Sheraton Sioux Falls (South Dakota) - Master Thread

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by MSPeconomist, Apr 30, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    This Sheraton is located on the northern outskirts of Sioux Falls, between I-90 and downtown. There is a small convention center next to the hotel in this mixed residential and light industrial neighborhood. However, nothing else seems to be in the immediate vicinity of the hotel; I did not notice any restaurants within walking distance. (There seems to be a new hotel cluster near a big new shopping mall on the other side of town and closer to the airport.) If you drive to Sioux Falls, be very careful to watch for deer crossing the interstates and other roads in the vicinity.

    Sioux Falls is a small city in the southeastern corner of South Dakota, The town has a quite pretty city park at the falls with some viewing platforms of interesting design. There's also a rather attractive downtown with restored historic neighborhoods and a museum of local history that I found worthwhile, There are a zoo (specializing in animals of the great plains, somewhat unique), a butterfly house, and a natural history museum south of town. East of town along the interstate is EROS (Earth Sciences and Observation Center), a facility that focuses on satellite technology in collaboration with NASA.

    The hotel itself is about eight stories high and has an atrium. What makes the hotel unique is its "Frank Lloyd Wright" style design. (The hotel was not designed by Wright but incorporates many design elements favored by Wright such as off-centered doors, geometric designs, build-in furniture, etc. If you know anything about Wright's architecture you can have fun spotting all of the subtle reminders of the famous architect.) Otherwise, this is a pretty standard medium-sized suburban Sheraton. There is a small indoor pool (that I decided not to use because it wasn't especially attractive) and ample free outdoor parking.

    As a Plat, I was given a club floor room. The lounge food impressed me as on the hearty side of standard. What was surprising, however, was the free self-service open bar (beer, OK inexpensive wine, hard alcohol, and mixers) in the early evening, although there was a lounge attendant present. (I suspect this might be related to local liquor laws in that it could be easier/cheaper to give alcohol away than to get permissions and a licence to sell it in the lounge if the hotel's liquor license for the downstairs restaurant and bar doesn't also cover the lounge location.)

    This hotel sometimes has cheap rates, including some special rates for people from surrounding states and for hunters (who are permitted to bring big hunting dogs with them).

    Overall, I liked this town and this property much more than I had expected. Advantages of the hotel include the Frank Lloyd Wright design touches, the complimentary lounge drinks, and the welcoming attitudes of staff, including the general manager (a local) with whom I had a long conversation in the lobby.
     
  2. Chad
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    Chad Silver Member

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    I had an overnight stay here last year on a trip from MSP to Mount Rushmore. I don't really stay at many Sheratons so don't really know where the brand is trying to position itself - but as a low/mid range hotel (that cost well under $100) - I thought the hotel was quite good.

    I asked for a quiet room and was given a room away from the atrium in a seperate wing - good size and looked recently renovated. The staff were friendly and the lady checking me was quite excited when I handed over my passport and claimed she had never seen one before (I assume she meant a foreign passport!). Didn't bother going to the lounge.

    I also wondered across and watched a local hockey match at the adjacent indoor stadium. There's also a friendly sports bar and grill within walking distance - across the road from the baseball(?) stadium.

    On the return leg I stayed at a recently opened HGI which was comparative in terms of room quality but had a slightly more central location.
     
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  3. MSPeconomist
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    Unless the front desk agent was a new employee, I can't believe that she had never seen a foreign passport before. Could she have meant that she's never seen one from your country?

    Most people and Starwood would not describe Sheraton as a low/mid range hotel. Most of their USA properties are considered solid mid-range (3-3.5 stars or AAA 3-Diamond, a few would probably be 4 star or 4 Diamond, but these are ratings based on facilities and services, and are not really quality ratings).
     
  4. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    This (low/mid range) is the category -- at least in the US -- that I put Sheratons in by default. Happy to be wrong and be surprised at specific properties, but my opinion is based on my experiences overall with the brand here.

    Starwood generally tries to position their brands half a notch ahead of where they really stack up. (I recognize this is subjective.). Against that, I appreciate the challenges on having over 700 hotels ... A few owned(?), most merely managed ... And of widely varying vintages...the irregularity helps form my view. A great example would be the two Westins in the CBD in Washington. Same name on the door...Very different experiences. How can I rely on a name when it (like many of their brands) apply to a wide range of properties?
     
  5. MSPeconomist
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    I agree with you about the variation within Starwood.

    However, when I think of a low range hotel chain in the USA, to me it means something like Motel 6 or Knights' Inn. Definitely budget category.

    Low/mid range would include Days' Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Hilton Garden Inn, Four Points by Sheraton

    Mid range examples would include Holiday Inn, Hilton, Radisson

    YMMV. These examples are extremely subjective and there are individual properties within chains that would be exceptions. Unfortunately there's no standardized rating system, although AAA priceline, etc. try with mixed success. One problem is whether ratings should be based on a list of facilities and services (as in many European countries) or reflect a more subjective quality rating.
     
  6. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    You are right, certainly when comparing to Motel 6/etc.

    There must be a 4th uber category then? If mid range is radisson...Westin has got to be above that...and FS a full notch above that.
     
  7. MSPeconomist
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    I would think that most Sheratons would be level 3.5 and most Westins 4, with FS, RC, StR, PH, etc. being 5.
     

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