I’ve stayed at the Sheraton LAX countless times (and reviewed it here).
LAX doesn’t have very many nice hotel properties, and the Sheraton has always been reasonably reliable. Plus there’s a Starbucks in the lobby that opens at 5am.
I usually say that my criteria for choosing an airport hotel is:
- The one attached to the terminal, if price allows.
- If no property attached to the terminal, then whichever has been most recently renovated.
Take New York JFK, a true pit for airport hotels, 7 years ago the choice was the Hilton Garden Inn – most up to date. That was replaced by the Sheraton. Now the go-to is the Hilton JFK.
I recently stayed at the Sheraton LAX again. There’s nothing attached to the terminal. All hotel shuttles are generally slow because getting in and out of LAX is a challenge. Plus most shuttles are shared between multiple hotels or between hotels and parking lots. And they stop at each terminal. Still, without a ton to choose from…
I’ve stayed a couple of times at the new Hyatt Place LAX/El Segundo. They had early teething problems with their hotel shuttle, but based on a subsequent stay earlier this year seemed to have that worked out. I do suggest making reservations for the ride back to the airport when you check in, just to be safe.
My biggest frustration with the Hyatt Place is that the shuttle isn’t 24 hours.
But that’s better than what I experienced at the Sheraton LAX… full shuttles.
They don’t offer reservations. They don’t operate the shuttle themselves. As a result they take very little ownership over it. The shuttle comes, the front desk has nothing to do with it, you wait outside and wait.. and wait…
The first shuttle was full. So everyone had to wait.
15 minutes later another shuttle came by. This time there was room for only four or five people to get on board. Everyone else was told to… wait.
I need to revise my criteria for selecting an airport hotel. An airport hotel needs to be able to reliably get you to the airport.
The shuttle end times came. These people were Left Behind.
Next time I will go with the Hyatt Place, it’s newer and despite shuttle teething problems deserves a go because their challenges seem no worse than the Sheraton’s. And at least they let you list for a reservation on their shuttle.
I managed to be one of the four or five people that made it onto the second shuttle. I don’t know whether the people that were left behind ever eventually made it out. I like to think that they did.
I’d also like to think that an airport hotel would be more proactive. First, at peak morning times they need to ensure sufficient capacity. Second, if unexpected surges happen they should take ownership over transporting their guests quickly to the terminal — they may have their own cars, they could pay for taxi cabs.
Instead I was just told “the shuttle comes around frequently.”