I had the opportunity to stay at The Concourse Hotel at LAX before an early morning flight in late February. This hotel was formerly a Radisson and is currently being renovated before adopting the Hyatt Regency brand. It’s also on the same site as the original Hyatt House motel, from way back when the chain was started in the 1950s.
New rooms should be available soon. Just yesterday I saw some pictures on Instagram from a guest who’d been given one of the newly renovated rooms, and they appear to be a big improvement. Better even, I think, than most of the competition near LAX.
But for me, it’s all about location. Traffic at LAX is horrible, and I appreciate that the airport makes it convenient for travelers to walk to the hotels on Century Boulevard. After arriving on Alaska Airlines at T6, it was a 10-15 minute walk via the administration building’s rose garden. Google Maps doesn’t seem to pull up the correct route, so here’s a map.
I did take the shuttle when leaving the hotel the next day, and it’s a straight shot onto World Way. Even so, I should have walked, as it took nearly 25 minutes to reach TBIT with all the traffic and frequent stops. Not the hotel’s fault.
Anyway, back to my arrival. It was an unusually rainy day, but I didn’t mind after nine years in Seattle.
With new rooms and a great location, what else is left? Service. That’s even more important than most other factors since I won’t put up with bad service no matter how good everything else is. As a result, this review doesn’t have many pictures. I didn’t see the point as it may not look anything like this when you have a chance to visit.
The Concourse Hotel is still just “affiliated” with Hyatt, but when I arrived at the front desk I received a very detailed explanation of all my Diamond elite benefits and an apology that the new rooms were still being renovated. I also received a letter inviting me to tour a new room, but there wasn’t much time in my schedule.
I turned down the offer of a welcome amenity, which was vaguely worded but potentially quite generous: “Is there anything you would like to receive as a welcome amenity?” Instead I dropped off my things in my room before heading back to the bar, where I elected to pay for my drinks. However, the service here was great just like during check-in. After I picked up my cocktail to walk over to the far end of the lobby and read, the bartender brought over some snacks for me.
I got the impression throughout my stay that the staff were doing their best to work with a bad situation. The hotel needed a lot of work, and I have no doubt it will look great when it’s done. Back in my room, I looked at the furniture and thought it looked fairly new. It’s possible — though I don’t know for sure — that these were either rented or purchased inexpensively as a stopgap measure during renovation.
You can see more pictures in this review from last year by Gary Leff. He seemed to think the room was a disappointment, which I disagree with. The hallway carpet was ugly and the room’s furnishings were basic, but I didn’t see the peeling wallpaper and frayed carpet that Gary did. My room was a comfortable 70 degrees.
About the only thing I will agree with was the dirty window. It appeared that the original windows were single pane, which is not only drafty but invites mold. It seems that they installed a separate interior window, which kept most of my side clean, although it wasn’t perfect. It looked like another stopgap.
My point is, this is an old hotel, and if you’re expecting a newly renovated room, wait until you’re sure you can book one. In the meantime they have done everything I can think of to make the original rooms tolerable.
Breakfast the next morning was pretty good. I was greeted immediately, the waiter was attentive, and I could choose just about anything off the menu. Occupancy seemed low, and I wasn’t surprised to find that the buffet in the back wasn’t running. But it still ranked among the better free breakfasts at an airport property.
I’m curious to know what will happen to the restaurant during the renovation. The Palmira Bar & Grill had an old-school charm with lots of plants and wood paneling that you don’t see often anymore and which certainly won’t fit in with the new grey and yellow contemporary look. Unfortunately that means it will probably have to go. Hopefully the service at this hotel is something they plan to keep.