Sheraton LAX Ups Its Game in the Most Important Way an Airport Hotel Can

Over the summer I wrote about the Sheraton LAX, a property I’ve written about before and stayed at many many times.

Before my summer stay, I described the way to choose an airport hotel as:

  • Book the one attached to the terminal, if one exists and price allows.
  • If no property attached to the terminal, then whichever has been most recently renovated.

After that Sheraton LAX stay I realized the number one thing is that an airport hotel needs to be able to reliably get you to the airport. (An attached hotel generally fits the bill most easily, but renovations don’t replace facilitated access.)

The whole point of an airport hotel is that it’s easy to and from the airport. Once airport transportation becomes unreliable, you have to wait longer to get there and you have to turn up earlier in the hotel to return to the airport ‘just in case’. And once you add time to travel, you might as well stay at a nicer hotel downtown.

The Sheraton has long been the clear choice at LAX – with a Starbucks in the lobby, mediocre club lounge, and decent hotel restaurant.

But competition has heated up, with the new Hyatt Place (that has had its own shuttle issues) and now that the former Radisson LAX has become a Hyatt and is getting some much-needed investment. It’s the closest hotel to the airport.

While options aren’t great overall, they’re getting better and the Sheraton can’t rest on its laurels.

And good thing, it doesn’t appear to be.

The Sheraton LAX reached out to me aggressively after my July post on their poor airport shuttle (there was no room on the first one that came by, and only 4 or 5 seats available on the second shared shuttle leaving many guests that had waited for the first shuttle waiting for a third one).

I decided to give them another shot last month and they had addressed the shuttle situation, and seemingly quite well. They do not share it with another hotel any longer, sharing it with a parking lot instead.

As a Starwood Platinum I received what they consider a suite (to me, a suite has walls between rooms).

The suite bathrooms are the same as in standard rooms.

The club here really is quite bare bones.

Alcohol is for purchase.

But the shuttle works

And that was all I cared about.


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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Comments

  1. I am sitting in a suite upgrade at the Sheraton LAX right now as I read your latest review. Fully agree that this hotel is a top choice for LAX. Another unexpected benefit happened today when I was able to check-in early (thanks to the 24/7 flex check-in when staying 75 plus nights at SPG hotels), leave my bags in the room and then drop off my Budget rental car and walk back to the Sheraton (.4 miles) without having to take a shuttle. I will take an early shuttle tomorrow morning and know that there will be no issues here.

  2. I regularly stay at this hotel, including last week. Very little has improved at thus hotel. I have been staying here for 20 years and it is only going downhill. As an SPG gold, i complete the emails from their manager…. But they make no changes.
    Breakfast is awful (buffet which seems to be included in the rate of most guests, which is a carb fest. There is nothing gluten free on the lunch menu. Fortunately Papperazzi, is a decent restaurant… But only open for dinner. The shuttle seems to have 75% pax from the parking lot, so iften there are few/no seats, where a guest tells me they make their profit…. I cant wait till the Hyatt is open.

  3. I guess I’ll have to try them again. My last experience with their shuttle was so dismal I stopped staying there. Thanks for the good news.

  4. Fast, reliable airport transfers are key for an airport hotel. Hotels that don’t share service are the best. The Four Points LAX has a display in the lobby that shows where the shuttle is on its route. The coolest LAX hotel was the Westin. It used to have Jacuzzi tubs on the balconies of the corner suites. Sitting in the jacuzzi at night with a beverage watching the takeoffs and landings was well worth the risk of bacteria exposure. Does anyone remember this? Are there any LAX hotels with roof- top pools?

  5. Stayed there on Wednesday night. My shuttle the next morning was almost full but no one standing. My room was comfortable and I had booked a rate with breakfast and I did not even know it. That was a good surprise. The only downside was the croissants were terrible but the fruit was very good.

  6. The Sheraton is barely a 20 minute brisk walk from terminal 1 or 7. My last overnight, I was already on my way to the elevator when fellow passengers from my flight disembarked the shuttle. I’m also quite content with the Four Points or the Crowne Plaza, neither of which is much further. The Westin’s only a few minutes farther than that.

    I find walking before or after a long flight is welcome exercise.

  7. Gary, I’m surprised at your emphasis on airport shuttles. Uber is just about the best DIY airport shuttle ever, and it comes all the time and not just every 15 minutes.

    At most airports (LAX included), an UberX is never more than 10 minutes away (just order it 10 minutes before you need it) and never more than $10 to the terminal.

    So at that point it becomes strictly about pricing and preference — if a hotel with a poor airport shuttle is $10 less and elite-preferred, why not book that one?

  8. Never been here and wouldn’t stay here unless the Hyatt Place was charging an arm and a leg. However, I will mention they have fantastic customer service. Helped my family member cancel multiple non-nonrefundable hotel reservations a few months ago due to a death in the family. Never expected them to give me back a refund but they promptly agreed.

  9. The hot Hors Deourves they have in the Sheraton Lounge are terrible. One of those things is some sort of stick fried or whatever-it could be mexican?
    Who comes up with that stuff. I was just there a few weeks ago to crash before a flight. I didnt have any shuttle issues but they were full.

  10. Haha ‘reached out’ is such a weird term, but ‘reached out aggressively’ takes it to a whole new level! Did they keep emailing you? Doorstepping you? ­čśë

  11. I agree with JEM. Walking is a viable option if you don’t have too much luggage. It’s less than a mile from T7. It seems a bit daunting if you don’t know where you’re going, but once you know the route it’s awesome. I learned about this earlier this year from reading Flyertalk or a blog and I’m so glad I tried it out.

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