A Tale of Two Sheratons

Thanks to work, I have had the opportunity to bounce between cities fairly regularly, and I was able to stay at two quite nice Sheraton properties: one in the Toronto area, and another in the Los Angeles area.

Sheraton Parkway Toronto North


Located directly off of Highway 7, the Sheraton Parkway offers excellent dining options in a short ( < 1km ) walk. This includes local treats, like Cacao 70, as well as more well known chains such as The Keg and Jack Astor’s. To accommodate the convention center attached to the hotel, there is ample complimentary parking.


As I had the opportunity to visit this hotel a few times, I was able to experience a few different rooms. Overall these rooms are exactly what you would expect from a Sheraton. The suites on the 10th floor are extremely spacious, much as what you would expect from a hotel of this calibre.


As a full Sheraton property, this location offers a Club Lounge. In addition to a fitness center, there is also a spa in the lower level of the hotel. On the ground floor is a Starbucks and the restaurant and bar.

The fitness center is fairly compact, compared to other locations, but offers free weights and cardio options. I haven’t visited the spa, however, as most hotel spas are horribly overpriced for what they offer. No thanks!

Club Lounge

The Club Lounge is on the 9th floor and offers breakfast to qualifying guests, as well as hors d’oeuvres in the evening. It remains open around the clock for guests that might want to grab a soda or coffee on their own schedule.

Sheraton San Gabriel

The “waterfall” at the entrance


Though it shows up in a search for Los Angeles area hotels, the Sheraton San Gabriel is about a 35 minute drive from the rental car lots. As with the Sheraton Parkway in Toronto, there is a spa at this location as well. The parking available is underground and not complimentary, so be prepared to pay a little bit extra.


A very nice touch with this hotel is that the lights are motion sensitive. As you enter the bathroom, for example, the lights will turn on for you. Though it might be disorienting the first time, you quickly get accustomed to this and begin to expect it wherever you go.

All the outlets near both the bed and desk offer both standard plugs as well as USB outlets! I haven’t tried charging a tablet on these USB plugs, but they handled my S8 without issue.

The TVs here are also smart TVs, offering options to directly access your Hulu, Netflix, and other streaming service accounts without having to travel with your own streaming device. It is also tied into room service and allows you to check your bill, order food, and even check out of your room.


On the ground floor, you can find the hotel’s two restaurants: Opal and EST. Opal offers traditional Cantonese cuisine, while EST is a very high quality steakhouse.

There is also a very good chance that you will see one of the luggage robots – something I haven’t seen at any other hotel. Upon check-in, you have the option of requesting use of one of these. The front desk will put your bags in the robot and program it to your room. It, in turn, will follow a per-programmed path (utilizing the elevators, no less) to your room. Once it arrives, you receive a phone call with a code which you can use to unlock the secure compartment with your luggage, and then the robot returns to the front desk. Handy!



Club Lounge

Located on the top floor of the hotel is open for breakfast and hoeur d’oeuvres, as with the Parkway location. Unlike the Canadian counterpart, the breakfast offerings remained constant across the days: congee, various pastries, breakfast potatoes, pork sausage, bacon, and scrambled eggs. Though adequate (and a filling breakfast), some variety would be nice.

Fitness Center

The fitness center on the second floor was truly impressive. In addition to a variety of cardio equipment (plenty of treadmills, bikes, and elliptical machines), there are two benches, multiple yoga mats and balance balls, and a cable cross machine.

These cardio machines are newer and offer dynamic programs allowing you to do things like run through the Irish countryside. Much more entertaining than staring at numbers change!

Sheraton Mission Valley – 14th Floor Suite

A few months ago I was upgraded to one of the Junior King suites at the Sheraton I frequent. More recently, I had the opportunity to experience one of their full-size suites on the 14th floor.

As soon as you leave the elevator, you notice how different this floor is from the other floors. The lighting is newer and the ceilings are raised. There are also a lot fewer doors on this floor, unsurprisingly.

14th Floor

Entering the room, the first thing you’ll notice (well, that I noticed) was that the door didn’t keep closing on me! Not a huge thing, but it helps when taking pictures, hah.

“Kitchen” and Living Area

Beyond the living area is a balcony that connects to the bedroom, so you could leave one room and enter the other from the balcony alone.

The “kitchen”
Entertainment center

The bedroom was arranged in a fairly standard two Queen configuration, so no surprises there.


Connecting to the bedroom was the massive bathroom with a separate room for the shower and commode.

Closet and bathroom
Full-sized mirror and twin sinks
Enclosed shower

Hotel Reviews: Sheraton Ann Arbor and Holiday Inn Tewksbury-Andover

Sheraton Ann Arbor


The Ann Arbor Sheraton is located at exit 177 of I-94. Thanks to its ease of access to the interstate and location in South East Michigan, it is fairly popular for consultants in the region.


In addition to a full-service restaurant (with room service) and bar, the Sheraton has one of the best equipped gyms that I have seen at a hotel. It has recently been upgraded with a second bench and full set of free-weights as well as a cable machine. Combined with a compliment of treadmills, ellipticals, and bikes, it is easy to stay active while on the road!

In all seriousness – the gym is one of the deciding factors when it comes to hotels for me. The other deciding factor is the internet access and stability! The hotel offers complimentary WiFi to all guests and while it can be spotty near elevators and when moving between floors, it is dependable within the room itself.


I was upgraded to a Club level room this week, thanks to my status with the Starwood Preferred Guest program, and was given a room on the 6th floor. In addition to a couch, the room was furnished with a cotton robe and extra bottles of water.




Holiday Inn Tewksbury-Andover


The Holiday Inn is located conveniently off of I-495 with excellent access to the interstate itself. It is roughly an hour’s drive away from BOS though it is only about 30 miles away.


In addition to a fully equipped fitness center, the hotel offers two different dining options in-house: a full service restaurant as well as a pub. Room service is handled by the restaurant so it is not open until midnight, while the pub is.


The room I was in, 524, was quite spacious with a roomy bed and comfortable couch. Best of all, all the furniture was comfortable! It is far too common to find beds and chairs that are a pain to occupy – literally!