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Hotel Review: Los Angeles Airport Marriott

Last weekend I was in Los Angeles, CA, where I completed four different stays at three different hotel properties.

Night #1 - Los Angeles Airport Marriott
Night #2 - Courtyard by Marriott LAX/El Segundo
Night #3 - Holiday Inn Los Angeles Intl Airport
Night #4 - Los Angeles Airport Marriott

Call me crazy, but I was trying to maximize my Marriott Rewards Welcome Back Promotion as well as my IHG Into The Nights promotion.  Four paid nights in the above hotels will yield two free nights in Marriott Category 1-4 properties and two free nights in ANY IHG property.

Los Angeles Airport Marriott

I stayed my first and last nights in L.A. at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott.  I was able to secure Best Rate Guarantees for each night stayed at this property.  After a quick flight from RDM, I had the entire first day to explore the property.

Location

The property is located right outside of LAX on West Century Blvd.  The hotel location is conveniently located and can be accessed by the complimentary shuttle bus.  (I had to wait about 30 minutes at LAX before a shuttle bus came by).

Around the hotel are many other hotel properties, businesses, rental car lots and a few restaurants.  Within a block is a liquor store, which is always nice.  (Cost of beer at liquor store < cost of beer at hotel).

 

Rooms

King Room

King Room

I checked in via Marriott's mobile check-in and when I arrived, I was placed in a 16th floor King-Sized concierge room.  The upgrade to the concierge level is through my Gold Status that comes with the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Visa.

The rooms were fairly small, but my room had an amazing view of both LAX runways.  I spent a good chunk of my downtime surfing the internet and plane spotting from the room!

View from the 16th Floor

View from the 16th Floor

The major downside to this room was the bathroom.  They were dated and extremely cramped.  You know a bathroom is small, when you have to throw yourself over the toilet just to close the door.

Other than the runway views, the major upside to these rooms had to be the comfortable bed!

Panoramic view of the guest room

Panoramic view of the guest room

Night view from the 16th Floor

Night view from the 16th Floor

Benefits

I think the most useful benefit of this property is the complimentary shuttle to/from LAX.  Although if you choose not to wait, it is likely a $5 cab ride.

The pool area looked pretty great and featured awesome lights at night.  It also was encompassed by the entire hotel property, so more or less protected from the elements.

Pool area

Pool area

I used the gym both times I stayed at this property.  Each treadmill featured a TV and Marriott offered free earphones, which was a nice touch.

Gym

Gym

The largest benefit for me was access to the 16th floor concierge lounge.  At any time of the day I was able to get bottled water, soda, coffee, and specialty coffee drinks from their Mocha Machine!  On week day evenings they have hor d'oeuvres from 5:30 - 7:30.  I expected finger foods and snacks like you would get at an airport lounge, however the display was pretty great!  They had cheese cubes and veggies, crackers, and tortellini with pesto sauce as well as dessert.  For those who wanted to buy a drink, they had a cash bar as well.

For breakfast, the lounge offered typical hot items like eggs and bacon, fruit, oatmeal, and select pastries and juices.  I wasn't too hot on the breakfast selection, but free eggs and bacon works for me!

Staff

The staff at this property were excellent.  Check in and checking out was a breeze.  I had a couple of great joking conversations with the head of the bellman about the lack of directional skill from Uber drivers.

Overall, nothing really stood out with the staff, but they were well trained polite and very helpful.

Overall Impressions

I guess I measure a hotel by asking myself one question.

Would I ever come back and why?

For this property, the answer is yes.  There are many times when you might need to stay outside LAX and this is a good location.  That alone is not the reason I would be back.  Nor was it the concierge lounge.

The reason I would come back to this hotel is to sit there and watch the planes.  To have views of both runways at a major airport like LAX is pretty cool.  Watching jets come in from Australia, France, England, Germany and China was really neat!

The bottom line is that if you need a place to stay around LAX, choose the Los Angeles Airport Marriott!


For more hotel reviews, visit the Trip Reports page.

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Random Thoughts From Los Angeles International Airport

Yesterday, I flew from Redmond, OR to Los Angeles, CA (LAX).  I have a four day live review course in preparation for a November exam that I am attending.  I planned on spending my entire day within the friendly confines of LAX, but after about 2 hours I got cabin fever and bolted.

 Throughout the day I began to realize a number of things that were truly and eye opener.

Airport Lounges Are Overrated

Yes, you heard me say it.  I often hear about how great airport lounges are.  I'll admit that I have two credit cards that grant me access to certain airport lounges.  When I signed up for the credit cards I considered lounge access to be a big time perk.  I mean, most lounges cost over $400 annually or around $50 per visit!

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours in the Admiral's Club Remote Lounge at LAX followed by another hour in the main Admiral's Club Lounge in Terminal 4.  The snacks were marginal at best as the offerings included yogurt covered pretzels and crunchy snack mix.  These snacks were no better than what you would purchase at a crappy grocery store!  For alcohol they had their "house spirits" which included nothing I could pronounce.  Of course their finer offerings, like Smirnoff were available for purchase.

LAX Remote Terminal Admiral's Club

LAX Remote Terminal Admiral's Club

I would say the best part of my lounge experience included the cappuccino machine and the amazingly comfy lounge chairs in the deep dark corners of the Terminal 4 Admiral's Club!  These lounge chairs were so nice, I would replace my couch tomorrow in favor of them!

What I came to realize is that airline lounges are truly overrated.  Yes, they provide a nice space to work when on business.  But there are places to work on the outside.  For someone not trying to work, I enjoy the hustle and bustle involved in travel that you find at an airport.  As a result, airport lounges aren't worth more than a quick stop to grab a mocha or sink a couple of beers!

Main Admiral's Club Lounge at LAX Terminal 4

Main Admiral's Club Lounge at LAX Terminal 4

Business Travel Is Not For Me

It occurred to me yesterday that this is the first trip in my lifetime that I have been alone and/or not traveling for an event or meeting friends.  I am essentially traveling for business, an exam live review course, which will be nothing short of intense.  Unlike past trips, where I may have a day or two to myself, I actually feel as if I am on a business trip.

I arrived in Los Angeles way too early due to my American Airlines award flight, courtesy of British Airways' amazing distance based award chart.  As I mentioned above, I planned on spending the entire day in the airport, but I got incredibly bored, extremely fast.  Thankfully, my room at the Marriott hotel outside LAX was ready for my arrival quickly.  I took off to the hotel and as soon as I arrived I didn't know what to do with myself.

After a nice long workout, I decided to park a seat in my room and watch planes.  The view from the room was stellar!  And the plane spotting was even better.

Runways to the left and right of the buildings at the Marriott LAX

Runways to the left and right of the buildings at the Marriott LAX

About the same time I watched my 2nd Airbus A380 takeoff, I realized that this business travel thing is not for me.  I once envied the people who I refer to as road warriors.  That all changed yesterday....

Final Thoughts

Yesterday was a great day.  Albeit I got extremely bored at times, it was peaceful.  I had a major realization that I want no part of business travel (without my wife tagging along).  Additionally, sitting in my hotel room watching planes come and go from LAX was an unforgettable experience.  I had my flight trackers up and couldn't be more excited as I saw planes takeoff for Tahiti, Tokyo, Moscow, Paris, London, Berlin, etc.


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Complete 2 Club Carlson Stays - Earn 7,500 Aeorplan Miles

If you're a fan of Air Canada's Aeroplan frequent flyer program (Air Canada), perhaps now is time to cozy up in a Club Carlson property.  From now through December 15, 2014, if you complete two stays at a Club Carlson property, you'll get 7,500 Aeroplan bonus miles through Club Carlson's Takeoff with More Miles promotion.

To ensure you get your bonus miles, make sure you take the following steps:

  1. Sign up for a Club Carlson account here if you don't have one already
  2. Sign up for an Air Canada Aeroplan account here if you don't have one already
  3. Register for the promotion on this page.
  4. Complete two stays between now and December 15, 2014.
  5. Wait 4-6 weeks for your bonus points.

My Two Cents

I currently am not a member of Air Canada's Aeroplan frequent flyer program.  But if I was, I would be all over this promotion.  Hotel promotions can be a valuable way to earn free nights, extra hotel bonus points, or in this case, valuable air miles!  You can normally find Club Carlson properties for fairly cheap as well, making this a stellar deal!


To see many current hotel and airline promotions, make sure to check out the Bonus Promotion page.

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$20 Credit With $100 Purchase At Staples With American Express Sync

UPDATE: Based on tweets from American Express and confirmation from Giddy For Points, this deal is now dead...

If you don't regularly check your American Express "Amex Offers For You" tab, you should.  Right now a lot of cardholders are reporting an awesome Sync deal from American Express with Staples.

You get a $20 statement credit when purchasing $100 at Staples (not online).

To get the offer, log in to your American Express account.  Click on the Amex Offers For You tab (as pictured below) to discover all of the great Sync deals, including Staples.

Navigate down the list of offers to see if the Staples Sync offer is available for you.  It should look like this:

On the right, you'll want to click the Save Offer button.

****This is important if you have more than one American Express account****

For those of you with more than one American Express, it is possible to sync the same offer to all cards.  You must make sure that different tabs are open on your browser though.  For example, I have the SPG American Express and the Hilton HHonors American Express.  When I load offers to my cards, I ensure that I can see the SPG card offers on one browser tab, and the Hilton offers on another browser tab.  I then save the offer to each card.

Question: How do I spend $100 at Staples?

Answer: EASY

You could do any of the following:

  1. Buy $100 of goods you would normally have to buy (save $20).
  2. Purchase a $100 MasterCard or Visa gift card with $5.95 transaction fee (profit $14.05).
  3. From now through Saturday, October 25th, purchase three $100 Visa gift cards with three $5.95 transaction fees and you'll also get a $20 prepaid Visa card as a rebate (profit $22.15).
  4. From now through Sunday, October 25th, purchase two $200 Visa gift cards with two $6.95 transaction fees and you'll also get a $20 prepaid Visa card as a rebate (profit $26.10).

Those are just four options that I can think of, off of the top of my head.

My Two Cents

I'll definitely be taking advantage of this Staples American Express Sync promotion.  The deal expires on November 9, 2014, so there is plenty of time to take advantage of this promotion.

If you don't regularly check your Amex Offers page I highly recommend it.  There are constantly some amazing offers!


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