Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Executive Club @ Westin Copley Place, Boston

Another day, another hotel stay, another executive lounge.

On a recent trip to Boston, I broke out of my mold and decided to stay somewhere new, just for one night.  I usually stay at the W, and love it, but, I wanted to make sure it really is the optimal choice for me.  (The W has no lounge, but I do often take the breakfast amenity at the Gallery Restaurant on-site.  They have really fantastic muffins, but, otherwise fairly lackluster offerings.  I've also stayed at the Element when I needed to just stay one night near the airport and bus station, and I did enjoy the offerings there too.)

So this time I headed to the Westin, Copley Place.  It is slightly further away from my office, adding about 3 minutes to my walk, and offering up a totally different route and scenery.  Comparing a Westin and a W is difficult, as they really are entirely different brands, and both of these properties represent their brands really well.  The Westin is more classic, a huge hotel, all the amenities you'd expect, older style, more elegant.  The W is more hip, full of fun touches, and more personal.  They each have their merits.  I'll spare you from details about who has the better beds (toss up, W for the bed, Westin for the bedding), better showers (toss up, neither that impressive), more comfortable lounge space in the rooms (Westin), toiletries (Bliss products at the W for sure), access to power outlets (sigh, neither), AC systems (at least you can hack the W one), etc.

This is just about breakfast.  The most important meal of the day, for some, right?


The lounge is a nice looking space, albeit small, albeit on the 5th floor without any nice views.
The lounge is newly renovated and quite attractive.  Blonde hardwood floors, dark hardwood tables, red leather chairs, lamps, rugs, nice lines, modern style.  Comfortable seating, higher tables, and bar stools along the edge.

A buffet breakfast is served in the morning, along with evening canapes, and snacks throughout the day.  I arrived too late to check out the canapes, but went to breakfast one morning, and grabbed snacks in the evening.


Breakfast is served only until 9:30am during the week, 10am on weekends.  I was traveling from the west coast, and arrived really late at night, so, I barely made it in before the cutoff for breakfast.  Minus a point for this, but 9:30am is a pretty standard cutoff time for weekday breakfast.
Espresso Machine, Spa Water.
The espresso machine was self-serve.  Points for that.  It also made *really* good espresso drinks, both regular and decaf.  More points.

But, it was only on during breakfast hours.  Want an Americano at 9:31am?  Out of luck.
Tea drinkers had a plethora of Tazo tea bags to pick from, with a vat of hot water on the side to serve from.  There was also regular and decaf brewed coffee self-serve, both of which were horrible.  Weak and acidic all at once somehow.  The espresso machine was far superior.
Cereal, Fruit.
The continental selections began with classics - fruit and cereal.  Whole apples, oranges, and bananas in bowls, plus raisin bran and Kashi cereals (Heart to Heart (oat flakes & blueberry clusters, honey toasted oat cereal) and Go Lean Crunch!).  Points for Kashi rather than just the whole Kellogg's lineup.  Bonus points for not having annoying cereal dispensers.
Oatmeal, Scrambled Eggs.
And ... hot food!

I was happy to see this, as I assumed this would be continental only.  However, the options were dried out extremely sad looking scrambled eggs and oatmeal.

I tried the oatmeal, it was gloopy, mushy, and flavorless.
Mix-Ins: Nuts, Dried Fruit, Brown Sugar.
To add to your oatmeal, or perhaps just to munch on, there were mix-ins, including brown sugar, bits of dried fruit and raisins, and mixed nuts.

I was excited by the fruit and nuts, but neither turned out to be great.  Yes, the dried fruit had things like pineapple and mango, tiny cubes, but it just wasn't very good.  The mix was mostly raisins (multiple colors) and cranberries.  Same with the mixed nuts.  They looked promising, were salted, had brazil nuts, pecans, multiple types of almonds, and more, but again, just, not really any flavor.
Yogurt, Milk, Eggs, Cut Fruit, Berries.
Next up, a cold well.  Here you could find hard boiled eggs, milk cartons (regular, skim, 2%), Oikos greek yogurt, Dannon Light & Fit yogurt.

On the other side, cut melons, including watermelon (danger!), and berries (strawberries and blueberries).

I went straight for the berries, even though they were next to the watermelon.  The blueberries were mostly good, although there were some in the mix that seemed rotten.  The strawberries were bright red, looked great, but ended up being incredibly watery and flavorless.  Points for having berries, but these weren't very good offerings.
Muffins, Bagels, Toast.
The final station was breads, including sliced bread for toast, bagels, and mini muffins.  On the side was a toaster and a variety of spreads (butter, peanut butter, cream cheese, assorted Dickinson's jams, and Welsh's low sugar grape jelly).

The muffins were mini muffins, and didn't look good, but, you know me and baked goods.  I had to try.

I tried 3: lemon poppyseed, raisin bran, and cinnamon.  I skipped the blueberry and another dark colored one.  They were nothing special, fairly dry.

The cinnamon topped one was the worst, super plain, sweet almost like a boring frosting-less cake, with just a little cinnamon on top.  The raisin bran was a bit better, I liked the oat flakes on top.  The lemon poppyseed was by far the best, a nice lemon flavor, and tons of poppyseeds for some texture.  It was my favorite, although, not special really.


Throughout the rest of the day, the lounge is open for snacks and soft drinks.  It is open until 11pm, which I was very happy about, given my late arrival.  I was able to swing in and grab sparkling water and popcorn at 10:30pm!  Earlier in the evening is a canape hour, but I missed that.
Fruit, Cracker Jacks, Pretzels.
The snack food setup had the same whole fruit, nuts, and dried fruit from breakfast, plus bags of Rold Gold pretzels and Cracker Jacks.
Smartfood, Granola Bars.
There was also Smartfood popcorn and two types of Nature Valley granola bars.


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