In a nutshell: The Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport is a high quality hotel just a little ways from Vancouver International. Rooms are thoroughly comfortable and staff friendly. Only downside is the YVR shuttle hours that don’t serve late arrivals well.
A brief jaunt to Canada, eh? That’s what a recent weekend called for. After four trips to visit our northern neighbors between 2015 and 2017, I’d fallen in love with the country. This go-round I decided to see Ottawa. But it’s a two-connection minimum trip to the Canadian capital from where I live, so I found myself with an overnight layover. This was spent at the Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport.
Booking the Westin YVR
I’ve been burned a couple times now with last-minute flight cancellations or delays. So unless I have a very compelling reason, I leave airport hotels un-booked until the day of, preferably booked while in line to board the flight. It’s not the best system, but it’s better than losing money. Or I just need to always use a credit card with good trip cancellation insurance.
So I booked the Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport while standing in the queue at SFO. How? That was easy. Since the hotel was asking 34,000 Bonvoy points per night, I was glad to part with a free night award certificate from my Bonvoy Boundless card. Either points or certificate would be far better than paying $305 CAD after taxes. But I try to burn certificates first at any reasonable chance I get.
Arrival into Vancouver International
My flight into YVR was delayed over two hours, which was a bit of a bummer. It meant I missed both dinner at the Westin and the ability to use the hotel shuttle. The shuttle stops at 9:30 PM, and I just missed the cutoff. A standard cab ride is $20 CAD from YVR to the Westin Wall Centre though, which is reasonable enough. The hotel is just off the airport island, less than ten minutes from the international airport.
Check-in was smooth and easy. For reasons unknown, I was greeted as a Titanium member. No idea how they ended up with that on file. I have status, but not that status. The front desk offered me both breakfast and the welcome amenity points. I’ll take it, although officially it’s supposed to be an either-or choice. This has happened now multiple times and is likely common.
My key card had a little “Upgraded” tag in it, but I couldn’t tell what might distinguish my room from a standard room at the Westin YVR. But it was certainly nice. I found the bed to be superbly comfortable. The style is modern and simple, but it works well for Westin.
I did note this ancient piece of hardware. I’ve previously noticed Westin TVs that are old. The one here seemed a bit more updated. But they need to ditch the iHome.
Water and coffee I needed. The former immediately and the latter in the morning.
The bathroom is excellent. It’s relatively small, but manages to squeeze in both a tub and a shower. Everything was spotlessly clean.
The view, though, was pretty rough. You can do a lot better in Vancouver. Daytime views would have certainly been nicer with the mountain backdrop.
The Westin Wall Centre has both a fitness center and a pool, open from X to X. Westin is known for being a wellness hotel brand, and the fitness centers I’ve used during my past couple stays with them have been along the better ones I’ve used at any hotel.
Finding the fitness center is the issue. It’s a long, convoluted walk starting on the fifth floor. You head along a narrow hallway, down a flight of stairs, turn several corners, and are finally greeted with signs pointing toward the pool.
But its worth it. The pool is lovely, surrounded by glass on three sides. I wish I would have been here during daylight hours to enjoy the space. If only it was at the airport with airport views.
Adjacent is the fitness center, which is spacious and also well lit.
The Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport also offers extensive meeting space.
Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport Breakfast
Up bright and early, I was able to be seated 10 minutes before the restaurant opened. I wanted to catch the 7:00 AM shuttle, which is a bit tricky given it doesn’t open until 6:30 AM. The hostess was more than willing to let me take a seat and place an order.
Most hot breakfast options cost over $20 CAD, which isn’t too bad for a hotel of the Weston’s caliber.
I went with the sunrise breakfast sandwich, which turned out to be very good. Service was excellent.
Shuttle and YVR Access
The Westin YVR is located a convenient distance from Vancouver International Airport. It can’t compete with the Fairmont, which is located just steps from the airport terminal. But you’re no more than 8 minutes away without traffic.
The Westin Wall Centre shuttle operates on the hour and half hour starting at 4:30 AM, with the last run leaving the hotel at 9:30 PM. You can get dropped off or picked up at either terminal at YVR. No reservation is required. My only surprise is that the evening runs end so early. I’m used to shuttles at major airports running until approximately midnight.
I’d read horror stories about wait times at YVR. After downloading the CATSA mobile app (thank goodness I brought the new iPhone on this one), I kept tabs on the security wait times.
They seemed very quick, so I ended up taking a shuttle departing the Westin just 45 minutes before my flight. Yes, I also like to live dangerously. But with no checked luggage and a boarding pass already in hand, I made it to the gate with 10 minutes to spare. Security was just 5-10 minutes, as the app predicted.
Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport Review: Final Thoughts
It’s easy to feel jilted after an airport hotel stay. I often don’t enjoy all the amenities, as stays frequently involve a late arrival or early departure. Or both.
I consider the Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport a nice property with great rooms, friendly staff, good facilities, and a solid breakfast. Would I pay $300 CAD to stay here? No, but I was more than happy to burn my free night award. Airport hotel stays are my most common use of them these days.
I’d gladly stay here again if passing through on an overnight layover, but I’d much rather visit Vancouver. It’s a lovely city, and one that I’d like to work into next year’s travel plans.
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