Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village
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Life is full of Sensual Pleasures
Life is full of sensuous pleasures, one of them being lunching with a friend(s) at least that ranks up there with me. In our sleepy town the talk was the new Four Seasons hotel and spa. The thousand oaks, Westlake area has grown in leaps and bounds over the last decade. The supply and demand of restaurants' and shops is increasing all the while a welcome breath of fresh air to our gas tanks. Getting out for a new experience use to mean a trip to the city, but now we are becoming a city unto itself with an abundance of pleasures for everyone.
Pamela had a birthday and I wanted to buy her a Martini, of course we hemmed and hawed over where to go, finally I said, "Let's go to that new four seasons and check it out." Agreed, we set it up meet at 11:45 hotel lobby. I arrived first, it was quite the task getting to the front of the hotel, for me anyway, there were signs, but no signs of life. I navigated my way around the hotel and finally saw what I thought was the front entrance, I pulled up to be greeted by the valet guy who was pleasant in nature and asked me if I was staying, handed me a ticket then drove off in my car. I walked in asked the women who was standing around where the restaurant was for lunch and she said, "here in the lobby lounge." I raised an eyebrow and said to myself, "I am open." The place was empty so the wonderment of where shall I sit was an open invitation. I choose the small table by the window which over looked a courtyard with a huge rock formation and water streaming everywhere, no color anywhere, what it looked like to me was a habitant for gorillas, I felt like I was at the Zoo.
I was greeted by a server who asked me if I wanted something to drink, I told her I was waiting on a friend and wanted to wait. A few minutes later my friend emerged looking radiant, we exchanged the usually hug and air kiss and I motioned her towards the table. She was not too happy with the seating arrangements for they were uncomfortable she thought to sit and eat a meal, but was pleasant enough to have a drink. I concurred but said, "hey let's give it a whirl." The server came back we ordered our Martini's, both of us had a lemon drop with Grey Goose Vodka, yum. The waitress brought out an 8oz tall decorative glass that had about 5 very thin crunchy bread sticks, not very appealing. I asked her for some butter, which I never got, when we addressed the butter issue again she said it had to come from a distance, in which I replied never mind it is not important.
We asked the waitress if this was the only restaurant in this hotel, in which she replied, "No there is a Japanese cuisine called Onyx Sushi as well," she brought us the menu we looked it over and decided to stay where we were and try this out first.
The menu was decent with a variety of choices if you were starving. We ordered. For starters, Pamela had the broccoli cheese puree soup, she said it was tasty. We choose to split the Vegetarian Club Sandwich - Avocado, Eggplant, Tomato Jam, Fennel Confit, which came out burnt toast which was supposed to be lightly toasted; it was hard as a rock. I proceeded to bite into my half and the avocado slipped out, actually shot out, the toast was so hard that nothing wanted to remain inside the sandwich. I did not want to engage in eating it anymore. If you wanted ground pepper here at the four seasons you better know how to twist it on yourself, they are not big on service.
Our server came back and we asked for cappuccino's, which sounded tasty, always a good ending to any meal. The cappuccino's arrived with much to do about anything, if it were not for Pamela's' birthday we would have not had a sweet to satisfy the palate that usually accompanies the cappuccino. I just love those little dipping cookies that is half the fun of having the after lunch treat.
The bill, you got to pay! Much to our surprise they had put the valet charge on the lunch ticket without warning I might add. No signs out front, the server did not point it out to us, just a big surprise when we went over to make sure it was correct. Funny thing she took the tickets and stamped them we thought we were getting it validated so we did not have to pay, but that was just not the case, it was to show them we paid the valet.
To sum up my experience at the Four Seasons, if you choose to stay there, then sit down, shut up, and order. You guessed it I shall not be returning.
New hotel with a name brand to live up to
Stayed here over the President's Day weekend using their Introductory Package, which includes one free night and $100 credit towards the adjacent California WellBeing Institute (more on this later).
The hotel just opened in late 11/06--things still smell new. For now, self-parking is complimentary, but there is a guard gate and pay machines in place for future parking charges. The valet and self-parking are in the same 4 story structure; valet parking is $22 a night. The walk to the hotel is short.
The hotel is located in an office park just off the Ventura fwy (101). A brick retaining wall at least 10 feet high surrounds the property and secludes it from the freeway and busy Lindero Canyon Rd. I believe the land is owned by billionaire David Murdock, whose company , Dole (as in pineapple and foods) is across the street. Indeed, the Dole building and the hotel look almost identical--I had to look for the Four Seasons sign to be sure which was the hotel. Mr. Murdock apparently lives in, and probably owns, the nearby Lake Sherwood community with its famous and posh Sherwood Country Club. He also essentially owns the Hawaiian island of Lanai and its 2 luxury hotels, Lodge at Koele and Manele Bay, now both Four Seasons properties. I was told there are plans to open a WellBeing Institue there as well.
The hotel is somewhere between a resort and an urban hotel in size, location and distance from downtown . In comparison to other Southern California Four Seasons properties, it is not as urban as the 2 hotels in Beverly Hills, and has more acreage, but not as much as the resorts in Santa Barbara (Biltmore) or north San Diego (Aviara).
I wondered why someone would choose to stay here in this area north of Los Angeles. Westlake Village is an affluent community, but besides the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, golf and perhaps horseback riding, there is not much for a tourist to do. I would guess that the beach (Malibu) and Beverly Hills are over 30 minutes away. Perhaps the hotel will be more for business travelers, but is also a good not-too-far-away getaway choice for locals.
Outdoors, the hotel has a simple porte cochere that in my opinion would have been enhanced by a water feature/fountain. There are 3 landscaped outdoor areas, all dominated by huge off-white boulders imported, I was told, by Mr. Murdock from the River Kwai in Thailand, and serve as dramatic natural sculpture pieces. The most dramatic outdoor area is directly behind the hotel and has a huge rock formation and waterfalls. Many rooms, the hallway to the meeting rooms, and all the restaurants face this landscape. There is a smallish indoor pool with a small outdoor deck here too. I wondered why the pool was indoors in generally sunny So. CA. There are minimal outdoor seating areas from which to enjoy this vista. Behind the luxurious spa is another landscaped garden dominated by a pagoda and small lake that again could have benefited from the sound of gurgling water. There is also a greenhouse where orchids that fill the spa and public areas are grown. The 3rd outdoor landscaped area is behind the parking structure and has no obvious use--it seems like this area could have been made smaller to make the pool area larger.
Indoors, there are many Asian touches--lamps, screens, cabinetry. There is some fine artwork on the walls, and a great California mural lining the staircase. There is a full art gallery on the mezzanine above the CA WellBeing Inst., with pieces that will be rotated and are available for purchase. Continuing the nature as art theme, there are also many large framed cross-sections of stones, geodes and marble that are backlit and gorgeous. The pieces behind the reception and concierge desks match the counters. Very unique.
I had a room on the top (7th) floor that faced the waterfalls. It had a huge plasma TV and a smaller one in the bath, a DVD player and an iPod and MP3 docking station/alarm clock/radio. Everything was typically Four Seasons luxurious.
The Spa also gets high marks. It has great indoor lounging areas with enticing daybeds, a beautiful trickling water and orchids feature, an Asian bridge, and a quiet adults-only outdoor pool with cabanas and 2 jacuzzis. There are many treatment rooms. I had a massage is a Spa suite designed for a full day of pampering--it had a main room big enough for couples treatments, a bedroom, fireplace, huge shower with innumerable heads, a jacuzzi tub and a private outdoor plunge pool.
The fitness center is quite large and well equipped.
There are 2 restaurants, Hamptons and Onyx (Japanese). I tried neither, but did order room service one night. The food was fine, but I was not given a napkin or breadplate, and there was no flower or centerpiece on the table.
The California WellBeing Institute is connected to the hotel and offers packages that promote health and healthy living. It has complete medical facilities, workshops, and a kitchen. The hotel's Introductory Package includes a $100 credit towards the Insititiute, but the least expensive package is a $250 2.5-hour cooking class. I chose the $450 half-day package that included a workshop, consultation with a LifeAdvisor and a nutritionist and the aformentioned massage.
The service overall was of Four Seasons quality. If no other Four Seasons existed, I'd give this hotel a 5, but in comparison to other Four Seasons I've stayed at, it's a 4 for now. It's a big name brand to live up to.
Nice hotel but not as nice as a typical Four Seasons
I stayed here for fertility treatments at a nearby clinic. They had only recently opened and there were a few glitches that will probably be worked out soon like my television kept breaking and had to be reprogrammed 3 times in one evening - I was trying to relax so this was irritating. The room service food was REALLY pricey for the quality and the food was not represented well on the menu - i.e., I ordered a "traditional" NY cheesecake and got a little circle of something - did not look like the classic slice I was looking forward to but it was fine. I specifically ordered a meatless breakfast and asked for tomatoes with my eggs and I ended up with potatoes and bacon - very irritating as I arranged for the breakfast the night before to be delivered at 6am and I had to leave my room for my appointment by 7am so there was no time to wait for another meal - they did nothing in apology for that which I also found to be irritating. The bathtub is GORGEOUS - and really deep but alas, I couldn't use it the night before in vitro. There is a separate shower - the dumb part of the bathroom design is that the shower is clear so only Cindy Crawford could manage a sexy sillouette. The toilet door is frosted so you get to have a silouette with that but even Cindy Crawford can't pull that one off with grace - not for newlyweds basically. They should have frosted the shower and put a full solid door on the toilet. The bed linens and bed and pillows were beautiful and cotton and wonderfully clean and luxurious. The staff is inexperienced - the teenager who parked my car had likely never worked at a nice hotel but the staff all meant well except for a few silly people who thought working at a nice hotel meant they should act rudely. The front desk was professional for the most part. The spa was pretty and very clean but rather sparse. The treatments (I had 3 of them in one afternoon) were just okay - again, the staff here seemed inexperienced - my massage was not the quality I would have expected and funny note... one of the ladies had on white clogs - I loved that - they were spotless and I figured, spa issued. Then, I had a different woman for the next treatment and It was hard not to laugh while I stared at her feet for 45 minutes. She was lovely but her feet were horrific. Chipped nail polish, calloused, bunions... warts would have pulled it all together. I'm sorry but if your feet aren't pretty and you are giving someone a massage - wear clogs. Ask for their throwaway flip flops - the sandals the spa usually issues will give you horrible blisters if you walk more than 50 feet in them. The nuts in the spa were stale. I only went to the spa and stayed in my room - I took a cab to my procedure and left the car there to be picked up. The hotel looks like a business office on the outside but is pretty inside. The gardens are small and the views are of the freeway - which is adjacent to the hotel. Once the staff gets some experience, it will seem much more like a Four Seasons - now it seems like a hotel dressed like a Four Seasons but with a MOTEL staff. Don't come here to vacation in So Cal - there are better areas and hotels for the price you pay here (my favorite St. Regis Monarch Beach in Laguna Niguel ) - but great for those who need to stay in Westlake for business or medical reasons like myself.
Gorgeous, relaxing hotel
We booked this hotel through our local travel agent which helped us secure our upgraded "premier" room for three nights past our original package that included the upgraded lodging. This review will be long but hopefully thorough enough to answer any questions.
The hotel is indeed located in an industrial park and the back of the hotel faces the freeway. In fact, we drove right past Dole Drive when we saw the hotel building thinking it was an office complex and the hotel must be further down the way. The building itself is modern in design, exactly the same as the office? complex across the way. But once inside, the hotel is luxurious in every way. The only mild disappointment was that the hotel gardens were not as expansive as anticipated from the Four Seasons web page.
We booked the hotel for 5 nights, the first two were on the "Introductory package" which includes a premier room with $200 spa credit and the second night free. The second part of our stay was on a bed and breakfast package.
The interior hotel design is European with Asian accents. Lots of dark wood with butter squash walls and rich red hues and asian/euro furniture and draperies. The public bathrooms are gorgeous with Victorian design. Or room was like the public area with the butter colored walls, red carpet, dark wood, and asian accents. The bathroom had an amazing long and deep bath tub. There was ample room for clothing and accessory storage with all the little Four Seasons extras that make the hotel top notch. There was a small fruit basket with a one liter bottle of Evian water complimentary on the wood counter upon entry. Also there are several coffee and tea choices complimentary with coffee maker.
The spa - it was simply beautiful but we encountered a few glitches. We used our two included massages on the first day and rescheduled two 80 minute massages for two days later. My spouse waited about 20 minutes after I was called back and never had massage tech come to get him. After going to the front desk it turns out two therapists were assigned to me. So he lost out on his 80 minute massage and ended up with a 50 minute massage. Do double check right away if you massage is running late. The second spa error will be mentioned during our hotel check out. The spa design again carries over with the same color scheme and there is a relaxing large waterfall that separates the men's and women's section. There are "bed" chairs throughout. There is also a co-ed section that leads out to the adults only pool and japanese gardens.
Dining - We ordered room service the first day, $50 for a salmon burger and turkey burger, ouch! The food was good but perhaps a tad bland. Presentation was very good. We enjoyed breakfast in Hamptons and I'm still thinking about how tasty it was a few days later. All of the fruit was ripe and delicious as well the entrees, so fresh. Great tea service. Excellent staff, easy to converse with.
Checkout - Small issue. We were charged for three spa treatments on the first day when we had two. The check out agent disputed with me that our spa credit was not applicable for the spa but the "Institute for Well Being", then I showed her where we had already been credited for one treatment so it must have been the right place. After that she called the spa and took off the second credit and then the final bill was still incorrect as we were then charged again for the third treatment that we didn't have. So do check your bill, we were overcharged $220.
The concierge was excellent with driving directions and made dinner reservations for us one evening without prompting, so courteous. Very friendly.
All in all it was a wonderful stay and the hotel lives up to Four Seasons luxury standards. The only regret was that there was not more places to sit in the gardens with back support and that they were not larger. We would certainly stay again in the future. Hampton's alone for breakfast makes me want to come back! Hope this helps.
Amongst the very best!
We are currently staying at the hotel and it is fantastic. Our deluxe room is exactly that and although the hotel is just off the freeway there is no traffic noise. The staff are exceptionally helpful.
The spa is a bonus.
We have stayed in many 4 Seasons and this ranks amongst the very best for luxury and service. If we were in the area again we would not even consider any other hotel
Four Seasons does it again
I just love Four Seasons.. They get it right again!!!!
They alwasy seem to do a great job. I just went to the hotel with friend las week to get away from the holiday rush . The hotel had just been open for 3 weeks and we had a great time.. Onyx was a blast we met some friends who live in the area and there are tons of sushi places around but this place was surprising for a Four Seasons, The place was alive good looking ppl and great music very hip for a fancy hotel, we sat at the sush bar and had so much fun.. The other night we just wanted to relax so we ate at the other restuarant Hamptons.. very good and the service is very four seasons. The spa is wonderful as my girlfriend and I just soaked the holiday blues away. If you live in la like me just go there to get away ...
Diamond in the Rough
Yes, this property is right off the freeway and across the street from an office park, but once you enter the hotel, you are transported to a veritable English country manor. The design is overall traditional, yet with touches of contemporary elements so you are aware you are not in an 1980's era Ritz-Carlton. Treat this stay as a quick local "getaway". DO take advantage of the spa treaments, eucalyptus steam room, and hydro-therapy jacuzzi. Luxuriate in the Relaxation room and quiet pool with cabanas. Meander through the beatiful meditation gardens with Chinese pagoda. On the hotel grounds, utilize the indoor pool looking out onto the impressive waterfall feature (a mini-Las Vegas Wynn construction), play billiards on old fashion tables in the Scottish-lite bar, and dine on an excellent breakfast buffet with the best prepared omelette I have eaten in a long time.
Book a premium room or better with extremely generous space and sumptous bathroom with a mini flat screen tv and extra large tubs (longer than most Four Seasons tubs). The rooms veer toward traditional, but with Venetian style chandelier, rich fabrics and textures, lustrous woods, vibrant colors, large plasma tv with DVD player, and digital clock radio with IPOD docker - you'll know you are in the most up to date accommodations.
And as in ALL Four Seasons, service is gracious and expedient. While in the Men's locker room jacuzzi, an attendent brought us fresh papaya juice to drink and ice cold washcloths for our face. At 11PM I requested fresh bathtowels for the next morning, and they were brought to our room post haste. Everyone was cheerful and dedicated to making our stay most enjoyable.
We never left the property and are looking forward to our next local getaway. It's VERY easy to forget you are near a drab office park and freeway once you're actually at the hotel and imagine you're at some idyllic retreat.
Four Seasons Westlake food prices are a total ripoff
I was w/a friend and we decided to check out the new Four Seasons Westlake Hotel. Although the hotel is new and nice, we were looking to eat something late at night. We ate at the lobby lounge and the menu was very limited. Mostly hard liquor and deserts, however of the few food selections, we each ordered bruschetta. The order came and consisted of 4 tiny bruschettas on 4 tiny miniscule separate cracker size bread. The cost was 12.00 each for this. The hotel has potential, but needs to expand their so called lobby lounge late night fare.Also, give people more for their 12.00. Not good.
Horrible, Horrible, Horrible... Not a Four Seasons... Stay Away!!!
Just stayed here. What a horrible experience. I've stayed at many Four Seasons hotels around the world... without exception, they've been great. This hotel, however, is dreadful.
The decor is haphazard... picture some "hunting dog" art, chinese armoires, tropical carpets, bright yellow paint, and some Tuscan starving artist paintings... all in what looks to be a convention hotel. Beyond tacky. It puts you in a bad mood to start. Then it gets worse. The restaurants are just Airport Marriott quality. But the Airport Marriotts have decent food and beverage service.
I've had better meals at Chili's than I did at "Onyx." The "japanese" food was mediocre at best, and when we ordered our main course, they came out 15 minutes apart... the three of us all dined alone. Then, the rice came out, just in time for dessert. The music was blasting as if we were in a nightclub. I asked the clueless yet rude manager twice if he could turn it down. He told me he did... he lied. He was unable to. I asked to speak to the Food and Beverage Manager, who I'm guessing previously worked at the above mentioned Chili's. He begrudgingly lowered it, but told me that the blasting music was intentional.
I could go on and on, but I'll stop now. I spent a lot of money and had a horrible, dreadful time that wasn't worth a dime. This place is not up to Four Seasons standards, not even close. If you expect elegant and seamless service, you will NOT get it here. Don't come. You WILL be disappointed! Or in my case, furious that I wasted my time and money.
P.S. It's right off the freeway in an office park.
TripAdvisor Reviews Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village
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