Review: Four Points By Sheraton Vancouver Airport

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I booked the Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport both because it was the cheapest Starwood hotel near Vancouver Airport, and also because it would finally allow me to try a Four Points. While I’m an SPG loyalist, I’ve actually never stayed at a Four Points before. This would get me closer to staying at 11 Starwood brands this year, so that I earn 11,000 bonus Starpoints.

The rate for my one night stay was 160CAD (~123USD). This is a Category 3 SPG property, meaning a free night redemption would have cost 7,000 Starpoints. In this instance paying cash definitely seemed like the better option, given that I value Starpoints at 2.2 cents each.

My flight landed from Los Angeles a bit after 9PM, and the shuttle to the Four Points showed up within minutes, without me having to call. For what it’s worth, the shuttle departs the airport every 30 minutes on the hour, and departs the hotel every 30 minutes, at 15 and 45 minutes past the hour.

The Westin and Four Points share a shuttle. The driver was friendly, and provided lots of recommendations about things I should do in the area (even though I just had a quick overnight and knew I wouldn’t be leaving the hotel).

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Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport shuttle

The Four Points is a 10-12 minute shuttle ride from the airport, and is a good five minutes further than the Westin, which we passed on the way. The exterior of the Four Points is nice enough.

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Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport exterior

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Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport entrance

I was amused by the picture used on the hotel’s parking sign, which features one of the rustiest tow truck I’ve ever seen.

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This is what being towed by a really rusty tow truck looks like

Reception was located inside the entrance and to the right, where I was helped immediately. The staff were very friendly, and offered me my choice of Platinum welcome amenity (I selected the complimentary breakfast in lieu of the bonus Starpoints). I didn’t need to take advantage of the guaranteed 4PM check-out, since my flight the next day was before noon.

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Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport reception

I paid for my stay using the Citi Prestige® Card, since it offers triple points on hotel stays, and doesn’t have foreign transaction fees. I consider that to be even more rewarding than the double Starpoints offered on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express.

The hotel’s lobby was quite large and also well furnished. Past the reception desk and to the right was plenty of seating and a couple of computers with a printer.

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Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport lobby

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Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport lobby

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Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport business center

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Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport lobby

Then in the other direction was the hotel’s restaurant and bar.

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Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport restaurant

The elevators to guest rooms were located straight ahead when entering the hotel, and I took the elevator up to the sixth (top) floor, where my room was located.

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Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport elevators

Upon exiting the elevator I turned left and walked to the far end of the hall, where my room was located on the left.

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Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport hallway

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Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport room exterior

I had been upgraded to a corner room, which seem to be biggest rooms they have in this hotel (there are no suites).

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Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport floorplan

The room featured an entryway with a closet and mini-fridge to the right, and then it lead into the rest of the room.

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Four Points by Sheraton corner room entrance Vancouver Airport

The room was clearly recently renovated, and was in great condition. I thought it was decorated very similarly to a renovated Sheraton. Come and think of it, I don’t actually get the difference between Sheraton and Four Points by Sheraton, though I’ll talk more about that in a bit.

The room featured a king size bed, a seat with side table in the far left of the room, and a desk with TV in the far right of the room.

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Four Points by Sheraton corner room Vancouver Airport

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Four Points by Sheraton king room Vancouver Airport

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Four Points by Sheraton king room Vancouver Airport

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Four Points by Sheraton king room desk & TV Vancouver Airport

The desk area had an office chair with conveniently placed plugs, which I appreciated. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for the bedside, where I couldn’t find any plugs.

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Four Points by Sheraton king room desk Vancouver Airport

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Four Points by Sheraton king room seat & table Vancouver Airport

I love my Starwood Ambassador, and he knows I love lots of bottled water and have a sweet tooth, so they had plenty of bottled water (both still and sparkling) as well as two chocolate bars waiting for me. My Ambassador is from Canada, so he had a hilarious note waiting for me explaining Canadian culture, which made me laugh out loud.

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Thanks to my Starwood Ambassador!

The bathroom featured a sink, toilet, walk-in shower, and soaking tub.

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Four Points by Sheraton king room bathroom Vancouver Airport

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Four Points by Sheraton king room shower Vancouver Airport

The toiletries were in dispensers on the wall, which I don’t mind, other than how disgusting I imagine the knobs being.

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Four Points by Sheraton king room toiletries Vancouver Airport

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Four Points by Sheraton king room tub Vancouver Airport

The room featured views of suburban Richmond.

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Four Points by Sheraton room view Vancouver Airport

Back near the entrance of the room was a single-cup coffee machine, as well as some tea.

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Four Points by Sheraton in-room coffee machine Vancouver Airport

There was also a mini-fridge, which I opened just to take a look at. That was a big mistake, because it reeked of Chinese food. Seriously, I opened the fridge for a couple of seconds, and I can’t even say how strong the odor was. Otherwise the room smelled fine, for what it’s worth.

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Four Points by Sheraton in-room fridge Vancouver Airport

Wifi in the hotel was good, and I got a great night of sleep. I woke up the following morning and headed down to the restaurant for breakfast. I’d note that the hotel offers complimentary tea and coffee for everyone in the lobby, which I love.

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Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport coffee & tea in the morning

The restaurant opens at 6AM, and is quite small. It was completely full when I arrived, so I sat over in the bar area. There seemed to be some large Chinese tour groups staying at the hotel, so I guess they all went to breakfast at once.

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Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport restaurant

The breakfast menu read as follows:

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This part of the menu actually made me laugh out loud:

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What do you guys think — a menu writer with a good sense of humor, or just blissful ignorance?

I handed the server, Lisa, my Platinum breakfast voucher, and she explained that I could have the buffet and/or whatever else I wanted. She was so sweet and attentive.

When she noticed me taking pictures of the buffet she looked confused at first, but then described every single item in great detail.

The buffet consisted of fresh fruit, cold cuts, muffins, cereal, pastries, and a few hot dishes (scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, etc.).

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Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport breakfast buffet

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Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport breakfast buffet

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Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport breakfast buffet

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Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport breakfast buffet

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Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport breakfast buffet

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Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport breakfast buffet

I wasn’t especially hungry (I mainly went to breakfast so I could get pictures of the setup), though that didn’t stop Lisa from consistently asking me what else I wanted. I denied her offer to order something off the menu, and she looked at me and sort of whispered “but it’s complimentary.”

For what it’s worth, the hotel also has a decent gym on the ground floor, just across from the small business center.

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Four Points by Sheraton gym Vancouver Airport

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Four Points by Sheraton gym Vancouver Airport

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Four Points by Sheraton gym Vancouver Airport

I took the shuttle back to the airport the following morning to start what would be a couple of very long days of travel.

Four Points by Sheraton bottom line

This hotel itself was quite nice. The rooms were modern and the staff were friendly (though perhaps that’s just more reflective of Canada than anything, as I’ve found the hospitality from our northern neighbors to consistently be excellent).

But I really don’t understand the Four Points by Sheraton brand. I understand why hotel chains create so many different brands, because it’s a great way to snag more management contracts by getting investors onboard with the concept. Investors might not want to build the fifth Westin in a city, while building a different concept might be more appealing.

That being said, Four Points doesn’t make sense to me. Sheraton is a confusing brand to begin with, and lacks an identity. So I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that Four Points is equally confusing.

Most limited service hotels offer something to differentiate themselves, like complimentary breakfast, or a happy hour, or a really cool communal space, or something. Starwood’s other limited service brands, like Aloft and Element, are at least unique.

Four Points as a brand doesn’t offer any of that. It has a restaurant where you have to pay for breakfast, and the rooms pretty closely model what you’d get at a Sheraton, except you don’t get individual toiletries, but rather they have dispenser (which isn’t much of a loss, frankly).

So what I takeaway from Four Points is that it’s simply a more budget version of Sheraton, without anything which differentiates it.

What am I missing about the Four Points brand?!

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Comments

  1. There are some Four Points that are way way way worse than even the terrible Sheraton near La Guardia. I consider them the lowest of SPG and sometimes by a large margin. Nevertheless, they can have good service as you note.

  2. I think that originally it was a collection of re-branded hotels from other chains that didn’t quite meet the “Sheraton Standard”–for whatever that’s worth. e.g. originally there were lots of ex-Holiday Inns that were converted to Four Points properties. Maybe it was a concession to hotel owners who had multiple properties and wanted to convert all to Starwood brands. What has really confused things in my mind, is their new build properties, which are as nice as most of the North America-based Sheraton properties and in many instances nicer than most of their older properties.

  3. It is because you went to the good Four Points. (I was actually surprised.) Bad 4P can get soooo much worse. No wonder they have the lowest satisfaction level among upscale brands.

  4. One of the better Four Points in the system. Just across the street from the front of the hotel are a bunch a decent Asian restaurants. And it’s about a 10 minute walk to the SkyTrain into downtown.

  5. Not much Ben I stayed in one in Oklahoma between OKC and Edmonds because it was convenient but it wasn’t cheap nor especially nice. The bar was really expensive and was really just a sitting area. I didn’t eat in their Pseudo restaurant because it was so expensive and there were better options close by. The only reason I remember it because the trip was for my son’s wedding. Reading your review pretty much confirmed what I remember. Virtually no real identity or reason to search out a Four Points. Good review

  6. 4p and aloft are two brands i would specifically avoid. Aloft due to lack of staffing and overworked staff and thus lots and lots of new employees who are always so clumsy
    4p is really because most are simply bad hotels, literally in every aspect. There are two sources of them, source #1, old (sheraton) hotels that does not qualify sheraton standard. #2, new hotels that simply don’t/cannot afford the sheraton contact. while #2 are usually better than #1, the standpoint of the management to begin with is budgetting, and that’s no where close to a good start.

  7. I like the Four Points brand – the one in Kecskemét, Hungary is a relatively new one – as such, it has a certain degree of Sheraton-feeling

  8. When you say you got a cheap business class fare to south africa, did you factor in the costs to travel and stay in Vancouver (and other positioning costs etc)?

  9. Brussels 4 pts was great. Punta Gorda, Florida too. Portland one was fine. I think that is all my experience….

  10. Lucky,

    To see what Four Points could be if it were executed properly, look at Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Garden Inn. The point of these types of brands is to offer a consistent experience for business travel and family travelers at price points that are lower than Sheraton/Marriott/Hilton and in locations that may not support higher end brands. None of these brands are really aimed at travelers like you, but rather to business people that need to be in a city or vacationers that want a lower price alternative, etc.

  11. I stayed at the 4P in Bellingham WA, just over the border from Vancouver. It’s a nice hotel with a friendly and competent staff. I enjoyed the stay.

  12. I’ve actually never stayed at a Four Points with toiletries dispensers, maybe that’s new? They used to have a tray somewhat like Hyatt Place.

    They also used to have a Four Brews / Four Pies program that was brand standard. Though not sure how cohesive pie really is as a point of difference…

  13. I recently stayed in the 4P in Lima, Peru, and was pleasantly surprised. The public spaces were much smaller than what you show here, but the breakfast was OK and the room felt new and was clean. The in-room A/C started leaking and maintenance showed up within minutes to fix it.

  14. @Lucky Welcome (back) to Vancouver!

    A few notes about that neighborhood: Alexandra Road has likely the highest concentration of restaurants in the entire Lower Mainland (and that is an achievement!), the vast majority southeast Asian. The towing warning is for the (mostly Chinese) people that try to bum parking as that street gets VERY crowded and parking runs out quickly, especially weekend meal times.

    The lounge restaurant inside the 4P is decent but not spectacular, and better values (not to mention more unique cuisines) can be found within a 2-min walk up Alexandra. I hope you got the chance to indulge yourself!

  15. Anthony is spot on.

    btw, there are some great asian restaurants within easy walking distance of this hotel.

  16. Yeah but 4P in europe is totally different!!! Dornbirn Austria- one if the funkiest suites I’ve ever been in, hip and interesting design. Bolzano Italy – also very cool. Very unlike the obligatory red curtain thing in the US. Wish they’d bring that 4P Europe design sense over here, I’d stay with them often.

  17. I stayed at Four Points last night near Detroit Metro Airport. Everything and I mean everything looked exactly the same way your Vancouver one did. I even had a corner room with king size bed 🙂 I would stay there again. However, I wouldn’t have dinner at their restaurant again – beef stroganoff with pasta was very poor. Didnt try their breakfast as I had a 7am flight.

  18. This property was recently renovated. I think it was actually a Category 2 before that, it was so run down.

    There is also Lansdowne Mall directly across the street for those looking for convenient amenities.

    The Westinghouse Wall Center is nicer, but there is nothing around the property that is easily walkable, so it’s pretty isolated.

  19. “What do you guys think — a menu writer with a good sense of humor, or just blissful ignorance?”

    I explained this metaphor to a non-English speaking friend once and now she refers to every single pastry and every fashion mistake made by a plump person that we ever encounter together with a loud exclamation of “muffin!”

    I’m just worried about what’s going to happen when she says that to someone who is a native English speaker. If it’s the writer of that menu, I guess it won’t be a problem.

  20. 4p main differentiators IMO are maybe the best bed of the budget brands and their beer bars (best example of that is 4p lax but it’s not well executed in many places ).

  21. “What do you guys think — a menu writer with a good sense of humor, or just blissful ignorance?”

    Well, someone who seems to not know the designation given to gay men with regards to the position they prefer during sex. I’ll go with a sense of humor, but I don’t think he was referring to top & bottom that way, but to something else.

    I mean, the top part of a muffin is usually considered better than the bottom part. Seinfeld did a whole plot about it during one episode where Elaine and her ex-boss open a cafe that only sold the top part of the muffin. I guess they could have been referring to that?

  22. Will echo that ones in Europe are totally different. Had enough points for one night, but was cheaper to buy points and redeem for Four Points in Munich for Oktoberfest than pay the 400 Euros per night rate. Phone agent was happy to help me “game the system” to boot.

    Hotel was quite lovely and amazingly conveniently located to Oktoberfest. I feel like, anecdotally, the ones I come across in the US are all at airports.

  23. Hi Ben,
    Does Four Points offer lounges?? And can we get into the lounges with SPG business card Sheraton lounge benefits?

  24. The hotel looks nicer than some of the dumpy full-service Sheraton hotels I’ve stayed at before. There’s a Four Points in Saginaw, Michigan, with a full-service (albeit sports bar kind of place) restaurant attached. President Bush actually stayed there a few years back! This looks a little nicer than the Four Points San Francisco Airport that I stayed at recently. Same lovely herringbone-patterned furniture, however. Four Points is comparable to Courtyard, but perhaps the rooms are a little nicer. I think Courtyard probably has a better bistro, on the whole, compared to the average Four Points.

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