My friend and I recently “backpacked” (is it really backpacking if you’re staying at luxury hotels?) through California. Our last night was in Los Angeles, where we were to fly back to Toronto the next day. Note that L.A. is one of my least favourite places. It’s this vile mix glitzy with incredible poverty, is unwalkable, smelly, and dirty. It reminds me of Johannesburg (my other least favourite city).
I found an IHG Best Price Guarantee, which gave us the night for free, at a rather nice room with the Intercontinental Century City. The hotel is very far from any of L.A.’s tourist sites, however, with my hatred of L.A. this wasn’t an issue. Anyways, they have a complimentary town car that drives you anywhere within 1.5 miles of the hotel, and we used that for a walk through Beverly Hills.
When we checked in, we were upgraded to a suite because of my Ambassador status. This was great, because I was to wake up at 5:00AM the next day to write a take-home exam, and my friend was able to sleep in the other room on a rollaway bed undisturbed.
The room was massive. It had a living room with a dining room, a bedroom with a rather large bed, and a huge bathroom with two sinks, a separate tub and shower, and two different entryways. We were given three pieces of fruit as an amenity, and Voss water. Complimentary water was given to us at the front desk whenever we requested.
We were in one of the non-refurbished rooms. My understanding is that the hotel is refurbishing the rooms floor-by-floor. The décor was rather dated, and there were nicks on the wall and stains on the carpet. It didn’t feel dirty, but it definitely needed the upgrade. Again, this was a free night, and the room was around $600, so I ain’t complaining!
The best part of the room was a balcony that fit two chairs. When the smog settled down, we could see a faint outline of the Hollywood sign, and a rather pleasant view of L.A.. Although there’s not much close to the hotel, there is a shopping mall where we grabbed a bottle of wine and drank that on the balcony.
All in all, it was a nice stay. However, if we paid for the room, it would have felt overpriced. The location sucks, the room was outdated, and the room rates were astronomical. Fortunately, the poor location is outside of the grime of L.A., and the balcony view was wonderful. I certainly would stay here again on a Best Price Guarantee stay 😉 (note that this IC is one of the few properties that doesn’t adjust your rate to $0 on a BPG stay, rather, you have to wait four weeks for reimbursement by the BPG department.)