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Meet and greet with USA Basketball Legends, have your photo taken with the team, get your kids on the court with the Ball Star program — the Experiences Marketplace offers a one-of-a-kind sports thrill you’ll never forget, offered exclusively to Marriott Rewards members.


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Take your pick of experiences, each with its own featured VIP perk:

USA Women’s National Team vs. Canada in Bridgeport, CT at the Webster Bank Arena – Friday, July 29

USA Men’s National Team vs. Venezuela in Chicago, IL at the United Center – Friday, July 29

USA Women’s National Team vs. Australia at NYC’s Madison Square Garden – Sunday, July 31

USA Men’s National Team vs. Nigeria in Houston, TX at the Toyota Center – Monday, August 1

 

 

It’s an unforgettable summer memory for you — or for the sports lover in your life. Availabilities are limited, so use your points to get in the game now.

 

Explore sports experiences

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Share your Insider travel tips to Crete by commenting on this post and you could earn points.

 

This summer’s most exciting new hotel, Domes Noruz will open on the 1st of August 2016 in the extraordinary destination of Chania, Greece on the island of Crete. Sister hotel to the legendary Domes of Elounda, the Domes Noruz Chania, Autograph Collection is an 83 room and suites, adults-only, beachfront boutique hotel. This hotel, complete with a buzzy atmosphere, will be a must visit destination for the couple, or the group of friends, that likes to relax and have fun in chic, ultra-stylish surroundings. Domes Noruz Chania offers a bright and airy ambiance, exuding a cool and romantic feel. Its adults-only status allows for a holiday of privacy, intimacy and exclusivity, and nightlife and cultural attractions that are easily accessible. Enjoy spectacular pool and sea views, or even private outdoor baths or plunge pools, most of which look out onto a wide swath of naturally sanded beachfront on the lapis Cretan Sea. The architecture is breath taking, inspired by the Venetian heritage of the old town of Chania, made of eye-pleasing Cretan sandstone. Domes Noruz embraces the past and the present of Chania, by building on its inherent charisma and introducing a fresh, contemporary opportunity for design-savvy guests to enjoy each and every moment in their own way. Domes Noruz doesn’t want to merely host guests, but to curate the holiday they’ve been dreaming of -- here it’s about creating once in a lifetime, tailor-made experiences, whether that is fine cocktails with unexpected local ingredients, to late night events at the Domes Noruz’s sandy beach under the moonlight and helicopter rides at the breathtaking UNESCO protected ‘Samaria Gorge’.

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The spell-binding city of Chania plays host to this thrilling new venture.  Located on the northwest coast of Crete, this is one of the Mediterranean’s ‘must sees’. Lively Chania will charm you from the moment you arrive, inviting you to explore its captivating streets and endless hidden treasures. With its utterly enchanting Venetian harbor and lighthouse, its Riviera-rivaling beaches, and a seamless blend of Ottoman, Venetian and Greek architecture, the old town is just 10-minute drive from the hotel. Explore the cobbled streets of the old town where you will unearth delicious local cafés and exquisite restaurants.  Its waterfront and promenade come alive at night with bars, clubs and restaurants and Aghia Marina, complete with flowing champagne, stylish pool parties and a beautiful and affluent set, offering an incredible choice of all day beach bars and night clubs.  For those seeking culture, Chania is also steeped in history and the best place to visit Polyrinia, one of the most fortified towns in ancient Greece, as well as being home to an historic market and impressive Archaeological Museum.

 

Vasilis R.

Domes Noruz Chania, Autograph Collection

Hey Insiders, picture this:

 

You’re in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona — or another fabulous city.

 

You’re enjoying a leisurely breakfast before exploring world-famous landmarks, chic shopping districts and charming cobblestone streets.


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And you have a little extra money to spend – because your breakfast is free.


You can transform this daydream into your summer adventure with our breakfast offer. Just book this package and pay in advance with Visa to get free breakfast* across Europe. And when you reserve, remember to check for your Member Rate, for extra savings. Go ahead, start exploring – and find your European escape.

 

*Terms and conditions apply

 

Book this package

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Share your Insider stories about travel to Grand Rapids, Michigan by commenting on this post and you could earn points.

 

Grand Rapids, Michigan was named one of the New York Times’ “52 Places to Go in 2016” due to its emerging arts and culture scene. Known for ArtPrize, the city showcases its art scene for three weeks out of the year, from September 21 – October 9, 2016. For 19 days, three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids is an open playing field where anyone can explore art from around the world. Over 1,536 artists from 42 states and territories and 51 countries display their works at 174 venues.

 

The JW Marriott Grand Rapids is located in the epicenter of all activities during ArtPrize. The public areas and exterior spaces of the JW Marriott Grand Rapids make for a perfect venue to display various types of work - from paintings to large sculptures. Visitors here can also dine at six.one.six restaurant for creative farm-to-table cuisine, or meet up with friends at Mixology Lounge. Chef Chris Madsen is a self-taught executive chef with an unstoppable drive and passion for cooking. Chef Madsen’s love of local ingredients is his inspiration for an approachable modern menu. The JW Marriott’s Living Wall is a standing garden full of fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables, and the Living Wall gives Chef Madsen the opportunity to create innovative food that compliments the imaginative cocktails with fresh ingredients from the lush wall itself. Chef Madsen uses his family traditions of pickling and canning as a way to serve these food items throughout all seasons. This summer the JW Marriott will unveil a new bar at jdek, a proven favorite outdoor spot for hotel guests and local residents. The bar is one of only three eateries that offer dining directly along The Grand River.

 

ENTRY 2.jpgAside from farm-to-table cuisine, Grand Rapids is known as “Beer City, USA”. With 15 breweries located in the downtown area, travelers visit the area to sample home-grown brews such as Founders and Brewery Vivant. The JW Marriott Grand Rapids is now offering beer-infused “Brew and Renew” spa specials for guests to pamper themselves and experience the beer culture of the city. Treatments include tastings of local craft beers and the use of local hops and barley to exfoliate the skin. After dining and enjoying the spa, you can take in the gorgeous views of downtown from the hotel’s guestrooms. The hotel’s upbeat vibe and stylish surroundings offer a hint of subtle sophistication. We aim to give our visitors the space to experience all the exceptional things the hotel, and the city, have to offer. Please join us as our guests soon!

 

GiAnna W.

JW Marriott Grand Rapids

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Hey Elite Insiders,


A big “thank you” for all your posts about our first topic, Free Enhanced Wi-Fi. We’re thrilled at the many enthusiastic responses. We drew from the names of those who posted — and we have a winner.


Congratulations to nicholasric, Platinum member and winner of our July drawing for 20,000 points! Here’s what he had to say about free enhanced Wi-Fi:


“To me, it's Marriott's way of allowing me to spend time with my family while I'm on the road. Thank you Marriott for giving me the opportunity to stay connected with my family.” Read full comment


And now, our featured quotes. It was hard to choose from all the great comments saying how Insiders use free Wi-Fi —from staying in touch with family to entertaining kids on the road, from using multiple devices for work to cheering on sports teams.


Here are our selections. Each of the Insiders below will receive 1,000 points.


  1. “As a millennial the free enhanced WiFi offered by Marriott rewards to gold and Platinum elite members is like my life force.” -  Jsucool76, Gold member. Read full comment
  2. "I'm a new Platinum member after years of Hilton HHonors Diamond status and I'm loving Marriott Rewards, including the free wi-fi for sure!” - lynnseldon, Platinum member. Read full comment
  3. “Running a home based business and traveling with children can be hard, but Marriott makes it effortless.” - bellasmom Silver member. Read full comment


Interested in learning more about free enhanced Wi-Fi? See the post

 

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Share your Insider travel adventures to Sacramento, California by commenting on this post and you could earn points.

 

If you love the outdoors, summertime is one of the best times of year to visit the Sacramento/Rancho Cordova area.  The American River is the perfect backdrop for family-friendly rafting, kayaking, and fishing holes. Slightly upriver you’ll find Lake Natoma and the Sacramento State Aquatic Center, known for its rowing, stand up paddle-boarding (SUP), sailing, and canoeing. The 32 miles of river is paralleled by the American River Parkway Bike Trail, a favorite of all cyclists. If you’re looking for a day trip, it’s a short drive to Gold Country exploration, antiquing and gallery hopping in nearby towns like Sutter Creek, or wine tasting in the nearby Sierra Foothills. Prairie City off-highway vehicle park is home to top motocross events annually, and is also open to amateurs. Rancho Cordova is also California’s unofficial Sports Tournament Capital. Our city’s sports parks are well suited for outdoor tournaments, and Lake Natoma is nationally known for its smooth waters. Nearby team-friendly accommodations and restaurants make Rancho Cordova a top choice for amateur and professional tournaments alike.

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If your travels bring you to Rancho Cordova this year, we hope you will relax and revive at the Sacramento Marriott Rancho Cordova! After a long day of exploring, retire to this centrally located oasis, complete with poolside dining at the covered patio. Dine on California and Italian inspired favorites prepared with fresh local ingredients, and perfectly paired with some of the areas best craft beers and delicious wines. Kick off your morning with a fresh coffee beverage prepared by our barista at our onsite Starbucks. Whether a retreat for a couple, the whole family, or nature loving friends, Rancho Cordova will satisfy the inner cravings for a grown up and modern “summer camp”!

 

Laura S.

Sacramento Marriott Rancho Cordova

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Hey Insiders, we’re excited that over a million readers have explored Marriott Traveler since it launched over a year ago – including some of you. And we’re thrilled to announce that the site has relaunched with an exciting new look and lifestyle articles on destinations from London to Dubai, Seattle to D.C.

 

Marriott Traveler gives you the local story – straight from the people who make each destination one-of-a-kind. It’s where you discover gems like:

  • Where to escape the tourists in New Orleans
  • Best London pubs to pick up a pint
  • Things to enjoy with your kids in Abu Dhabi 
  • How to picnic like a Parisian
  • Vintage shopping in Chicago

 

Planning your next trip – or just dreaming about the possibilities? Make the new Marriott Traveler your first stop.

 

Visit Traveler

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Share your Insider stories about travel to Indonesia by commenting on this post and you could earn points.

 

On the south of Surabaya City in Indonesia, the Capital of East Java, there is beautiful mountain that has very natural and fascinating scenery: Mount Bromo. The mountain, located at 2,392 meters above sea level, is part of the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park in Probolinggo City, which can be reached within a 4 hours’ drive from Surabaya. Mount Bromo is not the largest or the highest mountain compared to the other volcanic mountains, but this mountain definitely has some of the most stunning and dramatic landscapes.

 

Bromo is well known for its beautiful sunrise, whispering sea sand, and savanah. Bromo also has a mysterious side which can be experienced at the breathtaking Yadnya Kasada Ceremony, or popularly called Kesodo festival. This festival is held every 14th day of the Kasada Month in the traditional Hindu lunar calendar. The ceremony honors Sang Hyang Widhi, God Almighty based on the ancient legend of Roro Anteng and Joko Seger. The story begins with Roro Anteng & Joko Seger, a lovely couple who had been married for many years but still had no child. They prayed to the mountains of god for assistance. The mountains of gods granted them 25 children, with the condition that the 25th child must be thrown into the volcano as a human sacrifice. The tradition of offering sacrifices into the volcano to appease the deities continues until today with the Tenggerese, who now offer sacrifices of chickens, goats and vegetables. The Tenggerese are the descendants of the powerful Majapahit Kingdom, who took refuge in the highlands of Mount Bromo at the fall of the Majapahit Empire. Even though the majority of Javanese have converted to Islam, this unique community still clings to their ancient beliefs from the old days of Majapahit. Like the Hindu Balinese, the Tenggerese worship Ida Sang Hyang Widi Wasa, the Almighty God, along with the Trimurti gods of Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu, with added elements of Animism and Mahayana Buddhism.

 

The Kesodo festival is usually attended by more than 1,000 people, who come from all over inside and outside of Indonesia. Most of them attend to hunt for great photos of all the beautiful natural scenery and breathtaking processions. For those traveling from outside Indonesia, you can reach Mount Bromo by flight to Surabaya then by road to Probolinggo.

 

Reza B.

JW Marriott Hotel Surabaya

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Gaylord Opryland

 

If your idea of a great summer vacation is a place where you can relax with resort luxuries, the kids can enjoy new adventures and you can enjoy a top destination, you’ve found it at Gaylord Hotels! Plus when you explore SummerFest online, you’ll have the chance to win 50,000 points, just for signing up to receive offers and news about Gaylord Hotels events.

 

Gaylord Hotels brings everything together in one place with SummerFest, now through Labor Day. Celebrate summer at your choice of locations:

  • Discover your wild side with The Jungle Book – Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, TN
  • Find your fantasy with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Gaylord Texan in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area
  • Step into a swashbuckling adventure with Pirates on the Potomac – Gaylord National in the D.C. area
  • Encounter tales and treasures of the seven seas with Princess Blackheart and the Buccaneer Bash – Gaylord Palms in the Orlando/Kissimmee area

 

Explore SummerFest + Enter Sweeps >>

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Share your Insider tips and stories about travel to Shanghai by commenting on this post and you could earn points.

 

The executive library of JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai at Tomorrow Square in Shanghai, China has won the Guinness World Records® title for Highest Library from Ground Level. Situated at 230.9m above street level, the hotel’s executive library on the 60th floor houses more than 2,000 books and materials in printed and traditional formats. The library’s collection comprises English and Chinese classics, architecture, philosophy, history, art and art history, as well as classical and contemporary literature. To cater to your passion point of culture, our hotel aims to provide a place with a private and relaxing ambience for you to explore the local culture. The library is available to all of our in-house guests, and can also be rented for private events and meetings.

 

JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai at Tomorrow Square offers luxury executive meetings at its executive library, including creative “Meetings Imagined” coffee breaks and specially crafted lunches by hotel’s culinary team. Overseeing the needs and details of each meeting is a dedicated event team who personally supervises the whole event, including the decor, entertainment and transportation, ensuring functions run smoothly at every phase.

 

“We are so proud to win a Guinness World Records title for ‘Highest Library from Ground Level’” the general manager of the hotel said. “JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai at Tomorrow Square is an iconic landmark hotel with legendary service. We will continue to cultivate a unique travel experience to the guests.”  The President of Guinness World Records said, “I am delighted to present the certificate for ‘Highest Library from Ground Level’ to the JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai at Tomorrow Square. Shanghai is the finance and trade center in China and we are looking forward to discovering and sharing more interesting records from Shanghai with our global readers.” We hope you will visit us soon to experience this amazing record-setting site.

 

Jessica Z.

JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai at Tomorrow Square

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Share your Insider travel adventures to Belgium by commenting on this post and you could earn points.

 

Design By Mai specializes in unique decorative lamps created by designer Mai Waelkens. The Skybeamer 200 is now perking up in triplicate the spectacular atrium of Poppi Coffee & Wine Bar at the Ghent Marriott Hotel in Belgium.  “We are very delighted to announce this unique cooperation with a 100% Belgian designer based in Ghent”, says Cleome Clements, Marketing Executive of Ghent Marriott. The UFO shaped Skybeamers are 200 cm in diameter and are perfectly breaking through the space while appearing afloat. With adjustable beam width achieved by twisting the lower shell, the lamps project a sharp beam of atmospheric light onto the wide atrium, which creates an interesting interaction between the objects and the space. Mai explains, “We were looking for a space where we could showcase these lamps, and the atrium at the Ghent Marriott was just perfect. It has all the right elements to truly emphasize the design of the lamp and the impact and contribution it brings to this unique space.”

 

The designer Mai founded her own interior design company after returning home from an internship at a design company in Cape Town, South Africa. The next seven years she mainly designed interiors, but there was always a passion for product design. Mai started to create the first prototypes of her lamps, establishing her first collection of high end pendants in 2014. Mai Waelkens’ eye-catching creations are made by hand from beginning to end. Working through an organic process the result can be categorized as original design art.

 

The Ghent Marriott Hotel on the Korenlei, in the historic center of Ghent, opened its doors March 20, 2007. The hotel has 150 comfortable guest rooms and suites and nine meeting rooms. Enjoy some relaxing time at the Poppi Coffee & Wine Bar, Brixx Cellar Lounge or the in-house gourmet restaurant Coeur d’Artichaut, with a wonderful terrace and view over the river Lys and the historical façades of the Graslei.  We hope you will come and stay with us at the Ghent Marriott Hotel on your next visit to our city.

 

Cleome C.

Ghent Marriott Hotel

 

Reserve seats to the hottest Broadway hit, get tips from one of the world’s top sommeliers, kick back with live jazz in Nashville’s famed Printer Alley. Summer is the season for exploring — so take a look at the latest adventures offered through the experiences marketplace.


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Here are a few experiences you’ll want to share with someone special – making a good summer story to tell over the grill:

 

Broadway tickets to see “Hamilton: An American Musical” – People are camping overnight hoping for standby admission, but you’ll breeze in with your reserved seats after a fabulous dinner in the Theater District.

 

An evening with Peyton Manning in Denver – Join retired NFL quarterback and five-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning for a private reception at The Ritz-Carlton, Denver — the mile-high city’s longest running AAA Five-Diamond hotel. Converse over cocktails and enjoy creative culinary presentations at ELWAY'S Downtown, the hotel’s signature restaurant. 

 

Craft of beer making in Chicago – Get award-winning secrets from acclaimed Brickstone Brewery with Myk Banas, Executive Chef of Marriott Chicago Downtown, on hand to prepare the perfect charcuterie.

 

Wine-tasting evening with the world’s best sommelier – Aldo Sohm is known for his many awards—but you’ll remember him for his warmth and enthusiasm as he shares his abundant knowledge with you in the casual chic setting of his NYC wine bar.

 

This is just a sampling of the choices waiting for you – all available with points. What passion do you want to pursue this summer? Find it now.

 

 

Explore experiences


Share your Insider stories about travel to Paris by commenting on this post and you could earn points.

 

How beautiful it is to discover the world with your littlest travelers… mostly when your destination turns out to be the beautiful City of Lights, Paris! The “Capital of Love” has always been the meeting place of all the couples, but it is also a wonderful destination for families looking for exciting or relaxing holidays. Here are a few suggestions on how to enjoy your family time in Paris:

 

How about starting your day with a cruise on the Seine, so you can explore the city before focusing on what you want to do next? Later, you will love the Parc de Bagatelle for some fresh air and serenity. Situated in the heart of the Bois de Boulogne, this park is one of the city of Paris’ four botanical gardens. If you are in an adventurous mood you will appreciate Cinéaqua, the aquarium of Paris; here you will discover 43 tanks, more than 10,000 fish and invertebrates, 25 sharks, a touch pool, two cinema screens, and interactive activities for a magical family day out.

 

At the Place de l’Etoile you can find a magnificent view of Paris from the top of the Arc de Triomphe. From there you can take a stroll along the beautiful Avenue des Champs-Elysées. If you are in an indulgent mood, treat yourself to a macaroon in Ladurée. And you certainly cannot miss the incredible Disney Store, which is always a good place for shopping with your children. If you descend the Avenue you can enjoy the Big Wheel on the beautiful place de la Concorde, as well as the “Guignol du Square”, the puppet show that will delight your children. The Centre Georges Pompidou, the Modern Art Museum, will boost your artistic spirit and your little children will love its library dedicated just to them. After that, you can have a walk on the Grand Boulevard and go to the Opera, which shines at its brightest when the evening is coming. It’s wonderful!

 

After such a busy and exciting day why not go to the mythical Quartier Latin of the 5th arrondissement and have a typical Parisian dinner in the lively atmosphere of the rue Mouffetard. Finally, have some rest at the Paris Marriott Champs Elysees Hotel in our cozy family room, and enjoy the wonderful and personalized service and amenities.


Candie C.

Paris Marriott Champs Elysees Hotel

How do you get the most out of your trip? By organizing what goes in — in your backpack, carryon and suitcase, that is. TownePlace Suites® wanted to get seasoned travelers’ opinion on top gear, so they asked Insiders who’d recently stayed to rate items for TownePlace Suites’ Ultimate Travel Product Search.


Here’s a preview of the items that got the thumbs up, all available at The Container Store:

  • Hopi Touring Bag by reisenthel — fashionable, light, roomy
  • Eagle Creek Specter Pack-It Compression Set — holds more in less space
  • JetBag Bottle Protector — protects wine to pour at home, not over your airplane seat
  • Stackers Cosmetic & Jewelry Case — upper compartment corrals cosmetics, lower section pampers jewelry
  • Seat Pak Organizer — latches on your tray table to keep compartments in reach


Our thanks to the Insiders who picked out the top performers!

 

Read the full story on Marriott Traveler >>

 

NEW video! Travel Favorites:Travel experts share their must-haves



Insiders Comments:

Hopi Touring Bag by reisenthel

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"Amazing what I can get in this bag!" - hjalex

 

Eagle Creek Specter Pack-It Compression Set

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"Really saved a great deal of space." - momkee

 

JetBag Bottle Protector

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"Great idea!" - reillyofohio

 

Stackers Cosmetic & Jewelry Case

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"I love this bag! Perfect size and a space saver." - forkintheroad

 

SeatPak Organizer

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"Really helped to consolidate everything I needed at the airport and while in flight." - jrawlin

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Share your Insider stories about travel to the Netherlands by commenting on this post and you could earn points.

 

Situated in the heart of Netherland’s most historic city, The Hague Marriott is located close to some the city’s most famous attractions including the Peace Palace, the beach, the Madurodam, and international organizations such as Europol, the International Criminal Court, NATO and the World Forum Convention Centre. Here are a few details on exploring some of these sights:

 

Peace Palace: The Peace Palace in The Hague was built in 1913 with funds from a donation made by celebrated steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. It is home to a number of international judicial institutions, including the International Court of Justice (ICJ) or World Court, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), the renowned Peace Palace Library, as well as the Hague Academy of International Law, which attracts law students from all over the world every summer. The Peace Palace is one of the most photographed landmarks of The Hague, and is accessible to the public through guided weekend tours.

 

The Longest Beach: The Hague is the city with the longest beach in The Netherlands, stretching for 11 kilometers from Kijkduin to Scheveningen. There are quiet stretches and beautiful dune landscapes behind it for nature lovers. You can enjoy walks or bicycle tours, and many hipster or family-oriented beach pavilions, as well as the Boulevard and Pier at Scheveningen. Throughout the year many events and festivals take place at or around the beach, like the Fireworks Festival, Concert by the Sea and Volvo Ocean Race.

 

Madurodam: Do you have limited time to see all of Holland during your stay? In the interactive miniature theme park Madurodam you get an excellent overall impression and a unique Holland experience within just two hours’ time. Discover Holland’s highlights and heritage from typical Dutch cheese, tulip fields and windmills, to the Deltaworks, historic buildings and palaces, and the port of Rotterdam.

 

On your visit, we invite you to stay at the recently renovated Hague Marriott hotel, with an array of new facilities and design features including 306 beautifully appointed rooms and suites inspired by the city’s coastline, Marriott’s signature Greatroom lobby, and the Garden Terrace for those seeking seclusion and privacy. The hotel also offers a variety of dining options including an internationally inspired menu served in The Gallery restaurant. The Executive Lounge on the ninth floor of the hotel showcases breathtaking panoramic views over the city, an all-day cocktail bar, business center and fitness facilities including bike rental. Traveling on business? You’ll appreciate the flexible meeting facilities including eight separate event spaces, with the largest accommodating up to 700 people, along with a multifunctional space for open discussions, workshops and private meetings. We hope you will visit us soon.

 

Christina B.

The Hague Marriott Hotel

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