Airport hotels at LAX are something of a dying breed. Sure, you have the new-ish Hyatt Place LAX/El Segundo, but there’s not much else new nearby. Getting to and from the Hyatt Place can be a bit cumbersome with the shuttle and no way to walk it. And, I’m not really a big fan of the Sheraton Gateway/LAX. In the half dozen times or so that I’ve stayed at that Sheraton, I’ve walked to and from the terminal, probably about a 15 min walk if you’re flying American Airlines (less so if you’re flying United).
Along that walk, I always passed a sizable Radisson hotel on the corner of Century Blvd. Most of these properties are hulking concrete and glass beasts from a different age of construction. The Radisson is a lot of concrete. And, recently, it changed names to The Concourse Hotel at LAX. This was part of a larger process to eventually bring it back under the Hyatt flag, something it was a long time ago. And, at first blush, it’s going to require a pretty big check.
I often wonder why owners of properties specifically motivate to make huge changes such as this. Sure, there’s the easy answer of wanting to charge more money. But, as a Radisson, the hotel was pretty full and they didn’t make substantial improvements. It’s possible Radisson took back the flag, but I found no proof of that (though I didn’t spend a ton of time digging). Hyatt is keeping its brand off the property until they make some significant progress on the refurbishment, likely a solid idea.
I stayed at the property last night and I’d have to say it was about what I’d expect, exceeding expectations in some areas, lagging in others. The lobby was what I would expect of a property this age. Lots of stone and wood, wide lobby areas and some seating here and there.
Upon arrival, there was a healthy line of folks at the front desk waiting to check-in. It had been a long day and I had an early flight the next morning, so it’s been a while since I was quite so happy to see an elite check-in line properly staffed. I was helped immediately and greeted by a very polite front-desk manager. He informed me that due to the transition they were offering Diamond guests both the 1,000 point bonus and an in-room amenity. An unexpected plus. I was on my way shortly to my room, on this occasion I’d received a suite.
The suite was expansive in size but definitely refurbished quite some time ago. There was a desk and chair, dining room table, living room and full bathroom in the suite portion, with a standard guest room connected. Everything in the room was adequate, though dated. In some ways, I thought the room was in better shape than parts of the Sheraton Gateway, with no visible stains on the carpet or furniture and no peeling wallpaper. But, it’s definitely tired.
The guest room was sizable and had a few brand new items as indicated by the front desk manager. They literally just started putting new beds in all of the rooms last week, a project that’s almost completed. New pillows and linens as well as new towels in the bathroom were part of the initial upgrades, and it looked like the thermostats were new as well. I found the bed to be very comfortable. And, the towels were actually a better quality than some Hyatt Regency properties I frequent regularly.
The bathroom was clean and in better shape than I would have expected. I don’t know if they re-caulked as part of the mini-refresh or not, but my bathroom had no stains, something I was kind of expecting based on the age of the property.
The fitness center is located on the lobby level and again surprised me with relatively new equipment.
Because it was a late night with an early start the next day, I ordered room service. I’d looked at the restaurant menu and was pleased with the variety, but wasn’t sure what quality food I would get. There were some complications getting my order taken and I ended up with the wrong wine. But, the hotel ended up giving me two mini bottles of sparkling wine (one was included with the amenity) and didn’t charge me for the other one since they didn’t have what I requested. I was duly impressed with their attempts to resolve the small issue that arose.
The food was surprisingly good as well. I’m not saying it was a Michelin 3-star meal, but the salad I ordered was very fresh and the entrée came up piping hot with a tasty sauce. Accompaniments like rice were moist and flavorful.
I came into the stay expecting to be underwhelmed and really wasn’t. It’s an older property and there are a few physical plant issues here and there (my desk chair really needed to be replaced). By and large, the property met or exceeded expectations. The staff I came into contact with were all very happy about the changes and offered great service. And, they obviously targeted some early needs like beds and linens.
I tried to book an award room to get a peek at availability and got an error message from the website on multiple dates. I have a request in to Hyatt to ask about reward category availability and I’ll update here as soon as I have the info.
Bottom Line It For Me, Ed
If you’re looking for a property within walking distance of LAX, the Concourse is offering competitive rates right now. I checked a few random dates and it was cheaper than the Hyatt Place LAX in all examples and the same price or cheaper than the Sheraton LAX Gateway. Getting 1,000 points and an amenity is a nice nod to Diamond guests who choose to fill beds here.
If you’re looking for an affordable room with a new bed and linens and don’t have high expectations for things like furniture and carpets, this is an easy choice at LAX.