A "Suite" Experience at the Westin La Paloma
After an 8 month, 50 game season of competitive soccer, we wanted to end the season on a high note. We picked a tournament in Tucson, Arizona and I took charge of the arrangements for the Soccer Club. I picked the Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa as our Club Resort. I had stayed there 10 years ago and remembered it to be picturesque, casually classy, with great golf, spa and pool. It was better than I ever remembered and was a fabulous experience for the kids and parents. From the moment we arrived at the resort, we were treated like World Cup Champions. Check-in was seamless, food service and restaurants excellent, resort staff was friendly and knowledgeable and the facilities were world class. Our 1 room suite was classy, luxurious, and had something for everyone. The suite had two balconies overlooking the beautiful Catalina mountains and city lights, a heavenly king bed, down pillows, Jacuzzi tub, wet bar, refrigerator and soon became headquarters to our team. La Paloma even surprised us with a welcome basket filled with traditional movie candy/snacks and a certificate for a free movie rental for the kids. That was the perfect way to relax in the evening after a long day of soccer and resort living.
Of course the weekend wasn’t all about soccer. After the game, the boys and some parents treated themselves to some first-class pool time while other parents checked out the scenic golf course and some serious pampering at the Elizabeth Arden spa. Everyone had a great time in a beautiful setting. The staff was excellent in every situation, even setting up reservations at a fabulous local western restaurant for dinner. If that wasn’t enough, the Director of Sales, Mark Lindsey, stopped by the pool on Saturday and checked up on our team. What a nice surprise that made us all feel welcome. We finished 2nd in the tournament and qualified for regionals but that's not what people were talking about. I asked the boys their top 3 memories of the weekend, they all responded with something that went on at the resort... swimming, waterslide, ping pong, movie night. Every parent has sent me an email thanking me for the weekend and one suggested I need to plan all the trips. I can only take credit for picking La Paloma, the resort did all the rest. The best part is that regionals are in Tucson and we will have to come back. There is no question where we will be staying. What a great weekend of memories and a truly sweet experience.
Tiny Pools, Cockroach room mates & other fun things at the Westin La Paloma!
Just returned from a 2 night stay at the Westin La Paloma, and 2 nights was about all I could take!
We were in room 423, not in the main building, but in one of the seperate smaller apartment like buildings. If you are placed in one of these rooms it is not worth it to valet park, you'll have to trek a mile back to your room after you drop the car at the main buildings front door. We had no choice but to valet because the self parking lot was completely full due to all of the conferences going on while we were there. Valet parking will cost you $12 a day plus tip. The room size was ok, but the bathroom was infested with every kind of bug imaginable - huge ants, spiders, moths, and 2 large cockroaches which appeared the day we were leaving! Beds are nice, but not "heavenly". We did receive a very nice crib for my son, complete with crib sheet, bumper, and a small blanket. There is also very adequate closet space and a few drawers in an armoire. For those traveling with children, there is no refridgerator in the room, only a mini bar. They do offer many items if you need them - crib, step stool, potty chair, bottle warmer, etc. You're also supposed to receive a Kids Club welcome bag with gifts for your children and a sports bottle for free kids drinks throughout the resort. We didn't get this bag upon check in. We were told that the Kids Club was "under review" and those items were no longer available. We saw the kids club bags and sports bottles all over the resort, we were basically lied to or we just spoke to an idiot at the front desk, either way, completely unacceptable!
The pool area is small for a resort of this size, it consists of (5) pools, sounds great, but it's not - the kiddie pool is smaller than a backyard pool and was surrounded by trash and wet dirty towels, we had to clean up the area before the kids could safely walk around the pool. There is also an adult pool which was a little larger and was completely vacant during our stay, next to the adult pool is a tiny "waterfall" pool, then there's a small pool that the waterslide dumps into, there is a height limit for the waterslide( looked to be around 4 feet), be aware. The main pool has a volleyball net right in it's center making it impossible to really swim around and play, and that volleyball either splashed or hit everyone in the pool at least once! The hotel was at full capacity while we were there and the pools were overcrowded with unruly, splashing, screaming kids with parents no where in sight. Most of the chairs and tables were covered with half empty glasses and wet towels, it desperatly needed to be cleaned up, you couldn't tell which chairs were occupied and which weren't . We didn't even go down to the pool our second day because the conditions were so bad.
Food service at the pool was good, the staff was very nice. Meals were expensive - $12 for burger, $5 for lemonade, kids meals $7, wouldn't mind paying if the food quality was good, it wasn't! We also had room service for breakfast one morning, food was average, arrived quickly, prices were very high. You also have to pay a delivery charge of $3 and a 19% service charge. The room service menu is very limited as are all of the menus throughout the resort, you'll find just about the same meals for the same high prices ($16 Breakfasts, $17 Sandwiches, Dinners $22 and up). where ever you go. Attempted to grab pastries from the Coffee bar in the lobby shops one morning, they had a total of 4 stale bagels left by the time we arrived! For good food at very resonable prices travel a short distance up Ina to Oracle and make a left, you'll find Red Lobster, La Salsa, Paradise Bakery Cafe, Tony Romas, Red Robin, Olive Garden, Marie Callendars - it will all taste better than anything you'll get at the La Paloma! There are also a few upscale restaurants on Ina just past the resort - JT Felmmings, AJ's, Terra Cotta Cafe, etc. Our worst experience was at The Garden Bistro, the main restaurant at the La Paloma, we waited forever for a table and then almost walked out because no one acknowledged us for over 20 minutes once we did sit down with our 2 toddlers in tow. Only a small portion of the restaurants tables were being used and the restaurant seemed to be understaffed even though the hotel was at full capacity and had several conferences going on - it was a mess! We finally received our food and the bread on the kids sandwiches was stale, I asked for mayo and mustard for my daughter's dry sandwich, which never arrived, the waitress said "oh yeah, what did you want?" as she dropped the bill on the table! My steak in a tostado salad was burnt to the point of being black, water glasses were never refilled, not the kind of service you should receive in a resort that is supposed to be high quality! We kept trying to get a decent meal at the hotel, it just never happened, eat off site - you'll thank us!
We heard so many great things about the La Paloma before we arrived, it was very disappointing! We would never return to this resort! We stayed at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn just before coming to the La Paloma, boy what a difference! The service at the Camelback was spectacular, the rooms beautiful, pool amazing, food delicious! I think we're going to try the JW Starr Pass when we return to Tucson in a few weeks! Nothing could be worse than the La Paloma, at least I hope not!
Going Down Hill!
Stayed there this past weekend--allow me to share:
Good Stuff-Good food, nice kids program, staff is pleasant, beautiful lobby and restaurant, good shops
Bad Stuff- Housekeeping stole earrings and when confronted the earrings conveniently showed up later under a stack of clothing (which weren't there earlier when they cleaned) after we asked to have our rooms recleaned.
Cob webs in our room hanging down from the air vent
Room 181 smelled of sewage and was filthy-called Housekeeping to clean it, but they barely touched anything
Room 182-found empty coke can and old food under the bed-called Housekeeping to clean it, but still found the same coke can and food under the bed.
Patios are really dirty, curtains are dirty
Carpets were still damp from having been steam cleaned so the entire room felt damp during our stay.
What more can I say........we won't stay there again, and more importantly, since I am in the travel business, I will never recommend this hotel to anyone! Go to Loews Ventana Canyon!
plenty of perks for families
My family and I just stayed at the Westin over the labor day holiday. We arrived very early on Friday morning and were allowed to check-in early without any problems. Plenty of chairs around the pool made it easy to relax and watch the kids swim not to mention the Westin does live up to it's motto of being kid friendly. The bistro located right next to the main pool was great for grabbing a quick lunch and the kids ate free!! If you plan on using the kid's club service in the evening to get away for dinner or some R&R then I recommend making reservations as soon as possible. The spa was heaven- a little pricey but then again I expected the higher pirces at a resort. I didn't realize that tips are included in the spa prices and ended up giving the massage therapist a double tip. The standard room was very large and plenty of room for a family of 4. The kids were able to relax and play without us tripping over them.. the balcony also was nice to sit out on and enjoy the view. If you are a jogger/walker the front lobby offers some great safe routes to use. My husband loved the ammenities at the hotel but was disappointed with the service from the tennis pro shop. He tried to get a match (without having to pay a pro) set up for him without any luck. The courts are set up for regular members of the club and not hotel guests. The courts were great but I don't think that is the resorts speciality. Once again, it was great for the kids the waterslide was a real winner with us.