This past weekend we had the pleasure of visiting Manhattan, staying at the Marriott East Side. There are a number of nice features that make this hotel a desirable property, but far and away the best feature is the hotel staff. The door/bellmen, front desk associates, restaurant/lounge servers, housekeeping and the wonderful concierge/CL associates really made our stay special. In particular, I would like to thank/mention/honor the services of Margaret, the Concierge in the new "M" Lounge.
We had a busy schedule prior to this trip and thus had very little time to plan ahead. Margaret cheerfully, energetically and enthusiastically worked on our schedule with us, assessing our needs/desires/interests, and then quickly set us up with everything we needed as far as dining reservations (working diligently to get us in on our timeline at very busy/popular establishments), theater and admission tickets, etc. and in short order. She answered many questions patiently and with a smile, while also doing the same for other guests in an effortless fashion. That first morning, we were so grateful for the peace of mind that her work provided, as it was a real comfort knowing right away that our time in NY would be well spent. When we saw her after the weekend, she remembered us and asked us about our experiences, remembering all of the specifics. Our visit to NYC was both spectacular and memorable and we truly owe the success of our visit to the warm, personable and extremely competent Margaret. I hope that Marriott will honor and recognize Margaret's genuine "Spirit to Serve."
We also engaged two other associates at the Concierge Desk in the lobby and they did a very good job, but Margaret, the Concierge in the "M" lounge was remarkable.
Everyone there was pretty nice, though when we checked in (reservation was under my name), my mom threw down her platinum status (I wish she wouldn't have, I would've handled it a little differently, but no sweat), to which the front desk associate responded, "We don't do upgrades here," and yes, I thought that was a bit strange. I didn't have my reservation printed, and so when we received our room assignment (high floor was honored) and entered our room, it was a very small king room. I didn't really mind the king bed, but I have to admit that the room was really small, and though the furniture was fine, you could tell from the walls and the ceiling that this is an old property. I was rather disappointed (though at 80,000 MR points for 4 nights at a prime Manhattan location, beggars can't be choosers), but I admit that the king bed snafu could've been entirely my fault as I may have overlooked the task of securing a two bed room. My mom asked the very personable and charming bellman if there was any way we could get a room with two beds, and he was just (as we say here in CA) "totally awesome." "Lee", got right on the phone and called downstairs and inquired about a two bed room for us. The front desk told him nothing was available, but possibly we could move the next morning. He then finished us up by extolling the virtues of the room, we tipped him and he left. Not five minutes later (and we hadn't touched anything, just had barely begun to hang clothes up in the closet), he knocks on the door again and says he has good news, he contacted 'rooms control' and they found a two bed room for us, but he had to inspect our room and call rooms control back, promising them that we had not touched one thing or used the bathroom (he was humorous). I told him to tell her that not only did we not touch anything (except closet hangars), but that we are leaving the room better than we found it! So he loads our stuff and takes us up one floor to - a huge corner room with two beds!!! It was fantastic! Loved the room and loved the hotel. As you might assume, we generously tipped "Lee," a second time. He was pretty great.
Like Hannibal of the A Team, we all love it when a plan comes together.
Marriott East Side is one of my FlashPerks deals, so I look forward to hearing from you at the Mayflower about the new concept M lounge (as I'm sure many others would be, what's the scoop, snoop?).
See you soon
Not sure when you're heading up there, so I'll tell you now.
It's on the second floor, and there was a delightful attendant at the door, but she never asked for our name and room number.
We used the lounge for breakfast on Friday and Monday. It is closed on weekends. I was told that the compensation was 2,000 MR points. The breakfast was good. Not stellar, but good (typical scrambled eggs fare). I'm big on whole grain and they had that covered, so I was a happy camper. There are actually a lot of items offered. As for hot items, scrambled eggs, pre-made burritos (no idea, did not partake), bacon, sausage, and I think potatoes? Not sure about oatmeal or waffles, but I think so (sorry, my focus was elsewhere - I've got remember to do a better job for Insiders, don't I?!)
Since the door is locked on weekends, I grabbed a couple of bottles of water and cans of club soda (sodium free) for the room for the weekend (asked first and they said 'go for it.')
I didn't see a menu that you could order food off of for a price, but that doesn't mean there wasn't one.
The last day, I was in a hurry and the lounge attendant gave me a box so I could take brekkie to go.
We missed happy hour, so I can't comment on the appetizer fare. The desserts looked alright.
There is an honor bar (a first for me; all of my CL experiences have been in Europe apparently). The wines were $8.50/glass, but the selection is crappy inferior (I've never considered myself to be a wine snob, though hmmm, maybe I am and I don't know it?) We did sit and enjoy the lounge space with a glass.
About the space, when I first entered, I did not like the design or decor, bright lights, color scheme is white/gray, looked a lot like a (nice) cafeteria, but to the left is the actual lounge space and it is much nicer.
I don't know about newspaper offerings.
The business center was easy to use.
As the original post suggests, the Concierge was stellar.
I think that about covers it. For weekend brekkie, Le Pain Quotidien, is two blocks away on 2nd, just north of 49th. It is good. Also, we wanted to try Penelope's, down Lexington at about 30th (maybe a mile walk at the most), but didn't get to it. On weekends after 10am, I think you will need reservations, or else expect an hour wait.
Yep, see you soon!
P.S. If you want to experience a nice lounge space, try the Stone Rose Lounge at Columbus Circle. It was a nice place to stop for a rest and refreshment one afternoon (though I think it can get pretty hoppin' and noisy at night). There are a number of establishments in the restaurant and bar collection in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle that all looked pretty inviting. Good shopping too, if you're in to that sort of thing.
Message was edited by: pluto77
Staying at the Marriott East Side for the forth time this year!
Wonderful property and it has become my "home away from home" when in Manhattan.
I have never had the pleasure of meeting Margaret but I will find her during my stay next week and let her know you are making her a celebrity!
Greetings, pluto77, thank you for sharing your stories! On behalf of Marriott associates around the world, we take pride in providing exceptional service for each and every guest and we appreciate you taking the time to nominate this Marriott associate for this important award. We’ll enter this nomination for consideration of the Spirit to Serve award.
Said hello to Margaret for you this morning at the Marriott East Side - She had no idea that you were making her famous throughout the "insider community".