Tag Archives: Westin Hotels


Westin Introduces Multiple Sport Concierges

Frequent travelling can take a toll on your health but not under Westin’s watch – the Westin hotel chain has introduced a number of concierge programs that will encourage you to get moving throughout your stay at selected properties worldwide. Do take note of that ‘selected’ part as the very popular Run Concierge is not available everywhere.

Following the success of Westin’s Run Concierge since its debut three years ago, the hotel has also expanded the program to include other popular sports. The debut of the Tennis Concierge at Westin’s Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa in Victoria, British Columbia, coincides with the 2016 US Open on August 29, and will see qualified tennis coaches help guests with everything from their backhand, footwork and even footwear. The property will also roll out a dedicated Hike Concierge, which helps guests choose and guide them through their trail depending on skill level. Meanwhile, The Westin at Los Angeles Airport will offer a Surf Concierge that will ferry guests to the city’s famous beaches during summer for surf lessons.

Westin’s parent company Starwood Hotels & Resorts has taken things a step further by partnering with FitBit this year to create a series of app-based video fitness programs that will be aired at 200 hotels within the chain, making it a cinch to get back into shape no matter where you go.


Affluent Travelers Favor Hotels with Gyms: Report

According to the results of the 2016 Luxury Travel Report prepared by consultancy firm Resonance, fitness centers are twice as important to America’s richest travelers compared with regular travelers (40 percent versus 20). While the results here are only for one nationality, hotel operators everywhere will want to see how this relates to the one-percenters of the world. For example, Euromonitor reports that the spa market is thriving in China, with all travelers.

For the Resonance survey, 1,667 Americans travelers in the top one percent and five percent of household income and net worth were interviewed.

Compared to the 60 percent of regular US travelers who say they use the health and fitness facilities at the gym, the survey found that among the top one percent, that figure jumps to 78 percent.

Over the years, hotel chains have been responding in kind, helping frequent flyers and business travelers maintain their health on the road.

One of the best examples is the EVEN hotels chain, a brand centered entirely on wellness and health. Every room is designed to include a designated ‘gym zone,’ and comes with a yoga mat, exercise ball, foam roller, resistance bands, and library of fitness videos.

Runners who stay at select Westin hotels can also participate in a running program with a resident running concierge who will take guests on 5-mile runs (8 km) around the city. Guests who forget their shoes can borrow a pair of New Balance runners for the nominal fee of $5.

Likewise, the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts hosts will lend out workout kits that include fitness apparel, yoga mats, stretch bands and running shoes.

The Trump Hotel Collection also lends out Under Armour-branded gear and offers a low-calorie menu for health buffs.

The luxury hotel brand that gets the stamp of approval for its spa and fitness facilities from the world’s most finicky, one percent guests? The Four Seasons.

Likewise, while 31 percent of US consumers will travel to participate in an athletic competition, that number spikes to 46 percent among the wealthy.

Where’s My Desk? Business Travelers Blast Marriot

Desks are standard fare in most large hotel chains, especially those catering to fussy business travelers. It seems though its days, along with the in-room phone, are numbered but a recent move in this direction by the Marriot chain has provoked a strong backlash. If you are like the chap pictured in the above stock image (courtesy of the AFP), then you probably can’t see what the fuss is about but your habits have disturbed the calm of the Internet.

The online vitriol is growing more caustic, in fact, after the Marriott hotel chain began taking out in-room desks as part of a larger redesign plan aimed at pleasing Millennials. This article will be joining an ever-growing chorus, for example…

One of the most widely-quoted online complaints can be traced back to sports journalist Dan Wetzel, who penned a scathing blog post in December entitled “Who stole the desk from my hotel room?” after his stay at the City Center Marriott in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Upon inquiring at the front desk, Wetzel was told that the move to create desk-less rooms is part of a chain-wide redesign to appeal to Millennials who, apparently, don’t use desks but prefer to “hang out.”

“Questions mounted. How does a poor, humble desk stuffed in the corner prevent someone from hanging out on his or her phone in the room?” he wrote.

“What has a desk ever done to offend Millennials? Is there an anti-desk lobby out there? Is this somehow about ‘safe spaces’?”

Indeed, as part of the chain’s Marriott Modern plan, desks are being removed at select properties in exchange for “modular furniture” to reflect the way “NextGen travelers live, relax and work.”

But what about the way business travelers live and work? That’s the overriding question being asked by many guests who are slowly discovering the new changes and taking their beef online.

Over on TripAdvisor, a guest staying at the Calgary Marriott Downtown Hotel on a business trip likewise complained of the inadequate work surface, with the traditional desk replaced by a small cocktail table.

“I recognize the need to attract a young traveler (hence the ‘edgy’ nature of the hotel, I assume),” wrote PatonMarco from Florida.

“It would be a pity to neglect the business travelers who have made the Marriott brand the recognized leader in comfortable accommodations for business travel.”

While Marriott is bearing much of the backlash, desk-less rooms are being rolled out industry-wide.

Holiday Inn Express, for instance, is playing with wall-mounted shelves and mobile desks that can be pulled up to the bed, while The Westin brand is replacing the traditional desk and chair with a smaller desk, movable side table, sofa and ottoman, pointed out The New York Times last fall.

In recent years, the traditional hotel room has evolved to respond to modern needs, putting amenities like the mini-bar, in-room phone, the front desk and even key cards at the risk of extinction.

16 NYC Hotels Going Green in 2016

Some of New York City’s most iconic and luxurious hotels including the Waldorf Astoria and The Peninsula have signed a pledge to reduce their emissions as part of a citywide plan that aims to remove the equivalent of 100,000 cars off the roads.

A total of 16 hotels have joined Mayor Bill de Blasio’s NYC Carbon Challenge, promising to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30 percent over the next 10 years.

That represents 32,000 metric tons of emissions and $25 million in energy cost savings.

“In joining the NYC Carbon Challenge, New York City’s iconic hotels are now also worldwide leaders in the fight against climate change, and are once again redefining excellence in the hospitality sector to include responsibility for climate action,” said Nilda Mesa, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, in a statement.

“While visitors to NYC for the most part won’t be able to see the building system changes, these steps will be every bit as important to the city as the steps the Rockettes take.”


In 2014, New York received 56.5 million visitors. Together, the 16 participating hotels represent more than 11,000 rooms.

Hospitals, universities, office and residential buildings have also committed to joining the carbon diet as part of the mayor’s plan to reduce citywide greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

Buildings make up nearly three-fourths of citywide greenhouse gas emissions.

Meanwhile, Hilton Worldwide became the first hospitality group to achieve the US government’s Superior Energy Performance certification last month. Facilities that obtain the label have improved their energy performance by up to 30 percent over three years. Certified Hilton hotels include Washington Hilton, Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort and Hilton Union Square San Francisco.

Want a guilt-free stay in New York at an environmentally-conscious hotel? Here are the 16 hotels participating in the NYC Carbon Challenge:

  • 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
    1 Hotel Central Park
    Crowne Plaza Times Square
    Dream Downtown
    Grand Hyatt New York
    Hotel Pennsylvania
    Hudson Hotel
    Loews Regency Hotel
    Lotte New York Palace
    The Pierre – A Taj Hotel
    The Peninsula New York
    InterContinental New York Barclay
    InterContinental New York Times Square
    Roger Smith Hotel
    Waldorf Astoria New York
    Westin New York at Times Square
Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington joins Westin wellbeing campaign

Arianna Huffington

Westin Hotels has tapped media mogul Arianna Huffington to serve as an ambassador for the professional and work pillar of the brand’s wide-sweeping well-being movement, an ambitious and holistic campaign aimed at improving guests’ overall health across six channels.

After launching the mental and mindfulness arm of the program last month, the international hotel chain announced that Huffington will sit on its well-being council as an ambassador for professional careers.

That means that Huffington will contribute content to the hotel’s well-being portal. Her first contributions on the site include excerpts and ideas from her new book “Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder.”

Westin Well Being

Tips include everything from getting more sleep and starting a gratitude list to letting go of unproductive and destructive thought patterns.

After collapsing from exhaustion in 2007, Huffington re-examined the definition of success and learned how to bring balance back in her life, a journey she chronicles in her new book.

Westin’s well-being movement includes Sleep Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well and Play Well principles.

Westin hotels Well Being

Westin Launches Multimillion-Dollar Wellbeing Campaign

Westin hotels Well Being

Westin Hotels wants guests to “Sleep Well” in it, and is putting $15 million behind a year-long well-being campaign to reinforce its lifestyle brand image.

For the global launch, Westin has partnered with the makers of Headspace, a mobile app that provides short, guided meditation sessions and exercises.

The collaboration will see guests offered a similar program on the hotel website Westin.com, with videos and audio files specifically designed for business or leisure guests, pre and post-stay.

Westin Well Being

To launch the program, Westin hotels has also been holding 5 km runs, mini spa appointments, group yoga sessions and opened up juice bars.

The six-pronged well being program includes aspects like “Sleep Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well and Play Well.”

In addition to meditation and nutritious meal options, the campaign also focuses on physical fitness by lending New Balance running gear to guests.

Westin partnership New Balance

The latest development out of Westin follows on the heels of the Even hotel launch, a concept out of the InterContinental Hotels Group.

The entire brand was developed with health and fitness as the guiding principles and include features like in-room gym zones, nutrient-packed meals and snacks and all-natural eucalyptus linens.

EVEN Hotels bedroom

RunWESTIN Concierge

Westin Hotels creates jobs for ‘running’ concierge

RunWESTIN Concierge

Westin Hotels has launched a nationwide search across the US for its first resident running concierge who will hit the pavement leading run groups for guests.

Passionate runners with an appetite for travel are being invited to apply for the RunWestin Concierge position to act as an on-site running expert traveling across the country to help guests prepare for a series of Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathons throughout the year.

As personal running coach for the North American races, the concierge will engage with fellow runners, share training and race advice, lead warm-up runs and helm social media accounts for the service.

In partnership with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathons, the Westin is also offering VIP Marathon packages to its running guests that offer bib pick-up, pre-race pasta dinners, access to the post-race VIP Recovery Tent, and ice bags delivered to their hotel rooms.

The packages are available in race markets including Montreal, Las Vegas and Los Angeles with additional races for 2014. Deadline for the running concierge position is June 30.

Hilton Molino Stucky Venice

Top 25 most sought-after hotel brands

Hilton Molino Stucky Venice

After a cull through more than 133 million online searches on Google, Bing, Yandex in Russia and Baidu,Hilton Hotels and Resorts has emerged as the most sought-after luxury hotel brand in the world.

That’s according to the recently released World Luxury Index Hotels report, which looked at the top 70 brands in the world and ranked them in a tidy list that ranks their online popularity.

Here are the top 25 most sought after hotel brands in the world:

1. Hilton
2. Sheraton
3. Westin
4. Four Seasons
5. Hyatt
6. Hyatt-Regency
7. Ritz-Carlton
8. Embassy Suites
9. Renaissance
10. InterContinental
11. Fairmont
12. JW Marriott
13. Sofitel
14. Grand Hyatt
15. Loews
16. Shangri-La
17. Mandrain Oriental
18. St. Regis
19. Le Merdien
20. Regent
21. Park Hyatt
22. Kempinski
23. Jumeirah
24. Langham
25. Taj Hotel

Aspria Hotel in Hannover

Top 10 hotels for health-minded travelers

Aspria Hotel in Hannover

For travelers looking for a healthy getaway, here are a few good places to stay along the way.

1. InterContinental has launched a new hotel brand called EVEN, the first mainstream hotel brand to focus exclusively on wellness. Exercise options include in-room touches such as a coat-rack that doubles as a pull-up bar, well-equipped gyms, personalized fitness advice for all guests and a “Wellness Wall” with exercise ideas, walking distances and equipment rental information on display.

The first EVEN hotel is slated to open in New York by the end of 2014, while the company envisions opening another 100 US locations over the next five years, InterContinental announced late last year.

2. Four Seasons in Canada uses wellness concierges, who plan your daily wellness itinerary, including spa appointments, healthy meals, and workouts. In addition, Four Seasons Resort Whistler offers a Path to Wellness package, a three-night stay offering meditation, aromatherapy, and a yoga mat, as well as a fitness plan and outdoor guide to direct guests on mountain adventures.

3. At the New York boutique hotel INK48, guests can borrow the new “Forgot It? We’ve Got It – Runner’s Edition” kit, which includes a music-filled iPod shuffle, a sports watch with a built-in pedometer, a running belt, and water bottles, and a map of the Hudson River running path. Return from your run and you’ll find a Gatorade and a Power Bar waiting in your room.

4. Perks being offered at Sheraton Hotels & Resorts include a “workout in a bag,” which includes instructional cards, foam rollers, and a mat.

5. Westin Hotels and Resorts will loan guests a pair of New Balance sneakers and workout clothes just in case they’ve forgotten theirs at home. If you need a running buddy, a “running concierge” can lead the way.

6. Launched as a health club business in 2000, Europe’s Aspria recently added four urban wellness hotels — Berlin, Brussels, Hanover, Hamburg — that offer a sports club, spa, and healthy meals at its “vital lounges.”

7. Las Vegas’s MGM Grand recently converted numerous rooms into “Stay Well” rooms, chock full of 16 health amenities. Expect personalized spa menus, wake-up light therapy, air purification and aromatherapy, vitamin C-infused showers and wellness videos from Deepak Chopra.

8. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts now offer a new “Fairmont Fit” program, rolling out in 80 of their hotels around the world this year. The package includes fitness gear, mp3 players, and cruiser bikes to borrow, with some hotels offering group fitness and “run clubs.”

9. London’s Eccleston Square Hotel offers Hastens’ “Mind Spa” relaxation programming, which broadcasts sleep-inducing natural images and sounds in your room to promote better sleep.

10. Hotel Rio Sagrado, Peru also offers a package called “A Good Night’s Sleep,” where yoga instructors meet guests in their room for sleep-inducing yoga sessions and herbal massage sessions.

New York INK48

westin fitness centre

Westin unveils new global gym concept

westin fitness centre

Westin is to roll out a global revamp of its health and fitness centers around the world, it confirmed January 31.

The luxury hotel brand will make over gyms and fitness centers at all of its 186 properties this year, it said, as part of an attempt to tackle upscale competitors such as Crowne Plaza.

Westin will become the first hotel chain to use ActiViva lighting, fluorescent tube designed by lighting giant Philips which contains a high percentage of blue light and is claimed to result in an increase of performance of ten percent or more.
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Starwood's Preferred Guest

Starwood Preferred Guest points most valuable

Starwood's Preferred Guest

Starwood’s Preferred Guest program has topped a list of the ‘best value’ reward programs from US website NextAdvisor.

Preferred Guest, a loyalty program which rewards hotel guests for their stays in Starwood-operated brands such as W Hotels, Sheraton, Westin, Le Meridien and St Regis, offered a worth of $0.021 per point when redeemed for a hotel stay.

It isvconsiderably higher than competing programs such as Marriott Rewards and Hilton HHonors, whose points were worth $0.008 and $0.005 respectively.
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new balance shoes fitness

Sleep At Westin Hotels, Get Free New Balance Gear

new balance shoes fitness

Westin has become the latest global hotel chain to partner with a sportswear manufacturer, announcing a collaboration with fitness brand New Balance.

The luxury hotel brand said December 14 that it will provide guests with New Balance sneakers and sportswear to use when staying.

In-room exercise programs that include stretching, cardio and yoga will also be developed for guests by New Balance’s “Fitness Ambassador” Holly Perkins, along with tips affecting travelers such as ways to combat jet lag and nutrition advice.
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Westin to Debut in Panama

Starwood Hotels has announced that it is to take its Westin brand into Panama, the latest entrant of a hotel boom that is sweeping the country.

It will open two Westin hotels within the next two years, executives confirmed September 28, both close to Panama City.

The 611-room Westin Playa Bonita Panama will offer three restaurants, several pools and a full service spa, as well as spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and the Panama Canal.
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Hotel to open first Amazon store

Luxury hotel brand Westin is to retail products through Amazon, the firm confirmed February 22.

From March 1, fans of Westin’s hotel experience will be able to purchase items from its merchandise collection on a branded Amazon site, making it the first hotel to have an Amazon.com storefront.

Products on sale will include the “Heavenly Bed” set, found in all Westin rooms and complete with mattress, pillows, duvets and sheets.

The hotel’s signature “Heavenly Bath” amenity collection and White Tea scented candles will also be on sale, alongside “like-minded” brands such as Gaiam, Kate’s Paperie, Tea Forté and Riedel.
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Top 10 hotels showcasing Bangkok’s amazing views

Already a tourist hot spot Bangkok is now unlike any time in the past, as the readers of Travel and Leisure just acknowledged by voting Bangkok the “World’s Best City, 2008”. Being a city so rich in sights and sounds, seemingly everywhere, Bangkok can feel overwhelming at times. Luckily Bangkok hotels have made enjoying the city’s wonderful madness a little easier, by creating outstanding viewpoints to enjoy this vast city. Agoda.com salutes Bangkok and proposes top 10 hotels to check out some of Bangkok’s amazing views.

Today, Bangkok sprawls in every direction, extending beyond the horizon. Still a massive network of streets and sois, the city now bristles with skyscrapers, mega malls, elevated expressways and sky trains. The ubiquitous food stalls, markets, world class shopping and nightlife still attract tourists in droves, but it’s the elegance and modernity of the city that consistently surprises.

Michael Kenny, CEO of Agoda.com says “Bangkok is a city full of energy and beauty. It’s also a city with an eclectic mix of contradictions. The food stalls, markets, shopping and culture; all this activity happens in surroundings that are both classically Thai and ultra-modern. The churning Chao Phraya River lined with ancient temples set against a modern skyline is truly a unique sight. Bangkok hotels have embraced the city’s diverse nature, creating rooftop bars, restaurants and viewpoints that rival anyplace in the world. Those who get to live in Bangkok experience all its delights on a daily basis. It looks like the rest of the world has finally started to take notice. Bangkok deserves this award.”

Agoda.com is an Asia-based, worldwide online hotel bookings company, renowned for its expertise in the Bangkok marketplace and offers hotel reservations with 300 Bangkok hotels to choose from. The staff at Agoda has chosen the top 10 hotels where tourists can indulge in some amazing views of Thailand’s “City of Angels”.

Agoda’s Top 10 hotels showcasing Bangkok’s amazing views are:

1. Lebua at State Tower, Sirocco-Located on the 63 rdfloor of The Dome at the Lebua at State Tower, Sirocco is the world’s highest al fresco restaurant. Also one of Bangkok’s most coveted dining choices, the experience never fails to leave one mesmerized. This award-winning restaurant offers breathtaking views of Bangkok and the Chao Phraya River.

2. The Banyan Tree, Vertigo Grill & Moon Bar – Located on the 61stfloor, Vertigo is one of the landmarks of fine dining in Bangkok. The top floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel offers spectacular panoramic views of Bangkok. Even without trying the decadent menu, just witnessing the sunset at Vertigo is an unforgettable experience. The slow melt of the sun into darkness, ultimately revealing the sparkling lights of the Bangkok night, leaves guests awestruck.

3. Centara Grand at CentralWorld, A gourmet dining & grill restaurant, Fifty Five is dramatically perched on the 54 th& 55 thfloors, with amazing views of Bangkok, set to serve the very best Thailand has to offer. Red Sky a chic, urban bistro and lounge with breathtaking, al fresco vistas of Bangkok, located on the 55 thfloor. Both scheduled to open in September 2008.

4. The Dusit Thani, D’Sens – A graceful French restaurant, D’Sens is located on the top floor of the hotel. The large windows allow guests to gaze out onto all the early evening activity of historical Lumpini Park and the hustle and bustle of Silom, Bangkok’s city center.

5. The Landmark Hotel, RR & B Bar- A roof-top steakhouse and bar, RR & B is located on the 31 stfloor, offering breathtaking views of the city’s skyline and one of Bangkok’s best grills.

6. The Westin Grande Sukhumvit Hotel, Horizon Sky Lounge and Karaoke- Follow dinner with drinks, music and questionable karaoke at the Horizons Sky Lounge and Karaoke with its panoramic views of Bangkok’s sparkling lights.

7. The Baiyoke Sky , Thailand’s tallest hotel with 3 fantastic restaurants located at its peak. The Bangkok Sky Restaurant on the 76 th&78 thfloors, the Crystal Grill on the 82 ndfloor and the rocking Roof Top Bar & Music on the 83 rdfloor, Thailand’s highest entertainment venue.

8. The Oriental Hotel , The Verandah – With a massive patio extending out onto the Chao Phraya River, the elegant Verandah is the perfect spot to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner. Renovated in 2005 the Verandah serves delectable Asian and Western cuisines in subtle Thai surroundings. The majestic Oriental Hotel was just ranked number 14 in Travel and Leisure’s Top 500 Hotels.

9.The Millennium Hilton Bangkok – Three Sixty Lounge- Sitting 32 floors up and chilling out to a little jazz, the Three Sixty Lounge provides the perfect setting to take Bangkok all in. A relaxed, romantic setting with an extensive cocktail list, this jazz bar is quickly becoming a city favorite.

10. The Peninsula Hotel , Thiptara Restaurant – Thiptara literally translates to ‘heaven on water’ and the Thiptara Restaurant is just that, set on the picturesque banks of the Chao Phraya River nestled under a huge Banyan tree. The Peninsula’s new Thiptara Thai restaurant offers authentic, Thai home-style food served outdoors, in teakwood, Thai-style pavilions. Bangkok’s outstanding Peninsula Hotel was just ranked number 17 in Travel and Leisure’s Top 500 Hotels.