This Is A Room At A Four Points By Sheraton?!?

Hotel branding has long been a mystery to me. Now that Marriott’s takeover of Starwood is complete, the “combined” group has roughly 30 hotel brands. Even though I follow this stuff pretty closely, I couldn’t tell you the difference between most of the brands.

marriott-brands

Part of the reason we see so many brands is because it allows hotel companies to sell more properties to investors. An investor might not want to open the third Sheraton in a city, but maybe they’d like to open the first Aloft or Four Points? After all, the major hotel groups primarily make money by managing hotels and getting a percentage of the revenue, rather than by owning the hotels themselves.

With that in mind, we often see a lot of inconsistency when it comes to the quality of hotels within a given brand, and we’ve written in the past about what a mystery hotel branding can be.

On Thursday night I stayed at the Four Points Seattle Airport South, and it was another perfect example of how hotel branding confuses the heck out of me.

Sheraton as such is a confusing brand, and Marriott’s CEO is on record as saying he doesn’t really know what to do with it, since it lacks an identity. Perhaps even more confusing is Four Points by Sheraton, which is inspired by Sheraton, and is equally confusing.

Case in point, check out how gorgeous the lobby of the Four Points Seattle Airport is. When I arrived at the hotel late in the evening, I noticed the lobby smelled amazing. I asked the friendly associate about it, and he said it was “the Four Points signature scent.”

Huh, Four Points has a signature scent? And it actually smells good??

four-points-sheraton-seattle-airport-3

As you can probably imagine, I was even more surprised when I was informed that I had been upgraded to a loft suite. I didn’t realize most Four Points properties had suites, let alone loft suites… let alone at an airport property!

Admittedly it’s not furnished like a Four Seasons, but still, check out how gorgeous the room was.

four-points-sheraton-seattle-airport-18

four-points-sheraton-seattle-airport-21

four-points-sheraton-seattle-airport-22

It had two full bathrooms, a dining room table with seating for four, a fake fireplace, etc.

It wasn’t just that the room itself was beautiful, but the service at the hotel was great, the entire property was spotless, etc.

Bottom line

It has been a while since I’ve stayed at a hotel with such a huge contrast between what I was expecting and what I experienced. Admittedly all major hotel chains have some inconsistencies. Four Points is a brand I don’t get to begin with, so I was even more delighted when I found the property to be this nice.

Does anyone “get” the Four Points brand? Is this in fact closer to the norm, and I’ve just been staying at bad properties, or…?

Comments

  1. Just compare Howard Johnsons in the US to Howard Johnsons in China! About the biggest difference imaginable

  2. Cool post. I must try Four Points. I think the catch is that I’ve never seen one well-located (city center) — usually suburban locations?

  3. The Four Points San Francisco airport has the same identical suite. Imagine the shock I had when I stayed there and got upgraded. It’s been 3 for 3 when I stayed there and got upgraded.

  4. I stayed here about six months ago and was also surprised when I walked in. The front desk agent told me that the hotel was not going to be a Four Points but changed at the last moment. Not sure if that’s true but it could be an explanation.

    What’s interesting to me is that the decor is almost identical to the Four Points in Bentonville, Arkansas – so they were either developed by the same group or its some sort of test marketing by Four Points. They were both opened around the same time.

  5. 4 Points is basically a Courtyard Marriott equivalent. That’s how I compare them. No frills, just a clean comfortable basic room.

  6. Love SPG but I completely disagree about four points. Some are good….new ones, the converted W in Silicon Valley, etc….. but most are total dumps. I think it’s fair to say the difference in thr four point brand is greater than the Sheraton brand.

  7. Stayed at the four points in Cali Colombia. Was given a suite + a huge fruit welcome amenity and wine. I thought I was at a different brand. The room was massive. Made no sense.

  8. That’s the exception, definitely not the norm. Most “Four Points” properties are basically Ramadas without the free breakfast. I seriously don’t know of a less consistent hotel brand that charges the price they do. (Maybe some junk from Choice Hotels or Wyndham…)

  9. Great room! Was just looking at this hotel a few hours ago for a short stay.

    Not SPG but the Hyatt Place Managua totally blew me away two weeks ago. No HP like it in the US or anywhere I have ever been.

  10. There’s three Four Points in Australia. Sydney is quite suave but still retains a basic feel to it, I think it will be interesting as its being converted to a Hyatt from memory and it’s under major refurbishment.

    Brisbane is deceiving. It’s lobby makes it look small and tacky but what you find in the rooms is ultra moden and certainly very impressive (and thats not even going to a suite either).

    The letdown is Perth as the rooms are small and dingy. The lobby is actually half decent to look at so you think the rooms would be ok but they really arent. It’s just a lack of consistency in the Four Points brand. The Sheraton brand is an issue because its getting lost between Four Points and say the Meridian brand because it doesn’t have a unique qiality.

  11. I know Marriott is saying it will keep all 30 hotels but I don’t see how there won’t be significant re-flagging of properties. I also don’t see how Sheraton is sustainable in the long term. I’m sitting in Detroit, well a suburb. There are two full-service Marriotts, one Westin, one Sheraton, three Courtyards, and one Renaissance — not counting Fairfield Inn, Residence Inn and so forth — within 10 minutes of where I am. Not one of these hotels really stands head and shoulders above the others. They’re all basically the same. The other difference is the Renaissance has the most stylish decor. Sheraton, in particular, is a very inconsistent and not terribly inspiring brand.

  12. Also, there isn’t a lick of difference between the average Marriott, the average Delta, the average Renaissance, and the average Sheraton. I would rank the average Westin slightly higher, if only because I’ve always received slippers and a bathrobe at Westin hotels. Very few Marriott hotels offer either anymore, at least in North America.

  13. At the Sheraton downtown Denver-what a mess! The footprint is so strange. The service is poor and they have a race closing off the parking tomorrow so we can’t use our car until after nine or we have to park 4 blocks away in an unsecured lot. What??? And no one even knew what to do about it . We asked about it at 8 tonight. It’s a strange one.

  14. Four Points was positioned as an entry level full service brand. When you look at the standards that need to be met for franchise agreements, sometimes the contrast between brands is small. I know that the owner of the one that I worked in (my first hotel job) chose Four Points for the lower franchise fee and cheaper tarry, linens, etc. The overall overhead was less while still retaining the ability to be a Starwood property and receive the marketing push that comes from it. It’s little things like how many amenities must be offered in a room, or what staffing level must be met. For example at a Four Points we did not have to have a dedicated bellman, but at a Sheraton you did for “x” hours per day. I would be surprised if this brand doesn’t fold into the Courtyard portfolio as they are similar in scope, but then what happens to the properties that are already in a market where a Courtyard exists? This is a ripe moment for other brands to pick up the Starwood/Marriott castaways.

  15. Nice! I stayed at this hotel in late spring and the loft suites were not complete, honestly it was sort of weird, no construction going on either and apparently it was a mystery as to when they were going to be completed. Also this hotel is super nice but that neighborhood is a little sketchy to say the least, unfortunately I think this hotel is the nicest place in the area! The other problem I had with this property is that there was no delivery options and there wasn’t anything other then fast food in the area! The hotel itself is A+ tho 🙂

  16. I regularly stay at the 4 Points in Perth and Brisbane Australia, pretty much the only chance I get to stay at SPG hotels. They are both really nice with great lobbies, bars and quality rooms.

  17. I recently stayed at the FourPoints in Lima/Peru. I also got a suite upgrade. Not as posh as the in Guangzhou, not two levels like in Lucky’s OP, but also very nice.

    I agree that FourPoints cover a wide spectrum. That’s why I read the reviews (e.g. on TripAdvisor) carefully before booking them – but don’t hesitate if the reviews are good.

  18. That is one of the better.
    I just got delayed in LAX with BA went on F class too try A380, they put an envelope on the wall at gate with hotel voucher and sadly a ticket to a connecting flight giving me another delay – another story of horrendous service from BA this trip did the trick no more F class with BA for me.

    Voucher was for Four point Sheraton, but it was like 8th floors of Motel 6 big AC in big window with rubber/plastic curtains facing the walk outside like a motel, newest item in room LG lcd, I could see coach passengers getting that hotel too so 30 min waiting to check in at 12 30 am with a food voucher 25 dollars but kitchen is closing 1 am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *