About a mile from City Dock, in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, this hotel is the centerpiece of a European-themed planned community, complete with restaurants, shops, and condominiums. A business center makes this a popular choice for meetings, and the ballroom is the largest in town. Other amenities include a heated indoor lap pool and fitness center.
Dec 15, 2013
My spouse and I stayed at the Westin Annapolis for 2 nights in late October 2013 so that we could attend a Navy football game and do some sightseeing. We booked our room months in advance, which was wise, because most hotels sold out quickly on the weekend that we visited (it was also Navy homecoming, so there were many class reunions). The hotel required a 2-night minimum, which may be standard procedure on fall football weekends. The hotel is
about a 15-minute walk to the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, and also a 15-minute walk to the harbor area; however, there is a free trolley system, called the Circulator, that operates from early morning until 12:00 midnight (2:00 am on weekends). The vehicle traffic is pretty congested in downtown Annapolis, so the trolley will only get you to your destination as fast as traffic allows (sometimes it seemed faster to walk where we wanted to go). The trolley stops at the bottom of the hotel driveway, and makes its loop every 15 to 30 minutes, depending on traffic (so you will see it every 15 minutes if there is no traffic, and closer to every 30 minutes if there is traffic); there are two trolleys that run the loop. The hotel offers valet parking for $24 per day (although the website said $23), or self-parking for $10 per day (the valets were extremely helpful in directing us where to park ourselves, which earned them a nice tip despite the fact that they did not park our car). The hotel is located in a residential and shopping complex called Park Place, which contains a spa (Varuna by Aveda), Italian restaurant (Carpaccio) and related take-out pizza shop (Carpaccio Pizzeria 2 Go), Irish pub (Fado), and breakfast café (Shirley’s). There is a 7-11 convenience store (with gas pumps) within 2 blocks, as well as another gas station with a smaller mini-mart. There are many restaurants and shops within easy walking distance of the hotel, and the USNA is a 15-minute walk toward the harbor area. The hotel has a grand front entrance with a circular driveway, but the lobby is minimalist and modern-looking. The lobby area opens onto the Azure bar/lounge and restaurant, and there is a small pantry shop near the front desk. Outside the main entrance, there are a few teak tables and chairs that may be set up as a smoking section, relatively far from the front door so that most guests do not have to walk through others second-hand smoke. The part of the hotel that faces the traffic circle seems to have an entrance into the hotel itself, but the design is poor, and that back door is locked because it opens into a banquet room. Oddly, there are some teak tables and chairs outside of this entrance, but we do not know how people would reach those tables and chairs without circling around the building. The indoor pool is small and utilitarian; the area also contains a small Jacuzzi and a movable lift for the handicapped to use either the pool or spa. The pool is staffed by a lifeguard. The pool is open continuously from morning until night in the summertime, but in the fall/winter, the pool closes for a few hours in the afternoon. A fitness center is next to the pool with equipment like treadmills, Stairmasters, bikes, and free weights. (The hotel will loan you New Balance gear like shorts, T-shirt, socks, and sneakers if you forget yours.) This hotel has many function/meeting/banquet rooms, most of which were occupied on the weekend that we visited. We reserved a room with two queen beds, which was all that was available to us when we made our reservation. We tried to switch to a room with one king bed when we checked in, but none were available. We were permitted to check in before noon, but that probably depends on availability the previous evening (which in our case, was a Thursday night). We were offered a late Sunday checkout up to 3:00 pm when we checked in, as long as we could give the reservationist some idea of when we would actually depart (this complimentary perk is part of the Westin Weekend plan). Our room was fairly compact – the two queen beds took up most of the available space, with a sort of sofa table in between them that functioned as a shared nightstand. The nightstand held two lamps, and a regular old-fashioned digital alarm clock (a rarity these days! Sometimes the new iPod docking station-type clocks are a bit hard to figure out, especially when you are tired and just want to go to sleep). Our room had a large window that had a roll-down modern privacy shade as well as blackout curtains. The bureau area featured a desk and chair, clothing storage space, and an empty refrigerator (there are ice machines on every floor, and an ice bucket and glassware are available as well). We did not have a comfy chair (or a divan or sofa) as we saw in some of the hotel photos – other than lying in bed or sitting on the hard, rolling desk chair, there was nowhere to watch TV from comfortably. One robe hung on the back of the bathroom door. The bathroom was a decent size, although it contained only one sink in the vanity area. Westin Heavenly Bath signature toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, body lotion) in a white tea aloe scent that were present when we checked in were not replaced on the morning of our second night (one tiny bottle of each item for two people for two nights just is not enough!). Plenty of fluffy towels were provided on the open wooden racks below the sink, as well as a hair dryer (not attached to the wall). The bathroom mirror was a bit unique – framed in a lighted rectangle, the lights caused a similar lighted rectangular reflection in our pupils every time we looked in it (which could be a little freaky if you had a few drinks). The bed linens were great – Westin offers nearly everything that they use in the rooms for sale (Heavenly Bed mattresses, sheets, duvet cover, pillows, shower curtain, double shower head, mirror, toiletries, and so on). Coffee service is provided in a single-cup machine. The closet contained an iron and ironing board, electronic safe, and TWO luggage racks (much appreciated, because generally there are two people per room, and just one luggage rack). Internet is NOT complimentary (approximately $10 per day). Some previous guests report connecting their devices in the lobby, where Wi-Fi is free, and then taking them up to their room without turning them off, in order to maintain the free connectivity. Evening turndown is by request. The hotel tries to be “green” - there was a good-size recycling trash can (in addition to the regular trash can) in our room, and the hotel offers a $5 credit per night of your stay to be used in the bar/restaurant if you decline daily maid service (which means absolutely NO service, not even trash removal or towel replacement); this offer is not available for 1-night stays, because obviously the room must be cleaned prior to the arrival of the next guest. We loved Annapolis, and the location of this hotel suited our needs perfectly. There are not many large lodging options in the historic area - just the Westin, Loews, and Marriott, as well as an independent hotel called O’Callaghan’s – and given the chance to visit Annapolis again, we would probably pick the Westin for our next stay.