Chasing the A380: Westin Grand Frankfurt

Introduction
Swiss First Class Lounge Chicago
Swiss First Class Chicago to Zurich
Swiss First Class Lounge Zurich
Lufthansa Business Class Zurich to Frankfurt
InterContinental Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt
Lufthansa A380 First Class Frankfurt to Tokyo
Park Hyatt Tokyo
ANA First Class Lounge Tokyo Narita, Lufthansa A380 First Class Tokyo to Frankfurt
Westin Grand Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt, Lufthansa First Class Frankfurt to Orlando


Out of habit I’ve been staying at the InterContinental for years now when visiting Frankfurt, including during the outbound overnight of this trip. It’s a fine hotel – by no means exciting, but always reasonably priced and they take good care of Royal Ambassadors.

Then last year I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Mainz. While Hyatt doesn’t have a hotel in Frankfurt, they do have one in neighboring Mainz, which is where my aunt lives (which in and of itself is a reason to avoid Mainz). 😉

It’s a very nice hotel if you want to be in the area, though given that we had about a 18-hour overnight I preferred to stick to Frankfurt.

So I figured it was about time to try out one of the Starwood hotels, and decided on the Westin. The Westin is actually an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property (though not Virtuoso), so I booked through them. The rate was 169 Euros for the night (the same as the rate being charged directly by Starwood), except the Fine Hotels & Resorts amenities were an 85 Euro food and beverage credit, complimentary breakfast for two, 4PM late check-out, and a room upgrade.

The last two amenities aren’t worth anything to me given that I’m a Starwood Platinum member and get those benefits anyway. The 85 Euro food and beverage credit and restaurant breakfast are awesome, though.

We took a cab from Frankfurt Airport at around 3PM, and the ride to the hotel took about 20 minutes and cost about 25 Euros.

The exterior isn’t as “grand” as the hotel’s name suggests, though the lobby was quite nice, if not a bit neon-y.


Lobby

The front desk agent was polite and advised me we had been upgraded to an executive room, though I asked about the possibility of a suite upgrade. After getting the front desk manager’s approval we were assigned a junior suite without any argument. While it’s frustrating that you have to ask at Starwood hotels for an upgrade (even though it should be automatic), it works out in the favor of savvy Platinum members, since it leaves more upgrades for us. What I take issue with is when you have to argue. So this experience was perfectly pleasant.

Our room was a junior suite on the 4th floor, all the way at the end of the hallway.


Hallway

The room featured a nice sized living room with a couch, two chairs, and flat screen TV.


Living room


Living room

That led to a smaller room with a desk.


Desk

To the left was the bedroom, and to the right was the bathroom, featuring a shower tub and double sinks.


Bedroom


Bathroom


Shower

Now here’s where it gets embarrassing for me as someone that stays at hotels partly for the purposes of reviewing them – I didn’t visit the club lounge once, and I didn’t use any part of the 85 Euro food and beverage credit.

I was so tired when I landed that I slept from 6PM to 11:30PM, at which point I went outside to see the fireworks. Then I went back to bed at about 1AM and slept till about 8AM, at which point I headed to the airport.

So yeah, the food and beverage credit and club lounge went to waste.

I will say this, though – this is definitely my go to hotel in Frankfurt now. I thought the rooms were very nicely decorated, not to mention modern, and it seems that suite upgrades are fairly easy to come by. The other Starwood property in town is the Le Meridien, and it’s much more “old world” than this place.

So there’s no doubt that the Westin will replace the InterContinental for me (a hotel that doesn’t even have wifi or flat screen TVs), and being able to book through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts and get an 85 Euro food and beverage credit per stay plus daily restaurant breakfast is just the icing on the cake.

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Comments

  1. you’re not suppose to earn Stay credit, spg points, or even platinum recognition if booked through a 3rd party (in this case amex). I think lucky got super lucky!

  2. They also have a pretty nice spa in the 6th floor. Our kids loved it to death (though I guess everyone else was a bit annoyed 🙂

  3. If you were only there for about 12h, why didn’t you just stay at the Sheraton attached to the airport? They have a great club lounge.

  4. @ ADAM — You absolutely earn points through FHR/Virtuoso, and that’s always the case.

    @ CP@YOW — I wanted to be downtown for New Year’s to see the fireworks.

    @ Steelsnow — She doesn’t speak a word of English.

    @ snic — Hah, no reason in particular, just normal family battles.

  5. Maybe nobody has pointed this out yet, but who is this “friend” that’s been accompanying you on this trip? Especially considering that all the hotel rooms I’ve seen have only had one bed and no mention of another room for this “friend” 🙂

  6. Lucky,

    I have run into the same issue as Adam. I have had Starwood refuse stay credit/points because I booked through AMEX Travel.
    Also, I have been refused upgrades because I was told that I had booked through a “3rd-Party,” supposedly Travelocity. I even took your suggestion about tweeting SPG one time, and it still did nothing.
    So are the policies on using FHR different than the ones for using Amex Travel?

  7. @FF and @Simon: If you two have a point, make it. Otherwise, who give a shit? Ben’s choice of travel companions is his business. Big Fat Period.

  8. @Simon and @Cedarglen – Both of you really need to chill out.

    I wasn’t implying ANYTHING about sexuality or otherwise. It was merely an observation out of curiosity since Ben shares so many random (and sometimes personal) details on his blog and twitter.

  9. Just found this surprisingly relevant post, thanks! I’ll have an overnight in Frankfurt this new year’s eve, with an ~8am departure on new year’s day. Would you recommend staying at the Sheraton, Squaire, etc. for convenience to the earlyish flight, or is it worth it to go somewhere like this Westin to see the fireworks?

  10. @ Tim J — That’s a toughie. Ordinarily I’d choose an airport hotel with such an early departure and go into the city in the evening. But since it’s NYE I’d probably stay in the city at the Westin and then go early in the morning, as traffic shouldn’t be too bad on New Years Day.

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