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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Los Angeles - LAX / Marriott

June 2013, Weekend, Jr Suite #946

Status perks and check-in
The Los Angeles airport Marriott has an elite check-in counter across from the main check-in area. Elaine provided a smooth and efficient check-in process. She introduced herself, and recapped my guestroom preferences, before she provided the key and additional hotel information. I received an upgrade to a Jr. suite. It was not on the concierge floor; however, she coded my key for concierge level access. I also received the extra Platinum points for my on-site amenity.
view when entering 

This suite is located at the end of the hall on the 9th floor. The furnishings and decor looked a bit outdated, although there was not anything wrong with any of the items. The guestroom was well-soundproofed, spacious, and comfortable. I did not hear any airplane noise even though this hotel is very close to the airport. 

An entry table with a decorative plant was located in the small entry area by the door and across from the bathroom and closet. I did not take a photo of the table; the front of it is barely visible in the first photo that was taken from the entrance.

The bathroom area located to the left of the entrance door, contained two vanities. The vanity in the outer area was across from a closet with mirrored doors. The closet contained a large safe, hangers, two summer bathrobes, an iron, and ironing board. 

The second vanity was located in the room with the toilet and tub/shower. Both vanities were stocked with bathing amenities, and ample towels were provided. 

The tub drain was sluggish. It was not clogged during my shower; however, I think if I had taken a leisurely shower and washed my hair, there would have been standing water in the bottom of the tub when I finished. I told an employee about this when I checked out (not at the elite desk). She took down the information, although she was not nearly as professional or helpful as Elaine had been when I checked in. I was surprised that she did not apologize or thank me for letting her know about this, so that it could be fixed before the next guest arrived.

The living and sleeping area contained the following: sofa, coffee table, end table, ice bucket with glasses, a bottle of water, a desk and chair, flatscreen TV on an armoire, small fridge and single-serve coffee pot with supplies, king size bed with lots of pillows, two night stands, four lamps, lighted alarm clock, and two telephones. The coffee items were set up on a tray inside the cabinet under the TV. I had to remove the tray because the coffee pot could not be plugged in from that location. The room was well lit, and there were several electrical outlets. 

I arrived after 10:00 p.m., and the bed had been turned down. There were two chocolates on the pillow. The bed was super comfortable, and the sheets were plush.

Food & Beverage
When I checked in, I was surprised to learn that breakfast was included with the AAA rate I had booked. I did not recall reading that in my reservation details. I usually prefer to order off the menu because the food is fresher than at the buffet; however, this time, the buffet probably would have been a better choice. I ordered an egg sandwich from the menu, and it was kind of greasy. I did not go up to the buffet, although the items I could see from my seat and on other guests' plates looked fresh.

Concierge lounge
I visited the concierge lounge when I arrived late in the evening. A few desserts were displayed, and a beverage cooler was well stocked with bottled water, and a few non-alcoholic beverages. Breakfast items in the morning included several types of pastries, scrambled eggs, bacon, and cereal. Coffee and tea was available both times. There were glass snack dispensers on the counter by the door both times that I visited. Jelly beans, and nut type snacks, were filled in the canisters.

The concierge lounge is a fairly large room, which looked like it could easily fulfill the needs for a small group/meeting. A couple of computers and a printer were located by the door, and there was no charge for me to print a document.

Fitness center
The fitness center is located on the ground floor, below the lobby entrance level. It is a large room, and contained many items--several cardio machines with cardio theater, weight machines, exercise ball,  mats, water cooler, fruit, scale, towels, and sani-wipes. There was probably more equipment than I have named because I did not walk around the corner to the other side of the room. The treadmills were located near the entrance, and the other area of the room was partially visible from the machine I used. 

There is a Hertz car rental desk in the lobby of this hotel, which opens at 7:30 a.m. I had a car reserved for 7:30; however, the employee arrived about 10 minutes late, so it was actually 7:45 by the time I received the keys to my car. She must have thought that she could amend this delay with compliments, because she gave me two. First, she told me I have beautiful hair, and then after I gave her my ID, she told me that I look amazing for my age. Hmm...well, I guess it did make me smile! And, the 15-minute delay did not impact my schedule for the day.

The parking slip process of how to exit and reenter the parking lot is mildly confusing, so I suggest getting clear instructions before leaving the window. I noticed that I had a couple of parking slips when she gave me the keys, so I asked how I was supposed to use them. I may have been able to figure out the process on my own, but at least this way, I was prepared when I pulled up to the exit. My car was not full of gas when I received it. This was noted on my contract; however, I do not like returning cars this way because it is difficult to know when the fuel has been refilled accurately before the return.

Hotel shuttle
I was told that the hotel shuttle automatically runs between the hotel and the airport every 15 minutes, 24-hours a day. I waited at least 15 minutes for the shuttle when I arrived. LAX has a chaotic shuttle system. Passengers stand on the center island and flag down the busses as they go by. The parking lot shuttle busses, and a couple of large coach busses, also stopped in the same area. The hotel shuttle busses do not always pull up to the curb, and it is easy to miss one driving by, if you do not pay close attention at all times. I have been through this kind of process before, so I knew what to expect. A man waiting near me had told me which hotel shuttle he was waiting for, and he would have missed his bus, if we had not chatted about this while waiting. I saw his shuttle bus driving by behind one of the coach busses, and told him. He was able to flag the driver down before he got too far.

I did not use the shuttle from the Marriott to return to the airport, although I did observe a long line of people waiting for the bus out front all morning the day that I departed. I did not notice if there was enough room on the bus for everyone to board once the bus arrived.

I was very happy with the comfort of this hotel and AAA rate I had found for this Sunday evening stay. I wanted to stay here again on Wednesday before my flight out; however, the rate that night was almost twice what I paid on Sunday.