Before Tripadvisor, a review of a lovely hotel

I was searching for a document on my computer today and came across an old review that I sent to a hotel that I visited a few years ago. I was never good about actually typing up a detailed review, no matter how good the service. But this time I forced myself to get it done in honor of the great staff @TheWestinGrand.  OK, so maybe Tripadvisor exsisted when I went there, but I didn’t use it at the time. Having re-read this review, I think I want to visit Vancouver again, if just to stay at this hotel and see if they service is still just as good.  If you ever fancy a visit to #Vancouver, Canada, you will want to read this review:

I travel a great deal, for both work and personal needs. My experience at the Westin Grand Vancouver was the best of any hotel, including the 5 diamond properties I have visited in the past. Everyone on your staff: including valet, bell service, concierge, front desk, housekeeping and restaurant staff, made our stay memorable. I am glad you sent this survey because I was preparing to write a letter.

It was not any one big thing that made the trip great; it was all the little details with which your team was attentive. We arrived around 7pm on a Friday, after flying cross country to Seattle and then drive up and sitting in border traffic for hours (a total of 16 hours of travel time). I wish I remember the names of the two gentlemen that were on duty as valet that night. They greeted us with a smile assuring us that the worst of the trip was over and that they would point us in the direction of food and a drink and we would feel much better. The 3 ladies that I was traveling with were all happy with the friendly greeting and then bell service quickly brought our luggage to our two rooms so that we could get out to dinner.

At the front desk, after a quick check in, were advised to speak with Tony to find the best restaurant nearby and he called and made a reservation at a fantastic sushi restaurant just a short walk away. He also gave us some advice on what to do the next day because the weather was supposed to be beautiful. He was right and our day on GranvilleIsland was well timed, as it rained every other day we were in Vancouver.

The next morning we had breakfast in Aria. We had breakfast separately and yet when we got together later that morning we all raved about the great service we received from Kyle. Again, it was the little things: the coffee cup was never empty, the dirt plates were moved quickly and when I looked out the window with the thought of leaving for a big latte from Starbucks, Kyle said, I can make you a vanilla latte if you would like one. It was fantastic.
Each day when we left for breakfast, by the time we got back to our room it was clean. No sign of housekeeping in the halls EVER, no knocking on the door when we were sleeping, no disruptive noises outside… but like magic the moment we walked away in short order the room was spotless.

On Sunday it was raining and as we were eating breakfast we realized that we should take a city tour. I went to the front desk and Michael (I think) immediately found the tour bus brochure and booked the 4 of us on that morning tour. He didn’t send us downstairs to concierge (which normally happens in hotels) he took care of our needs immediately.

The great service continued daily and on our last morning, at 6am when we checked out with the hope of having breakfast we realized that the restaurant did not open until 6:30. We were barely awake enough to realize what was happening but sure enough, the restaurant opened a little early so that we could get in a quick bite before our drive back to Seattle. The gentleman at the front desk (whose name I cannot spell.. I think it started with an I?) please find out because while we were eating he had our luggage brought downstairs, had our car pulled around and everything was in the car and ready to go by the time we finished eating. We didn’t ask him to do it, but he knew it needed to be done.

I truly hope that you will share this information with your team and REWARD them for not just believing in the brand, but showing it through their actions. I noticed on the first day that Tony’s card read “guest experience associate” and that is what everyone at the hotel lived up to. We had an amazing experience at the Westin Grand Vancouver, not just a stay. Congratulations to whomever hired and trained that team, they are one of a kind.

We left Vancouver happy and chattering about the great experience we had at your property and when we arrived at the Sheraton Seattle for the start of our board meeting, we were greeted with just the opposite. Ugh. Oh well. That’s another survey.

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