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Introduction: Star Alliance To South Africa
Review: Four Points By Sheraton Vancouver Airport
Review: Air Canada Domestic Maple Leaf Lounge Vancouver Airport
Review: Air Canada Business Class 787 Vancouver To Toronto
Review: Air Canada International Maple Leaf Lounge Toronto Airport
Review: Air Canada Business Class 787 Toronto To Frankfurt
Review: South African Airways Business Class A340 Frankfurt To Johannesburg
Review: South African Airways Domestic Lounge Johannesburg Airport
Review: South African Airways Business Class A319 Johannesburg To Cape Town
Review: Westin Cape Town
Review: South African Airways Lounge Cape Town Airport
Review: South African Airways Business Class A340 Cape Town To Johannesburg
Review: South African Airways International Lounge Johannesburg Airport
Review: Mashonzha Lounge Johannesburg Airport
Review: South African Airways Business Class A330 Johannesburg To London
Review: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge London Heathrow Airport
Review: Air Canada Business Class 777 London Heathrow To Toronto
Review: Air Canada Domestic Maple Leaf Lounge Toronto Airport
Review: Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport
I booked the Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport both because it was the cheapest Starwood hotel near Vancouver Airport, and also because it would finally allow me to try a Four Points. While I’m an SPG loyalist, I’ve actually never stayed at a Four Points before. This would get me closer to staying at 11 Starwood brands this year, so that I earn 11,000 bonus Starpoints.
The rate for my one night stay was 160CAD (~123USD). This is a Category 3 SPG property, meaning a free night redemption would have cost 7,000 Starpoints. In this instance paying cash definitely seemed like the better option, given that I value Starpoints at 2.2 cents each.
My flight landed from Los Angeles a bit after 9PM, and the shuttle to the Four Points showed up within minutes, without me having to call. For what it’s worth, the shuttle departs the airport every 30 minutes on the hour, and departs the hotel every 30 minutes, at 15 and 45 minutes past the hour.
The Westin and Four Points share a shuttle. The driver was friendly, and provided lots of recommendations about things I should do in the area (even though I just had a quick overnight and knew I wouldn’t be leaving the hotel).
The Four Points is a 10-12 minute shuttle ride from the airport, and is a good five minutes further than the Westin, which we passed on the way. The exterior of the Four Points is nice enough.
I was amused by the picture used on the hotel’s parking sign, which features one of the rustiest tow truck I’ve ever seen.
Reception was located inside the entrance and to the right, where I was helped immediately. The staff were very friendly, and offered me my choice of Platinum welcome amenity (I selected the complimentary breakfast in lieu of the bonus Starpoints). I didn’t need to take advantage of the guaranteed 4PM check-out, since my flight the next day was before noon.
I paid for my stay using the Citi Prestige® Card, since it offers triple points on hotel stays, and doesn’t have foreign transaction fees. I consider that to be even more rewarding than the double Starpoints offered on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express.
The hotel’s lobby was quite large and also well furnished. Past the reception desk and to the right was plenty of seating and a couple of computers with a printer.
Then in the other direction was the hotel’s restaurant and bar.
The elevators to guest rooms were located straight ahead when entering the hotel, and I took the elevator up to the sixth (top) floor, where my room was located.
Upon exiting the elevator I turned left and walked to the far end of the hall, where my room was located on the left.
I had been upgraded to a corner room, which seem to be biggest rooms they have in this hotel (there are no suites).
The room featured an entryway with a closet and mini-fridge to the right, and then it lead into the rest of the room.
The room was clearly recently renovated, and was in great condition. I thought it was decorated very similarly to a renovated Sheraton. Come and think of it, I don’t actually get the difference between Sheraton and Four Points by Sheraton, though I’ll talk more about that in a bit.
The room featured a king size bed, a seat with side table in the far left of the room, and a desk with TV in the far right of the room.
The desk area had an office chair with conveniently placed plugs, which I appreciated. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for the bedside, where I couldn’t find any plugs.
I love my Starwood Ambassador, and he knows I love lots of bottled water and have a sweet tooth, so they had plenty of bottled water (both still and sparkling) as well as two chocolate bars waiting for me. My Ambassador is from Canada, so he had a hilarious note waiting for me explaining Canadian culture, which made me laugh out loud.
The bathroom featured a sink, toilet, walk-in shower, and soaking tub.
The toiletries were in dispensers on the wall, which I don’t mind, other than how disgusting I imagine the knobs being.
The room featured views of suburban Richmond.
Back near the entrance of the room was a single-cup coffee machine, as well as some tea.
There was also a mini-fridge, which I opened just to take a look at. That was a big mistake, because it reeked of Chinese food. Seriously, I opened the fridge for a couple of seconds, and I can’t even say how strong the odor was. Otherwise the room smelled fine, for what it’s worth.
Wifi in the hotel was good, and I got a great night of sleep. I woke up the following morning and headed down to the restaurant for breakfast. I’d note that the hotel offers complimentary tea and coffee for everyone in the lobby, which I love.
The restaurant opens at 6AM, and is quite small. It was completely full when I arrived, so I sat over in the bar area. There seemed to be some large Chinese tour groups staying at the hotel, so I guess they all went to breakfast at once.
The breakfast menu read as follows:
This part of the menu actually made me laugh out loud:
What do you guys think — a menu writer with a good sense of humor, or just blissful ignorance?
I handed the server, Lisa, my Platinum breakfast voucher, and she explained that I could have the buffet and/or whatever else I wanted. She was so sweet and attentive.
When she noticed me taking pictures of the buffet she looked confused at first, but then described every single item in great detail.
The buffet consisted of fresh fruit, cold cuts, muffins, cereal, pastries, and a few hot dishes (scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, etc.).
I wasn’t especially hungry (I mainly went to breakfast so I could get pictures of the setup), though that didn’t stop Lisa from consistently asking me what else I wanted. I denied her offer to order something off the menu, and she looked at me and sort of whispered “but it’s complimentary.”
For what it’s worth, the hotel also has a decent gym on the ground floor, just across from the small business center.
I took the shuttle back to the airport the following morning to start what would be a couple of very long days of travel.
Four Points by Sheraton bottom line
This hotel itself was quite nice. The rooms were modern and the staff were friendly (though perhaps that’s just more reflective of Canada than anything, as I’ve found the hospitality from our northern neighbors to consistently be excellent).
But I really don’t understand the Four Points by Sheraton brand. I understand why hotel chains create so many different brands, because it’s a great way to snag more management contracts by getting investors onboard with the concept. Investors might not want to build the fifth Westin in a city, while building a different concept might be more appealing.
That being said, Four Points doesn’t make sense to me. Sheraton is a confusing brand to begin with, and lacks an identity. So I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that Four Points is equally confusing.
Most limited service hotels offer something to differentiate themselves, like complimentary breakfast, or a happy hour, or a really cool communal space, or something. Starwood’s other limited service brands, like Aloft and Element, are at least unique.
Four Points as a brand doesn’t offer any of that. It has a restaurant where you have to pay for breakfast, and the rooms pretty closely model what you’d get at a Sheraton, except you don’t get individual toiletries, but rather they have dispenser (which isn’t much of a loss, frankly).
So what I takeaway from Four Points is that it’s simply a more budget version of Sheraton, without anything which differentiates it.
What am I missing about the Four Points brand?!