Rated 5 out of 5 by Dad126 Summer family trip
First of all, I'm a starwood owner since 2009 and this is not my home resort.
This review is for the westin kierland villas hotel. BUT... All the amenities/activities at the next door sister resort, the westin kierland resort, are available to you as well. So I'll be referring to both the villas hotel and the neighbor resort, so keep up.
We went during august and it was average around 105 during the day and 85 at night. What! Just relax at the pool and drink lots of water, and you'll be fine. Even though its hot you can still enjoy the pool area but we couldn't for more than 3 hours in the sun.
It wasn't crowded last week since school started for most kids in Arizona, so it was great and had the pool all to ourselves sometimes.
Villas vs resort: We stayed at the villas hotel, which is smaller than the average starwood vacation network hotel, but combined with the neighboring sister Westin Resort, it's huge! THE main difference between the 2 properties would be the kitchen. If you have kids and/or large family, cooking breakfast and grilling on their many bbq's is the way to go to save money along with going out to dinner only once every day or every other day, rather than eating out 3x/day. I don't mind cooking. If you don't wanna do any of that cooking, get a hotel room at the resort and spend away on overpriced food. Basically, if you have a family=villa, if not=resort.
Water slide is nice and baby-cute at villas, but there's a longer and faster one at the resort which is better for older kids.
Both properties have an activities/main pool area with various activities/events throughout the day and also an addiitional "quiet" 24 hour pool too for a total of 4 pools at your disposal. The "quiet" pool isn't really quiet at 8pm because both properties main pools close at 8pm, so everyone and their kids and grandma transfers to the "quiet" pool. No one gets kicked out by the way, and nobody cares that it's loud at 8pm. Worked out for me because my family was one of the loud ones at the quiet pools at 8pm-whenever.
Jacuzzi's at both.
Lazy river at the resort is THE laziest river i've ever been on. What I mean is, and I've been to a lotta lazy rivers, that it's super slow with no waterfall features pouring on top of you, and my grandma can swim faster than the current. Still, it's cool and my family enjoyed it.
FLOWRIDER! The resort's flowrider was the highlight of our stay. It's a modified, constant wave of water that you and your kids(height requirement i think is 42 inches) can enjoy trying to boogie board, surf on a flowboard(sorta like surfing/snowboarding) on that never-ending wave. $30/hour shared with other people taking turns on the wave on that whole hour. What would be better is if they got the FLOWBARREL like they have at the Wavehouse in Belmont park in San diego-now that would be awesome, or a surf-like wave pool at typhoon lagoon in Orlando where you can surf realistically as possible but in a wave pool. But the flowrider is still awesome, especially for small kids. My 7 year old just made the height req and loved it even though he needed a lotta help to get in the wave. Thanks to ryan, zach, and tyler at the flowrider for helping him out.
Organized fun team activities at both main pools are cool for kids and adults. Some have a fee, some not. Fridays are great because of live music at night at the resort, as well as food trucks and smores! Other activities at both resorts are free ping-pong, foosball, basketball, giant sized chess and checkers.
There are organized adult themes with wine tastings and a wine dinner at the villas hotel, but I chose a Scotch tasting at the resort. Trying to be a man drinking a true man's drink, i tried an assortment of whiskey's with the help of a knowledgable scotch man named Guy at the resort. He educated me on the world of scotch and whiskey and provided appetizers. Again, awesome.
BEWARE, birds are opportunistic food stealers and water drinkers. If you are at the pool and leave your food and drink for a second, birds of prey will swoop down and bathe in your drink and devour your french fries like they haven't eaten for days! Cover it up with a hat or towel if you leave it even for a second.
Walking between villas and resort is fine and only 5min, but not fine in 100 degree sun and especially not with young kids. Same too with walking to Kierland Commons and Scottsdale quarters, also a 10 min walk but its too hot. Take the FREE shuttle service that runs every 10 min it seems, and is great to go between the villas, resort, kierland commons, scottsdale quarters. You definitely need a car since you gotta go grocery shopping(safeway, trader joe's, walgreens, & whole foods nearby) and visit museums(science center, children's museum, butterfly wonderland, safari, water raft tubing, slide rock park up north), and go to farther restaurants than what's nearby in commons/quarters/hotel.
Mastro's- Yeah, yeah. I've been to many Mastro's restaurants in Los Angeles but I had to do it again here. Why not? I'm a steak guy. Get a bone-in ribeye and butter cake. Have the concierge book it and you'll get free dessert. It's in Kierland commons.
Mcdowell's Market and grill- Above average small kitchen hotel food in the villas hotel. Fish tacos had a great sauce.
La Hacienda- Tex-mex southwest cuisine that was supposed to typify the local palate. Hands-down my favorite restaurant for local food. It's in the historic Fairmont Princess hotel 10 min drive north on Scottsdale rd.
Carlsbad Tavern- Another southwest cuisine place that had the best crab-stuffed poblano platter I've ever had. It's a cozy restaurant with a sports bar type area and separate dining room area. 25 min. south.
Mcdonalds- Yep, I said it. When you are caught off guard, and it's getting too late to cook lunch, and you're on the road shopping for something, and the kids are starving and whining, this was a quick fix. I love Mcdonalds for that reason, and I'm proud to say that I took the family only once for fast food. It's down the street.
As an owner(not sure if you get the same discounts if you are a regular guest), we get several discounts. Golf and spa obviously. But the best discount was the 10% off anything from Mcdowell's and 20% from Nellie Cashmans restaurant in the resort. Also, if you show your keycard to various stores in the Kierland commons and Scottsdale quarters you get a variety of discounts. For a full list, get it from the concierge.
Clean 1 bedroom with sofa bed, kitchen, safe, washer and dryer, dishwasher, immaculate bathroom with a deep jacuzzi tub. It was more modern than I thought. If you do cook, you don't need anything but milk, eggs, butter, cooking oil, and any other perishables you'll buy from safeway or whole foods/trader joe's like a nice juicy rib-eye to grill on the premises on their pristine bbq grill. They have mostly everything you can think of as far as utensils and dish ware.
Westin fixed our broken fridge and replaced our spoiled items in a timely manner. Excellent reparations made.
Bottom line: I would definitely go again. Beware the birds, take the free shuttle, remember to use your discounts as much as you can, buy groceries, have fun, be lazy, and most importantly, get a buttercake at Mastro's! Don't worry, you'll sweat off all the calories just standing for 30 min in the hot sun the next day.
August 20, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Discovery2 Comfortable Villa
I stayed in the villas with my 10 year old son. It was enough room for us, the room was comfortable, good decor and up to date. The kitchenette was great! With closeness of the grocery store we bought food kept in fridge, and cooked when needed. The two negatives are the fridge froze some food, so had to throw out, and the bath tub is too wide. There is a marble surround making the step out of the bigger causing potential to fall, especially for kids.
August 13, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by JohnStaycation Early Closure of Pool
We stayed at the Wetin Kierland Villas for 2 nights. Overall the facility is very nice. My major complaint was with the pool facilities. It was very disappointing to have the pools close at 8:00 PM. There was an adult pool that stayed open later, but this had many older people and was a bit intimidating for my kids. I believe that all the pools (except for the lazy river and slide) should stay open until at least 10:00 PM. In addition, the one night my kids were swimming a staff member came out and said "pool closed, I have to get home too!". Not a very customer service oriented staff person or facility. I would think twice before vacationing here again and would advise many of my clients of the pool early closure issue.
July 9, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by efspetaluma Perfect place for a relaxing family vacation
This is an elegant and beautifully run resort. The grounds are lovely with plenty of comfortable seating. Conversation areas are scattered around near fountains, fire pits and barbecues. The resort is compact enough that you can get to everything without planning your hike. The two pools are divided into “recreation” and “relaxation”. The recreation pool has a water slide, volleyball net and an activities director. The relaxation pool has none of those things. Both pools have plenty of towels and comfortable lounges that come complete with flags you can raise when you need an attendant to bring you food or drink. If you plan to spend the day by the pool you might want to reserve a cabana for guaranteed shade. They do not allow seat saving and remove items left unattended for more than 30 minutes. The bar and café are located next to the relaxation pool. If two pools are not enough for you, it’s a quick walk or ride on the free shuttle to the Westin Hotel, which has multiple pools including an “endless river” (inner tubing) and a “flow rider” (boogie boarding). The hotel pools are more crowded and the lounge chairs less comfortable than at the villas. The hotel spa is quite good. All the staff people at both places were friendly, helpful and attentive. We called ahead of our stay and asked for the “best view available”. They gave us a one bedroom premium villa on the 3rd floor of building 5. We had a wonderful view of the golf course and the mountains in the distance. It had a sofa and a chaise, so both of us could lounge comfortably. Our unit was elegant, spacious and everything we have come to expect from Westin Villas. The wine dinner with Tony was interesting and informative. We signed up expecting a dinner with wine pairing and discovered that we had signed up for a wine tasting of unusual and small batch wines with a food pairing. The food was adequate, but that was not the reason for the event. There were only seven us at a single table (six is minimum). We learned a bit about wines and left with a nice bottle to give a wine-loving friend for Christmas. Tony is quite a character. Scottsdale is a lovely city with an amazing amount of public art. We enjoyed shopping around Scottsdale’s Old Town. The free trolley was a plus. If you are into architecture, Wright’s Taliesin West is open for touring. The Heard Museum in Phoenix has a very nice Native American display and an excellent café. The new butterfly atrium was somewhat disappointing, but small children might enjoy it. The Train Park has a train and merry-go-round rides, a museum and a large model railroad display. It’s perfect for small children and model railroaders. Scottsdale is full of shops and art galleries. If you want to see Sedona and the Grand Canyon it’s a bit of a drive. You might be happier staying closer to those attractions as they are both worth a long visit.
June 5, 2013
Rated 2 out of 5 by MichaelB32 First bad experience at a Westin
Sadly, this is the first time I have reviewed a hotel and our first bad experience at a Westin. Taking the time to write a review means that I had a bad experience, which is really disappointing to me and my family. Keep in mind that I stayed at the Kierland last year with a group of 10 buddies on a golf trip and we had a great overall experience. This is the very reason why I wanted to return with my family. I doubt that we will return for this years golf trip.
Our room was not cleaned once on our three night stay even though we were told that we had house keeping covered when checking in. We checked in Thursday night and the gentleman that checked us in was genuinely friendly and helpful and a great start to the stay. Just as I am accustomed to with a Westin or high end resort.
Housekeeping knocked Friday evening at about 4:00 when we were back from the pool and getting ready to head out to dinner. They knocked and came in before we had time to move the ten feet to answer the door. We thought it was so rude, but said nothing as we are not the type to complain. We told the ladies that we would be gone in about 30 minutes, but our room was overall okay and we had towels and the cleaning could wait until the next morning. Overall, we are not the type to be a pain and just wanted to make life easier for them. They did not return until Saturday at around 4:30 pm and again rudely walked right in, not giving us any time to answer the door. We asked why they had not been their earlier in the day and they could not explain and could only speak broken English. Our daughter had placed a note on the door that afternoon asking them to "Please clean this room." with a smiley face. It was disappointing to come back that afternoon to see the note, but we were not upset until housekeeping barged in again so late when most people are returning from the pools and cleaning up for dinner. The 3 ladies did say they would return in 30 minutes when we were gone to clean the room. We got back late that night and it had not been services. The next morning we called the front desk to complain and state that we had no towels. The operator simply said "Sorry about that, how many towels do you need?" The attitude from the person on the phone was ridiculous and so disappointing and unacceptable. We had similar snotty attitudes from the bell staff gentleman, the golf pro shop and by the pool. It really ruined our overall experience. We are not the type to ever expect people to bow down to us, but we do expect a genuine, helpful and friendly staff. We would say that the majority of the staff that we had contact with was less that desirable. Not what we expect from a Westin or your competitors.
May 9, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by CarlyD Loved it!
Stayed at the Villas for a quick get away and had a great time. Villa is beautiful.
July 28, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Gold1 Excellent, Upscale Family Friendly Resort
Spent 5 days at the Westin Kierland Villas with my family as part of Spring break. This RnR trip was a combination of relaxing (pool side & golf), shopping & sight seeing (Scottsdale & surrounding area). The villa was top notch. We stayed in a 1 bedroom premium villa (pool side) which provided more than eneough space (approx 900 sq ft + 100 sq ft balcony), an outstanding bathroom (large multi person shower, soaker tub with jets, dual sinks with huge mirror), large kitchen with utincels (stainless steel fridge, dishwasher, microwave, coffee maker, etc) and very comfortable living & dining room. The master bedroom was very well appointed with 2 closets, floor to ceiling windows and a very comfortable king bed. The pool offering is top notch. The 2 pools at the villas (active and adult only) are well heated, well designed and offer great cabannas to relax and enjoy the sun. You also have complimentary access to the neighbouring water park (lazy river, water slide, & 2 large pools). There are a lot of well designed gathering and social areas in the resort. For instance, there a number of "quiet" areas surrounded with palm trees and vegetation featuring high end hammocks and outdoor furniture. Most of these areas feature multi level terracing, separated with water falls, large fire places, stone landscaping or palm trees. The hotel has created these pockets of "oasis" where one can escape to read a book, have great conversations or gather with friends and family. At night, these areas are lit with lanterns. I have seen many hotels try to achieve such a functional balance - but no one has done it this well IMHO. Great dining, shopping and golfing abound between the villas, Kierland Commons mall and resort- all of which is in easy walking distance or via complimentary shuttle. The Kierland Villas is an excellent, family friendly resort. Accomadations, grounds, amenties and location are top notch. 5 stars. We will be back.
May 21, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by Jeffery8 Great Getaway!
Westin Kierland is a great getaway. Great restaurants are within walking distance, great cinemas, great shopping, cooking classes, wine and scotch classes, great pools and staff to wait on you with gourmet food and drinks. This is our 4th time coming here and it only keeps getting better. No need for a car. They shuttle you to the areas nearby.
July 25, 2014