Thursday, January 14, 2010

PITTSBURGH: Westin Convention Center Not Up to Westin Standards

As much as I generally enjoy Westins, I found this property disappointing.

I stayed at the Westin Convention Center for one Saturday night in early January. While the front desk staff was welcoming, there were other issues.

The room -- especially the bath -- was in need of attention. Paint was peeling on the ceiling over the tub and the vent grate had a combination of dust and rust.

The Heavenly Bed was less than Heavenly and rather disappointing.

Located in the heart of downtown, it's convenient to the Convention Center but not much else. The area shuts down after dark, making it necessary to take a cab or drive to wherever it is you're going. Another reviewer mentioned that the hotel ran a shuttle bus; perhaps because I was there on a Saturday night, that service was not offered.

As a result, I had appetizers in the lobby restaurant. They were tasty but the servers and bartender were more interested in watching the game that was on the TV than taking care of their customers. The high point was a bar and grille just across the street called Tonic, where bartender Lauren made me feel like I was actually welcome and not an intrusion on her other activities.

Later, I opted to go to the casino near Heinz Field via shuttle the hourly casino operates and which the doorman recommended -- without telling me there was a $10 charge. To be fair, the casino offered to provide $10 credit to offset the charge but one needed to join the player's club to obtain that benefit, and the long line at the player's club desk rendered that benefit useless.

Paid parking is convenient in the garage below the hotel, but one must pay at the garage separately; the hotel doesn't put the charge on the bill. I didn't move the car once I'd parked it, but suspect the payment arrangement precludes "in and out" privileges.

All in all, if I'm in Pittsburgh again, I'll look for a different hotel.

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.



Photos by Carl Dombek
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