Sunday, May 24, 2015

Starwood Hopping - Part 1 - Sheraton Crown Center

Hotel Details
Hotel: Sheraton KC Hotel At Crown Center
Dates: May 23-24, 2015
Rate Paid: 3,500 points + $66 /night 
Regular Cost: $188 per night 
Redemption: 3.5 cents/SPG point
Upgrade: Executive Suite ($350)

My family came to Kansas City to watch a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium over Memorial Day weekend, but we also thought we'd take the opportunity to rack up a few more stays at Starwood hotels to re-qualify for SPG Platinum for 2016.

We were in luck as Kansas City has plenty of Starwood properties all over the area. Instead of picking a single property to stay for all 3 nights, however, my crazy parents decided to hotel hop each night to try out the different hotels. Obsessed much?

Starwood Hotels in Kansas City
The first night, we booked at the Sheraton Crown Center a few minutes from downtown. This was the property we were most excited about. It was the most highly rated and had the best Club Lounge based on the reviews.

We arrived around 4:30PM and pulled up to the front where the valet parking was overwhelmed with all the guests checking in. Apparently, there were a lot of events going on Saturday night that sold out all the hotels in a 1 hour radius from KC.

Instead of valet parking ($24/night), we asked where we could self park ($17/night). The garage was right next door (and could access the hotel without going outside), so we parked there. Apparently, if we paid for parking through the Sheraton, we could get in/out privileges by just writing our name/room number on the parking ticket where the attendant would check a list of paid guests.

We made our way into the side entrance of the Sheraton into the stunning main lobby. Check in was fine though they didn't enforce the dedicated SPG Platinum/Gold lines.

We were confirmed into a 545 sf Executive Suite (a complimentary upgrade from our standard 276 sf room). As you can see from the photos, it had a separate living room and faced the Kansas City skyline.

We didn't use the outdoor swimming pool or eat at any of the regular restaurants, so we can't comment on those. However, it wasn't really pool weather given it was overcast and drizzling. The other benefit of the Sheraton Crown Center was that there was a skybridge (see blue glass structures below) that connected the hotel to the Crown Center mall area. Pretty convenient as we made our way to see the Crayola Cafe and the dozen other kid-friendly things to do/see there.

The highlight of the Sheraton Crown Center, however, was the 41st floor Club Lounge (the circular structure at the top of the building). Originally built as a revolving full-service restaurant, it was later converted into a lounge as that type of dining fell out of fashion.

As Platinums, we were given complimentary access (otherwise ~$30/night) where we could enjoy evening refreshments (soft drinks and hot hors d'oeuvres) as well as a hot breakfast the next morning (scrambled eggs, toast, pastries, fruit and yogurt). It was quite overcast, but the view of Kansas City was still stunning!

We were given a late 4PM checkout that Sunday afternoon, but we decided to check out at 2PM to try and make the KC Royals game as the weather seemed to be cooperating.

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