Whistler is a destination that I consider a must-stop for any outdoors enthusiast. It is very touristy, but for good reason, as it’s an incredibly beautiful part of the world. There’s enough wilderness for everyone to spread out during the day, but only a few resorts are in town.
Luckily, one of the best resorts is bookable on points! While it won’t come cheap, I find Marriott Bonvoy points have consistently good value at this property without having to cherry-pick to an extreme degree.
Below I’ll detail my thoughts on the Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler, and whether it represents a worthwhile stay for your next vacation.
Booking the Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler
During my stay at the Westin, I was fortunate to have the bill paid by my employer, so I wasn’t directly involved in the booking process. However, they managed to secure an excellent group rate, so if any corporate travel agents read this, Westin Whistler is worth a call for your next conference!
Even though I was there for work, my wife, Marta, was fortunate to have some days off and could travel with me. She’s a great player 2 and deserves a massive shoutout (and some flowers) for taking all the photos for this review while I was out early and back late every day.
When I look at the booking options for peak ski season 2023, there are quite a few pockets of value.
For example, ringing in the New Year on the mountain is a super deal. It’s important to note that the prices you see in cash on the calendar don’t include taxes and fees, and this resort doesn’t charge any resort fees on award stays.
Including taxes on a three-night stay starting Jan 1st and checking out Jan 4th comes in at an eyewatering total of $2,724 CAD versus the points total of 195,000. Calculating our cents per point ($2,724/195,000) equals $ 0.013 CAD (nearly 1.5 cents), an excellent value for a Marriott Bonvoy point. We generally value Bonvoy points at $0.009, or slightly less than a penny, so that this booking would be 30% above their average value.
Considering there are often sales to purchase Bonvoy points for $0.011 CAD, a deal like this can make sense even if you plan to pay the cash rate; buy the points instead and redeem them to save money on your booking.
The Westin Resort & Spa is located in the main village of Whistler. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, there’s another community called Creekside that also has a lift service to the ski area.
It’s one of the best-positioned resorts during ski season, as you are steps away from the Whistler Village Gondola and the Fitzsimmons Express. Walk past the Westin water feature, and you’re at the Gondola.
As the resort is positioned on approach to Whistler Mountain, the check-in area is an entire level of the hotel.
Valet parking is available for only $4 more than self-park, but I found the attendants could have been faster. It was pretty busy at check-in time (3 pm), but there is plenty of seating in the lobby if you would rather wait comfortably while the line dies down.
As we were on a group rate, I was not eligible for my Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite benefit of a room upgrade, but we were given breakfast vouchers.
Room – Smaller Guest Room, 1 Queen
If you’re surprised by the title of this section, join the club! I seriously laughed out loud when I saw the description in my Marriott App.
I tried to find an official description on their website, but this room type is not advertised or available to book directly. Perhaps these are reserved only for group rates.
As you can see in the screenshot, we were located in the east tower, which was a bit of a bummer. The west tower is far more convenient as you must walk down a long hallway to reach the east tower elevators.
You can see a digital screen at the end of the hallway in the picture above this text. That’s the location of the elevators. You can see the same screen in the image below this text.
One way to avoid the extra-long walk is to walk through the Helly Hanson store, which has an entrance from the exterior, but the store is only open until 5 or 6 pm.
The room wasn’t terribly small; I have experienced smaller rooms in Japan and New York City. Upon walking into the “smaller” room, the bathroom is to your right, and the rest of the room is dead ahead.
There isn’t a lot of fluff or amenities in the room, but it did have a nice ambiance with the pine trees just outside the window beside the bed.
There’s also a closet that contains the usual suspects: a safe, ironing board and iron, and robe.
A TV is available, but it’s only viewable if you use the sitting area as it is located at an angle from the bed. Underneath the coffee maker is a mini fridge that is not stocked.
The in-room coffee was quite delicious, but this property has a secret complimentary coffee station. One of my colleagues is an early riser and enjoyed a Nespresso in the lobby that is only available until 6:30 am. After that, they put the Nespresso away and direct you to Grill and Vine to purchase a coffee, as G&V is closed until then. The early bird does indeed get the worm!
The bathroom was a highlight as it was full size and not pared down, as sometimes is the case with these “smaller” rooms.
The single vanity is immediately on the right side as you enter the bathroom.
A soaker tub was a nice option, even if we didn’t use it.
The only thing I didn’t like about it was the use of large soap dispensers in the shower. I miss the days of collecting tiny bottles for use along my travels.
As an aside, we had a chance to peak in on my colleague’s room, which was not a “smaller” room type but was indeed “larger”, as he had been assigned a King Room with Balcony.
Restaurants & Bars
This property is truly a resort and has three restaurants available on the property. We had a chance to sample all of them during our stay.
Grill & Vine – Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite Complimentary Breakfast
Grill & Vine is the most important restaurant as it serves the Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite complimentary breakfast.
The Platinum Breakfast is a $41 benefit per person and includes a nicely equipped buffet, but not exceptional. While there was diversity in the offerings, I wish there were a few more meats and cheeses to enjoy.
The two main attractions at the buffet are a made-to-order omelette station and complimentary espresso beverages.
On top of having a nice buffet, the restaurant’s interior is beautiful.
On sunnier days, you can choose to dine outside as well.
Fire Rock Lounge
Just next to the Grill and Vine is the Fire Rock Lounge which we didn’t spend much time in but did enjoy a cocktail. You can see the entrance just to the right in this photo.
Fire Rock Lounge has many craft cocktails and small bites, but your nightcap won’t come cheap. I selected the Mezcal Old Fashioned and was presented with a bill with a $19 charge! (To be fair, it was a pretty good old fashion, and this is Whistler)
The final dining facility we tried was Kaze, a Japanese sushi restaurant.
It’s in the long hallway I mentioned earlier and had some of the best sushi we’ve eaten this year. It was also reasonably priced; our bill came out to $55 CAD, and we ordered a fair bit of food and one beer.
The only stipulation is that you cannot charge your bill to the room at this restaurant.
The Westin Whistler is a full-service property and offers everything you would expect, plus a few extras.
Gym, Spa, & Pool
There is an extensive gym available on the property. One of my colleagues is quite a fitness enthusiast and said it was easily the best hotel gym on our two-month cross-Canada tour and one of the best he’s ever seen. A highlight for him was the complete set of dumbbells.
There is a spa as well. We did not partake as the prices included some Whistler “tax”.
One of the best amenities is the pool area which is indoor/outdoor and very much available for use in all seasons.
They also have plenty of towels available in the pool are, no need to bring them from your room.
Saunas and steam rooms are also available in the changing rooms.
As for extras, the Westin Whistler does an excellent job with these.
A house car is available to zip you around the surrounding area, and they took Marta up to the Nordic spa on a moment’s notice.
They also had supplies for dog owners, which we thought was very cute.
Lastly, the Westin has “Muskoka Chairs” and fire pits set up for guests to use.
The Westin Whistler is an excellent resort to use your Marriott Bonvoy points. While it may not be as exciting as the W Maldives, cash rates at this resort can soar sky-high in peak season.
The hotel does everything well, and I’m sure I would have enjoyed my stay even more if I had access to a suite with a fireplace and balcony. I would love to stay here again and can recommend the property wholeheartedly.
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