I just returned from a business trip that took me to a town named Meriden, Conneticut, about 19 miles outside of Hartford. I stayed at the Residence in in Meriden thinking it would have the same standards as all the Residence Inns I have stayed at. Unfortunately it was far below the typical Marriot standards. The building was in terrible need of repair and sprucing up, the entrances to the rooms were from the outside, which I never like or even expected. The staff was friendly at the front desk but the staff at the happy hour and breakfast were below standard. On the bright side it was clean and bed was comfortable as I always expect at a Marriott.
Even though it is a remote area and few will probably ever go there it is advisable that you opt for another hotel over this one. The food in the area was terrible. I ate at the Thai Garden in Middletown, CT and I have NEVER had such horrible Thai food, it was bland and tasteless and dare I say not even Thai??? It was so bad I could not eat it and went hungry last night. I always eat! My advice in regards to food is to stick to the chain restaurants in this area...not worth taking the risk. I ate out twice and struck out both times.
Also in regards to the hotel, my partner's room was egged, yes egged the night before we left. This should give everyone some idea of what we were dealing with.
I never complain about a marriott...so forgive the venting I have felt compelled to subject you to:)
I have to agree that the Rocky Hill is in a much safer area, but I have had some dissappointments there. I logged about 120 stays last year (many at Rocky Hill) and have come across some negatives.
Room upgrdaes are non-existant. Doesn't matter what it says about Platinum memberships...it ain't going to happen: Other than putting you on the 4th floor, special treatment for room selections doesn't happen. Parking is a challenge. This is because of the functions that take place there. Good for them, a chellenge for you.
The concierge lounge is a plus in that they do have some interesting things in there.
I also recommend the Marriott Hartford Rocky Hill. It's a full service hotel with a small concierge lounge, a great indoor pool and fitness center. The standard guest rooms are decent, clean and comfortable.
If upgrading, avoid the Governor's Suite as well as rooms 221 and 227. The master bedroom in the Governor's Suite has a weird, discomforting ceiling with more than a half dozen panels, vents and openings right over the bed. The bathroom is also a sprint. Rooms 221 and 227 are deluxe in size but both overlook a gravel roof with a very high parapet. I've heard that rooms 441 and 443 are the suites to get upgraded to.
If you are Platinum Elite and looking to get breakfast vouchers when Concierge is closed over the weekend, the Marriott Hartford Rocky Hill has ceased giving them in line with the 2009 Rewards. Their breakfast buffet is limited at full price so I recommend going local and exploring the Connecticut River Valley. If you are checking out, can wait a half hour and heading south, there's a great little place in Essex, CT off of Route 9 called the Black Seal. It's open at 12 noon on weekends. While in Essex, check out the Connecticut River Museum and the Steam Train.
Another alternative is the Residence Inn in Rocky Hill. As for dining, you won't go wrong with the Old Saybrook Fish House in Rocky Hill or Amici's in Middletown, right on Main Street.