The New Hyatt Place Would Be the Best Hotel at LAX If Only I Could Be Confident in Their Airport Shuttle

Basic principles. You want the airport hotel connected to the terminal if there is one. Otherwise you want the one that’s newest or at least most recently renovated, since airport hotels disproportionately accommodate one night stays and wear faster.

Beyond that a decent on-site restaurant is nice, especially when the property doesn’t have nearby walking options, and price is going to influence choice — the Grand Hyatt DFW is an exceptional hotel but it’s often so much more expensive than other Dallas airport hotels that it becomes tough to choose.

Historically I’ve picked the Sheraton LAX for a Los Angeles airport overnight. It’s certainly showing wear but the rooms are decent, the restaurant is pretty good, and there’s a Starbucks in the lobby. There’s a (mediocre) club club and a nice pool area.

But the newest hotel in the area is the Hyatt Place El Segundo/LAX. It’s not on the Century Boulevard strip with the bulk of airport hotels, which means it also operates its own shuttle, and to me that’s usually a plus (less risk of a shuttle not having room because it fills up at the other hotel, it’s quicker without stops and more likely to stick to schedule). So I thought I’d give it a try.

The Hotel Shuttle Situation Needs Work

Things didn’t start off well. I rang the hotel when I landed at LAX just before 11pm to ask when to expect the shuttle. The front desk agent say, “Well, we can send it but LAX is really busy right now so it will be at least 20 minutes, probably half an hour.” Thirty minutes for the shuttle is simply unacceptable, that sort of wait mitigates the advantages of being right at the airport, so I made my own way to the hotel. (Note that cabs will have a minimum $15 fare and they don’t like short trips.)

Check-in was smooth, there wasn’t anyone ahead of me at the desk when I walked in. Not a whole lot of discussion with the agent, halfway through the process she acknowledged my Diamond status by saying “Do you want points or a beverage?”

I asked about the hotel shuttle in the morning and she told me I could make reservations now, or just call down in the morning. The shuttle begins running at 5am. It isn’t 24 hours, and that’s a little late for the very first bank of departures. I was a bit concerned with how loose they seemed to run things — suggesting that reservations are helpful, that the shuttle runs “every 30 minutes but it’ll take you whenever you’re ready” I wondered how that would even work? It’s set to go at 6:30am but it’ll take you at 6:15am it sounded like. Somehow, with only a single shuttle driver, they were still going to accommodate 6:30am departures… reservations even?

The whole shuttle operation here seems like it needs to have some kinks ironed out. I made a 6:30am reservation for the morning, and I didn’t have a ton of confidence since that meant handwritten notes on one of three scraps of paper the agent picked up.

It worked perfectly, though — it was waiting right outside, the shuttle driver wasn’t there but responded quickly when I asked the front desk to call him at our appointed departure time, and there were no other guests onboard.

Pizzaman stayed at the hotel recently and didn’t bother waiting for the hotel shuttle, either. He also didn’t pre-book his morning shuttle back to the airport — and found that not only couldn’t he catch a shuttle during the six o’clock hour, but the next one with space would run at 9:30am.

The Room Itself is the Highlight

The room was almost identical to the one at the Hyatt Place Delray Beach that I had last year for my first-ever Hyatt Place stay (and indeed my first-ever Hyatt limited-service brand stay). It’s the ‘new Hyatt Place standard’ and I quite like it.

The bathroom is modern and large enough. It has a sliding frosted glass door which seemed like it was on a angle so it rolled and wouldn’t stay stationary. It was either fully open or closed.

The desk area was functional and what I liked best about the desk and the whole room really was just how ample the power outlets were. That’s thinking for any new build. “There are just too many outlets in the room” is something said by no hotel guest, ever. So kudos to Hyatt for that.

Since it was about 11:30pm and I was planning on catching the 6:30am shuttle I wanted to get some sleep right away. I set the wake up call on the phone. Now, I must have done it wrong although the system confirmed the time I would receive the call, because it didn’t actually work. Fortunately I never rely on one method to wake myself up for an early flight. My phone alarm is great and woke me up right on time.

The television in the background was a decent enough distraction, and there were a wide variety of channels on a screen that was quite large given the size of the room and with ample choices.

I slept hard for five-plus hours, woke up and got ready for the day. I had no complaints about the room or the sleep and kind of like the way they’ve separated the “bedroom” from the “living space” and like the L-shapred couch. It’s a great room design.

Hotel Facilities

I kind of like the grab and go from the front desk food and drink option, it is not a replacement for room service and no full service hotel should adopt this model, but i do think it works especially for a late arrival at an airport property where there’s going to be an early departure — the key here is no waiting.

There was no chance on this stay to check out the pool or fitness center but reports on both are relatively good.

The lobby area is nice, modern clean lines with places to sit and also a business area.

Free breakfast in the lobby was a real plus, everything was reasonably high quality and I think at a standard above competitors’ offerings in this segment. And I thought it was so cute that they cut the breakfast skillet sandwiches in half here.

Bottom-line

The shuttle here, it seems to me, is a deal-killer for what would otherwise be the best current LAX airport hotel option.

I want to come back, and I would come back over the Sheraton LAX despite that hotel being full service and with a Starbucks in the lobby, if they’d just get improve the reliability and frequency of the shuttle which is a must I think for an airport hotel.


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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. For destinations close to LAX, consider using a public bus.

    If you take the 4-minute walk to Sepulveda you can catch the 232 bus (see metro.net) south. It will take you to the Metro station, only a block from the Hyatt Place. It’s about a 5-minute ride. Cost is $1.50.

    Buses run at 20 to 30 minute intervals during the day, but the interval stretches to an hour in late evening. This being Los Angeles, rain is rarely an issue.

  2. Out of curiosity, why do hotels that accommodate a lot of one night stays wear faster? I know there would be more check ins and check outs and linen changes but I don’t know how that would equate to more wear. It’s not as if people would be throwing wild parties at the airport hotel. Well, maybe they would, I don’t know.

  3. I stayed at this hotel earlier this year, not long after it first opened. The hotel is quite nice and modern, but the staff, while very friendly, seemed a little out of their element. I arrived late in the evening, and the shuttle driver–who also happened to be a front desk agent–seemed perplexed that I would have a one night stay and fly elsewhere in the morning. I had just gotten off a long flight, and I didn’t really feel like explaining how airline travel works, so I just let it go. It took about 45 minutes to get the shuttle at LAX (I would have opted for a cab had I known). I was able to reserve a shuttle the next morning, and it was ready to go as intended. The desk agent at check in was very friendly, but she had a little trouble with the computer system and required assistance from a coworker. Perhaps more experience/training has resolved this issue. Like you, I wouldn’t mind staying there again, but the shuttle situation is a pain when you’re dealing with only a few hours of sleep to begin with.

  4. @nsx that’s a heck of a fast walk as the distance from the Hyatt on Nash St to Sepulveda is about one mile.

  5. The room looks very similar to the room at the Atlanta Airport Park Hyatt, except at that one the sink is outside the bathroom. I stayed there recently when I got stuck overnight for Wx and really enjoyed the stay as much as one could for a short overnight at an airport hotel. It certainly beat the rundown Hampton Inn down the road that I stayed in the month before.

  6. The shuttle’s hours are also an issue for me. I’d like to try this location out, but I frequently come to LAX via AA185 (arriving sometime between midnight-1AM), so the shuttle is out of the question.

  7. Gary, just an FYI – when I read this post in Feedly, the entire article is bold after the first header (so from “The Hotel Shuttle Situation Needs Work” on — as if the bold tag wasn’t closed). This has happened for almost all of your posts with section headers since I moved to Feedly. Maybe it’s not just me?

  8. Gary,

    I had an issue with the shuttles at Hyatt Place FLL. Those things run once an hour. Period. Even if you just missed the last one.

    I wrote to management, and they told me to kiss off.

    Does Hyatt get the shuttle right at other properties?

  9. While I agree that the Sheraton LAX shows its wear, and the lounge is pretty bad, it is usually inexpensive, and it is within walking distance of the United and Southwest terminals, as well as to Avis and Budget car rentals. And there’s also Midway car rental nearby

    I don’t know why you’d put up with the HP shuttle situation if you are either going to be spending $30 on cabs or having to wait 20 minutes for a pick up. The HP room isn’t enough better to make up for that inconvenience.

  10. I would add that I often look for a hotel that I can walk to, in the rare case an airport is near enough to hotels to do that. That way the shuttle becomes a moot point, particularly late at night when they run variably. LAX is one example, and I often stay at the Courtyard LAX because its an easy 10 minute walk. (The Ramada is even closer, but I am very hesitant to stay at Ramada properties). Doesn’t work well at most airports, but where it does, it is a major factor in my decisions.

  11. The problem is it takes about 30 min during peak periods (and when it really busy up to 45 mins) to circle around LAX airport. So if they want a 15 min response time they need 3 shuttles running at least. That gets expensive.

  12. @jphripjah – I actually thought the exact same thing. Given the clientele and purpose of the hotel, I would think the hotel would age slower…not faster. I can’t imagine an airport hotel frequented by businesses travelers trying to get a quick night’s sleep would age quicker than a downtown hotel in major cities (New Orleans, Vegas, NYC, etc).

  13. Have stayed a few times at this Hyatt Place too. Once waited 45 minutes for the shuttle at Terminal 3. Still like the location of the property though since its quiet. I believe the HGI nearby operates their own shuttles as well.

  14. I agree about the Sheraton. Used to be my go to place. And I am a Hyatt guy. I tried v
    booking the Hyatt place but tgey wanted almist $200 for the night? Wow. I usually priceline and take a cab.

    The only worse regular airport I have a hard time with for accommodation is JFK. Even worse then LAX

  15. I agree that this HP is a standout property. What really impressed me, when I got in at 11pm on a flight from the east coast, was that when I asked if the Diamond amenity could be some sort of food, the checkin clerk immediately offered me my choice of anything on the roomservice menu for free. And it showed up at my room 15 minutes later. That’s the sort of thing that (1) sticks in my memory, and (2) will make me go back on LAX stays as long as they keep the service up. That one gesture saved me at least an hour of extra sleep (thanks to not having to go out for food).

    I rented a car, so didn’t have to endure the shuttle travails. Here’s hoping they improve their shuttle service!

  16. Thanks for the review.

    Donuts! Did I see donuts in the B-fast lobby!? Oh man, if they are not stale, I’m there.

  17. @Will
    It’s 4 minutes’ walk from Terminal 1 or Terminal 7 to Sepulveda. The 232 stops at Nash and Mariposa, which is close to the Hyatt.

  18. Nice looking hotel. I recently stayed a week at the Hyatt Place Pittsburgh-Southside in my beloved Pennsylvania and felt the same way. Hyatt has always had a way of blowing all other hotel chains out of the water with regard to design.

    Hyatt Place seems to be the best breakfast set up as well when compared to competitors in this category.

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