After Brief Stay at Four Points LAX, SPG Relocates Me and Sends Me $100 Check

Two nights ago I had to get a hotel room in Los Angeles.  I wanted a hotel that was both relatively inexpensive and near LAX.  Of course, being a Starwood loyalist, the first search I made was on SPG’s website.  I was looking for the Aloft LAX Airport. However, that property was booked full.  That left me with two options; Sheraton Gateway LAX or Four Points LAX.

Both hotels were a little pricey for what they offer, however, I was tired and not in the mood to spend $50 on an Uber to get to Long Beach which had fairly inexpensive hotels.  The Four Points by Sheraton LAX was $80 less expensive than the Sheraton Gateway.  As I was booking my hotel for the night, I said to myself, “The Four Points can’t possibly be that bad, look at pictures, it looks comfy.”  So I booked the Four Points LAX.

That’s where I made a mistake.  In hindsight, a lot of time and effort was sacrificed over my decision to save $80.  I will say, saving $80 at the time seemed like the right thing to do.  Again, in hindsight, it was not.  Here’s why.



The Most Disgusting SPG Property I’ve Ever Stepped Foot In

The Four Points shuttle pulled up maybe ten minutes after I had exited the terminal.  After a quick ride, the shuttle approached the hotel.  The outside of the hotel looks pretty standard.  Additionally, the lobby was pretty nice and features amenities like a pub and a unique communal area near the front desk.  At this point, it seemed as if I had made the right choice to save the $80.

Exterior of the Four Points LAX (Image: Four Points by Sheraton)

Exterior of the Four Points LAX (Image: Four Points by Sheraton)

When I checked in, my SPG elite status was recognized.  I asked about a preferred or upgraded room.  The front desk agent upgraded me to a preferred room and confirmed my 4 PM late check-out the following day.  Things were looking good, and then I got in the elevator.

The moment I stepped into the elevator, I could tell something was not right.  There was an unpleasant smell that I hadn’t smelled in the lobby.  Additionally, the elevator would move before the doors closed and would jostle up and down.  It felt unsafe.

The moment I reached my floor, the stench of old and dirty hotel carpet hit me.  The hallway was dimly lit, dirty, and smelled awful.  As I turned down the main hallway, I could tell that my room was not going to be much better.

When I entered my room, I was greeted with a burst of hot air.  It was obvious that the last guest either had the heat on or the AC unit didn’t work.  That was my primary concern until I began to move around my hotel room.

The room was disgusting.  The walls were lined with stains.  There were scratches, marks, and holes all over the room’s walls.  The smell from the hallway carried into my room.  I turned on every light in the room yet it was still dark.  The furniture was ancient and coated in dust or stains.  I decided not to take my shoes off as I noticed just how disgusting the carpet was.

I decided to check out the bathroom.  The bathtub featured one of those old plugs for baths.  The plug was lined with must and mildew as was the entire tub.  To make matters worse, there were multiple strands of black hair in the bathtub and around the vanity.  The vanity was badly stained and scratched with the imprint of a curling iron that had melted the counter.  The lighting in the bathroom was harsh and revealed just how gross the surroundings were.

Additionally, the bed was so old that the springs had worn out.  The sheets wreaked and were scratchy.

After my self-guided tour of the room, I decided to investigate the AC unit.  The AC was broken and the vent wasn’t even pumping out air.  I made my way down to the front desk to switch rooms.

My Second Room at the Four Points LAX

The second room was even dirtier than the first.  However, the AC unit did work.  I have the same complaints about my second room as I did with the first room.  However, to add to the disgusting nature of the room, the mini-fridge looked like it was much older than me and was covered in stains and sticky fluids.  Additionally, the curtains in this room were stained to the point that they should have been removed from the room.

I never do this, but given the circumstances, I decided to pull the sheets off the bed to check for bed bugs.  To my surprise, I didn’t find bed bugs, but I did find mattresses that were way older than eight years.  They were stained and appalling.  There was no way I was going to sleep at the Four Points LAX.


My Call to Starwood Hotels

Rather than throw a fit at the front desk in front of everyone in the busy lobby, I decided to call Starwood Hotels.  The front desk crew at the Four Points LAX can only handle issues about the Four Points LAX and even then, their authority is limited.  I knew that corporate customer service would be a safer bet.

My call was immediately answered by a polite customer service rep.  I told him about my experience at the Four Points LAX, and he agreed, that sounded disgusting and unacceptable.  He ensured me that he’d make everything right.  He called the Four Points LAX and told them that I was checking out of the hotel and was to receive a full refund.  Secondly, the customer service rep did something I would have never imagined.  He moved me to the Sheraton Gateway LAX and would send me a $100 to cover the difference.

I was offered either 16,000 SPG points or $100.  I decided the $100 would be a better bet as the Starwood Gateway was $275 with taxes and fees.  The check that would be coming in the mail in five or so days would cover the difference between the two rates.

The Sheraton Gateway LAX is what I’ve come to expect from SPG Hotels.  The room was spotless.  The bed was comfortable and the sheets were clean.  Each piece of furniture was in great shape and appeared to be from this decade.  Additionally, the customer service was fantastic.


Overall

Once I checked out of the Four Points LAX and was given a confirmation number for the Sheraton Gateway LAX, I had almost forgotten about how crappy the rooms were at the Four Points.  Okay, I’m exaggerating but the customer service I received that night was so unbelievable it made up for my negative experience.

Customer service aside, the Four Points LAX is disgusting and I can’t believe Starwood Hotels isn’t doing something about it.  Still, I think the reason I’m such a Starwood loyalist was obvious during this ordeal.  The customer service is unrivaled.  I’m still shocked my complaint was resolved so quickly and that I was upgraded to such a nice hotel.  But that’s why I love SPG Hotels.

What do you think about the customer service I received? Have you every stayed at the Four Points LAX?