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The Westin Mission Hills Might Be The Least Clean Resident In Rancho Mirage

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  Site Where: 71333 Dinah Shore Drive [map], Rancho Mirage, CA, United States, 92270
April 1, 2011 at 10:06 AM | by | ()

The view from our first room, 525

As you may have noticed, we’ve been on a very pleasant mission the last few weeks of bulking up our portfolio of Palm Springs hotel stays. We’ve always preferred boutique in PS, but this past weekend we (ok our budget) opted for some chain resorts. Thus it was that $79 thrown in Hotwire's direction found us driving up the palm-lined pathway to the Westin Mission Hills Resort last Friday night. Here’s what we found.

Check in:
The carpark was a slight walk away from reception, but the charming valet team allowed us to leave our car up front as we checked in: gold star. We walked through a series of beautiful archways with sculptures and fountains to reception: gold star. Reception itself was stylish: gold star.

And then we were checked in by a lady who couldn’t have seemed less interested in us if she’d tried (no attempt at charm, no rundown of the resort fee, no enquiries as to our room preferences – but she was kinda intimidating so we didn’t dare voice our own). A gold star disappeared. Worse still, when it came to navigating to our room, we realised we were in the building beside the carpark. Another gold star disintegrated.

And the room itself – 525 – made us break out the negative gold stars. For a start, it was clearly one of the worst rooms on the property: ground floor, gloomy lighting and a view consisting of the carpark and, behind it, the main highway. There was a lengthy notice about the importance of safety and security on property left prominently in front of the TV, which put the wind up us, seeing as we were a) female and b) traveling alone. Oh, and it stank like it hadn’t been aired in a couple months. We returned to reception to see if they could do better.

This time, we got a second lady, who took our point that giving a ground floor room overlooking the main road in a resort that seems to think it has an issue with security to a single lady was a slightly discomfiting choice. We asked to be moved further in within the resort and she gave us a choice of two second floor rooms. We chose 1502, by the tennis courts, and headed over, heart in mouth.

Room Reaction:
Meh. The room was an excellent size and the bed, it being a Westin, was comfy. There was a huge flatscreen TV, Starbucks coffee and tea, and a decent minibar selection of drinks and snacks – as well as a separate fridge for your personal goodies.

Decor was more modern than the JW Marriott Desert Springs, nothing offensive, but nothing particularly special either: dark carpet, greige walls, marble worktops. We liked the terrace, the bathroom was roomy, the double-headed shower was less impressive than expected but still worked fine.

What didn’t work fine was the main lamp for the desk, which doubled as a room light – the bulb had blown. And housekeeping left a little to be desired. It smelled a little funky (could it be the cleaning products?) but nothing like the original room –and it stopped being offensive once we opened the patio doors. But then, we dropped an earring stud on the floor and, when we were rootling around for it, found that the carpet was covered in biscuit crumbs – someone hadn’t vacuumed. And we awoke in the middle of the night with something pressing into our neck: we’d dislodged a pillow (on the other side of the bed) in our sleep, and out from under it had emerged a flyer about saving energy, and the lid of a ballpoint pen. Gross. What was grosser, though, was when we sniffed said pillow and weren’t totally sure if it smelt clean or not. Ick.

Finally, although we didn’t hear noise from other rooms, we could hear people traipsing up and down the corridor outside like they were inside our room. Why? Because it’s an outdoor, uncarpeted corridor with no soundproofing and the doors appear to be paper thin, so on our nice early night we were treated to the click clack of heels walking by and the next morning we were awoken by kids running up and down the corridor.

Amenity Madness:
Standard Westin toiletries in the bathroom. No shower gel, only soap.

Public Areas:
Pretty – there are acres of grounds in the resort and they’re all beautifully manicured. There’s nowhere to nestle in the gardens, though – just big expanses of lawn and a golf course. The pool seemed ok but very crowded the morning of our visit, and it wasn’t even hot. The orange-colored buildings, though, and the arcades around the entrance, are delightful.

Internet Connect:
In-room WiFi was included in the $27 resort fee (we heard every person at check in except our lady explaining exactly what the fee included). The connection wasn’t speedy, but was ok.

What We Liked:
The public areas are pretty swish, the layout – with rooms set up in mini apartment blocks rather than a massive hotel block – is pretty alluring, and the valets were exceptionally friendly.

What We Didn’t Like:
The shoddy housekeeping and the jail-like, stinky room we were assigned at check in (we don’t seem to be alone in experiencing the stink, either). It’s also a 20-25 minute ride out from Palm Springs. Oh, and the closet was in the bathroom. WTF?

Bottom Line:
Despite the moans above, for $79, which is what we paid on Hotwire, we’d take it again. For $249 – the rack rate on the night we stayed – no ways. And to be honest, we’d take the Colony Palms in Palm Springs itself – which we scored for $66 – over the Westin any day. But mostly, we'd hope that if we ventured back here, they'd have improved the housekeeping (insert pun about getting clean and it being down the road from the Betty Ford Center here).

Archived Comments:

Definitely doesn't look like a Westin...

This is one of those "manage your expectations" situations. With the name Westin, you have some expectations of the quality of the facility no matter the rate you pay. And the corridors and patios look like a cheap roadside motel. It's fine for an upscale resort or oceanfront hotel to have exterior corridors, but it's all in how it's presented. And this clearly looks cheap and motel. That said, if this were under the Radisson or Holiday Inn flag, it would receive glowing reviews, I'm sure...because the expectations wouldn't be quite as high. Tisk, tisk, Westin!

managing expectations

agreed. for $79 on hotwire, it was fine. for $250, booking direct through westin? i would have been super angry.

however in westin's defence, the outside stuff was a lot better in building 15, where i ended up, than the original building 5. that was def motel-style.


I expect better/more pillows than that on a Westin bed. No matter the price, it's Westin.