I love a luxury hotel with a good back story.
Like many buildings in the Motor City, The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit has experienced the soaring highs and humbling lows of the city and boasts a history that spans decades. Opened in 1924, the Book Cadillac was known as the tallest hotel in the world and its Italian Renaissance-style grandeur was second to none, with a guest list that included the manufacturing and automotive elite from around the country and beyond. However, mimicking the financial troubles of Detroit, the Book Cadillac became just another abandoned building in the city in 1986 and wasn’t restored to its former glory until October 2008, when it underwent a two-year, $200 million restoration and reopened its doors with 453 rooms, 64 condos, an ornate marble staircase, and a ballroom with wrought-iron balconies. With a modern elegance meets old world glamour theme, its revitalization is the ultimate emblem of Detroit’s comeback.
-Both check-in and check-out were a breeze. I’m not a happy camper if I have to wait to check-in/check-out.
-Water is complimentary — can’t believe some hotels don’t get something as simple as this.
-The location is perfect — nestled in the very heart of downtown Detroit, next to tons of restaurants, bars, parks, etc.
-The room was very spacious and comfortable.
-I love the wellness services of Westin properties — you can rent workout clothes, running shoes, etc.
-The sweeping Detroit views were beautiful, especially on a sunny summer day!
-The lovely curtains weren’t solely for show and managed to perfectly block out the morning sunlight, making it easier for me to sleep in — a MUST on vacation.
-One of the restaurants, Roast was named as one of the best steakhouses in Michigan. The food was very good, but the service could have used a boost. It was great for happy hour!
-The service was great — attentive, hospitable, and warm. From the front desk to the housekeeping staff to the concierge, the service was fantastic.
-Loved the understated palette of beige and gray dotted with mahogany furniture.
-The bedding was luxurious, with a surfeit of fluffy pillows.
-I love the beautiful chandeliers in the lobby and Motor Bar area of the hotel — packs a good punch as far as first impressions go.
-There’s a spa in the hotel, but I didn’t have a chance to check it out.
-There’s a cafe/coffee shop in the lobby area — super convenient for on-the-go and business travelers.
-A beautiful, state-of-the-art 24-hour fitness center was available.
-There was a NORMAL hair dryer that was actually functional.
-The toiletries were the usual Westin brand.
-WiFi is complimentary — yes!
-Room service was very quick and efficient. I also love that it’s 24 hours.
-Lots of outlets near the bed — perfect for digital travelers.
-Loved that the bathtub was separate from the standing shower.
-There was no personalized welcome note — this small gesture goes a long way.
-The lighting in the bathroom is not ideal for vanity purposes.
-Breakfast was not included.
-There’s no house car for guest use.
-Social media activity was very sparse.
-Turn-down service was disappointingly ordinary. Given that it’s the Motor City and the rich historical significance of the hotel, there’s a lot they can use to their advantage and a little extra something out of the ordinary would have been a great touch.
Duration: 1 night, September 9, 2015 (and 3 nights from June 2-5,2015)
Bottom line: Having stayed at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel on two occasions, I’ve checked out the many amenities that the hotel offers. The hotel has all the amenities of a normal four-star Westin Hotel, but the added layer of a rich historical past makes this property very special. To truly restore the hotel to its former grandeur during the glory years of American manufacturing, there’s much more the hotel can do to raise its service bar and elevate the guest experience such as more attention to details and more personalized customer service. Even though full-scale revitalization is still many years away, I would stay here again, mostly for its ideal location in downtown Detroit and its historical significance.
*Disclosure: I was a guest of the hotel, but views are my own and accurately reflect my stay. My room was a corner room on the 17th floor.
**My policy: there will always be full disclosure about whether my stay was hosted by the hotel or paid for with my own money. And even if the hotel decides to offer complimentary services, my review will never be swayed one way or the other. After all, if my experience was sub-par, and I continue to falsely rave about their services, no one will benefit–not me, not you, not the hotel (they’ll never improve!). So, trust that you’ll receive 100% truth in every review.
Westin Book Cadillac Detroit