Hotel Reviews

Hotel Review: Westin Dulles Airport

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I had a chance to check out the Westin Dulles this weekend when I was staying out there for an event. Both the Westin and the Sheraton Dulles were pretty cheap at $74 a night and I was debating between the two.

I’ve stayed at the Sheraton before — pretty solid. Platinums get upgraded to club rooms and I rather dig their decor.

Plaid accents at the Sheraton Dulles

Plaid accents at the Sheraton Dulles

Sheraton Dulles Bathroom decor

Striped walls and double doors in the bathroom

And for 3,000 points a night, definitely a good deal. But since I’d be paying for the room this seemed like a good chance to try out the Westin Dulles.

It’s tucked back in a neighborhood with an office building and a bunch of apartments. Pulling up my first impression was the lack of places to park to check in. Seemed like anywhere would be in the way of the two airport shuttle buses.

So I made my way to the parking garage adjacent to the building first. Parking is free and there was plenty of it, but the garage is only connected to the hotel on the ground floor. So you take the elevator down to the ground floor which deposits you in the middle of the event space (which was hosting a large Veterans reception when I arrived).

Westin Dulles Event Space

It’s a bit of a hike to the check in desk from there. Check in was fast and the front desk quite pleasant.

Westin Dulles check in

I chose the points as my Platinum amenity and was given free breakfast in the restaurant since they don’t have a club lounge.

Westin Dulles IAD hotel Review lobby

Westin Dulles lobby area

I’d forgotten to update my profile settings from my Niagara trip, so had been given a room on the top floor with a nice view (all things considered) near the elevator rather than a larger option. Though with the event going on downstairs, all the suites might be been claimed in advance.

View from the 8th floor Westin Dulles

The room was on the small side, but seemed new and very clean.

Westin Dulles IAD hotel Review king bed with view

Westin Dulles IAD hotel Review king bed

In contrast the bathroom was quite large — with a walk-in shower and half wall between the sink and toilet.
Westin Dulles IAD hotel Review walk in shower

I dug the sassy bathrobe arrangement. 🙂

Westin Dulles bathrobe

Turns out the room was also very quiet. Despite it’s proximity to the elevators I didn’t really hear much noise in the hall or from my neighbors.

The breakfast buffet the next morning was pretty standard but good. Some breads and pastries, yogurt with a nice selection of fresh cut fruit, and the standard scrambled eggs, potatoes, sausages, and bacon.

I was proud of myself that I made time to try out the spacious fitness center the next morning.  A decent number of machines, a very spacious weight area, and a few windows overlooking the roof.

Westin Dulles IAD hotel Review 24 hour gym

Westin Dulles IAD hotel Review fitness center

Quite a few treadmills and a handful of elliptical machines

I tried to check out the inviting looking indoor pool, but it didn’t open til 9. When I went back a little later there was a “Come In, We’re Open!” sign hanging on the door, but the key cards didn’t work.

The Westin Dulles indoor pool, as seen through the door.

The Westin Dulles indoor pool, as seen through the door.

Westin Dulles IAD hotel Review indoor pool & hot tub

Other than the inconvenient access to the parking garage, ineffective key cards were my only complaint about the stay. The key cards required swiping multiple times in a variety of fashions (never the same way twice) to work. I couldn’t get my card to work for the gym, so had to go to the desk to get a new one. That one worked fine to get into my room, but was problematic thirty minutes later when I was returning from breakfast.

Not really a big deal, but rather frustrating and time-consuming. Especially if you don’t want to walk through the lobby in your fitness attire to get a new key.

Check rates at this hotel:  |   |   Orbitz   |   Expedia  |   Priceline

Sheraton vs Westin Dulles

The Westin Dulles hotel amenities, particularly the restaurant and pool, were “nicer” than the Sheraton for sure, but the Sheraton Dulles’ easy parking and club lounge are more convenient.

So if booking on points, definitely go for the Sheraton which is a bargain at 3,000 points vs 7,000 for the Westin. On a paid stay around the same price point, the Westin has a less hectic and more modern feel.

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