Where the Westin Wind Blows
Even as a regular blogger, I’m amazed sometimes at the power of the internet. Case in point; as you may remember from last week, I had an interesting evening as a guest of the Westin Hotel in Seattle. The cause of my memorable night was the wind storm that followed the snow and ice blitzkrieg Seattle endured recently. I can normally sleep through anything (I once fell asleep on my trainer), but the sound of the wind and the creaking walls proved too much for my deaf ears.
Now, one interest that may not have been apparent in the blog is my love of weather phenomenon. I giggle at the thought of inversions. I love watching thunderstorms roll in, even while on the bike. I was once nearly wiped out by a tornado in Iowa. I have endured floods and hurricanes. All with a smile. So, despite the associated lack of sleep, when the Westin began to sound like a pirate ship on the high seas, I thought it was actually pretty fascinating. I even recorded a video of it and shared with the local news as I thought people would want to know how windy it was out.
As it turns out, my three tweets and blog post attracted not just news but also the Westin Management itself. In less than an hour, without me ever sending anything to Westin over Twitter, I had been direct messaged by Starwood management three times. To my shock, the Westin Management was genuinely concerned about my rough night and they offered several methods to get over the noise, like pillows and ear plugs.
The Westin’s care for its guests didn’t stop with the sunrise the next day. After I returned from my lectures, I was greeted with a note from management that explained the noise situation in the hotel. Management kept on the ball even after I left and had returned back to Big Sky Country. Today, via email, I received an email from the hotel manager, Andrea Norton. Within that correspondence, she again apologized for the wind noise, explained the cause, and compensated me with 1000 Starpoints on my Starwood Preferred Guest Account. Just awesome.
From my discussion of other businesses, my readers know that I love businesses that go the extra mile to show they care for their customers. I am not the type of guy that demands everything be perfect all the time. Like an affordable Cervelo P5, some wishes are not just realistic. As we all know, all tall buildings like the Westin (I think it has 45 floors) are designed to flex in the wind. Sure, the noise was a little louder than I expected, but it’s not like you can easily go and rebuild the structure to be less noisy while trying to not fall over in the wind. And the wind was a little extreme last Friday night. It’s easier to use ear plugs…and maybe another glass of wine.
In addition, other than the wind, my stay at the Westin Seattle was excellent. I am pretty particular in my hotel selections, and the Westin was a great experience overall. I’m not talking about all the BS points either; the Westin got things right for the stuff that really matters to travelers. Here’s what the Westin rocked:
- The key cards work easily on the first swipe.
- The elevators don’t take too long.
- I couldn’t hear my neighbors.
- There were plenty of plugs on the desk to hook my phone and laptop.
- The wifi WORKS, is faster than snail mail, and was available in both my room and the lobby.
- There is a gym with plenty of modern treadmills, bikes with watt output, water, fresh towels, and sanitation wipes for equipment.
- The soap in the bathroom didn’t suck.
- The toilet paper was soft.
- My room was clean and smelled fine.
- The concierge was available at all times, but didn’t try to stop me to make small talk while I’m rushing out to start the day.
- There is decent beer on tap with free bar snacks in the lobby.
- I got a cab to the airport in less than 30 seconds.
- Good food at a decent price.
These are the things I really care about, and if you do also, I recommend the Westin to you. If you need anything at all in your stay, I’m certain that the staff and management will do all they can do to accommodate your needs. This triathlete will again be staying at the Westin during my next visit in Seattle at the beginning of March. Sure, I may bring a few ear plugs, but I will also bring a great appreciation for the hotel and its staff/management.