Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Four Points by Sheraton Ontario-Rancho Cucamonga



The Four Points by Sheraton Ontario Rancho Cucamonga pays homage to its historic Route 66 roots, as there are pictures and memorabilia throughout the hotel.

Set close to Victoria Gardens, the hotel is a wonderful place for the shopaholic in your life.  Rather than making a long trek home, one can stay the night here and go at it again the following day.

Lobby
Upon entering the hotel, the lobby is very spacious although minimally functional.  There is coffee service in the morning, and fruit infused water throughout the day.

SPG Floor
The front desk is to the right.  Check-in was easy and my SPG Gold status was recognized.  I took the extra 250 points as the amenity as wi-fi is free to all guests.

Free Water!
Upon entering the room, there are two bottle of complimentary water to the right which is always a welcome sight.  SPG and Marriott properties are great at provided at least one complimentary bottle of water, which is something that Hyatt can become more proactive upon in the future.

Sink
Toilet
Shower
The bathroom is located to the right.  It is somewhat small but functional.  There isn’t a lot of counter space, but for a short stay would be sufficient.

Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash
Shampoo, conditioner and body wash come in a dispenser much like aloft properties.

Fridge, Microwave
The room has a small fridge and microwave which are great for longer stays.

Closet
The closet is rather small but is functional.

TV
There is a small flat screen TV with a bench that can be used for storage or perhaps a sitting area.

Desk
The desk is rather large, and I found that it provided enough working space.

Sitting Area
There is a chair in the corner of the room, which just makes the room feel smaller since it’s crammed into a small space.

AC
Unfortunately, there is an in room air conditioner rather than central air.  It does make the room cool however having to deal with the noise that it produces is an inconvenience.

Bed
The bed is fairly comfortable with ample pillows being provided to start your own pillow fight.

Gym
Gym
Gym
The gym is rather small, but the equipment was in good working order and provided enough equipment to get a decent work out done.

This is a good budget friendly hotel which provides free parking and is close to many shopping, restaurant and entertainment establishments.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ritz Carlton Los Angeles - A Second Visit



The Ritz Carlton Los Angeles is located in the L.A. Live Complex where the Staples Center, The Nokia Center and The Grammy Museum is located, along with a host of other entertainment destinations and restaurants.

Upon entering the valet parking area, there were several attendants “working” but most of them were just standing around and not doing much.  It took several minutes before I was help, and was asked to move my car myself.  I thought the point of valet parking, along with the $42 parking fee, was that somebody was supposed to do this for you.  I wouldn’t mind parking my own car if the $42 got refunded to me.

Upon entering the hotel, the front desk is located to the left.  There were two front desk agents working and I was quickly assisted.

Executive Suite
Floor Plan
I was booked into a King Room with Club Lounge access, however I was informed that I had been further upgraded to an Executive Suite (which measures 1,200 square feet) with Club Lounge access.  I am not sure if this was due to my prior experience, or the fact that the Stanley Cup was going on and the hotel was nearly sold out.  Either way I was pleasantly surprised and grateful for the further upgrade.

Welcome Amenity
View
View
View
The room boasted great views of the LA Live Complex including Staples Center and the Nokia Theater.

Hallway
I was escorted to the room by the front desk agent, who also showed me the features of the room.


Room Hallway
Room Hallway
Room Hallway
Upon entering the room, there is a zig-zagging hallway that lead to a T-intersection.  From that point, the bedroom was to the right and the rest of the room was located to the left.

Vanity Area
Upon entering the bedroom there is a small vanity area.

Closet
Luggage Area
Closet
Closet

Past that is a hallway of sort with the closet on the right, and an area to store your luggage on the left.

To the left of the vanity area, the master bathroom is located to the right.  The bathroom is long and somewhat narrow but huge.

Bathroom
There are two sinks with plenty of counter space.  So much so that you could turn it into a bar if you wanted to.  My main problem with the sinks was the type and location of the faucets.  Although they are nice, they are located so high above the sink and the water comes out with so much force that placing your hands under the running water caused it to be splashed all over the place.  I felt like I was back at Niagara Falls.

Toilet

The toiled is located opposite the sinks behind frosted glass.


Corridor to Tub/Shower
Tub
Shower
Once at the end of the counter, there was a hallway to the right that led to the tub and shower area.  The area is enclosed, with a separate soaking tub and shower with a rainfall shower head, as well as a hand held one.  Water pressure and temperature were fantastic.

Bed
TV
The bedroom is spacious with ample space on either side of the bed.  The bed faced a flat screen TV and bathroom.

Chaise Lounge
There is a chaise lounge against the window overlooking Staples Center.

Guest Bathroom
Guest Bathroom
The guest bathroom is large and contains a toilet and sink.  The towels were placed under the sink, which I thought was rather odd.

Dining Table
There is a dining room table with seating for six.

Wet Bar
Mini Bar

Snacks
Wet Bar

There is a small wet bar area which also houses a Nespresso machine.  The mini bar is fully stocked with drinks and snacks.

Living Room
The rest of the living room is spacious and contains a sofa, coffee table and chair.

Desk
There is a glass counter desk with ample working room.

Club Lounge
Club Lounge
Club Lounge
The Club Lounge is very spacious and was usually not crowded.

Club Lounge


Club Lounge
Stanley Cup Display
Stanley Cup Cookies
Upon entering, there are bowls of candy on the right, and a table full of cookies straight ahead.  There was also a Stanley Cup display with shortbread cookies with each team’s emblem, and a chocolate replica of the Stanley Cup.

Lounge Offerings
Lounge Offerings
Lounge Offerings

Lounge Offerings
Lounge Offerings
Lounge Offerings
Lounge Offerings

Lunch offerings included a crab ceviche salad, crudité with ranch, duck with vegetable couscouse and quince paste, grilled vegetable terrine, chips and salsa, spring rolls, cheese and crackers along with a selection of desserts.

Lounge Offerings
Lounge Offerings
Lounge Offerings
Lounge Offerings
Breakfast offerings included lots of fresh fruit with some of the best pineapple that I have had in my life, muffins, pastries, croissants, cold cuts, cheese, smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and yogurt.

The Club Lounge attendants were friendly and helpful in getting drinks and clearing dishes.


Gym
Gym
Gym
The gym is somewhat small and includes treadmills, elliptical machines, stationary bikes, weight machines and a small free weight area.

This was an outstanding stay, and outside of the valet parking and my dislike for the faucets in the bathrooms I would definitely stay at the Ritz Carlton Los Angeles.  I have had access to the Club Lounge at several Ritz Carlton’s and I believe it is worth the extra charge for the quality and variety of food.

(In full disclosure, I was invited back to the Ritz Carlton Los Angeles for a room with Club Lounge access after my last stay included many service errors.  The opinions expressed are mine alone and were not solicited by the Ritz Carlton.)