for others. Oh, and I’m not done- these parents let their kids fill their cups to the brim with coffee!!! Hot, caffeinated, Starbucks coffee for kids that were no more than five years old!!! I don’t even drink coffee and I’m 29 (hee hee). I realize that I’m childless and that it’s probably wrong of me to criticize a situation that I seemingly know nothing about. However, I helped raise two teenage girls as a step parent. So, if I can survive the teenage years of two drama-filled girls who didn’t really want to deal with a blended family, then I think I have a little room to have an opinion.
Now that I’ve had my moment in the sun on my soapbox, I’ll get into the good stuff. As a Starwood Preferred Guest Platinum member, I get some awesome benefits at the Kierland. I was able to request a suite upgrade, request late check out, have Club Lounge access, get $25/night in coupons for Happy Hour at my favorite bar, and receive additional coupons for savings at the spa and shops at the Kierland Commons. I better believe I used my $25 coupons every night at Deseo’s for my favorite 10 Cane mojitos!
As I mentioned, I had requested an upgrade to a suite. I originally booked the standard, lowest room category using my SPG Starpoints (5th night free!). I was upgraded to one of the highest room categories on the property- the Casita Suites! These suites are located in buildings just behind the pool and lazy river, away from the main resort tower. These suites are perfect for couples or families, but I’d say mostly families since it’s directly behind the family pool and the Kierland FlowRider, their brand new wave pool. We found these suites to be mostly quiet, though, except for the fact that we were on the first floor and could hear the person above us walking around. The suites are one or two bedrooms, which the two bedroom having an extra bathroom. Each suite has a separate living room, fireplace, outdoor patio, and a kitchenette. We were disappointed with the kitchenette because we couldn’t udnerstand why you’d have a refrigerator but not a microwave! However, if you want a full kitchenette or kitchen, you just need to walk down the path a bit farther and stay at the Westin Kierland Villas.
Since we’re locals, we did not dine in any of the restaurants on property, except for the pool bar. We had lunch there almost everyday. Their selections are limited, but the food was always good and quickly prepared. For dinners, we opted to take advantage of being in Scottsdale and chose to dine at some of our favorite East Valley restaurants without having to endure the normally long drive over and back. For breakfast, we used our complimentary breakfast at the Royal Peaks Lounge in the main resort tower. The resort does offer some excellent dining options, especially Deseo, and an awesome dessert bar every night in the lobby.
As for activities, we mostly laid by the adult pool which is adjacent to the Agave Spa. However, we did get a few things in. For once, we actually used the spa and booked a couples massage. It was fanastic! The spa is very nice, with excellent amenities, though a bit crowded. However, that’s because it’s so popular and they employ well trained technicians who perform a wide variety of services. We also received recommendations from the concierge for local hiking. We drove a few miles up the road to the McDowell Preserve and hiked the Gateway Loop. It was a bit crowded, since it was a holiday weekend, but the weather was great and the views were amazing. Mostly, this trip was just about relaxing, not having to worry about the crowds at the airport or long travel times, and catching up on rest. We mostly accomplished that, though all of our dinner reservations in combination with our activities kept us busy. I’m pretty sure we’re ready for another vacation.
I realize I did not go into too much detail on the property, though we visit enough that I can describe things in detail if requested. You can also refer back to my original review of the resort in my cross country drive review and the review of the Kierland Villas. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. Otherwise, if anything new and exciting pops up at the resort, I’ll add an update section to this review.