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Room Report: Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Airport Hotel

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Arrival Experience: No matter what time you land, the Sheraton Los Angeles Airport hotel's free shuttle is circling the airport. This is quite surprising for international travelers used to having to summon a shuttle via an airport phone. The hotel's shuttle operates on regular hours with a friendly driver willing to heft luggage no matter what the hour. Once in the hotel's spacious lobby, staffers are lined up to greet the crowds that can sometimes form at an 800-plus room hotel. Service is fast and efficient. Guests often congregate at the Link@Sheraton station nearby where free wireless and wired Internet is available in addition a set of printers.

Dining: The airport has numerous options, but the hotel's main restaurant is a big draw luring guests in with sumptuous breakfast buffets. Brasserie, as it is named, serves three meals a day with a contemporary menu. For dinner, Paparazzi delivers a tasty Italian menu that is sure to please. Its name is inspired by the favorite L.A. pastime, but its menu is more European in provenance. The Rendezvous Lounge serves a constant menu of light bites and cocktails no matter what the hour. A Starbucks outlet in the lobby churns out caffeinated beverages and snacks as an alternative.

Accommodations: The rooms feature pillow-topped mattresses and overstuffed duvets on Sheraton's traditional Sweet Sleeper mattresses. Wireless Internet access is super speedy, buy only free for Club level guests or Starwood Preferred Gold and Platinum guests. Everyone else must fork over for access or log onto the free signal in the lobby. Large work desks have easy-access power outlets, and many rooms boast excellent views of the busy runways and tarmac of LAX making them popular with aviation geeks. Bathrooms are stocked with Bliss Spa toiletries and large towels plus hair dryers. A popular feature of the hotel, which is being rolled out and numerous Sheraton hotels worldwide, is the Green Choice program allowing guests to forgo housekeeping in exchange for a $5 food and beverage credit or 500 loyalty points.

Conclusion: A grand ballroom supplements 38 other meeting rooms to attract groups of all sizes, which is a mainstay for this hotel. The 24-hour fitness center is popular with jetlagged travelers, and the outdoor heated pool and whirlpool are regularly used by overnighters trying to take in a dose of California during their stay. Frequent travelers can attest that this is a reliable LAX hotel that would never disappoint. Its airport shuttle runs like clockwork (unlike other LAX properties that leave guests waiting) and handles arrivals in a dignified manner.

Daily flights between Charlotte and Los Angeles criss cross the country four to five times a day via US Airways.

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