Los Angeles Area: Which Properties?

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by ckwill, Aug 15, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. ckwill
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    ckwill Silver Member

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    I'm traveling to LA for about a week of work in October and I plan to move around to different hotels during my time there in order to build my stay count for the year. Most of the time I'll be working in Downey (about 1/3 of the way from LA to Anaheim), but I'll have a couple days where I will be working from a hotel room so I can be based anywhere. I don't mind having a bit of a commute but given the LA traffic, I'm not interested in sitting in traffic for a couple hours. The hotels below are the Starwood properties with approved Corporate rates for my employer, but for everyone else's benefit, feel free to discuss others if there are better properties not listed below. Thanks!

    Sheraton Cerritas
    Sheraton LA Downtown
    Westin Bonaventure
    W Hotel Hollywood
    Westin Long Beach
    Westin LA Airport
    Sheraton Gateway LAX
    Westin Pasadena
    Sheraton Pasadena
    Sheraton Anaheim Hotel
    Four Points LAX
    Sheraton Delfina Santa Monica
    Westin South Coast Plaza

    P.S. I'm SPG Gold, so if certain properties are more prone to giving upgrades, that would be helpful to know.
     
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  2. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    For convenience, I'd avoid Hollywood, Pasadena and Santa Monica. That said, those are probably the places I would most like to stay if I had free time.
     
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  3. WinecountryFlyer

    WinecountryFlyer Silver Member

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    The 3 hotels by the airport are the easiest to get back and forth as they are all within a few blocks from each other:

    4pts Sheraton
    Westin LAX
    Sheraton Gateway

    I prefer the Gateway myself. I spent 1 1/2 years basically living at the airport hotels. The Westin was my property of choice, but it has changed dramatically the past 2 years.

    Downtown LA would be closer, but not as many choices to hop.
     
  4. DeltaExpert
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    DeltaExpert Gold Member

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    W Hotel Westwood!
     
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  5. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    This property hasn't had a dollar of capex spent on it in many years...it's a snapshot of itself from 1985. I've stayed here a few times over the past 5 years (including last year) and get a kick out of it. The property has been featured in so many movies (though less recently) that you might consider staying here one night if you're a movie fan. But other than seeking stay credits or nostalgia, there's not much else this has going for it.

    If you rent an SUV as a car, note the garage clearance is extremely low. I saw them turning away one of the gigantic GM SUVs when I was there.

    This hotel often gets split reviews...but I quite like it. I find it to be one of the better QPR opportunities in the area. Beware, though, the prices vary widely and I find the hotel pretty pro-active about jacking up the rates when they're down to the last few rooms. At $300 or less, I'm happy here. If I'm going above $300, I try other places. I've found them to be very generous with upgrades. Great pool and bar scene. The building was originally off-campus student housing for UCLA students...and what are now the larger suites at the hotel used to hold probably 6 or 8 students. The rooms aren't super bright, but every time I've been here (10+ stays), I find it to be very clean. They've filmed at least one (if not more) Curb Your Enthusiasm episodes here.

    This hotel is at the upper end of the Westin brand in the US. It's pretty far out of the way though.
     
  6. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    Sheraton Anaheim Hotel is a dump, I would avoid that one. There's a Sheraton Park Anaheim that's a much nicer option and very close to the Sheraton Anaheim, but it's not on your list.

    -David
     
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  7. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    They're not convenient for traffic, but to have a nice dinner and a pleasant evening, either Pasadena or Santa Monica would be my pick. Avoid Anaheim unless you love hoards of misbehaving kids excited by Mickey Mouse and sugar.

    The Sheraton Gateway LAX could be convenient for your first and/or last nights, depending on your flight schedule.
     
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  8. Quasiconvexity
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    Quasiconvexity Gold Member

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    Not to nitpick, but the above applies to the W Westwood (not Hollywood) - just wanted to clarify for OP's sake.
     
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  9. craz
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    craz Silver Member

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    if you're rate sensitive then check out Ontario theres a Sheraton,4P and aLoft. I will be checking out Cerritos myself early Sept got for $87 on the weekends (but ONT was cheaper just I need to keep going into LA which usually isnt the case)

    btw if all you want to do is get Stay credits = Status you really only need 2 Hotels and just keep switching between them every other night, you dont need 25 different Hotels to make Plat just 25 stays
     
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  10. phlwookie
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    phlwookie Silver Member

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    I was there recently and wholeheartedly agree. It's remarkable that this property (and the nearby downtown Marriott) haven't upgraded the rooms in so long. At least the Westin had a flatscreen TV, the Marriott didn't even on a concierge level floor.

    When I was last there a few weeks ago, there was some TV competition being filmed (America's Got Talent perhaps) and the valet-only parking was overwhelmed. We'd taken our rental car out for dinner and came back to an epic line backed up blocks. After 45 minutes waiting and moving 10 feet, a colleague wandered around on foot and found we could park across the street for roughly $50 for the night and into the following afternoon, which we did. We then asked for the manager to waive that day's parking fee, which was a protracted argument spanning 15 minutes and me having to mention that my firm is one of their top 3 local corporate clients before they'd budge. I won't rush back even though it's only a few blocks from our LA office.
     
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  11. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Oops! You are correct! I misread the OP.

    I've been to both the Westwood and Hollywood W properties. I strongly prefer the Westwood (near Wilshire and the 405) to the Hollywood property. The Hollywood property is fine for a W, but the Westwood one is one of the more deluxe, IMHO.

    However, because their locations are so far apart, it is rare that someone would be selecting between the two of them.
     
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  12. Quasiconvexity
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    Quasiconvexity Gold Member

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    I agree with you entirely - the Westwood property is one of my favorite W properties in fact - always received great treatment there as a Platinum.
     
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  13. ckwill
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    ckwill Silver Member

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    Thanks so much for the great suggestions! To answer a couple questions about my particular situation, I am not really rate sensitive because the corporate rates I've seen are not significantly different between the hotels I listed. Also I know I only need two hotels to get several stay credits for one night stays, but I've never been to LA so I'm also interested in seeing different parts of the city and I will have some flexibility to do some sightseeing in addition to the work, so that's part of why I wouldn't mind staying in a few different properties. Thanks again!
     
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  14. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Glad to help. Please let us know what properties you pick - and what your thoughts are regarding each.
     
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  15. ChicagoEric
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    ChicagoEric Silver Member

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    The proximity to the 405 makes the location ideal if you need to drive down to Anaheim. While I don't think that it was on your list, you might see if they will match or come close to your corporate rate. Like others here, the W Westwood is my go-to Starwood property in LA. In my experience, even as a gold, they are good with upgrades. As a platinum I have almost always received a suite (most recently a ridiculous 6 room affair).
     
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  16. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    For sightseeing and generally a pleasant time, I would suggest Santa Monica, Westwood, and Pasadena, plus perhaps Hollywood but be prepared for congestion and crowds. (Westwood can be congested depending on what's happening at UCLA.)
     
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  17. phlwookie
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    phlwookie Silver Member

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    Or perhaps a drive up to Malibu along the PCH during the evening. There are a number of good restaurants along the way right on the ocean. The PCH is much less crowded on weekdays.
     
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  18. DeacFlyer1
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    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

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    Not sure when you both were there last, but they've been doing some major renovation work over the past 6 months. They tore apart the lobby and atrium area a few months ago, and are about finished with it now (except still no water back in the fountains as of 8/5/11).

    They're about halfway done renovating the guest floors as well, FWIW.
     
  19. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    My last stay was about 9 months ago.

    Your news is promising.
     
  20. KENNECTED
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    KENNECTED Silver Member

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    Can I ask you to define "more deluxe"? Both properties a nice and have pluses and minuses.
     
  21. DeacFlyer1
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    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

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    Granted, the atrium area still is the same physical space, so in some ways, it still looks like a 1970's shopping mall...but they have tried to bring it more in line with what you would expect at other Westin properties. So they've added wood panneling by the elevators, totally redone the check-in area, stuff like that. I'm not saying it's now the greatest Westin in the world, but as someone who's stayed there 30 times over the past year, I've been able to track it's progress pretty closely, and it's definitely getting better.

    IMO, it's a pretty good place to stay if you are doing business downtown and don't have to drive anywhere, which is my situation. Also, they have a ton of suites, so as a SPG Platinum, I have never had anything less than a standard two-room suite there, and often times something bigger, which is another reason I don't mind the place.
     
  22. KENNECTED
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    KENNECTED Silver Member

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    This is good to hear. My last stay there was in 2009 and the room felt older than I am! That "gym" in the middle of the hotel is crazy nuts!

    [​IMG]
    Untitled by Kennected1, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Untitled by Kennected1, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Untitled by Kennected1, on Flickr
     
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  23. DeacFlyer1
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    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

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    OMG--that room is hideous! I can promise that in 30 stays there in the last year, I have never seen a room like that. I've always had newer furniture, and flat screen TV's in both rooms. That wallpaper is terrible! If this is your expectation if you go back, you'll feel good, because I don't think there are any more rooms like this!!
     
  24. KENNECTED
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    KENNECTED Silver Member

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    If you think the room is bad, you should have seen the bathroom! The bathroom was so bad, when I walked in, I though I was having a bout of vertigo!
     
  25. Redhead

    Redhead Silver Member

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    Long Beach is a nice area. You'll be close to downtown Long Beach which has some good restaurants and the commute to Downey isn't bad at all.

    Note, I'm probably biased since I live in Long Beach
     

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