Hotel Report: Sheraton Gateway Suites at ORD

 
Old Aug 9, 01, 11:34 am
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Hotel Report: Sheraton Gateway Suites at ORD

Four Points by Sheraton Chicago O'Hare Airport

10249 Irving Park Road Schiller Park, IL US 60176

Hotel Report: Sheraton Gateway Suites at ORD (0 Photo)

Four Points by Sheraton Chicago O'Hare Airport

As recently mentioned in this thread, http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/Forum81/HTML/002036.html ,
I found myself spending an unplanned night at ORD, thanks to a four hour mechanical delay on a UA flight, followed shortly thereafter by a two hour ground hold issued by ORD. Having plenty of time on my hands before escaping from BTV, I researched ORD hotels a bit and decided that the local Sheraton was the place for me, especially on UA’s dime.

Although I had initially started my journey from BTV at about 3:45PM EDT, I didn’t actually show up at the doorstep of the Sheraton until nearly 1:00AM Wednesday morning. I immediately displayed my SPG Platinum card, since one of my objectives was to enjoy the privilege of the guaranteed late checkout, which was granted without hesitation. My flight to PDX wasn’t scheduled until 3:30PM on Wednesday and I wanted to spend as little additional time as possible in the airport, if I could help it.

The receptionist was very friendly and pleasant and immediately offered me a suite on the club floor but apologized because no non-smoking kings were available. Once in a while I have visited smoking rooms that didn't reek so I figured I would check one out anyway. But the moment I opened the door to room 1019, it smelled like the dark inner recesses of Joe Camel's stable so I quickly scurried back down to obtain a key card for room 1012, the room he had wanted to give me in the first place.

I also asked the receptionist whether there is a charge for toll free calls. He said they wouldn't charge PLATINUM guests but if charges did appear on the bill, they would be promptly removed. I also asked him about UA dinner vouchers, which he happily accepted. I traded in two $10 UA dinner vouchers and in return received a special form made out for $20 and was instructed to submit it to the waitress.

If you are familiar with the typical configuration of an Embassy Suites then you have a very clear image of this property. For those of you who might be more familiar with hotels in the vicinity of ORD, was this hotel ever an Embassy Suites in a previous incarnation? It is comprised of a very large open central atrium surrounded by 11 floors of rooms deployed around the perimeter. Floors 10 and 11 are designated club floors; the club room is situation in one corner of the 11th floor.

My suite contained nearly everything you would expect to see in an Embassy Suites except it lacked a microwave; the bedroom and living room both appeared somewhat larger and the bathroom somewhat smaller than what I typically see in ES properties. The room contained a fax machine, minibar and refrigerator. A robe hung in the closet and two bottles of water greeted me near the ice bucket.

It was already about 1:00AM and the restaurant was closed but I had been told that the bar stays open fairly late when they know there have been air traffic problems. I guess it must stay open very late on most nights, I thought to myself.

The bar was indeed open when I arrived and I was given a smallish menu and told that they are out of almost everything. This made my meal selection very easy indeed given that I was obliged to order one of three items that they still had, in my case a Cheese Steak. When I was ready to leave, the waitress told me that she cannot accept the voucher provided to me by the front desk; I would need to pay it as a room charge and then submit the meal voucher to the front desk when I check out. Otherwise, the meal was OK; my only complaint was that the waitress forced me to watch infomercials about hair loss as I dined on my sandwich.

Once I got back to the room, I spent a fair amount of time catching up with emails so I didn't hit the sack until 3:30AM and then woke up at about 7:30 and decided to meander over to the little club lounge for some coffee. Waiting for me outside my door was a USA Today, a WSJ and a copy of my bill, showing about $25 in charges for the prior night's meal and my toll free calls at $1 each.

At the lounge, guests could dine on some fresh fruit, pastries, bread or cold cereal. The bagel selection was comprised of one cinnamon/raisin and half of a sesame seed bagel, which is what always seems to greet me in such lounges unless I go in very early. As I am not much of a breakfast eater, it didn't matter to me much anyway but the large coffee urn was empty! In addition, the A/C was completely disabled; a mechanic showed up about 10 minutes later to see what he could do but I didn't hang around long enough to find out.

I spent the bulk of the morning making calls and working on my trip report. I was pleased to learn that I could monitor the status of my flight to PDX quite easily because channel 6 on the television provides current flight status information for all of the airlines. I was especially amused to see UA's abortive slogan "United is Rising" at the bottom of the screen, when many of us know by now that UA is anything but.

By 2:00PM, I figured I had overstayed my welcome and had best hit the road because if my flight departs on time it would begin boarding at 3:00. I presented my dinner voucher to the somewhat impersonal desk staff, who ignored it and I then requested the elimination of the phone charges. When the clerk, Jasmine, asked who told me that they would be waived, I replied that it was the fellow who checked me in, which she should be able to discern from my record. She took about five minutes to remove the charge, which required the assistance of some other personnel. She was then ready to send me on my way but had still not applied my dinner voucher despite the fact that I had mentioned it four times at that point. That also required some assistance and I must admit I was getting slightly nervous as I looked at the door where the airport shuttle was about to pull away. Although they are scheduled to leave every 15 minutes, the next one wouldn't depart until 2:30 and that was really pushing it too close for my comfort. We ultimately got everything straightened out and I made my ride with one minute to spare.

All in all, I was actually very pleased with this hotel and would recommend it without hesitation or qualification. I was very glad that I had selected it for my layover and would most certainly choose this property again the next time I am stranded in ORD.

Hotel Report: Sheraton Gateway Suites at ORD

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