|Boat and floating homes on Coal Harbour|
One of the drawbacks (for travel writers, anyway) is that it’s difficult to find something new to say about an establishment you’ve visited time after time. So this trip, we decided to bring our German shepherd with us and report about whether the Westin Bayshore was truly “dog-friendly,” as they advertised, or merely “dog-tolerant.”
|:Living area of junior suite|
The Westin’s grounds include plenty of green space for exercising your pet (and using the aforementioned clean-up kit afterward). Its location on Vancouver’s seawall means lots of sidewalks and other places to walk, and Cardero Street that runs along the marina has many places to eat a full meal or just get a cup of coffee. Many places offer outdoor tables when the weather permits.
|Our dog investigating the master bedroom|
Another drawback of visiting a property frequently is that return visits can also mean witnessing the establishment’s sometimes less-than-gracious aging.
The Westin Bayshore’s web page points out that its conference facility was rebuilt in 2001. That’s more than a decade ago. The guest rooms, too – while generally well maintained – are showing signs that it’s time for another refresh.
|The bath, sans bathtub|
The room’s decor, while apparently intended to be minimalist, crossed the line and became somewhat stark. A few more photographs or paintings would have softened the ambiance considerably.
Nonetheless, it was fairly well equipped, with a small fridge, flat screen TV, desk, sofa and chaise lounge in the living area along with a coffee maker and access to an outside balcony. The bedroom had a king-sized bed, dresser, TV, chair and ottoman, and the bath featured high-end amenities. As with many hotels, the bathroom had a walk-in shower but no bathtub.
The weakest link, as with many hotels at which I stay, is Internet access. Like far too many, the Westin Bayshore’s access was an anemic 1 Mbps as measured using www.speakeasy.com/speedtest. I recently upgraded service at my home to 50 Mbps, so the difference was dramatic.
Despite that shortcoming, and even though it has grown a bit long in the tooth, I still recommend the Westin Bayshore for its excellent staff and stellar location. Just be aware that it has seen better days. But then again, I’m confident it will again.
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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