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Hotel Review: Sheraton Xian

by on January 19, 2012 · 17 comments

in China, Sheraton, Starwood

The Sheraton Xian--all business on the outside, but comfortable inside.

This is an installment in my series on my January 2012 trip to China. Posts include: Help Me Plan My Trip To ChinaFlight Review: American Airlines 777 International Business Class to BeijingHotel Review: St. Regis BeijingBeijing Overview: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Peking DeckA Great Day at the Great Wall of China,  Flight Review: Air China 777 Domestic Business ClassHotel Review: Andaz Shanghai, Trip Report: Terra Cotta Warriors and a Wild Goose Pagoda in Xian, Hotel Review: Sheraton Xian, and My China Trip Wrap Up: China Eastern, Hainan Airlines and the Westin Beijing.

In addition to the newly opened Andaz Shanghai, I was looking forward to staying in a just-opened hotel in the next city on my China itinerary, the Westin Xian, and reporting my findings back to you. Unfortunately, Starwood had other plans for me.

The living room of my Club Deluxe Suite.

Staying at the Westin Sheraton

The Westin Xian was scheduled to open January 6, so I made a reservation a few days before my trip. However, 36 hours before my arrival in Xian, I got an email from Starwood saying that the hotel was not yet open and that my reservation would instead be honored at the Sheraton Xian. (There are actually two Sheratons in the city, the Sheraton Xian and the Sheraton Xian North City, just for reference.)

I wasn’t thrilled since the Sheraton wasn’t quite as central as the Westin seemed it would be, but at least Starwood honored the rate of 800 RMB ($126) I had gotten for the Westin even though the Sheraton was showing the cheapest rate of 1,200 RMB (the hotel seemed very busy during my stay). The hotel is a Starwood category 2, which is 4,000 points per night or 1,600 and $30 USD if cash & points is available.

I was booked into a Club Room but I was upgraded to a Club Deluxe Suite because of my SPG Platinum status. I also think Sheratons in Asia lead the pack and are very different from their counterparts in other regions, so I wasn’t too anxious about what I’d find, and as a little bonus, the hotel threw in a ride in one of their Mercedes S Class sedans to pick me up from the airport (getting back from the hotel to the airport by taxi cost 110 RMB for a 45-minute ride). Find me a Sheraton in the US that does that!

My suite's master bedroom with king-size bed.

The Suite

I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at the hotel. The staff and level of service was very high, and I was welcomed in the lobby and taken to my suite to be checked in there. I thought this was VIP treatment (that they knew I was a blogger and were apologizing for the Westin mishap), but the front office manager told me they try to do this for all Platinum guests as a courtesy. The hotel had given me a newly redecorated Club Deluxe Suites on one of the two floors dedicated to club rooms and suites.

The ensuite pantry and kitchen along with a washer unit...very convenient!

The suite itself was spacious with a large living room containing a sofa and armchair arranged around a coffee table (where my welcome amenity of fruit was sitting) in front of a wall-mounted flatscreen TV, a small breakfast table and chairs. There was also a small pantry off the main room with a minibar, sink and even a washing machine, which I thought was a pretty convenient amenity.

The bathroom in pinkish marble--pretty nice for a Sheraton, though just one sink.

The separate bedroom was also pretty large and furnished with a king-size bed, dark wooden desk and nightstands.

The Executive Lounge was really nice--I had breakfast there in the mornings and canapes and cocktail at happy hour.

Club Access

My suite also came with access to the hotel’s Executive Lounge on the third floor, which was one of the best I’ve ever been in. This was where I had my breakfast, and though the hotel just called it a continental breakfast, the buffet spread was a little more lavish than that, and the food was delicious with both Western and Chinese options. The lounge also offered daily happy hour from 5:30-7:30pm with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, which I took full advantage of, as well as the free WiFi, which would have cost my $8 a day without my SPG Platinum status.

The extensive breakfast spread at the Executive Lounge.

Other Amenities

Because my time in Xian was short–basically two nights and a single (very busy!) day–I didn’t have time to test out the hotel’s other amenities like the fitness center, Shine Spa, or four (yes, four) restaurants, but the Sheraton Street Food concept (sort of like Asian hot-pot fast food) seemed fun, and the fancier Tang Yuan Chinese restaurant looked very nice.

Overall, I’m not a huge fan of Sheraton’s, but this one exceeded my expectations on pretty much every front. The only major downside would be location – the new Westin is much more central and actually located right at the Wild Goose Pagoda that I wrote about yesterday.


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  • http://twitter.com/jamucsb Jamison

    great review! I love Sheratons ;)

  • Dhammer53

    We stayed here 2 years ago. Great hotel. Wonderful staff that really went out of their way for us.
    As you exit the hotel, if you make a right, there’s a local Chinese restaurant. The menu is a combination of Chinese and pictures. We weren’t exactly sure what we were ordering, so decided to show our bill to Frank the Concierge. He told us everything we ordered. No major surprises, but the chicken soup was actually fish soup. Slightly tangy.
    FYI, for anyone staying here in the future, taxi fares are cheap, very cheap.

  • Andy

    I think SPG P got well treated in Asia/Pacific hotels than in us ones.

  • PJ

    In late April, I am checking in the Sheraton Barra in Rio brazil and Sheraton Iguazzu Fall ( the argentine side) Can anybody chime in on your previcious experience especially the transportation from the airport on the Brazil side IGU to the Sheraton Resort in the Iguazu National Park.. There seems a 50Km ride.

  • Jh811

    I think Sheratons in Asia have great service in general. We were treated very well as regular SPG members (using cash+points) at Sheraton Nha Trang just last month. Got upgraded for free to an executive floor…

  • http://www.wired2theworld.com/ Kristina

    This is why I love my SPG AMEX card. I try as often as possible to book a room with cash plus points which I find to be the best value. I love the Sheraton Club lounges too; they are a great bonus. Unfortunately, the W Hotels don’t seem to have them and not all the Sheratons have Clubs either. However, I can testify that the ones in Saigon (the best, by far), Panama City Panama, and Kyoto are all great.

  • Antonio

    I stayed there as part of my China trip in November. I got a suite and lounge access. I think is a good choice besides thebfact you are out of town. The Sofitel is rigth in the middle of the city with lots of things to do walking distance. Still, Sheraton Xi’an was a great experience

  • 424759365

    Asian airlines and hotels are way better than the U.S. airlines and hotels. Shame on SPG cause it is from the States, but offers better service in other countries.

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  • NYBanker

    Essentially all Sheraton and Westin properties in East Asia and Australia are far superior to those in the US/Canada.

  • Bbkandsp

    If anyone knows the name of the restaurant Dhammer53 mentions, please post. I would like to add the name to my scrapbook. It was excellent and we ate there several times. Their dumplings are fab!

  • Dhammer53

    It’s right next door to the hotel. Exit the hotel and walk to the main street. Make a right and you’re there. Not fancy, but fun.

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