Unexpected Charm at the Four Points Charlotte
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After the first flight cancellation in my saga of doomed weekends in Charlotte Airport, I’d decided to get a hotel for the night and be rebooked on the first flight out in the morning. My preferred hotel, the Sheraton Charlotte Airport was completely sold out, but the nearby FourPoints Charlotte was coming up for only 3,000 points or 1,600 points + $30.
I snagged a room and headed out to catch the complimentary shuttle, which, as luck would have it, was already waiting in the D pick up area. We made one more round of the airport to pick up another stranded traveler and then headed to the hotel.
11 minutes later I was standing in front of the friendliest, most enthusiastic check in person ever. After telling him my name I got an effusive welcome and upgrade, something to the effect of “based on your spectacular platinum status, we have upgraded you to one of our fantastic suites.”
I was tired, punchy, and grateful, so I lit up. I may have even clapped my hands together in happiness. To which he replied, “I know, I too was almost overcome when I was doing it.” This guy was amazing. When I’d called earlier to request the shuttle I thought his accent had sounded almost Caribbean, but in person it was more of a combo drama teacher and Scottish guy. Very fun and a bright spot in a disappointing evening!
He filled me in on the key details of the hotel among which was the presence of room service, but no restaurant, (weird) and that almost every food known to man was in walking or delivery distance.
I decided to head up to check out my room before I even contemplated food. It was definitely the nicest Four Points room I’ve ever had. Spacious, with newish looking furniture. Although I’d probably have no reason to use it, I liked the little dining alcove and fridge.
The bed was comfortable, the bathroom was basic (not a fan of those shampoo/soap dispensers), but clean. No mold on the celiing or peeling wallpaper, which is more than I can say for some of the nicer properties I’ve stayed at.
Having plugged in all my electronics I started to think about food. It was 10PM at this point and I was beat, but I also wasn’t quite full of cheese and crackers from the US Airways lounge and wanted something real. I first checked out the room service which was decently priced, and even boasted your food was free if it wasn’t delivered in 30 minutes. I’ll admit I didn’t find that so comforting. The options I was most interested in should probably need a little longer preparation time and this clearly meant the it was being microwaved or some other kind of instant preparation.
So I started investigating some of the foods that I don’t have access to in DC, like good Mexican and great BBQ. In the course of my search I found a Che Gaucho, an Argentinian restaurant within walking distance.
It got great reviews, and one look at the menu which featured empanadas and chargrilled meat had me reminiscing about the amazing food I’d had at La Azul and Casa De Campo. I went downstairs and asked if that location was a safe place to be walking alone before I called in an order for take out. I was assured it was and proceeded to place my call, only to get the heartbreaking “number no longer in service tones.” I really had my heart set on empanadas! (Later I discovered it’s still open but they now had a different number than the one listed on their website 🙁 )
Since that wasn’t in the cards, I settled for the Fortune Cookie Chinese restaurant mentioned by my friend at the reception desk. While I was waiting for my food to arrive I decided to grab a drink in the tiny bar area. It was tiny and there was only one seat at the bar to squish into, so I decided to take my wine back to my room. Which resulted in being served the wine in a plastic cup.
That’s actually one of the few complaints with the property – all glasses/cups were plastic or Styrofoam.
Incidentally I saw people doing what I’d wondered when I heard about the lack of restaurant. Having room service delivered to the bar area.
My food arrived and at this point I was too hungry to wait to photograph it. The pan fried dumplings were outstanding. The wrapper was delicate and tasted homemade and they were well stuffed with pork. The Ma Po Tofu was disappointing. Just huge chunks of tofu in a relatively flavorless sauce, of which I ate little. The wonton soup was decent though – the wontons being similar to the pan fried dumplings. And lest you think I intended to eat all that food, sometimes I like to branch out and try a bunch of different things when the prices are affordable.
I slept very well and apparently the bathroom toiletries agreed with my hair and face as later I had the best day ever.
Breakfast, which I didn’t partake of, is rather interesting. You purchase it at the front desk for $8.95 (I think) and then head into a little room off the bar where a buffet is set up.
The complimentary hourly airport shuttle is by sign up, and when I saw the crowd waiting in the lobby I was glad I’d signed up for the 7AM the minute I checked in.
While I think I still prefer the Sheraton Charlotte Airport at the same price point, I definitely won’t mind repeat stays at the Four Points when needed, largely because of the friendliness of all the staff!
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