The “updated” Sheraton brand keeps upping their game with each one of my last four stays and this one was no exception. Clean, modern, comfortable rooms with amazing service, I really think I’ve liked all of my last Sheraton stays more so than my most recent Westin stays (disclosure they have all been new or recently renovated Sheratons).
This is part two of an eight part trip report from my recent trip to Sydney:
- Virgin Australia Business LAX to Sydney
- Sheraton on the Park Sydney
- SkyTeam Lounge Sydney
- American Express Lounge Sydney
- Delta ONE (Business) Sydney to LAX (including my first Delta flight with PJs!)
- Delta’s Updated LAX Sky Club
- Delta ONE (Business) LAX-JFK-LAX
- Wow…Hot complimentary food at Delta’s JFK T4 Sky Club
My flights to Australia were confirmed, but six weeks out I still had no hotel booked. My travel dates were during the prime winter travel season; I needed an award room 12/25 – 01/04. I first checked Hyatt.com to see if I could book the much talked about Park Hyatt Sydney. The hotel was only available for four of the nights. I attempted to use my newly acquired Diamond status, but the hotel was truly sold out for Christmas, New Year’s, and New Year’s Day. I was offered an override for a revenue room on those nights while using points for the others. The price for xmas and NYE was over $600 per night for a standard room. I decided to jump over to SPG.com to see if the Westin or Sheraton were available. Like Hyatt, neither property was available using points for the entire length of the trip, especially around those prime dates. I had stayed at the Westin before and was not overly impressed, so I decided to call Starwood and ask if they could help secure an award booking at the Sheraton on the Park. I saw that a standard room (City Side Room) was available for a revenue booking for the entire length of the stay, but yet I could not book an award room. The friendly customer service representative told me that it was because the hotel had coded the standard rooms on the upper floors in a different category and so they were not releasing them as awards. I responded that the room type listed matched the standard room type exactly and I should therefore be able to book the award. She agreed (as SPG representatives normally do in these matters) and she called the hotel directly. No luck on the first or second try, but finally she got her call escalated within the hotel and I was booked for 10 nights during the prime season at the recently renovated Sheraton on the Park! I love Starwood for this reason, this was my third booking in a row where customer service was able to help me redeem points at a “sold out” property. I’ve recently had the same luck with the St. Regis Punta Mita and the Santa Marina Luxury Collection in Mykonos (trip reports for both of these coming soon). All told, I spent 96,000 points for the 10 nights (12,000 a night with every 5th night free). The cash rate was $437 per night for 7 of the nights, $625 on xmas, $897 on New Year’s Eve, and $579 on New Year’s Day, over $5000 for the 10 nights. Points please!
I had been monitoring my reservation in the week prior to to the stay within the SPG app and noted that it looked like I had been upgraded to a Sheraton Club room. Upon check-in (which was at 7AM), I was told that my room was available and that I had executive club access, but that the room itself was the city side one I had reserved. That was fine, I was still happy with my points redemption and the lounge access. However, after entering the room I noticed an adjoining door…and in the next room were two distinct babies, both crying. Oh no, that was not going to do for the 10 day vacation. I called down to the front desk and they told me that another room was available on a higher floor, it was a Sheraton Club room!
Here are a few pictures of that original standard room….
…and now the Sheraton Club room (less cramped layout with more room and a much more spacious feel, larger TV, and a bigger bathroom (with a door that actually closes rather than a slider, key when sharing):
The room also featured automated blackout shades and a black marble bathroom. I’m a big fan of the Sheraton Sweet Sleeper beds and this one was no exception – really comfortable duvet, pillows, and mattress. The room was perfect for our stay and housekeeping was awesome. They came twice per day (once for turn-down) and complimentary water bottles were replaced.
The Sheraton Club Lounge is located on the 21st floor and has great views of Hyde Park and the city. There are multiple terraces that you can use to enjoy the outdoor views. The lounge offers a continental breakfast buffet, pre-dinner drinks and canapés, all day non-alcoholic drinks, fruit, and small snacks, a separate check-in/check-out desk, and the complimentary pressing of two items and a shoeshine on your day of arrival.
Views from the lounge:
The lounge is modern and clean and very nicely staffed. Everyone is extremely friendly and helpful. Here’s breakfast:
Drinks (5PM – 7:30P) and appetizers:
Breakfast in the lounge was great, but I really loved being turned away because the lounge was too crowded. What? The Sheraton has a full buffet breakfast every morning at their restaurant Feast. You can upgrade your lounge breakfast for $15 per person, but if you are turned away from the lounge, you receive a complimentary upgrade to enjoy breakfast downstairs at the restaurant. While the lounge breakfast was very nice, the restaurant was great! Multiple stations included ice cream and dessert, an omelette station, fresh cooked (and raw) salmon, a pizza bar, soups, and more. We are not early risers so arriving 15-20 minutes prior to the end of the lounge breakfast seemed to result in getting bumped each day. Even on the days when we were not bumped, we could ask for the restaurant relocation if food was running low.
…and here’s why we loved breakfast at Feast
The spa is located on the top floor and includes a pool and gym. All were quite impressive as were the views…
I feel the need to remark on the wifi as I’ve become accustomed to sub-standard speeds. This hotel had strong and fast wifi in the rooms, lounge, and common areas. Overall this was a great stay and much nicer in my opinion than the Westin about 10 minutes away (much better service, nicer and more extensive club lounge, and the entire hotel and all rooms are renovated rather than just one building). Platinum status scored free breakfast, wifi, an upgrade of sorts (same room type but a higher floor and executive lounge access).