Sheraton Club Lounge Fare

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by Explore, May 10, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Explore
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    My recent stay at the Sheraton Downtown Los Angeles was preceded by a night at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach. Both properties have executive lounges, but the contrast is stark. To be fair, I find the downtown LA Sheraton to be a friendly and convenient hotel that typically accommodates Plats in corner rooms.

    In the evening, the Sheraton lounge had stone-cold cheese empanadas requiring guest reheating in the microwave, along with a few raw vegetables and dip, nuts, cheese squares, crackers, grapes and limp cookies. An attendant offered wine and beer for $7 to $8 plus tax (vs. $4 to $5 tax-free for a wide variety of self-serve adult beverages at the Hyatt). Unlike Hyatt, a partially filled tip jar stood prominently on the desk of the club attendant, who was making nonstop personal calls from that desk.

    In the morning, the lounge offered small yogurts, cold cereal, cut fruit, muffins and pastries, bread and bananas.

    Is this typical of North American Sheraton club lounges? If so, I won't be factoring the lounge into my cost-effectiveness calculations when making stay decisions.
     
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  2. KENNECTED
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    Question? How do you, beyond any reasonable doubt, the attend was making personal calls and when you notified management about this, what was their response?

    I think lounge offerings vary by property, market and brand.
     
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  3. MSPeconomist
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    IME most Sheraton lounges in the USA offer variations on the food you described. Alcohol prices and policies vary greatly, depending on state and local laws; a very few hotels will offer free alcohol and most will charge less for something similar to their house wine than in the downstairs bar and restaurant.

    Breakfast is typically enhanced continental cold buffet, with good coffee, tea, juices, water bottles, pastries, bread/bagels/English muffins to toast, cut melon, berries, whole fruit, cold cereal, and trimmings. It's much more generous that the standard continental breakfast but falls short of a full English breakfast including hot items. (Some properties may have several hot items such as scrambled eggs, but I don't expect it.)

    Evening snacks include a nice cheese platter trimmed with grapes and other fresh fruit, nice crackers, bread, fancy nuts, raw fruit and vegetables, dip, and usually several hot items (Asian food, chicken wings, meat on a skewer, and other bite-sized finger foods) that vary with the day of the week, A variety of nonalcoholic beverages are offered, including coke/pepsi varieties, other soft drinks, sometimes lemon-aid or iced tea. (Some properties might sometimes have additional items such as smoked salmon or small cold sndwiches, but again I'm pleasantly surprised when this happens.)

    Some hotels offer cold desserts later during their evening hospitality period, such as small bar cookies, brownies, petit fours, small pieces of cake, etc. Similarly, many hotels allow lounge access all day and provide water, whole fresh fruit, and cookies, for example, during the afternoon, sometimes also coffee/tea. When the lounge is open 24/7, you might be able to get bottled water at any time.

    You should remember that Sheraton is generally considered a mid-range hotel chain in the USA, frequently about three and a half stars, although there's variation within the brand.
     
  4. Explore
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    The conversations were fully audible throughout the lounge. The tone of voice wan't unpleasant, and I chalked this up to SOP for a unionized downtown LA hotel. Accordingly, I didn't register a complaint with management. Ditto with the tip jar.
     
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  5. sdcarver
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    I have found that the range of food and service in the Executive Lounges range from the mediocre to good in my stays at US Sheratons...

    sdcarver
     
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  6. Sheraton Waikiki lounge is pathetic.
    Food offering is disgusting and cocktails are $12.
    One can go to another hotel outlet and get cheaper drinks and BUY
    food from the menu. I can't get over them charging for drinks and then charging such a large amount.
    The shitiness of the lounge has very much tarnished an otherwise nice stay.
    I won't come back to this property
     
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  7. KENNECTED
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    This thread tells me why I only stay in select Sheratons. The lounges always seem to be lacking in some way, yet I don't have a suggestion on how they can be improved.
     
  8. sdcarver
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    This is one of the things II like about MIlepoint and FT--you can research the lounges ahead of time.

    sdcarver
     
  9. Skye1
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    What some hotels call "breakfast" will likely vary as much as what some people call "breakfast."
    Evening/morning food offerings at Sheraton Hotels vary from hotel to hotel. Some are absolutely amazing, some not so much. That said, people's preferences in what they want in lounge food vary from one customer to another as well. Take mornings, for example: some with work commitments to dash off to prefer the grab-&-go options, others prefer a sit-down-&-be-served full-course breakfast, and others prefer anything/everything in between. I think evening offerings are "advertised" as "appetizers", and not a full-one dinner/evening meal---altho' several lounges "appetizer" offerings can easily fill an evening-meal need. And, some hotels try to "cater" their offerings to their specific locale.
    I'd be interested in seeing what the hotel's response was to the OP's concerns. I absolutely love empamadas, and owuld have been delighted to see a hotel lounge have a go at offering them.....yet know they don't stay warm for very long, and must be difficult to put on offer in a buffet format. The breakfast offerings referred to would have suited me quite fine, but understandly aren't for everyone.
     
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  10. sdcarver
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    Well written Skye1--would you be willing to list some of the decent Lounges in NA? Sheraton San Diego used have a decent one but has gine downhill lately, same with Sheraton Ontario Airport as well...

    sdcarver
     
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  11. MSPeconomist
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    Downtown Denver, LAX Gateway, and Minneapolis-Woodbury are pretty good, I think. Sioux Falls (SD) had free self-serve alcohol when I stayed there a year or two ago.

    RDU-Imperial and Milwaukee-Brookfield are excellent when the lounges are closed, as they give good coupons for a full hot buffet breakfast (or even order from the menu) and evening bar snacks.
     
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  12. Kaanapali
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    Thanks for this list. I just wish Sheraton/Starwood was a bit more consistent in their lounge offerings....(and do not get me started on the Westin Moana-Surfrider's lounge....:rolleyes:)
     
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  13. MSPeconomist
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    It's not meant to be a comprehensive list, but rather a few suggestions of Sheraton lounges where I've stayed and found rather good.

    For the record, when Westins have lounges, I've found them to generally be better than Sheraton lounges, again restricting the discussion to USA properties. The food in the Westin Buckhead Atlanta is amazing and Westin Arlington Gateway and Westin Minneapolis Edina Galleria also do good jobs with food offerings when their lounges are open.
     
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  14. Kaanapali
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    I understood that to be the case :)

    Quick question on the bolded part: I had thought SPG Champion (William) had posted (I could have this wrong) that lounges were to be open 24/7 (or at least also the weekends in addition to business hours). I know the Westin nearby us actually closed its lounge rather than follow this policy.... (MP needs a thumbs-down icon).
     
  15. sdcarver
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    Good point, this could be a place for us to point out those that stand out both good and bad :)

    sdcarver
     
  16. MSPeconomist
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    This is my understanding too, although i know that that policy was delayed for months and I suspect that there's no teeth in it in terms of means for Starwood to force compliance or mandate punishments/compensation when lounges are nevertheless closed.

    I wrote the words you bolded because I've experienced closed lounges many times at these two properties even when (business week for close to two months in late summer and then again late fall in the case of Arlington Gateway and even when the hotel is selling Club rooms with lounge access and lounge food listed as part of the room description for Edina) the lounge should have been open and I was told by the Plat Concierge people that it would be open on the specific dates in question. I guess I was just expressing my frustration with closings (that should not have happened) of otherwise nice lounges, when nothing was done to compensate (not even an apology when questioned).
     
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  17. Kaanapali
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    I totally understand your position on this and second it. It is perhaps the biggest reason I am no longer Platinum and switched to Hyatt for stays when both hotel options are available.
     
  18. KENNECTED
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    The policy applies to the Sheraton brand not Westin or Le Méridien brands

    Sheraton added by me.
     
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  19. Kaanapali
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    Thank you for this note; it is appreciated. :) That makes it even more curious why our nearby Westin closed its lounge and cited this rule as the reason however :confused:
     
  20. KENNECTED
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    If you called the PC and they verified that information (I don't know if the actually spoke a hotel representative) but how I see it you should be pissed and disappointed if you booked, based in part, that the lounge be open, during your stay.

    I hope you called corporate customer service.
     
  21. SPG Champion
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    Lounges aren't a brand standard for Westin properties, so many of them are shutting them down as they feel the need to do so. It is actually pretty rare to find a Westin with an operating executive level lounge these days.

    Best regards,

    William R. Sanders
    Social Media Specialist
    Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

    spgchampion@starwoodhotels.com
     
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  22. Kaanapali
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    William - Thank you for the reply. If I had been told that simply it was economics (or whatever other reason) that would have made more sense than what I was actually told.
     
  23. SPG Champion
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    LOL. Sounds like whoever told you what they did had no idea what they were talking about. Regrettably, probably not the first time nor is it likely to be the last. :)

    ETA: Perhaps this Westin property heard about the Sheraton brand change in policy and thought that Westin would follow suit, but that really indicates a poor understanding of what Sheraton's new policy encompasses. Every Sheraton hotel that does not currently have one will someday be required to install a club level lounge and man it 7 days a week or not be a Sheraton any longer. So, closing a lounge isn't going to prevent any hotel from extending their days of operation.

    Best regards,

    William R. Sanders
    Social Media Specialist
    Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

    spgchampion@starwoodhotels.com
     
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  24. Skye1
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    The ONLY Westin I can think of in recent memory that has one is the Westin LAX, and that's something they've semi-recently re-opened. It has that, along with that unique SPG check-in area that other Westins don't have.
    Who knows, maybe that particular Westin feels a need to have these in order to have a bit of an edge on other LAX airport area hotels (just a guess, a wild guess....).
     

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