During my last 13,000+ mile mileage run I took time for a night off before the run and one at the end of two days of non-stop flying before my trip home after repositioning from South Bend, Indiana to Phoenix, Arizona. I have come to know that my tolerance for non-stop flight ends at two days. I do sleep well on Delta jets in coach (exit row or EC) and even better in business. However, a night to recharge in a hotel is nice and on points, why not!
There were two 4000 point SPG choices in PHX. To have a comparison I picked the Aloft for the first night. This was my second Aloft visit in the past few weeks as I also stayed at an Aloft for the Freddie’s frequent flyer awards.
There is much to be said about Aloft as a brand. Their products are consistent from location to location. The bathrooms are not micro rooms, like some hotels, and feel clean and modern. I do hate the “bulk” shampoo they use, but that is a small thing as I use my own anyway.
The beds are reasonably soft and the wifi is of good speed. The work area is good and there are a number of power ports around. The staff at PHX was kind, helpful and courteous. The shuttle ran frequently and I had no major issues on pickup other than it took a little while, but not too bad at all.
My next stay I picked one of my favorite hotel chains – Sheraton. Sheraton just fits me. The Sheraton PHX stay started out not so good. I made a dumb (I was sleepy at this point) mistake. You see the PHX airport has a NORTH and a SOUTH side exit. The Sheraton hotel shuttles can ONLY can use the NORTH side (I was told this twice by the staff)! I was waiting for the shuttle at the South side where other hotels pick up. So, after a long wait, I called to ask about the shuttle.
I was told it was on the way (I had been waiting for over 30 min at this point and tweeted to SPG to see if they could help). After another 15 min a shuttle shot by in the outside lane and I had flashbacks of Four Points LAX last time. Shortly thereafter I got a call from the hotel. I am on the wrong side – I am an idiot. I am again told they CANNOT STOP on the SOUTH side – period. Ah. Right (boy did I feel dumb)!
The hotel was great. I had been upgraded to a Club level room. The room was nothing special, but was just nice. The bed was soft. The wifi was fast and free. The bathroom was clean and spacious. The temp was nice and worked. They had a robe in the closet (love that btw). Just all the things I want in a hotel room.
It is also just so amazing to me how a single employee at a location can have such an impact on a stay. I slept so well that I just about missed the breakfast in the lounge as it ended at 9:AM. I got there at about 9:01AM. Now the attendant could have said, breakfast is over you will have to go to the restaurant now. That would have been fine as she had just started closing. She did not say that. She said: “Oh take all you need and enjoy, I am just cleaning up”! Wow. Stunning and impressive. I enjoyed a great breakfast and felt so appreciated as an SPG member. I gave her a very nice tip and made sure I told the front desk staff how much this meant to me.
The return shuttle ride to the airport was, well, an eye opener. If you will recall, the shuttle is NOT ALLOWED (ok, ok, I get it already), by the airport authority, I was told no less than 3 times, to use the SOUTH side ever. We pull up to drop off, and guess what, we are at the SOUTH side drop-off, not the NORTH side drop off. Wait -What? Really? Hummm….
I would stay at either of these two locations again. Both are a credit to the SPG brand, worth the 4000 SPG points per night, and good PHX locations near the airport. – René
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