I had a recent stay at the " Manila Marriott Hotel" and the food was exceptional. So good in fact that I saw very little reason to seek outside restaurants. There was no need when I could have good food delivered to my room where wearing pants was optional (lame joke). As you can imagine my bill was enormous at the end of the stay but I felt it was well worth it. I then traveled to Dubai and stayed at another Marriott. The food there was bland and "meh". I'm not going to post the name because the hotel itself was wonderful and it seems unfair to say anything bad about such a nice property. It did however get me thinking about all my experiences with Marriott's room service. Overall I believe it could use an overhaul. With some very rare exceptions I have found the food to be below average across the board.
What has been your experience with Marriott's room service or restaurants? Are you impressed overall or do you head outside to look for a restaurant without even bothering to look at the menu? I know most people skip room service but I consider it a part of the experience of staying at a hotel. Thoughts and comments folks?
I rarely use it, but while snowed in (slight exagerration) at the Key Bridge Marriott recently I decided that I would try it rather risk going out looking for something. I could have eaten downstairs in the restaurant, but I just don't really like sitting and eating alone in restaurants and would rather do it in my room. So, I checked out the menu and couldn't decide between buffalo wings or a burger, so I decided to go with both. The burger was ok and the wings were great. My only complaint was that I had too much food and by the time I finished those I didn't really have room for the fries. I did taste them at the beginning and they were good, but by the time I finished the burger and wings they were a little cool and I was too full.
I kind of liked the automatic gratuity on the bill, but then it kind of bothers me that they put a line for additional gratuity because I kind of feel like a jerk if I don't put anything. Same with the envelopes in the rooms. Having those there just makes the issue more awkward and confusing.
I definitely agree about that additional gratuity line. There is no way I am going to leave that blank. It would make me feel horrible. I honestly would prefer the automatic gratuity not be applied but I can see the need for it. A bartender at the Greensboro Marriott in NC once told me about a woman who ordered food downstairs and took it up to her room just to bypass tipping. I cannot understand that classy move. For me tipping is a respect thing. I tip well because I wouldn't last a day having to deal with rude people. So it is a thank you for bringing food to my room while I'm standing there pant less (I'm just kidding, I almost always have pants on...).
I have a hard time recalling any envelopes however. I can only remember the occasional "Hi my name is ____ and I am your room attendant" card. It does the trick though because I usually toss a couple bucks on top of the card.
I think the envelopes are a relatively new thing started last year. It says "And the envelope please..." and has some little text encouraging you to leave a tip for the room attendant though it doesn't suggest any amounts or anything. To me, it just makes it a no win situation. I think they should just pay the staff a better wage and incorporate that into the rates.
I have't seen the envelopes yet. My wife always tips our room maid directly. I tip the people at the front door that page taxis for me at the end of my stay. If I'm here for a couple of months I might give each of them a $20. Seems like a lot to them but when you figure that it's about 25 cents per day I guess I'm more of a cheapskate.
The thing about the "automatic gratuity" as it was explained to me by a room service attendant once, is that it is not really a gratuity. It is a 20% "service charge" (as if the service charge isn't already built in to the prices on the menu) and the room service person does not ever see any of it. The hotel keeps it. Assuming that I was given accurate information, the tip (gratuity) then, would be rendered in addition to the service charge. With the service charge being 20% and the gratuity being 20%, that's an additional 40% to already slightly high prices for food coming from a kitchen with no reputation for excellence, simply an okay meal. 40% is too much for me to reasonable justify, and so I rarely partake in room service without a compelling reason or need.
The envelopes are irritating to me, but this has been discussed extensively in other threads specific to the topic. http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/message/122705#122705
This is veering a bit off topic, but on the subject of gratuity, last month I did a 5 night stay in DC. I set aside $100 in $1's and $5's for tipping. Between the parking valet at the origination airport hotel parking, the shuttle driver to the origination airport, the sky cap, the limo driver at the destination airport, the bell hop, housekeeping, CL attendants (and 2 of the nights I didn't even stay in my room at the hotel, because I trained down to see family, otherwise add more to housekeeping and CL tipping), the bellman again, the shuttle driver to the next hotel and CL and housekeeping and then shuttle driver back to the destination airport, then the shuttle driver from the origination airport to my car, and finally (deep breath) the valet - again....., I ran out of tip money and had to find an atm to get more! This didn't even include restaurant tipping. This tipping business can really get out of control, which is I guess why I have chosen to draw the line at partaking in room service with it's 40% additional charges. Just not gonna do it, generally speaking.
Most if not all of my room service experiences have been with a Marriott Burger or Grill Chicken Sandwich all caused by one too many soda's someplace earlier in the night. For the most part they've been about average to better than average in taste, but always done the trick for the reason they were ordered. I find room service to be okay, just do not like the server watching over you as you attempt to figure out what to tip them if anything above the tacked on service charge.
As for dining in the restaurants at Marriott's, cannot remember when I last stayed in the hotel to eat dinner and I do not even look at the menu.
The JW Marriott Ko Olina (which is actually no longer a Marriott as it is going to become a Four Seasons) but during a stay with my wife, we had an EXCELLENT meal on our lanai. I was able to use the virtual concierge at home a week before the visit and set everything up. The food came with two staff members, was set up, and away they went. The food was awesome, the view was awesome, and the stay was a very relaxing one. It is unfortunate the property is no longer a Marriott, but I had to share this experience as it truly was great.
Living on the east coast makes getting to the Caribbean easy for me but I prefer Hawaii hands down. Since Hawaii is obviously part of the US, it means no language, currency, or safety issues. I also love the aloha spirit. Plus, the Caribbean is basically a roll of the dice to go to from August 1 to Dec 1 due to hurricane season not to mention the "rainy" seasons some islands have. Hawaii on the other hand, has amazing weather all year round. I have been in April, June, July, and September and it was always perfect weather. Don't get me wrong, Puerto Rico is a cool spot, St Kitts is nice, and Barbados is nice, but personally I would take Hawaii over any of those places in a heartbeat, but again just my humble opinion.
If you liked JW Ko Olina, try the MVC at Ko Olina. It's wonderful! Plus, if you get a 1BR or larger, the villas have a full kitchen and washer/dryer if you are into that sort of thing. We vacation every February around Presidents Day and actually have had much better weather in the Caribbean than Hawaii as Hawaii can be rainy in February. However, nothing beats Hawaii for beautiful lush foliage. For us, it's a toss up as to whether we like Hawaii or the Caribbean better. I truly love both! But I am happy anywhere with a beach and some palm trees
This is an intriguing thread to have started, chris0311.
As people have already done, I'm curious to hear the experiences of the community around this topic. When most folks are posting and looking for recommendations about attractions. food, etc., the insights vary, but I'm wondering how often members of the community are recommending the in-hotel dining locations/room service.
Thanks for sharing!
Agreed. I am too.
I, typically, will go for the in-room dining options if it's a late night/early morning, or I don't have any other options of interest.
It has nothing to do with the quality of the in-room options, but rather the fact that I am a food lover and am always looking for opportunities to explore the offerings of a destination, including in-room cuisine.
I would say my experience has run from good to outstanding. It depends where you are. For example, here are some recent highlights from the past 2 years. The Trumbull Marriott (CT) has a wonderful restaurant which I have taken family members to on several occasions. It's called Parallel Post and it's a farm-to-table deal. Definitely worth going to. For room service, sometimes it has been as simple as a nice grilled cheese (as in Toronto) that did not disappoint. We ate at the restaurant at the Ottawa Marriott and it was very good. For us it depends on how long we are in town, and most times there are fabulous restaurants around the corner which the staff does recommend (they realize that one cannot eat every meal in their hotel). Plus, if the weather is horrible it's nice to eat in and not have to walk out of the hotel. In two weeks I'll be trying the fare at the Montreal Marriott Chateau Champlain and it's something I look forward to!
To me, in-room dining has 2 functions:
1. Biz... Late arrival easy fill-up, before going to bed
2. Lazy weekend in bed when we just can't be bothered to get up to eat.
In neither case does it have to be a culinary delight, which is just as well as it never is! But it's always tasty and comforting.
Put some pants on, please. And not your pajama pants either. And while you're at it, brush your teeth and comb your hair and run a washcloth over your face. Show some respect, please. (You had to get me started... didn'tcha?)
No robes, no pj's and no sweats in the lounge, please! If that is too much of a problem, stay home or call room service, please.
And thank you!
Thanks for taking the post good naturedly. I have witnessed adults in the breakfast room in their PJ's at FFI's and SHS's and also once on the Amtrak. In the spirit of 'you get what you pay for', I therefore would expect (well, hope anyway) to share CL space with a classier (fully clothed, ha!) tier of guests when staying at more upscale brands (with upscale pricing). But there's no accounting for individual taste or style or even what one individual defines as acceptable behavior, so at the end of the day, just go with the flow, but I may as well throw my opinion out here. I suppose I'd rather deal with a respectably behaved guest in PJ's over an obnoxious, inconsiderate guest decked out in their their designerware clothing though.
Hey, I'm not getting any younger!
I will confess to having gone to CLs in workout clothes, but definitely pre-workout! I don't appreciate un-showered post-workout patrons in the CL! And it is the unwashed masses in their $2 flip-flop, flannel Sponge Bob PJ pants, and strappy bra-less camisole combos that make me avoid the breakfast buffet at FFI and SHS like the plague! TTT ratio (Tooth:Tattoo) is never good in these places. You'd think that the more expensive hotels would weed out some of this classless behavior, but guess what I saw at the Ritz Carlton Naples last month ($1200 a night the weekend we were there during high season)? There was a wedding taking place in the courtyard below the guest room balconies, and I saw several people out on their balconies watching the wedding in their RC bathrobes. It was 4:30pm. Ok, maybe that is not so bad. But then one guy came out on his balcony and yelled at the top of his lungs "Don't do it! You're f*cked!" to the bride and groom, below. I am not making this up. If that a**hole hadn't gone right back into his room, I'd have called security. I'm actually regretting that I didn't report this. *Sigh*
TTT ratio!!! Oh man my sides hurt from laughing. I am using this in my daily life from now on.
Jeez for a $1200 a night stay you would expect a certain caliber of people. What an inappropriate thing to say/yell to a couple on what (should be) one of their happiest days. Money however does not correlate with class.