9 Replies Latest reply: Jul 10, 2015 4:12 PM by lindseyh RSS

Renovations - The New Marriott?  Trends?

ssindc Platinum 42 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

Update/note: if this topic interests you, be sure to jump to this thread: Marriott Room Design, Innovation - Revisited, Expanded

 

So, in the last few weeks I've stayed in two full-service Marriott properties (Newark Airport and Richmond West) that are in the middle of renovations - I'm curious to hear what others think of what the New Marriott will look like....

 

And, since then, last weekend I stayed in a (nearly) brand-spanking-new Fairfield Inn and Suites (not far from Rehobeth Beach) - it opened about 2 months before I got there.

 

Some reactions and observations:

  • I definitely preferred the layout of the Newark "new room" - I was particularly intrigued by the L-shaped couch will portable computer table;
  • my son loved the look of the new layout of the Richmond West (actually Glen Allen) "new room" - he thought it was very fancy - also, the largest LG flat screen TV I have ever seen in a hotel room - my son was duly impressed. [I normally stay at the Marriott downtown, adjacent to the convention center, so this was a first for me.]
  • The work environment in the new Fairfield Inn room was by far the most conducive to productivity - a real desk and a real desk chair and appropriate lighting - what more can you ask?!?!
    • This room also won the prize (among these three) for sufficiency of towel hooks (facilitating the re-use of towels).
  • Otherwise, my sense is that I'm getting old and cranky (or maybe I was always that way)...  Here's my short list of items in the Richmond West property that I want to send up to the hotel school at Cornell as a case study under "what was someone thinking during the renovation process"????
    • insufficient (OK, actually no) overlap on the black-out blind rail - or, in other words, once the sun comes up, if you're not wearing eye shades, it's time to wake up...  I saw this one coming when I went to sleep, so I piled pillows against the blinds, but that only worked at the bottom half - there was nothing I could about the top half...  This is such a small, inexpensive, low-tech, but essential detail - how can this be overlooked?
    • no real desk chair - argh - there is a bench seat, which is cute (but has no back) - and a utility chair, but it's not on wheels and it's not adjustable, and it doesn't have arms -  this might make sense at a beach hotel, but this is a hotel in the middle of a suburban office park - it's a business hotel.... Go figure.
    • I like the concept of the rolling barn or hangar doors in the bathroom - they save space, and the look great - but - functionally - I'd rather have a wooden door - the opaque glass door means that, if someone is in the bathroom, the entire bedroom is light/bright because opposite the bathroom door is a large mirror - all of that seem easily avoidable;
    • there simply are not enough towel hooks and bars (particularly if Marriott is serious about you wanting guests to re-use towels) - there is a single towel hook in the bathroom - the other towel bar is inside the shower, very close to the shower head - so, in a room with a capacity of four guests, there is only one hook (not a double hook, not a towel bar) where you can store a wet towel rather than throwing it on the floor - that's a little weird;
    • I have no idea where I'm supposed to put my luggage - no luggage rack, no obvious place for it... And there's a dresser in the closet, but the drawers do not open all the way because they're wider than the space available...  Really?  C'mon, I couldn't make this up...
    • perplexing, but ultimately wonderful shower -  - very Euro-modern, not not in the least intuitive (and I've traveled all over the world, I've seen some funky shower systems, particularly in Asia, but they tend to be more intuitive) ... but, once you survive trial and error and you figure out the controls (hopefully, without burning yourself) - it's a great shower system...
    • a huge, gorgeous, modern sink that - uh - doesn't drain very well - maybe it's clogged (was it installed incorrectly?)....
  • And, in the defeated by technology category - in Richmond, my automated wake call came exactly one hour early - granted, better early than late, but still...

Now it's time to hit the road again.  Anyway, what's your experience been with the new renovations?

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

Location Brand Hotel
Newark, New Jersey, USA Marriott Hotels & Resorts Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott
Glen Allen, Virginia, USA Marriott Hotels & Resorts Richmond Marriott West
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, USA
  • Re: Renovations - The New Marriott?  Trends?
    brightlybob Platinum 10 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I've not visited either of these, so can't comment from experience, but a word to Marriotts designers...

     

    Marriott is a business hotel brand and most road warriors need a desk to work at... And in order to be productive, a chair that can be adjusted for ideal comfort whilst working... So, a bench? Really??

     

    Marriott is is losing its way here. Throw that funky trash into the Moxy/Edition can and let them fish around for whatever they think is trendy, in the meantime I need to work to earn the money to stay at this hotel. Or, as it's not thinking about the needs of its target market, probably not. I wonder what Marriott is going to do with its achingly trendy benches when the road warriors go to hotels that actually provide work areas to work at. Well, I guess at least the hotels won't suffer as much wear and tear once the business guests cease staying...

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Renovations - The New Marriott?  Trends?
      jerryl Platinum 2 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      My problem with the shower is as you said you need to get in to turn it on and can get cold or really hot shower before you adjust it

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Renovations - The New Marriott?  Trends?
      jerryl Platinum 2 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      I Also think they are caugh in between the boomers and millenniums . I dont think most millenniums sit at desk as much as we did

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Renovations - The New Marriott?  Trends?
    vaboywnder Alumni Steward Platinum 21 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    ssindc,

     

    I blacklisted the Richmond Marriott West a few years ago as the property was LONG overdue for renovations.  I'm glad to hear that renovations are finally taking place there.  I may have to check it out the next time I'm in the Richmond area. I totally agree with you about blackout curtains, hotels should make sure there is a way to keep out the morning sun for late risers.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Renovations - The New Marriott?  Trends?
    Sledchick Platinum 9 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I get what you're saying here, ssindc.  I'm getting the feeling that functionality is going out the window with the old drapes.  I have not been to the specific properties you mentioned, but recently had a "furniture experience" at Courtyard in the process of renovations.  My room was completely renovated and was beautifully done -- palette and serenity factor were high.  I will give the designers high marks for that.   But the cushioned chair thing next to the lamp in the corner...  I could not find a comfortable way to sit in it except to tuck my feet up under my backside.  Which made it difficult to use a laptop.  The seat portion itself was made for a giant, and while it had the cool vibe, was totally uncomfortable for a normal sized person to sit in.  If you wanted to put your feet on the floor, you could, but your spine was more than a foot away from the backrest portion.  My twelve year old son (the next generation of Marriott customers) loved it because he could curl up and lay all over that thing.  Of course I don't have the flexibility of a pre-teen, so when I attempted to emulate his position, it was something to be captured on video and replayed on YouTube.  I think an elderly traveler might not be able to get up and out of a chair like that. A few weekends after that I was at another Courtyard which was just about to undergo a renovation.  They had the designer's board posted in the lobby with nice color schemes and layouts, but no real photos of furniture (just sketches).  I hope they'll think a bit more about the lone chair in the room...    This was a property that, coincidentally, I had done the review on when they sent the request but they have not posted because it was honest and I did not rate them highly.  I'll address this issue another time under the proper topic.

    My family spent almost every weekend this February to the end of April in hotels, mostly Marriott brands.  I agree with your observation about not enough towels hooks or bars.  When traveling solo, it's not an issue.  But with four people in a room I also wonder, "What were they thinking?"  I do believe change is good, and Marriott must keep their brands looking fresh and trendy, but it's at the expense of functionality and comfort for average folks and road warriors.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Renovations - The New Marriott?  Trends?
    ssindc Platinum 42 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I know I shouldn't respond to my own post, but - sadly - I just realized I'm basically repeating myself (which is pathetic and a waste of time)....

     

    Details, details ... pet peeves...  or just a grumpy old man?

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Renovations - The New Marriott?  Trends?
      Sledchick Platinum 9 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      It's okay that you repeat yourself -- it's still entertaining to the rest of us! 

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Renovations - The New Marriott?  Trends?
    pluto77 Alumni Steward Platinum 25 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated


    Yes, once again, trying to post pictures killed all of the comments in my reply.  Houston, we have a problem.  Sorry, ssindc.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Renovations - The New Marriott?  Trends?
    lindseyh Community Manager Marriott Associate Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    All great insights. I appreciate you all sharing your thoughts. I'll be sure to pass these on!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)