Disappointed but not dismayed by the new Westin A review of The Westin Minneapolis
Minneapolis has just gotten it's latest upscale hotel property in the form of the new Westin hotel, that opened up this week on the former site of an old bank. I went with a friend in early May initially to grab drinks and check out the restaurant. We spontaneously decided to check into a room for the night to savor the whole experience of the hotel. We got a $299 room rate as walk ins - after checking, we found this rate was also available as the "internet" rate.
"Savor. Experience. Share" is the theme of the restaurant and we did all 3. The hotel takes advantage of its location with it's gorgeous bar/restaurant, appropriately named "Bank" that takes up the space where the former bank used to operate. The seating is smart - lots of individual seats with views into the kitchen for single travelers, a large bar area with bar and lounge areas and a moderately sized restaurant all fit nicely into the space. One very cool feature is the private "lounge" rooms - small rooms with couches, pillows, TV where Guests can relax in a private atmosphere for drinks, dinner or dessert for a minimum fee that is waived with a very reasonable food and beverage minimum. There are also several small private dining rooms. My companion and I enjoyed cocktails and several selections from the menu - appetizers, mains and desserts. Overall the food "concepts" were original and innovative, and all the dishes were beautifully presented, but the overall execution of the dishes left something to be desired. Was probably just a question of the "newness" of the menu and the space - after all this IS Week 1. I would go back in a few weeks to try it again.
ROOM: We decided spur of the moment to spend the night and after a short delay to find an "appropriate" room (several of the floors were still not open), we were given a corner room on one of the higher floors. And here is where the Westin disappointed. The rooms are large - especially the bathroom. In fact the bathroom is too large - an inefficient use of space has a huge room with a small toilet, sink and shower and LOTS of wasted space. You can actually hear echos. The room itself was large, but for $299 I was expecting an AMAZING room similar to the upscale hotels in the area - Marquette, Grand, Graves 601. For the money, this room was a disaapointment. Fixtures, although new, were standard and not the "luxury" quality we expected for the price. Again, room space was large but inefficiently used - we felt there was a lot of empty space and felt decidedly "mid-level" in terms of fixtures and appointments.
SERVICE: Again, this was Week1 but I'd give the staff 5 stars for friendliness, willingness to help, connecting with the Guests and dealing with the "newness." Once everyone gets a bit more "settled" I think it will only improve.
Overall, although I enjoyed the hotel, for $300 I think the Westin is a nice, upscale hotel, but it doesn't quite "take it to the bank" as a luxury hotel option in Minneapolis.