Some weeks ago I obtained a UK Platinum Amex which came with an upgrade on my Starwood Preferred Guest account to Gold. Doesn’t get you much, but when I was stuck overnight recently in LAX (Thank You British Airways), I had the option of several hotels. The Concourse, a Hyatt affiliate was sold out and so I had got to ‘cheat’ on Hyatt, my preferred chain. Hyatt hasn’t treated its Diamond guests too well in recent weeks – handing out Diamond status like candy and then restricting the suite upgrade it awards to only being valid in the year you’ve earned them. (Hyatt seems to want to punish all Diamonds the same, rather than trying to help those who earned status by actually, you know, staying!)
The Hilton at LAX has a nightmare of a shuttle service and so I didn’t want to go there.
The Sheraton at LAX came to mind and I was able to secure a good rate of $102 as it was Friday night. The shuttle came about 5 minutes after I arrived at the corner between Terminal 4 and Thomas Bradley. There was only one other passenger at that point, yet by the time we left Terminal 8 the shuttle was full and there was a huge amount of luggage. This isn’t something you typically see on the Concourse shuttle which is shared with the Parking Garage behind their hotel.
Check-in was a simple affair, they have a nice elite line which I used.
The agent confirmed that I wanted the bonus points as my amenity (I did), and then confirmed that I had one of the refurbished rooms with a King Bed. So far so good.
I walked along the corridor and opened the door to a new, fresh room. A large sofa with a table in the middle, a big flat screen TV as well as a nice desk chair, a big bed and a new shower created in the bathroom. Brilliant! The WiFi worked, and only afterwards did I realise that I could have used the Premium WiFi at no extra charge as an SPG Gold.
It was fairly late by now so I pulled the curtains and prepared for sleep. A good night passed – there were planes taking off from northerly runway so I did wake a few times in the night.
In the morning, you could see how close the planes come to the hotel.
Next morning I found that I had been put on an SPG Club Floor which gave me access to the lounge. Of course, Gold status at SPG doesn’t give you breakfast at their hotels in the way that Diamond does at Hyatt. I was almost regretting my choice. The lounge (which requires keyed access) had a good selection of hot and cold items and super friendly staff. I had breakfast there before heading out to the airport. Check-out was flawless, with nice and friendly staff confirming the bill, sorting my credit card and wishing me a happy holiday all very sincerely.
Again the shuttle was packed with large numbers of bags coming on board. The driver was helpful and dropped everyone off at their assigned terminal despite awful traffic queues.
All around I am now torn, do I return to the run down (at least for now) Concourse hotel or do I cheat on Hyatt by staying at the Sheraton when I am at LAX?