The Westin London City debuted in central London late last year as the first hotel for the Westin brand in the UK. Known for its focus on wellness, the new hotel couldn’t have come at a better time as travelers focus on wellbeing and safety during their travels.
It also marks the 1,000 hotels within the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, giving loyalty program fans another option in the UK’s largest city.
Marriott’s Catherine Flint, Director – Global Brand Management, Distinguishing Premium Brands, shares how the Westin brand is evolving and what this means for today’s business and leisure traveler.
What makes Westin synonymous with wellness?
The brand is all about living well so travelers can continue many of the same health and fitness routines they have at home. For example, the Eat Well menu available in restaurants and in the room features healthy, low-calorie dishes that don’t skimp on flavor. Unlike other hotel menus, guests can order a half or whole portion. The menu varies by hotel with local chefs using regional ingredients and flavors. They can also include things like fresh juices and smoothies or cocktails with all-natural ingredients (no preservatives).
Training at Westin is another key focus so travelers don’t lose momentum from their training plans. Westin was the first hotel brand to have an exclusive partnership with Peloton when the bikes were first introduced, and The Westin London City is the only one in Europe to have two Peloton bikes. In the United States, more than 80 Westin properties have Peloton equipment in the gym.
All Westin properties also offer TRX exercise equipment, and many add medicine balls and belts. Hyperice’s Hypervolt recovery station is another exclusive partnership for the brand that includes equipment in 18 of the Westin’s fitness studios.
How does sleep fit into the wellness message?
Launched in 1999, the Heavenly Bed is a key part of Westin’s brand promise. It features a custom pillow-top mattress and comforter plus oversized pillows and a bedside lavender balm made with relaxing oils to promote a restful night’s sleep.
The Sleep Well menu is another traveler’s favorite. Available in the hotel restaurant and in-room dining menus, including superfood-focused meals, small plates and infusions (Westin has a brand partnership with Jing Tea in Europe, Middle East and Africa) designed by a nutritionist to promote healthy sleep.
Pets deserve a good night’s sleep too, and there’s a free version of the Heavenly Bed for dogs to use during their stay.
What is the heavenly bath?
A well-designed bathroom is an integral part of a good hotel stay. Westin’s signature white tea toiletries are standard across the brand, along with strong water pressure in showers (with a second hand nozzle in Westin’s latest bathroom design instead of a second shower head), oversized Egyptian cotton towels, toiletries and white tea-scented bathrobes . Westin regulars recognize the scent of white tea from the moment they arrive, as it is used in public areas. It has become quite popular and is available through Westin’s online store.
What is Rise and Run?
This program is available at many Westin hotels. Guests can walk, jog, or run using composite neighborhood maps. Towels, water and other running equipment are available to guests. Many days of the week, guided runs are led by the hotel’s own concierge, which includes staff members or even the general manager.
The program began in 2013 and grew out of a running concierge idea that Marriott offered to headquarters staff. It was so popular that Westin picked it up. It’s a great way for business travelers short on time to enjoy a tour of the area.
Many Westin hotels are also very active in a city’s running community. They often play host to local races, including the Boston Marathon with the Westin Boston Copley Place near the finish. The late Arne Sorenson, president and chief executive officer of Marriott International, was a huge fan of the Westin brand and often participated in many of its running events.
What can visitors expect at the UK’s first Westin?
The hotel represents the brand well. Westins are designed to have a connection with nature. Subtle elements are striking in the design, including the living green wall, something you will see in all Westins. Another thing to note is that the furniture in public areas is never placed in a straight line, an intentional design after nature, which is not perfect.
Invigorating, scented water is available at check-in (a glass of sparkling wine is a nice welcome on weekends), and the property has a Westin Club, a favorite of Marriott Bonvoy elite members. Premium room guests and high status members can enjoy breakfast, all day drinks and evening snacks with beer and wine.
The Westin London City operates its own spa, which features an indoor pool (rare in London), sauna, whirlpool and treatment menu. One of the custom options is the meridian flow gold facial, which uses gold-coated micro-magnetic beads to oxygenate, hydrate and plump the skin, reducing wrinkles.
The hotel is within walking distance of the Bank financial district, as well as tourist destinations such as St. Paul’s Cathedral, Borough Market and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. A wine bar overlooking the River Thames serves 80 wines from around the world and a small plate menu. Westin regulars will feel right at home in this new property.