Westin Resort & Spa, Himalayas – Review

By | August 19, 2023
westin resort and spa, himalayas review

I’ve been wanting to visit Himalayas for quite sometime for all the goodness associated with the place and as soon as Westin Resort & Spa, Himalayas opened up I decided to do a long stay. While the trip got bit delayed as I had my other trip to Europe, I eventually visited the property in July for 5 days. 

The location, people, food and everything else are great that I’ve booked a stay once again in under a month. If you’re wondering what’s taking me to this heaven so often, here’s a detailed end-to-end review of everything you need to know about the Westin Resort & Spa, Himalayas. 

Booking

  • Revenue rate: 37,000 INR+GST
  • Marriott Bonvoy Points: Dynamic between 15K and 25K points

While the revenue rate is quite high, I guess it’s essential to maintain the property. It was even higher when it was initially opened and probably it will go up once again as the busy season is back.

Location

It’s located at about 40Km / 45min drive from Dehradun airport. There are 2 routes to the hotel and usually the road going to Rishikesh is taken, as it’s bigger, wider and safer road.

As soon as you leave the airport area, you’ll pass a bridge from which you can see lower Himalayan hills in front of you. You can as well see a small city in the hills, which is “Narendra nagar” and that’s where you’ll be heading to.

The drive from airport to Rishikesh is very well maintained and it’s basically a road in the forest. You can see colourful paintings all through the way to the hotel, the G20 effect, which happened in Westin as well. 

The hillside road was almost empty when I visited previously during a weekday but this time I could see a lot of tourists as it’s a holiday. If the road is free, you may step out of the car to enjoy the views of Rishikesh & Ganges, like below:

View point
Rishikesh View from the road

Meanwhile, you can also have a look at the the world famous “Ananda in the Himalayas” just before heading to Westin.

I’ve availed the airport transfers via Axis/BOB concierge services and it was good. If you don’t have that option, you may choose one from “EVcityride”, a taxi service in Dehradun.

Rain & Landslides

If you’re visiting the hotel during the rainy season (June-Aug) then you should be aware of the landslides. You can check news for any major rainfall and if so call up hotel to check if the road is clear.

My first trip was a week after the major news on heavy rainfall, but fortunately all landslides were removed by the time I was travelling.

But my recent trip was different. Rishikesh recorded a highest rainfall in the country and I travelled just the next day. So I could see at-least 20 major landslides along the way but road was fortunately cleared for vehicle movement. 

Check-in

lobby

There was a pre-checkin formality over email/call just like most other premium properties in Asia. So all details/requests were shared prior.

I was quickly taken to the room for a in-room check-in, probably because the hotel was on less occupancy, otherwise a quick check-in in the beautiful lobby would be done.

The Room

The room is spacious with a balcony. If you’re wondering, the rooms located on 9th level (among others) have very good views. Here’s a quick look at the room and the amazing views.

bed room
bed lights
fruits and chocolates
balcony
view from balcony

What surprised me was that the hotel didn’t use the usual branded bathroom fittings like those from Cera/Grohe, which is usually used even in Fairfield’s. And there was no proper handle to pull the sliding doors to balcony. So I feel interior could have been better but that’s very well manageable. 

The Property 

The hotel has everything you would need and most importantly stunning views from the balcony or pool area.

You will have a 180 degree view of the planes in front of you, which includes Rishikesh city & Ganges on the left, dense forest in the centre, airport at the right and Dehradun city at the rightmost. 

Sunsets are usually magical here without a doubt. But that’s only when you’re lucky, otherwise the clouds would basically cover you. 

Foggy views

And for the first time in my life I’m seeing fog/clouds that are not cold (maybe it is during winter). So if you’re looking at the foggy images and assume it’s going to be chill like in a hill-station, you would be disappointed.

The temperature is almost same as you would have in the city but it’s bit pleasant. 

The Food

Breakfast at the restaurant was tasty and exceptional. I was quite surprised to see that they could make a very good masal dosa with tasty sambhar and chutney, which is rare to find in 5 star hotels anywhere in north India or even in south India for that matter.

poori
dosa
salad
fruits

High Tea

You can enjoy high tea everyday, the location of which keeps changing from time to time. They serve tea/coffee along with large collection of snacks to choose from.

It’s served with live music and it’s quite an event that you shouldn’t miss. High Tea is as good as a typical lounge experience except for drinks. 

High Tea - Snacks
high tea at the lounge

Executive Lounge

While high tea is sufficient for most, the eligible Marriott Bonvoy elites gets access to the executive lounge, usually with 2Veg+2Non-Veg snacks and the drinks.

Some of their cocktail’s are very good and the “Coco Paradise” is a must try if you’re around.

lounge snacks
mocktail

Gym, Yoga & recreation

The property has sufficient activities to keep you engaged fully for a day or two. 

Gym is open 24/7 and it’s spacious, very well maintained with a trainer available during the day. If you’re into Yoga, you may take the yoga sessions available across 3 slots in a day.

You may also explore other recreational activities like trekking, soft archery, bowling, visit to Rishikesh, etc.

archery

Wifi & Connectivity

Airtel Voice & 4G connectivity are poor everywhere right from the Dehradun airport to hotel but once you’re on wifi at the hotel, you may enjoy the magic of “Airtel Wifi” which I’ve been enjoying in the hill-stations since past 3 Yrs or so. 

connectivity

Internet at the hotel was consistent throughout my stay despite heavy rains. At about 15 Mbps average browsing speed, it felt as good as home. 

Cards to Use

If you’re going for revenue booking, you may book using HDFC Super premium cards for 10X rewards on HDFC Smartbuy.

To save on incidentals, you may use the Marriott Bonvoy vouchers that comes with Stan Chart Ultimate credit card, among others. The hotel started accepting them recently and the redemption was quite smooth from my experience. 

If you’re into Marriott Bonvoy points redemption, you should consider getting the American Express Platinum Charge Card that comes with 100K points (usually given on a tricky request). 

If you prefer to have a free card instead and have a lot of time to accumulate points for the stay, you may go with the Amex MRCC or even Amex Plat Travel depending on your needs. 

Just incase if you’re short on Amex MR points, you may as well buy them from Amex @ 40ps per point upto 10K points per card. 

Service

Expect a good service everywhere in the property, as personal attention is ideally a standard for the price tag that the property comes with.

If you’re frequent to this blog, you may know that I never mention names because I generally don’t stay in any single property for more than 2-3 days and that’s not sufficient enough time to comment on the consistency of staff. 

But having spent a week here, I guess below names will come handy for you just incase if you’re around and want to get things done.

  • Front desk: Akum & Maria Hasan
  • Restaurant: Sachin, Kamal, Parul & Ankita

Bottomline

  • Cardexpert rating: 5/5

Overall, it’s nothing less than a heaven to have a stay at the Westin Resort & Spa, Himalayas. Yet, consider visiting during weekdays or during the low season, as otherwise the hotel would be pretty busy with weekend rush and wedding events every other day, likely beginning October. 

That said, I guess we’ll have to thank the property for building such a wonderful place in the Himalayas and to Marriott for focusing on new properties in the Indian hill-stations, which are rare to find and I’m quite happy to see one more coming up in Coorg.

Have you been to Westin, Himalayas? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below

Author: Siddharth

Helping Indians to choose right credit cards, pick right offers and enjoy luxury vacations for less. Day & night exploring the spiritual reality of our human existence.

24 thoughts on “Westin Resort & Spa, Himalayas – Review

  1. Deepak Kumar

    I had been to Ananda many years back and the experience was just amazing.

    Reply
  2. Manoj Kumar

    I am very new to Miles earn/burn and that is due to axis magnus rewards and associated madness with it. I have decent spends on cards and can optimize them to earn enough points to redeem Properties like Westin Rishikesh. Only confusion or concern I have is that Points allow us to experience 5 star properties but there are other incidental costs which may be higher side.

    If you don’t mind, can you please share other expenses such as food and activities while staying in this property if no status is held? Just to get some sense of what kind of budget one would expect.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Expenses would be just like any other 5 star resort property. Idea is to reduce the major expense (stay) via points. But in this case I’ve also mentioned a way to cover the incidentals.

      Reply
      1. Manoj

        Thanks Siddharth for your kind response.

        I missed to add this earlier, as always great article.

        Reply
    2. aka

      To answer your query , if the major expense has been covered through voucher or points, then a person should not mind the incidentals…for example..if you go to a 5 star property for 2 days and stay is complimentary but the incidentals ( i guess only food as all other incidentals like spa,laundry etc are avoidable if you don’t wish to !) needs to be paid..now if you take it in hotel it can amount to 6k-8k – the same as a stay in a very mediocre budget hotel would cost you..but the experience is whole next level ! also cost of food can be reduced by taking ala carte meals if not too hungry instead of buffet, taking it in outside restaurants, fruits etc.

      Reply
  3. Sudheer

    Siddharth, very nice review. I am planning to visit this resort in October. I am a Marriot platinum member. Do they honer platinum benefits like suite upgrade and late check-out?

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Yes, many plat’s I know have got suite upgrades here, along with all other benefits.

      Reply
  4. Anuj Chopra

    Hi Sid, Nice review . This property is in my bucket list.

    Just one thing – if we book through marriot points, we do not get complimentary breakfast. Are there any eateries nearby fir breakfast, if not, what are the charges for buffet breakfast if you paid.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      They’re kind enough to add complimentary breakfast on request, but again it depends, as they may take a call based on overall footfall on that day. There are no nearby eateries AFAIK.

      Reply
  5. Akshat

    are the cocktails complimentary in the lounge or is it just the snacks and cold drinks?
    also for non elites accompanying is there a chargeable entry to the lounge?

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Cocktails are there. Accompanying guest of same room is very much allowed everywhere AFAIK.

      Reply
      1. Akshat

        thx for the reply Sid
        meant for friends n family accompanying ie different rooms

        can get access on chargeable basis?

        Reply
        1. Siddharth Post author

          Haven’t been in that situation to answer. Ideally they should, as they’re quite friendly at the moment.

          Reply
  6. Arun kumar

    Had a fabulous stay for our 5th wedding Anniversary at The westin, Himalayas. For a new hotel, they offered impeccable service. Booked thro Marriott BP @20K per night in Mar’23. On request, they were generous enough to offer complimentary breakfast and room upgrade to higher category (maybe due to low occupancy)
    The morning Yoga and run sessions can make your stay meaningful and rejuvenating.
    The Japanese Restaurant, TOYO is a must try place.

    Tip: I took a self drive car from Dehradun Airport which made the trip convenient to explore rishikesh and other nearby places like the beautiful Kunjapuri temple.
    Since the resort is secluded, away from any basic access, it is better to carry all the things you might need in advance.

    Reply
    1. Proximo

      I am planning to stay in this property in February. I have enough MB points to use to book the stay as points redemption but without any complementary breakfast! Since you got it included on request, can you please share how you booked the stay, online or over the phone? And where/when can one make such a request (at the time of booking or at the time of check-in)?

      Your suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

      Reply
  7. Aditya

    Could you please confirm the process to buy points from Amex?
    Do i need to call them?
    I hold Amex Platinum charge card
    And applied for Amex gold and membership rewards card last week.
    I am confused between JW Marriot Prestige Golf resort and westin Himalayas.
    As you have stayed at both resorts, Could you please confirm which one should I visit first? I am planning in September first week.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Yes, Call and ask.

      For Sep 1st week, JW is better because climate is better in Bangalore now compared to the the unpredictable weather in Himalayas.

      Reply
  8. Prem Taparia

    Sid,

    I’m currently in this hotel and will be checking out tomorrow. Really had a good time here. Just one thing: you mentioned that incidentals could be paid here through MB vouchers generated from Std Chtd/Amex and that the redemption process was smooth. However when I asked the reception about the same, they said that currently their system is not enabled for redemption since “one year is not yet over since this hotel has opened”. I’m wondering how you managed to use your vouchers in July when I’m unable to do in September? Maybe the hotel doesn’t want to settle thru vouchers and just gave the excuse of one year not yet completed? Not sure.

    Reply
  9. rohit

    Hi Sid – Just wanted to check on the airport transfer. Which car did Axis sent (if you used the reserve pick up and drop service). For most options they give a luxury option but for Dehradun, they are only giving a Sedan option.

    Reply
  10. Sudheer

    Right now I am in the property. I am the platinum member and booked through points. Since this is a weekday, not much crowded and they honored my suite upgrade request. Recently they closed the executive lounge as per resort guidelines. I stayed 2 nights in JW Marriot Mussoorie before came to this property. There too no execution lounge but they gave the coupon for 2 people (for platinum members) to have one starter and drink between 5-7PM in restaurant. In Westin, no such complimentary coupon given despite lounge is closed.

    Reply

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