Trip Index (what we have published so far):
For my stay in Guam, I tried to find a modern and modestly priced hotel. The island seems to cater mostly to Japanese and Korean package tourists and the regular room rates seem pretty high. This is often the case when most rooms are sold through opaque competitors such as tour operators – the room rates on the chain websites stay artificially high.
I eventually decided on the Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort and redeemed for a Cash & Points award.
While most of the major hotels are located along the Tumon Bay (which boasts some incredible marine life and clear waters), the Sheraton is closer to the Guam Premier Outlets shopping mall – a major landmark on the island.
I arrived early at 9AM, so wasn’t expecting much, but the front desk agent found a room for me and allowed me to check-in right away (even though I’m only a Starwood Gold this year).
I walked up to the room and it was a beautiful one and rather big. It had a super-comfy bed that wasn’t overly soft and provided a magical view outside. So far, so good!
I wanted to check up on emails, so tried to find the WiFi signal, but could’t see it. I thought that was odd and called the front desk; to my shock, there is no WiFi reception in the rooms!
I usually carry my travel router, but did not take it on this trip. I made a call downstairs and the front desk said they ‘might’ have a router available, but only against a fee of $15 per day. I mentioned that the internet is supposed to be free for Starwood Golds, but the agent would not budge. Oh well!
Downstairs at the coffee shop, there was working WiFi, so that became my new home for the next 5 hours. It was still rather slow – topping out at 2 Mbit. Guam is a pretty modern place – think of a mix between Hawaii and a small town in Indiana – and getting proper internet should not be too much of an issue. But not at this Sheraton 🙁
A big part of staying at chain hotels for me is to have quality internet to get work done, but the Sheraton completely failed at that.
I eventually conceded and went for a swim. The pool area is VERY windy (at least it was at this time of year). It is so windy that you can’t hold your phone to read on it. All sorts of things take off there – chairs, benches, towels. It looks beautiful, though, and is otherwise in great shape. There is also a separate kids pool with a water slide.
Later in the day, the front desk contacted me to say a router was now available without a fee – I took them up on the offer, but the router never showed up as a WiFi device so I was therefore unable to use it.
I felt the staff here didn’t exactly try too hard. The mood in general seemed sour and the staff seemed annoyed by the guests. Most staff spoke English, though it seemed most guests didn’t. Guam gets almost all their tourist arrivals from Japan, Korea and China, though.
The Sheraton Guam feels ‘cold’ and like an old palace that has seen much better days.
The hotel is in a beautiful setting, but the management do not make the best of it.
I was quite happy to leave the next morning!
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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]
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