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Oh, airport hotels… where to begin. For the majority, they're soulless, uninspiring and, well, next to airports. You'll get better views on the plane. Obviously, there's a number of awesome airport hotels out there but people rarely vacation there, so we never expect too much.
We have to admit, however, our views are changing lately! Recently, a HotelChatter pal had a layover at Four Points by Sheraton Los Angeles International Airport. We went to meet him for a quick drink during his overnight stay and we were—dare we say it?—pleased with the hotel.
The coolest thing about Four Points by Sheraton LAX is its Brewster's Bar & Grill, which has a beer menu with more than 100 beers, many that are craft and microbrew. There is even a "beer-ologist" on site. I mean, really?? We're hard pressed to find that in Hollywood alone.
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If you're the type who likes to point and laugh when people fall down, then we're glad you weren't with us inside the Four Points by Sheraton Midtown yesterday. Stopping inside the lobby for a quick emailing session on our way to work, we sauntered in and—unthinkingly—plopped down on a small, circular bench. And proceeded to fall face-first to the ground.
The bench, which is wrapped around a pillar in the center of the lobby, is made up of separate chairs. Those chairs, it turns out, are not fastened to anything—nor are they entirely ergonomic. So any unsuspecting schmo with a too-heavy backpack, and a tendency to sit only on the edge of things (read: us), should exercise extreme caution. Follow the instructions below to avoid potential disaster.
Looks like Gild Hall in NYC's Financial District will be getting some company in a few years but it shouldn't worry too much as it's only a Four Points by Sheraton. From the BusinessInsider last week:
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced plans to bring its fast-growing Four Points brand to the epicenter of New York City’s bustling downtown financial district. Four Points by Sheraton Financial District is scheduled to open in the summer of 2013, just four blocks from Wall Street.
The hotel will be located on Platt street in a newly constructed building with 264 rooms and a rooftop lounge.
There's already Four Points Hotels in Chelsea, Times Square and Soho and given the lesson we learned this morning, four of the same brand in one city might be a little much. Then again, Four Points offers free WiFi and W Hotels, and Gild Hall, do not. So yeah, if your hotel has free WiFi, put as many of them as you want in one city!
[Photo: Stuart Lee]
The Four Points By Sheraton brand has spent the last couple of years trying to perk up its look and judging by this recent convention held at the Four Points By Sheraton in Fairview, Illinois, it looks like their sprucing up efforts have paid off.
A group of bondage enthusiasts held their "Beat Me Up in St. Louis" convention at the hotel, much to the chagrin of the city. But the hotel didn't mind. Sexis reports:
“We host a lot of different organizations,” Christine Orr, general manager of the hotel and conference center, said. “This was a private organization. They rented out the hotel and conference center. We had no problems whatsoever with the group.”
Good to know that Four Points is so open-minded, sexually.
Now if you're wondering why Beat Me in St. Louis happened in Illinois, don't fret. The BMSL event also happened in St. Louis last weekend. Once again, the group rented out a luxury hotel near downtown St. Louis and here's what took place:
Rooms for early May are currently quoted as low as $139 if you pre-pay and $149 for a refundable room. This being a Four Points property, that price also includes your free wifi and bottled water. There are also a few interesting package deals, including a deal for 40 percent off a second weekend night stay and a package that gives you two free $20 Metrocards for the train for a rate bump of only $10.
So, yes, the hotel is in Long Island City, but numerous subways at Queensboro and Queens Plaza are just three blocks away, making it a legit way to skip out on high Midtown prices while still being a short ride from Manhattan. Plus, as the hotel rightly points out, the views of the city's skyline are much better when you're not looking at them from Manhattan.
With so much of our energy and attention going towards Aloft Hotels and Element Hotels and even the rebranded Sheraton Hotels, we've kinda forgotten about Starwood's other brand, Four Points by Sheraton.
But today, Four Points has
saved us from a slow news day caught our eye with this announcement about their new hotel in Nashville (in the Brentwood area), opening in August 2011.
The new Nashville hotel will feature 208 guest rooms, a conference room of more than 4,000 square feet along with other amenities. The project marks a milestone in the hotelier’s brand expansion policy in key markets across the U.S. not only through new-builds, but also through conversion opportunities.
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Southwest Airlines dropped some big news today with their announcement of new routes out of Newark Airport in 2011 but us hotel geeks are rather excited about Southwest's new partnership with Four Points by Sheraton.
Previously, we've dug Four Points for their reasonable prices, free WiFi, localized beer selections and even the apple pie scents that once wafted through the lobbies (It's been replaced with an outdoorsy scent.)
But now when you stay at a Four Points hotel you will earn one Southwest Rapid Rewards credit per stay.
Forget Fashion Week, this week New York is celebrating Beer Week! As regular HotelChatter readers know, we have a bit of a soft spot for Four Points Chief Beer Officer Scott Kerkmans. So we were thrilled to drop into the Four Points Chelsea last week to celebrate the launch of the 2nd annual NY Craft Beer Week.
Sampling a variety of the microbrews on hand was a nice way to end a day, but even better was the chance to steal a few moments of the CBO’s time. Despite the other beer experts in the room, Kerkmans was by far the most popular dude at the party.
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We suppose Texas is the place to roll out the new looks for the big brands: first, Le Meridien got its new identity goin' in Dallas and now Four Points by Sheraton has unveiled the brand's "refreshed" new identity down in San Antonio.
Today's opening of the Four Points by Sheraton San Antonio Northwest also marks the launch of the brand's first "prototype hotel," displaying the brand's "rejuvenated, contemporary look, complemented by classic and comfortable interior design elements refreshed for today’s self-sufficient traveler."
The San Antonio property is actually the first of three "prototypes" opening across North America this year; those new hotels are the fruits of a five-year brand refreshment project (not to mention the result of the $1 billion Starwood poured into the brand to get it lookin' up-to-date.)
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How could we forget that the Tri-Pack hotel in Times Square would have some competition. We got a press release today saying that the Four Points Times Square has opened. When we checked our archives to see what else we have written about this hotel, we found this story which focused largely on Gene Kauffman's Tri-Pack Hotel.
However, we also wrote that he was working on a similar packaged hotel at 40th street that would include "a Four Points by Sheraton, Fairfield Inn and Staybridge Suites, each more than 30 stories tall." For clarity's sake we'll call this new one Tri-Pack BT (Business Travelers.) The other Tri-Pack will have the more budget-y brands of Holiday Inn, a Candlewood Suites and a Hampton Inn.
Now the Four Points is open at Tri-Pack BT but Staybridge Suites won't take guests until January 16, 2010. On the other hand the Fairfield Inn is already open with rooms at $199, making this Tri-Pack hotel two-thirds open.
And yes, that's a Starwood property, an ICH hotel and a Marriott brand all sharing the same space. (Btw for giggles, check out the Staybridge Suites rendering on their site which shows the building as a standalone.)
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Whoa. Sweet. Just when we thought Amazon Kindles topped the list of awesome tech offerings for word nerds and news junkies, we hear about this: Starwood announced this week that they've entered into a partnership with Zinio (a company that digitally publishes print magazine titles) to offer a "Digital Newsstand" for free to guests in Aloft, Element, and Four Points by Sheraton hotel properties.
According to a press release:
The digital newsstand, which will be accessible in Starwood's guest rooms and lobby kiosks, will offer participating titles including: Caribbean Travel & Life, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, Field & Stream, Golf Fitness Magazine, Kiteboarding, Macworld, mental_floss, Outside, Outside's GO, PC World, Saveur, Ski Magazine, Skiing, Spa Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, Wakeboarding and Working Mother. Also, Starwood will be the first hotel company to offer VIVmag, the first interactive digital women's luxury-lifestyle magazine, conceived and designed exclusively to be read digitally.
To access the digital newsstand during your stay, you click through from the internet portal page (on your laptop in your room or on a lobby kiosk) "to the private-label newsstand where free single issues will be featured," pick the magazine you want to read, register for Zinio, and read mags to your heart's content.
Nobody has very much money as 2008 draws to a close, so people are forgoing champagne and just reaching for some trusty cheap beer. According to a new study by Four Points by Sheraton, 80% of people who threw parties this year ranked beer as their drink of choice, beating out champagne and wine by a mile (this is pretty shocking unless the survey was done at frat houses). Also, the study found that 66% of those surveyed see themselves drinking more this holiday than last year (hmmm, we wonder why).