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Having just arrived in Ecuador, I decided to spend my first night in the country at the Sheraton Guayaquil, which offers a free airport shuttle, before heading to my final destination by the sea the next day.
Sheraton Guayaquil - Reservation
For a stay in February 2024, rates per night range from 108 to 145 CAD. In points, rates range from 12,000 to 20,000 points per night, not an exceptional use of Marriott Bonvoy points, but still decent. This time, I chose to pay in cash.
By way of comparison, the only other Marriott Bonvoy hotel in town is the Courtyard Guayaquil. Since the latter is located a little further from the airport and didn’t seem to offer a shuttle or lounge, my choice was the Sheraton Guayaquil.
Earning Marriott Bonvoy points
The best way to earn Marriott Bonvoy points for free stays at over 8,000 hotels worldwide is to be a Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Cardholder (and/or Marriott Bonvoy® Business American Express®* Cardholder).
In addition to the great welcome bonus on both cards, you’ll earn 2 points per dollar on all purchases and 5 points per dollar at Marriott locations. And each year, you’ll earn a certificate for one free hotel night (35,000 point value) and 15 Elite nights toward your Marriott Bonvoy Elite status.
Sheraton Guayaquil - Location
The Sheraton Guayaquil Hotel is located just 1 km (or 5 minutes by car) from Guayaquil International Airport (GYE).
Opposite the hotel is a large shopping center with a food court, ATMs and stores where you can buy SIM cards to stay connected during your trip.
For ATMs, I recommend Banco Guayaquil, the bank that charges the least fees, and to use a Wise or Wealthsimple card to avoid foreign currency fees. For the SIM card, I bought mine from Claro since I could have 15 GB and unlimited WhatsApp for the entire duration of my stay of just over a month in Ecuador for just US$15. For a short stay, it may be simpler to use Airalo.
A pedestrian walkway provides direct access to the shopping center.
Guayaquil usually serves as a transit city in Ecuador, with a bus station offering connections to other tourist destinations in the country, such as Baños, Cuenca, Montañita, as well as flights to visit the Galapagos Islands. On a short trip to this magnificent South American country, I don’t recommend spending time visiting this city, since the attractions are more to be found outside.
Sheraton Guayaquil - Shuttle and Check-in
Two days before the start of my stay at the Sheraton Guayaquil, I was able to check in online using the Marriott Bonvoy app. I took the opportunity to use their chat tool to schedule a shuttle for my arrival at the airport, a service offered free of charge at the hotel. The process was very simple and as soon as I arrived at GYE airport, a member of staff was waiting for me at the exit showing a sign with my name on it.
When I checked in, I was informed that I could have breakfast free of charge thanks to Platinum status, and that this was not limited to breakfast served in the lounge. I was also informed that the lounge would be offering food from 5 pm to 9 pm.
Sheraton Guayaquil - Rooms
My room was on the eighth floor, the same floor as the Club Lounge. At first glance, it’s a very basic hotel room, with decor that’s a little dated.
Despite the decor, which could do with some updating, everything you needed was there: luggage rack, coffee machine, iron and ironing board, and toiletries.
The view from the window looked directly out onto the pool and surrounding buildings.
Sheraton Guayaquil - Club Lounge
Accessible to Marriott Bonvoy Elite members with Platinum or higher status, or to guests who have included Club Lounge access in their reservation, the lounge is open at all times, but only serves food at specific times, i.e. at breakfast and in the evening. Outside these hours, unfortunately, no snacks or drinks are available.
Despite this, I have to say that the evening service was generous: salad, sandwiches, hot buffet with empanadas, kebabs and pizza. A selection of desserts as well as soft drinks, beer, red and white wine were available.
The lounge was very busy at the time of my visit, but the hotel had planned well and no one was short of anything in terms of food and drink.
I found that the staff offered a very warm and attentive service, which is typical to the Ecuadorian people as I was about to discover during my trip.
Sheraton Guayaquil - Breakfast
Since I could choose between the restaurant and the Club Lounge for my breakfast, I opted for the former, knowing that there would probably be more variety.
The food was varied, with many local options such as sautéed pork, typical soup, and of course the international options: fresh juices, cold meats and cheeses, waffles, pancakes and also salads and sandwiches. You could order an omelette to your liking, and filter coffee was served at the table.
There was another space dedicated to a restaurant on the first floor, but it didn’t appear to be open at the time of my visit. In any case, it’s always possible to order food on site, either from the room service menu or from the Cooks restaurant.
Sheraton Guayaquil - Other services
Sheraton Guayaquil - Swimming pool
It’s often close to 30 degrees in Guayaquil, so it’s nice to cool off in the pool. Sun loungers are also available for relaxation, as are two Jacuzzis; although empty in the photos, they were well and truly in operation in the evening the day before.
Sheraton Guayaquil - Fitness center
On the same floor as the pool is a training room open from 6.30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Quite spacious, it contains all the machines and equipment needed to keep in shape. The glass wall also makes it a pleasant place to train.
Sheraton Guayaquil - Spa
A menu of on-demand spa treatments is available where the fitness room is located.
Sheraton Guayaquil - My overall impression
Although the Sheraton Guayaquil Hotel is rather modest, and although it wasn’t dazzling, I have to say that I have excellent memories of the service I received during my stay. The airport shuttle was punctual, the welcome from the staff was warm and the attentive service meant that I would recommend this hotel to anyone passing through Guayaquil. Yet I didn’t receive an upgrade or special welcome gift despite Platinum status, but these things weren’t necessary for me, traveling alone at the time. The Wi-Fi was fast, which enabled me to work remotely.
For a quick trip into town, I recommend this hotel.
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