Avenida de las Rosas 2911, Guadalajara, Jalisco
In a city with surprisingly few luxury hotel offerings for leisure travelers, the high–rise Westin is a business hotel with more style than the rest.
Guadalajara would seem to be a city ripe for a thriving hotel landscape. It's Mexico's second largest city, its technology hub, and gateway to the region where all the country's top tequila distilleries are located. It's got a happening nightlife and restaurant scene.
Alas, apparently most of the visitors are business travelers as the list of top hotels in the city is like a collection of international chain logos. The latest logo on the scene is Westin and besides having the newest rooms in town, this skinny glass high–rise also has some of the the most well–designed, contemporary spaces. It's located right across from the convention center, but when the lobby isn't filled with people wearing lanyards, it's a good choice for those here for pleasure instead of work.
The attractive lobby is a standing–only area with metallic curtains behind the reception desk, bellmen at the ready to help with bags. The front desk staffers are courteous and fluent in English, offering a cool welcome drink upon arrival.
Adjoining is the lounge area with several kinds of sitting areas, like low–slung leather club furniture with soft lighting and a bar to belly up in a separated area that has a TV playing sporting events or news. A staircase dissects the middle and leads up to meeting rooms.
There is only one restaurant on site, making it and the lounge the only places to congregate on site. It serves attractive buffet items in a bright space by morning, lunch a la carte, and an interesting dinner menu with a good wine list and lit candles at night. The varied room service menu has plenty of healthy items and filling Mexican food.
Rooms follow the overall Westin international scheme of silvers, grays, and earth tones that are meant to relax you and fade into the background. They are minimalist in design, with all drawers and shelves tucked away in the extensive foyer closets. Two contrasting wallpapers play off against the tan laminate cabinets and the hung prints add some welcome local nods like cactus photos. An armchair or leather divan (in premium rooms) has with small table for a laptop or drink while watching satellite TV on the 32'inch flat screen. This being a biz hotel at heart, you'll get CNN and several sports channels in English, plus there are video inputs. Those connections and the outlets are easy to reach and the desk chair is comfortable for long stretches. Unfortunately, this is one of those rare Mexico hotels that still charges extra for Wi–fi unless you've got the right status in their loyalty program.
The "Heavenly Bed" has a padded headboard and the alarm clock has an iPod dock. Reading lights are ample and the electronic safe is big enough for 15–inch laptop.
Shower–only or combo tub baths have good pressure and the marble vanities have a standard assortment of toiletries, plus a make–up mirror. There are robes, but no slippers. Closets have an assortment of good hangers, iron, and ironing board. The hotel supplies drinking water in the form of lots of tiny single use plastic bottles, and in premium rooms there's a minibar.
The suites offer double the space, a separate bedroom, better furniture, two TVs (one 42–inch) and a separate tub and shower. The presidential suite here is like a penthouse, with nearly 2,000 square feet, two bedrooms, two and a half baths, a Jacuzzi tub, and a kitchenette with wine storage.
A good gym with individual TVs has ample aerobic equipment, dumbbells, and bands, though it looks out on something the Hilton has that this hotel doesn't: a swimming pool.
While upscale tourists who want to really feel like they're in Mexico will be happier at boutique hotel Villa Ganz, those who want more facilities or want to cash in loyalty points will find the fresh Westin Guadalajara to be a good choice with international standards. This is a polished operation with consistently good service and no surprises.
Web Address: Starwood's Westin Guadalajara
Total Number of Rooms: 221
Published rates: $95 - $585
Review and photos by Timothy Scott