My wife & I recently welcomed our son, Austin Cade, into this world on February 10th and wanted to do a "staycation" shortly before (or in this case, shortly after) my wife returned to work once her Maternity Leave came to an end. As such, we chose the Westin at the Woodlands to be our destination for multiple reasons, namely that (a) we have always enjoyed the Woodlands, (b) it feels like we're truly going out of town, and (c) this property was valued at 35,000 points/night. Our stay was for a single night (Saturday, May 4th - Sunday, May 5th) and was a points redemption.
Note: Unfortunately, I became ill the morning of our arrival so a variety of amenities I would have normally taken advantage of, such as the pool and the onsite full-service restaurant, were neglected. However, my wife took advantage of a few of these things in my absence and so I will add her anecdotes in lieu of what would normally be my own first-hand experience.
I opted for self-park and was pleasantly surprised to find the parking garage only about 50-75-yards from the hotel. This garage was very spacious, hassle-free, and navigable, providing the ideal spot to leave our car with a measure of confidence and peace-of-mind.
I initiated a mobile check-in through the Marriott Bonvoy app and set my arrival time for 1pm. Alas, we were a couple of hours late and ended up arriving around 3pm. Nonetheless the check-in process at the desk was smooth and the front desk agent was friendly, professional, and welcoming. It was the ideal check-in process. I also noticed how friendly and kind the valet staff was, welcoming us each and every time they saw us.
The Common Elements:
Upon entering the hotel the first thing I noticed was the signature smell of the Westin, which I find to be amazing. The smell coupled with the crisp, contemporary design and architecture (both interior and exterior) made me think: "Yeah, I'm in the right place." This property's lobby and surrounding common elements were all very spacious, bright, and clean. Not only that but everything seemed to be well-maintained and cared for. While my wife & I did not spend much time in the lobby or in the lounge area (which contains a Starbucks) we did do some onsite exploring and I can tell you that the onsite staff does a great job at keeping the property in tip-top shape.
Our room was a standard King bed guest room that was quite suitable for our needs. Clean, spacious, nicely appointed, and great for a brief weekend getaway our room was situated above the main entrance of the hotel and looked outwards over the main driveway.
Probably the most disappointing aspect of our stay was that I did not visit the pool (or even get a picture of it!), which is my fault of course. My wife & I did attempt to visit the pool together but were promptly greeted by a sign that said "Closed for Private Event." We quickly noticed that a wedding was taking place at the hotel and were, in turn, very understanding, especially since the pool and deck area were only closed for the ceremony for a couple of hours. However, by the time the pool area opened around 5pm that evening my wife & I were already out & about exploring and gearing up for dinner. I told myself I would gladly take advantage of the pool the following day but ended up feeling too poorly to follow through. My wife did end up spending a few hours down by the pool on Sunday afternoon and enjoyed doing so. Next time we stay at this property I'm taking advantage of the pool, as it looked gorgeous.
The Restaurants & Lounges:
Another bummer about the trip was that I lacked the overall energy levels to dine at Sorriso, the new modern Italian kitchen concept at the hotel. We did dine elsewhere (Tris and Morton's Grille) but Sorriso was not given priority since my wife is dairy-free and her options there were limited. By the time the opportunity presented itself to eat there for Sunday breakfast I was much too exhausted, although my wife did go without me. She mentioned that Sorriso was offering a Sunday morning breakfast buffet and that it was priced as one might expect at a hotel: a bit on the pricey side, but relatively reasonable nonetheless. Due to her dietary restrictions she was only able to eat a handful of items, thus preventing me from being able to give a full account of the restaurant's capability, which I hope to put to the test next time we are up in the Woodlands. I will say, however, that the restaurant itself is quite beautiful and the word-of-mouth I have heard thus far has all been quite positive.
While Sorriso got passed over for any significant measure of dining my wife & I did choose to visit Como Social Club, which is the Westin's elevated terrace bar & lounge that overlooks the pool and sits on top of Sorriso. We wanted a place to watch the Kentucky Derby and Como did not disappoint. Moderately busy, spacious, attentive service, and a huge television (comprised of multiple smaller screens), it was the perfect venue to watch the race. We split a large and very delicious BLT sandwich and each got some drinks. Being an Old Fashioned aficionado in the making I couldn't resist getting their Whistle Pig Old Fashioned off of the menu. It ended up being one of my favorite Old Fashioneds in recent memory; not only was I pleased that it was made with Whistle Pig, which I enjoy, but I was also happy it was served with Luxardo cherries by default, which is a "must" in my opinion.
Even though I was sick during our stay I still really enjoyed my time at this Westin. This was a well-maintained property with clean rooms, beautiful and well-appointed amenities, friendly staff, and a lovely location right on the Waterway. I look forward to our next visit so that I can truly take advantage of everything.