Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center – Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center – Starwood Category 2
4700 Emperor Blvd, Durham, North Carolina 27703
Award Redemption: 7,000 pts or 2,800 pts +$45
Normal rate: $179 avg, ranging from $109 – $250
Best Starpoints return: 4.8 cents/point – REALLY GOOD
Room: Room is about average, maybe slightly larger than average.
Pros: Large work desk area, room looks and feels fresh, newly renovated. Free WiFi in the rooms.
Cons: Very flimsy/crappy closet situation. All other furniture feels substantial but closet looks like one you would see at a very cheap apartment on a episode of COPS.
Hotel Lobby/Common Areas: Free parking and free WiFi– in the era of nickel and dimming, it’s always a major plus. The expansive lobby opens up to the lobby bar and restaurant, making for a very open-feeling floor plan which I liked a lot.
Gym: The best part of the hotel, you ask? By far, the gym! Since the hotel shares a parking lot with Fitness Connection, they’ll just give hotel guests day passes to use their facilities instead of operating their own. What this means for you: access to a FULL gym, with dozens of cardio machines, an indoor pool, sauna, free weights etc… Now, Fitness Connection is no paradise, in fact it’s a very run-down, cheap-looking gym, but, given the added equipment, you’ll surely like it better than whatever Sheraton would have thrown together for you.
Location: Offset in large business park. There’s definitely not anything within walking distance, but, if you’re staying here, it’s likely for a conference at the hotel or business very close by. It is close to the airport, and they offer free pick up.
BOTTOM LINE: When I have to stay in the area, I think I’ll go out of my way to stay at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center if only because the gym is awesome. Throw in the better-than-normal lobby/bar and up-to-par rooms, and you’ve got yourself a decent hotel stay.