Sheraton North Houston Hotel
The Sheraton Houston North is an airport hotel located in the vicinity of Georg Bush International Airport at JFK Boulevard, a short ride with the free shuttle from the airport. If you arrive by car follow the signs to the airport and JFK Boulevard. Public transportation is non-existent.
The Shuttle bus is running every 20 minutes and is free of charge.
The hotel has ten floors and consists of a main wing with two side wings in a 45 ° angle to the main building. The first and second floor is hosting he lobby, pool, gym and meeting areas and is a rectangle, i.e. not shaped like the higher floors, which are built on top of the lower floors. It is hotel building not uncommon for the US.
The hotel has a covered driveway where the shuttle bus stop for drop off and pick up hotel guests. Two sliding doors lead to the lobby which is spacious and bright due to a partial glass roof. On the left side is a small gift shop, which is open from 07:00 to 22:00 and sells beverages, batteries, souvenirs and travel related things. On the right side is the check in area usually staffed with three to four persons in peak time and one to two person in off peak times. Two desks are reserved to guest with elite status in the frequent guest program SPG.
The lobby is spacious and looks even more spacious than it actually is. The reason is the above mentioned glass roof, so the lobby gets a lot of natural light. There are several lounge chairs with tables as well as the Link by Sheraton Internet terminal. Opposite the check in desk are the bar (“Basil’s Tavern”) and the restaurant (“Basil’s Kitchen”), which are open to the lobby. On the one hand this is nice and might add to the airy feeling of the lobby but on the other hand means the lobby could be a bit noisy due the noise from restaurant and especially from the bar. The elevators to the floors with the rooms and the meeting space is between bar and kitchen.
Further down on the right side is the indoor pool and the gym and the exit to the outdoor pool. The gym is of modest size and the equipment is okay, not the most modern one but more than sufficient for a workout. Towels and water were provided by the hotel. The gym is open 24/7.
The pool is of medium size with a Jacuzzi. Locker rooms and toilet are available.
Part of this area is also self laundry facilities for the use of the guest. The pool is open 24/7 as well.
The outdoor pool is free form and offers a few sun chairs as well. It is located at the rear part of the hotel with a few trees, but close to JFK Boulevard and therefore not the quietest place. There is a wall between pool and street / pedestrian path. Towels were provided here as well. The outdoor pool is open from 10:00 to 22:00 if it is not used for a reception.
The meeting and reception rooms are located on the left side of the ground floor and on the first floor. The hotel offers space for meetings and receptions for up to people. All meeting room offer WiFi.
Visited on Star Alliance MegaDo 2 - Mileage Run reloaded -
Stays November 03, 2010 - June 25, 2013 -
Arrival Date: November 03rd, 2010
Departure Date: November 05th, 2010
Room type booked: Traditional
Rate Plan: Star Mega Do Rate
Room Number: 624
Room Rate: 99.00 USD (excl. taxes)
Status of Guest Program: Base
I arrived at the hotel around 16:00 as part of a larger group of people attending the FT Awards and the Star Mega DO. Despite the larger group, check in was fast and efficient and the desks staffed with the number of agents able to handle the check in procedure quickly.
The paperwork was prepared and the necessary information was prefilled so that I only had to sign it and show my passport.
During the check in process no information was given about location of pool and gym, the location of my room however and how to reach it was explained. Given the queue at check in it is understandable, that they speed up things and assumed that I would discover this myself. I can live with that under these circumstances.
My room was on the 6th floor far away from the elevator.
My room had the standard layout of a hotel room and I would rate it of average size.
A small hallway leads from the entrance to the room. In the hallway was the closet located, where iron and ironing board was placed. There were enough hangers but not so much to place sweaters or any clothes which do not need hangers. A luggage rack was also available; unfortunately there was no in-room safe in the room. The entrance to the bathroom was also located in the hallway.
The bathroom was of average size and features a sink, toilet and bath. Showerhead and shower curtain were okay. The lighting in the bathroom was sufficient. The hairdryer was placed in a sack next to the sink and not only the female travelers will miss the vanity mirror. Towels were provided for three persons, bathroom amenities were the Sheraton own brand. Towels were changed daily, although they were not placed in the sink but put back on the rack. Bathroom amenities were also restocked during the daily housekeeping service.
My room had two king size beds on the left side with a bedside table between both beds. On the bedside were placed a lamp and the telephone. In front of the window was a armchair with another lamp and a small table.
On the right side was the desk with a second phone, a lamp and a rather old fashioned desk chair, which was very soft and not very comfortable. Next to the desk was a sideboard with an old tube television and tea and coffee facilities.
The room used a somehow strange color scheme. The furniture was in a dark brown color while the wall had beige colored wallpaper. The wall behind the bed was painted in a dark blue color matching the blue color of the carpet. This does not really match and especially the dark blue color made the room rather dark. The armchair was red which set a contrast.
The room was renovated, but the furniture was old and only repainted. They were not really modern and despite the paint scratches were clearly visible.
Internet was available in the room for 9.95 USD / 24 hours powered by AT&T, but the connection was weak in peak times. Internet is free for SPG Platinums
The mattress was new but even the Sheraton Sweet Sleeper mattress it for my taste too soft, I prefer a rather hard one. However I have t admit that I rarely find this type of mattresses in hotels.
The room was clean and had no hidden dust in areas more difficult to clean. Housekeepig did a good job and I have only one small complaint: the writing pads were not restocked (one had only one paper left) and the pen was not working and broken, which could easily be discovered by housekeeping (visible damage). It was not changed either.
A turn down service was not offered.
The pool area was okay, the pool however was not the cleanest one and so was the Jacuzzi. The reason might, that the area is cleaned or swept and staff did not really care if the swept the dust in the pool. Not really nice but also not very difficult to avoid
I checked out very early at 04:45. The folio was slipped under the door during in my last night and was correct. So I only had to pay and was on the way to the airport with one of the earliest shuttle buses.
Overall a mixed impression. The room is okay, but the color scheme somehow strange and the furniture old and repainted instead of changed during the last refurbishment. It is nice to have a indoor and outdoor pool. Unfortunately the previous one is not very clean, but this could easily be changed, if housekeeping pays more attention while cleaning the pool area. Staff is friendly and helpful. I will stay there again, but that is depending on the rates and the rates of the nearby alternative hotels.
Arrival Date: June 25, 2013
Departure Date: June 26, 2013
Room type booked: Traditional Non-smoking
Rate Plan: Cash and Points (2000 Pts + 35 USD)
Room Number: 437
Room Rate: 35 USD (excl. taxes) + 2000 Pts
Status of Guest Program: Platinum
I arrived at the hotel around 15:40 by car and parked the car on the large parking, which is still free of charge. I was checked in by a trainee with the assistance of the supervisor. The reservation was retrieved from the system but she did not exactly know how to process a “cash and point” booking. So the supervisor took over and indicated by pointing on the screen how to proceed. Since I was the only guest, there was no need to rush through the procedure. I was asked if I like to get the 500 points as Platinum amenity. I was also informed, that I was upgraded to a renovated room and that the club lounge on the top floor was undergoing renovation and therefore closed. A temporarily lounge was available on the second floor and I was told how to reach it. I was also informed about location and opening hours of pool and gym.
My room was on the fourth floor next to the elevator and the vending machine. I feared this room might be noisy, but I was staying there only for one night and I had to get up early anyway. In the end, there was no noise from elevator and vending machine.
The assigned room had the standard layout of an average hotel room.
A small hallway leads from the entrance to the room. In the hallway was the closet. Iron and ironing board were stored in the closet. This room had also an in-room safe in the closet, which was an advantage over the room I stayed in back in 2010 and I think this is now a room feature.
The bathroom could be accessed from the hallway.
The bathroom was of average size. It had a sink, toilet and bath. Showerhead and shower curtain were okay. The lighting in the bathroom was okay, though I would have preferred brighter lamps. The hairdryer was placed in a sack under the sink. Unfortunately the bathroom still had no vanity mirror.
Towels were provided for three persons in small, medium and large size; bathroom amenities were the Sheraton own brand (shampoo, conditioner and lotion). The towels were washed, but had some stains and were not the softest ones.
My room had two king size beds on the left side with a bedside table between both beds. There, a lamp, the alarm clock and the telephone were placed and occupied most of the place. In front of the window was an armchair with another lamp and a small table.
On the right side was the desk with a second phone, a lamp and an ergonomically desk chair. The desk was okay, large enough to work on it and a number of plug sockets were also available. The down was that there was some draught from the air condition if sitting at the desk and the air condition in full power. Next to the desk was a sideboard with a flat TV followed by another sideboard, which could host a fridge. Currently an empty ice cube box and glasses were placed in it and the coffee machine on it. A minibar was missing, only a large bottle of water was available (4.50 USD).
The color scheme of the room was using dark brown colors and the wallpaper / wall paint was matching the color scheme of the room. The furniture was made from a dark brown color and new and thus in much better shape than in the room I stayed in 2010. I would not call the furniture modern, but clearly an improvement over the old ones.
The mattress in the room was better than the one in the room I stayed in back in 2010.
The room was mostly clean and had no hidden dust in areas more difficult to clean. The bed had some stains in the lower part, which was not so nice. And the bedclothes had also some stains and was not in the best condition. There was also not much space to move in the room due to the furniture arrangement and the room appeared a bit cramped. The number of plug sockets was okay.
The lounge was re-located and in so far I give only a short summary of the available items. Soft drinks were free of charge while beer and wine had to be paid (local beer was 4.75 USD the bottle, imported beer and wine were 6.75 USD per bottle / glass). The selection of food were wraps, cheese nuggets, vegetables and cheese, I missed bread. The member of staff on duty was not overly friendly and began to clear the buffet ahead of closing time.
I did not visit pool and gym this time due to a lack of time, but from a quick visit not much had changed.
I checked out very early at 04:45. Due to privacy issues the folio is no longer slipped under the door in most Starwood Hotels and so it was printed during check out. It was correct and the points for my stay posted within 48 hours.
Overall, I have again mixed impression of this stay. The renovation of the rooms was overdue and the newly renovated rooms are a real improvement over the old ones. Nevertheless the details like stains in towels and bedclothes are for many people more than just a minor detail.
Staff is mostly friendly and helpful. I will stay there again, but like on my previous stay that is depending on the rates and the rates of the nearby alternative hotels, which were this time much higher and I was able to get a cash and points award at the Sheraton.