Saturday 18th November, 2017

The Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler, Canada

After getting off the Greyhound bus I trudged through the Whistler Village to the bottom of Whistler Mountain, and there to the side of the lifts was the Westin, a 9 level hotel atop a row of shops and boutiques. I walked along to the end to find an entrance and inside sought directions to the reception, as none was visible. I was directed down the stairs, although as I started down I was also told there was a lift, somewhat as an afterthought. It would have been better if I had taken the lift as it was quite a number of flights down, although 6 or 8 steps at a time. I confronted the reception which was fairly plain, although it had an interestting timber stack replica background. I was promptly checked in to Room 977 on the top floor, and directed to the bank of 3 lifts. There are 419 suites in the hotel (it's an all-suite hotel) and the number of lifts is not really sufficient to adequately service them all, particularly as the hotel caters for skiers in the Winter, all wanting to hit the slopes pretty much at the same time, andalso for conferences where large numbers of people need to be at certain meeting rooms at the same time. In any event I traveled up to the 9th floor and to Room 977. I went through a hallway galley which comprised a fully equipped kitchen with grill, microwave, dishwasher, oven hot plate, fridge (complete with ice-maker), crockery and cutlery. To the right was the bathroom, which had terrific lighting, a separate bath and shower, toilet, and vanity, with sufficient bench space. The shower I tried the next morning and it was wholesome, quickly fired up to the required heating, and was taken in a spacious cabinet. Just a little further along in the hallway was a chest of drawers which also had on top snacks and confectionery. The fridge contained a selection of beers, wine, juices and beer, but no soft drinks. All extras were available at mini-bar prices. Into the room proper and I looked out over a picturesque view of Whistler Village, with snow everywhere it was a sight to see. To one side was a gas-operated fireplace, and in a cabinet above a large screen television which hooked into a variety of local channels, cable and pay per view movies. There was a very large, 4 seater lounge, which I noted could also be converted to a sofa bed. There was a large lounge chair and a table in front of the setting. There was also a dining setting for 4, and a wardrobe. In the corner was a work desk with a phone. There were some nice prints on the walls which were luxuriously wallpapered throughout. The lounge/sitting/dining room had enormous ceilings, which ventured up way beyond the loft bedroom, a real feature of the suites on the top floor. I gathered the loft rooms, which I had booked, were only located on this level. From the main room there was a stairway which ascended up to the loft bedroom, which was compact, but adequate. It had its own wardrobe, and chest of drawers. There was also a safe inside the robe. There was a radio phone beside the queen bed. The room was fine, functional, well laid-out and nicely decorated. I unpacked and settled into some work and then decided to connect to the high speed Internet access from the work desk. After accessing the home page of the providor I then had difficulty in that each time I logged on and submitted I was then diverted back to the start page. After some persistence I then telephoned the providor and after much messing around, I finally obtained access, although providor representative assurred me he hadn't done anything. Everything worked fine for about 20 minutes and then access dropped out again. I telephoned the providor again and worked through the same processes, spending about half an hour. During these calls I became aware of a loud humming noise on the phone, which at various times of conversations got louder and louder and eventually stifled the voice of the person on the other end. I had to call 'Service Express' in the hotel. They sent somebody up to check the phone. They decided it was probably a fault with the handset rather than the line and went off to get a replacement phone. A few minutes later they came back and said their systems people had gone home and it would have to wait until first thing in the morning. I then went to bed, only to find there was a loud noise coming from the air-conditioner near the side of the bed. I tried to switch it off but there was no 'off' on the menu. I went downstairs to the controls there and there was an 'off' on the menu so I selected that and the downstairs air conditioner switched off. Back upstairs though the air conditioner was loud and clear. I rang 'Service Express' again and they sent an engineer up. He too couldn't find 'off' on the menu so he went to the mains connection near the doorway and flipped the relevant switch off. That was fine so I finally got to sleep.

The next morning I tried to connect to the Internet again, and did so, for a while, before it dropped out. Again I telephoned the providor and after some considerable time they said they wanted to input an IP address into my computer. I did this but then asked the operator to unwind the process as I didn't want to mess with the settings on my computer. I had accessed high speed Internet in numrous hotels, even in recent days without any problems. The one time before I changed the settings it was weeks before I got the computer to settle down again. I had noted the telephone connection and the Internet access points were on the same connection plate in the room, and thought there was a connection between the faults in the two. I telephoned Service Express and explained the problems. They said they would have their systems person come up immediately. That was at 9:30am. At 10:10am I got a call to see if I was in the room so the systems guy could come up. He did so and from thereon it was fine. The hotel overall was very good, best of all being the location at the base of Blackcomb mountain.

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