Review: Westin Colonnade, Coral Gables Near the Miami Airport

I usually stay at the Hyatt in Coral Gables but spent a couple of days recently at the Westin Colonnade nearby instead.

I like both hotels. Both physical plants are older, but are well kept up, and both have excellent staff.

Checkin is one floor up from the front of the hotel.

It’s a grand hotel that was mostly deserted except for a wedding party one night (which got drunk, ran down the halls knocking on doors, and woke me up at 1:15am).

At check-in at the Westin I was offered champagne. That’s a nice touch, though I didn’t imbibe. Usually when checking into a hotel I want to go to the room straight away, rather than standing in the lobby drinking while someone types away at a computer to check me in. Still, it’s a nice touch that shows they’re trying.

I didn’t use a Suite Night Award at the property, but found that I was upgraded to a suite anyway. In fact I was told that I was assigned to a two level suite, but that other suite types were available as well and I could have one of three.

For this stay I didn’t care about room type, and my recollection was that all of their suites were pretty small, so I asked the woman checking me in to just pick which one she liked best. (I don’t actually like bi-level suites unless both levels are fairly large… I’d rather have a larger single level than stairs up to a bed.)

She put me in an ‘executive suite’ that I’d say barely counts as a suite — to me a suite has a wall that separates the bedroom from another room — without a wall it’s a junior suite or a large king. That was fine, but considering the production of offering me my choice of suites and that I could inspect that all before choosing if I wished this was a bit of a letdown. I suppose it’s a function of, as I say, the suites generally being small and then turning over the choice to someone who has different tastes or priorities. No harm, no foul, and she was quite nice about the whole thing.

Finally I was told that breakfast is either in the restaurant or via room service. I was given breakfast coupons and she also gave me points as my check-in amenity instead of making me choose. But room service breakfast as an amenity? Yes, please I’d definitely pick that over points. Or over the restaurant.

They actually want you to tell them that you have the certificate when you call down to room service, and when I did that I was told it was for a continental breakfast (true) but that I could actually order whatever I wished (nice). They then collect the certificate when delivering the food and having me sign for it. My full room service bill was removed on both mornings of my stay.

The staff here were exceptionally friendly. Room service was prompt, and they called back to give me a heads up as the food was coming upstairs. I prefer not to get this second call, but they were super-proactive and that scores points. No questions asked about 4pm checkout, in fact it was proactively offered.

They also delivered a welcome amenity the first night — two chocolate covered strawberries with pieces of cake on top of the chocolate.

Downtown Coral Gables isn’t much, but if you need to be in the area it’s a nice hotel and it’s very close to the airport, I’d far prefer to stay here than one of the airport properties.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. A useful reveiw for me, Gary, thanks!

    Was there a real door between the bedroom and living room? That’s the definition for me, more than the size. Also the need when traveling with my wife, she up early, I’m up late.

    Downtown Coral Gables is interesting enough for food that it’s a good location. Get the grilled Octopus at Cibo Wine Bar. And the Season’s 52 there is one of the better ones, and healthy.

  2. This use to be an Omni chain hotel, and before that something else. Not much has changed since it was first built. I basically looks the same.
    But I do have to say, Coral Gables not much? Its a whole lot nice than the rest of FL and most sunbelt cities. At least you can walk to banks, supermarkets, try that in AZ, or most of CA, or the rest of FL.
    For instance if you stay near SFO, can you really head to downtown Burlingame or San Mateo? Are there any major chains in downtown Burlingame or San Mateo? They are like two different worlds when they should not be. This is a real lack of planning.

  3. I’m not sure what you were looking for that you said downtown Coral Gables isn’t much. There isn’t a lot of nightlife per se, but Miracle Mile definitely offers some food options in very easy walking distance, among your options.

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