The New Hyatt Place Would Be the Best Hotel at LAX If Only I Could Be Confident in Their Airport Shuttle

April 13, 2016 – 03:01 pm

Basic principles. You want the airport hotel connected to the terminal if there is one. Otherwise you want the one that’s newest or at least most recently renovated, since airport hotels disproportionately accommodate one night stays and wear faster.

Beyond that a decent on-site restaurant is nice, especially when the property doesn’t have nearby walking options, and price is going to influence choice — the Grand Hyatt DFW is an exceptional hotel but it’s often so much more expensive than other Dallas airport hotels that it becomes tough to choose.

Historically I’ve picked the Sheraton LAX for a Los Angeles airport overnight. It’s certainly showing wear but the rooms are decent, the restaurant is pretty good, and there’s a Starbucks in the lobby. There’s a (mediocre) club club and a nice pool area.

But the newest hotel in the area is the Hyatt Place El Segundo/LAX. It’s not on the Century Boulevard strip with the bulk of airport hotels, which means it also operates its own shuttle, and to me that’s usually a plus (less risk of a shuttle not having room because it fills up at the other hotel, it’s quicker without stops and more likely to stick to schedule). So I thought I’d give it a try.

The Hotel Shuttle Situation Needs Work

Things didn’t start off well. I rang the hotel when I landed at LAX just before 11pm to ask when to expect the shuttle. The front desk agent say, “Well, we can send it but LAX is really busy right now so it will be at least 20 minutes, probably half an hour.” Thirty minutes for the shuttle is simply unacceptable, that sort of wait mitigates the advantages of being right at the airport, so I made my own way to the hotel. (Note that cabs will have a minimum fare and they don’t like short trips.)

Check-in was smooth, there wasn’t anyone ahead of me at the desk when I walked in. Not a whole lot of discussion with the agent, halfway through the process she acknowledged my Diamond status by saying “Do you want points or a beverage?”

I asked about the hotel shuttle in the morning and she told me I could make reservations now, or just call down in the morning. The shuttle begins running at 5am. It isn’t 24 hours, and that’s a little late for the very first bank of departures. I was a bit concerned with how loose they seemed to run things — suggesting that reservations are helpful, that the shuttle runs “every 30 minutes but it’ll take you whenever you’re ready” I wondered how that would even work? It’s set to go at 6:30am but it’ll take you at 6:15am it sounded like. Somehow, with only a single shuttle driver, they were still going to accommodate 6:30am departures… reservations even?

The whole shuttle operation here seems like it needs to have some kinks ironed out. I made a 6:30am reservation for the morning, and I didn’t have a ton of confidence since that meant handwritten notes on one of three scraps of paper the agent picked up.

It worked perfectly, though — it was waiting right outside, the shuttle driver wasn’t there but responded quickly when I asked the front desk to call him at our appointed departure time, and there were no other guests onboard.


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