For the last 2 nights in New York, we chose to stay at Flushing, New York since the wedding dinner we are attending will be held at Flushing. When we arrived, Flushing does remind me of Richmond, BC with many East Asian merchants and shops. This meant some really good ethnic food like Korean BBQ. In fact the Korean BBQ at this place called Hahm Ji Bach is one of my favourite, beating even Korean BBQ in Vancouver, Los Angeles and perhaps those at Seoul themselves. I hope to write more about this BBQ place later, but back to the Sheraton LaGuardia East which is also the airport hotel for passengers travelling through LaGuardia Airport which is the third airport serving Greater New York after JFK and Newark (which is in New Jersey). This means there is frequent shuttles for guests to and from the airport. For guests who drive to the hotel like us, they had a valet parking facility at the basement of the hotel which was pretty affordable and I would say it is good value in New York, though I would have expected free parking for a suburban airport hotel.
First impressions of this hotel was that of a basic airport hotel, with pleasant front desk courtesy and we were checked into a Club Floor room on the same floor. We felt truly welcome by the front desk agent at this point in time as the agent was the most pleasant we encountered during our visit in New York. However she failed to mention one critical factor during our stay which will perhaps change our opinions of the hotel. The property itself is located in downtown Flushing with numerous Asian restaurants and bakeries around which makes it easier to grab breakfast outside the hotel. It is also worth noting the hotel was near full occupancy during the dates we stayed.
The room and bathroom was similar in layout to many Sheratons in North America. There was twin beds in one and a King-size bed in the other, with an armchair and a side table by the window and a work desk with a basic chair. Bathroom was again of decent size, and all that matters was the hotel room felt clean even though the property was quite old.
Breakfast for SPG Platinum was usually at the Club Lounge though on the first day, the lounge was under some renovations, allowing guests to dine at the restaurant at the lower concourse level. The restaurant was dark though it was in middle of a mall atrium as the lower levels of the building that housed the hotel was a small shopping mall comprising of travel agents and some boutiques. However compared to the really small club lounge, the restaurant was spacious. On the second day there was not even enough seats for guests in the club lounge, though there was a nice view of planes landing and taking off from LaGuardia Airport.
The main disappointment of the hotel was the way one of the managers responded to me as a guest. What happened was after returning to my room at around 9:30am, there were workers getting rid of the carpeting and doing a major renovation on the corridor. Needless to say I thought it was ridiculous to give out a room to guests when you are expecting to renovate an entire floor. There was not even a notice beforehand to guests on when this would occur. As a resident in a apartment, even I am told of when workers are coming in to make minor maintenance works. Even if I was not told about it during the check-in process, there should have been a note left inside the room to warn guests of the inconvenience. The whole corridor was so dusty that I head out to the front desk and requested clarifications from the manager. I was really disappointed with the manager’s response to me as a guest, and not only was she rude, but she disregarded my complaints. Compared to the other pleasant staff in the hotel, I frankly do not believe the manager deserves her position and should not even be in the hospitality business.
Basically I requested for masks and made a complaint to SPG via twitter before the manager came back to me and made it a point to make my last night in the stay complimentary. But there was no word of apology and she still gave me that indignant attitude which truly ruined my impression of this hotel. Aside from the incident, my stay in the hotel was alright, though because of the manager’s attitude, this is probably one SPG hotel I would avoid unless there is a change in the management staff.