Jun062009

Hotel Review: Denver Westin Tabor Center

Rate Search History May 2009:

The Westin Tabor Center is the showpiece of Starwood’s Denver hotels.

 

Westin Tabor Center in Denver Central Business District

Westin Tabor Center in Denver Central Business District

Rates were highly variable for this hotel. Weekday rates were $289 for most of the month of May. Even weekend rates for Friday or Saturday night were $200+ for the first half of May. The lowest rate I saw was $129 for Sunday night, May 31. That rate was only available from April 27 through May 12 when the rate increased to $149 and remained at that level until my hotel stay. Rates dropped to $149 during the second half of May for rooms on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The rate for Monday June 1 was $209 April 27, dropped to $199 May 19, and down to $149 by May 30. 

Stayed Monday, 6-1-09. Booked Cash & Points SPG Category 4 for $60 and 4,000 points.

Westin Tabor Center had a $99 Starpicks rate available for June 4-6 and 11-13 weekends for bookings between June 2-5 just after my stay. Now that is a good hotel deal.

 

Westin Tabor Center view southwest room 1816

Westin Tabor Center view southwest room 1816

 

 

 

Arrival:

We had arrived. I thought I might spend a week in Denver without a hotel suite upgrade, then the Westin Tabor Center showed us a solid hotel. Our Cash & Points reservation received a complimentary upgrade to a Tabor Suite 1816/1817.

The Denver Westin Tabor has urban upper upscale hotel ambience. We thoroughly enjoyed the stay.

 

Westin Tabor Center two-adjoining-rooms Tabor Suite

Westin Tabor Center two-adjoining-rooms Tabor Suite

 

 

 

Hotel is 19 floors with guest rooms on Floors 4-19. Starwood Preferred Guest floors are on 16-19. There are not that many suites (I saw 8 named suites in hotel) and mostly large mountain-named suites on Floor 19.

Lobby:

A lower lobby is at the street level containing the Palm Restaurant and a Starbucks Café, a seating area and elevators.  The Westin Tabor Center hotel entrance with a drive-thru carport for arrival and departure is on one-way Lawrence Street just past the 16th Street Mall going east. Pedestrians can also enter the hotel from the Arapahoe Street entrance.

 

Westin Tabor Center Denver Arapahoe Street Entrance

Westin Tabor Center Denver Arapahoe Street Entrance

 

 

 

Escalators take you up from the lower level to lobby level for reception. The reception desk is separated from the bar and lobby seating area by a wall dividing the room, yet open at both ends to freely move around the large room from one side with seating and the bar to the other side with the reception desk and doors to the adjacent Tabor Center shops and restaurants.  Elevators are across the room from the front desk.

 

Westin Tabor Center V's Bar and open lobby

Westin Tabor Center V's Bar and open lobby

 

 

 

The lobby seating at the Westin Tabor is an inviting space. Complimentary coffee and chilled water with added fruit slices was available when we arrived at 7pm.

A woman was playing a grand piano when we arrived at 7pm. Westin Unwind is from 5:00-7:00, however, only one person was in the lobby bar area at the time. The lobby is large and spacious with seating for about 50 at bar stool tables around the rock fountain and chair or couch seating for another 20 to 30 people around the room. Lobby had soft adult music playing most of the day.

 

Westin Tabor Center lobby and Augusta Restaurant windows

Westin Tabor Center lobby and Augusta Restaurant windows

 

 

 

Check-in agent took time to explain the Tabor Suite is not a traditional suite, but is actually two adjoining rooms with a traditional bedroom and a second room with a couch and Murphy fold-up wall bed.

The rooms have identical facilities and the Tabor Suite room without the adjoining room would simply be a traditional room with a pull down bed. On crowded nights the Tabor Suite could be a single room with just the Murphy bed. I tried it out and it was quite comfortable with the Westin bedding. I would prefer the Tabor Suite room as a stand-alone room if I were traveling single. The room has the couch and open space and then just pull down the bed when ready to crash.

 

Westin Tabor Suite 1816 hide-away bed

Westin Tabor Suite 1816 hide-away bed

 

 

 

Front desk also explained the mini-bar is electronic and moving an item will trigger a charge. I expected $100 on my tab because I jerked the entire mini-bar a few inches in the Tabor Suite trying to open the door with no success. There is no key lock on the bar so I do not know why the mini-bar in the bedroom opened, but remained locked in the Tabor Suite room.

Fitness Facilities:

Pool is indoor/outdoor on 4th floor and adjacent to Westin Workout room.  The empty pool looked gorgeous when we arrived in the evening during a dry spell, but the temperature had dropped nearly 20 degrees in the past 24 hours and rainstorms were habitual.

 

Westin Tabor Center Denver 4th Floor indoor-outdoor pool

Westin Tabor Center Denver 4th Floor indoor-outdoor pool

 

 

 

The pool deck was large and this place must be cooking with bodies, beauty, and sun on a good summer day in downtown Denver.

Spa tub is outside on 4th floor and elevated from the pool.

 

Westin Tabor Center Denver 4th floor pool deck

Westin Tabor Center Denver 4th floor pool deck

 

 

 

Workout room had six treadmills, bikes, weights, and looked adequate. (Sheraton Denver West has largest fitness facilities of the Starwood Hotels in the Denver area and the largest pool).

 

Westin Tabor Center WorkOut Denver

Westin Tabor Center WorkOut Denver

 

 

 

Dining Facilities:

Palm Restaurant in lower lobby level had a summer lobster for two special starting at $90 with a 4 lb. Nova Scotia lobster, salads, and a side dish. I ate a lot of lobster in my two years living in Maine and a 4 lb. lobster is huge. The board actually showed 6 lb. lobsters available. My gut feeling is two 3 lb. lobsters would be a better tasting meal than an old 6 lb. lobster.

 

Palm Restaurant Westin Tabor Center Denver lower lobby

Palms Restaurant Westin Tabor Center Denver lower lobby

 

 

 

Starbuck’s in the lower lobby was far more active than the hotel’s Augusta Restaurant during the morning hours.

There was no coffee or fruit water in main lobby in the morning like the set-up available the evening before. Starbucks is in the lower lobby of the hotel and coffee makers were in the guest room.

Hotel Layout:

The 3rd floor mezzanine level is the conference center rooms. There were lots of athletes around the hotel. A rugby tournament is scheduled for a Denver suburb this week.  There were some big men in the hallways.

 

Westin Tabor Center Denver 3rd floor conference rooms

Westin Tabor Center Denver 3rd floor conference rooms

 

 

 

Floor 4 has rooms on the north side of the hotel with patios and seating for guests who desire outside access from the room. This level gives guests direct access to the pool area patio. Floor 4 also has Room 406 Mile High Suite.

 

4th floor level rooms with patios and pool deck

4th floor level rooms with patios and pool deck

 

 

 

19th floor has the major suites of the hotel. The top Floors 16-19 are SPG floors. 16 did not appear to have a suite. 17 had one north facing Tabor Suite. Floor 18 has two Tabor Suites – one facing south (our room, better view I think) and one facing north.

Floor 19 has four large named suites. Skyline Suite 1916/1917 above us looked to be the size of four standard rooms. Pikes Peak Suite is two rooms 1921/1923 at west end of hotel. Mt. Evans suite 1901 was also huge at 3 or 4 rooms length on north side and Longs Peak suite is two rooms at 1907 located on east side of hotel. There are also several single rooms on the 19th floor, each with step out balconies with no furniture.

 

Hotel Room:

The south side of the hotel appeared to have the better view. The Westin Tabor Center is surrounded by taller skyscrapers and the side of the hotel with the Clock Tower has a more open space feeling due to some lower lying buildings and the view over to the 16th Street Mall pedestrian shopping strip.

 

Westin Tabor Center Denver guest room window ledge

Westin Tabor Center Denver guest room window ledge

 

 

 

The windows are an outstanding feature of the rooms. The room wall has a window ledge large enough for sitting. A center window 64” wide x 60” high and two adjacent windows at 20” wide x 60” high provided a beautiful view to the Denver Skyline south. The windows have pull shades and curtains. The room was 27 ft from the door to the window wall with another 18 inches to 2 ft of window ledge. One of the 20 inch room windows opens 4 inches. There is a bolt to prevent the window opening more. The open window gave us cool city air and noises.

 

Westin Tabor Center Denver view of Qwest Building

Westin Tabor Center Denver view of Qwest Building

 

 

 

The window view to the Denver Skyline and the colorful building lights at night was the highlight of the room for me. I spent about an hour in the middle of the night admiring the city lights. Being from small town Monterey where few buildings are over 5 floors makes urban architecture and skyscrapers a treat.

The Tabor Suite couch in 1816 has 70” of seating space and arms and four pillows. A large oval ottoman with leather top and wooden table beneath served as both a foot rest and table-top. Stylish lamp with two outlets on the desk and the desk front has an AV connection box built-in.

 

Westin Tabor Center 1816 Tabor Suite couch-ottoman

Westin Tabor Center 1816 Tabor Suite couch-ottoman

 

 

 

The absence of a hard table top for eating was one feature lacking in the room. An end table next to the couch had a Colorado Visitors book, Denver Visitors Guide, Colorado Expression magazine and 5,280 magazine. The end table could serve as a small table top, but the piece was rather heavy to move.

 

Westin Tabor Center Room 1817 chair and table

Westin Tabor Center Room 1817 chair and table

 

 

 

The wall unit looked attractive as a piece of furniture. Pulling down the bed used up much of the available floor space, but the room felt very much like a suite when the wall bed was closed.

 

Westin Tabor Center 1816 Suite hide-away bed

Westin Tabor Center 1816 Suite hide-away bed

 

 

 

37-Inch LG TV had many HD channels and watching CSI Miami was rather colorful.

Closet has interior light when opened. Robes, iron, board, entry hall furniture counter and plenty of counter space around room on different pieces.

 

Westin Tabor Center Denver TV cabinet and mini bar

Westin Tabor Center Denver TV cabinet and mini bar

 

 

 

Bed was firm and bedding included two comforters. Kelley worked that bed for a good 12 hours.

 

Westin Tabor Center standard King bed in 1817

Westin Tabor Center standard King bed in 1817

 

 

 

Bathroom décor is minimalist with a softly lighted large rectangular mirror. Only one picture on bathroom walls. I think a second picture would brighten the room. There was a piece of furniture under the bathroom counter that looks nice, but I am unclear on its function. The toilet flush was abnormally loud. (Denver West has quiet low flow toilets).

 

Westin Tabor Center Denver guest room bathroom

Westin Tabor Center Denver guest room bathroom

 

 

 

The bathroom was about 70 square feet and rather stark. I thought it needed more color. The tile was too neutral in color and the abundance of empty wall space made the room feel a little uninviting to me. There was only one hook for a towel, despite all the available wall space. There was no high magnification vanity mirror and the soft lighting in the bathroom was pleasing on the eyes and skin, but made face work a little difficult.

 

Westin Tabor Center Denver guest room bath

Westin Tabor Center Denver guest room bath

 

 

 

The ceiling was about 7.25 ft in the entry way of the room and in the bathroom, but higher in the bedroom at about 8.5 ft. My perception is when hotel room ceilings are 8.5 ft and above the space seems larger.

 

Westin Tabor Center guest room entryhall table

Westin Tabor Center guest room entryhall table

 

 

 

Each room we had was about 365 square feet with additional window ledge space. The hotel website repeatedly states rooms are 400-square-foot rooms, but my measurement was 27’x13.5’, plus the window ledge.

A single room is not particularly large, and our bedroom had only one upholstered chair and a desk chair. Having the two-room Tabor Suite setup with a bedroom and the second room with a couch and the wall bed closed made for a spacious two-room layout. I was able to close the door to the bedroom and work at the desk in the couch room while Kelley slept in during the morning hours.

 

Westin Tabor Center - Tabor Suite desk

Westin Tabor Center - Tabor Suite desk

 

 

 

Kelley liked the fact the room had a recycling waste basket and there were recycle bins in the lobby outside the elevators. None of the other hotels we stayed at in Denver had room recycle bins which are commonplace in California.

 

Westin Tabor Center lobby recycling bin

Westin Tabor Center lobby recycling bin

 

 

 

The Westin Tabor is upper upscale city living. This was a solid 4-star hotel for our stay.

 

The Daniels and Fisher Tower clock on Arapahoe Street chimed every hour.

Parking:

Valet parking is $26 overnight on weekdays and $23 on weekends. Self-parking is $19 overnight. Metered parking on the streets in the blocks around the hotel is available, but much of it is metered until 9pm and has a two hour limit. There are independent garages with rates at half the hotel price within a few blocks.

Westin Tabor Center Denver 1816 Tabor Suite view at night

Westin Tabor Center Denver 1816 Tabor Suite view at night

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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