(NOTE: This DISCUSSION/BLOG's purpose it to state my opinion of properties that I have recently been a guest. There is rarely a week that passes that I don't awake in a Marriott branded property. I believe I see and experience service, property condition, and an overall view of a property based on a business traveler hoping for a comfortable stay without any unnecessary aggravation. Said opinions are based on my experience with Marriott the last fifteen years. The opinions posted are that of a a business traveler. I suggest to members looking for reviews based on vacation/pleasure travel to search those sites dealing with that type of travel experience. Furthermore I will list the actual dates of stay. )
2-4 June, 2015 - RENAISSANCE HOTEL BOCA RATON FLORIDA
Previous visits to Boca I stayed at the Boca Raton Marriott - a fine property. Suggested by business associates I switched to the Renaissance.
When a business hotel can "double" as a resort it acts as a welcomed relief from the day's business activities and stress. Entering this property you have a feeling that you are about to begin a vacation at a tropical resort. Although advised by staff that it is scheduled for major renovations it is extremely well maintained. The staff could not have been more attentive and my upgraded junior/executive suite was extremely spacious and included all the amenities that a "road warrior" would require. With those attributes, including a full service CL I personally would choose this property each time I visit Boca over the Marriott a few blocks away (same price range).
June 11 -12, 2015 - MARRIOTT MARQUIS SAN DIEGO MARINA
When checking in you are advised that the breakfast you would expect to be available in the CL has been relocated to the San Diego Ballroom in the North Tower it doesn't take much logic to assume "crowds"!
My preference when choosing a property is not based on the size. It is my desire for quiet and slow pace after a day of business. This is a grand, wonderful, large property. Just not my choice where I hope to relax after work - my stay was due to convenience and associates that I was meeting with.
Unfortunately the hotel reminds me of it's cousin the MARRIOTT MARQUIS TIMES SQUARE. You are dodging convention crowd throughout the property, lines at the taxi stand, and crowded CL conditions. The staff, albeit very helpful, behaved like robots. That said, the rooms are spacious and include all amenities desired. My upgrade (as a Platinum Premiere) was a room with an exceptional unobstructed view of San Diego/Mission Bay but still a standard room. My choice would be one of the other Marriott properties in the "Gas Lamp" area.
We've stayed at the San Diego Marina twice and NEVER again. As you mentioned misterchk it is a convention haven and very cold. We much prefer the quiet relaxed Coronado Island Marriott and the island itself. If we want to go into downtown one can take the ferry over to the Marina or make the short drive.
We stayed at the San Diego Marquis as a family and had no problems at all. Maybe we timed it when it wasn't too crowded. I loved the poolside bar service New York Times Square Marquis is somewhere I will not stay again unless I absolutely have to. I did not like the 70s era open atrium - so noisy. I did not like the weird space-age elevator pod system. I did not like the rooms, although they are quite large for NY. The CL was good, though. But I just don't like the vibe of the NY Marquis at all.
Next time in San Diego consider the Coronado Marriott - take a look at the Villa accommodations on the bay.
They have a "water taxi" that takes you across the bay to the Marriott Marquis - you go from a quiet serene world to the the hectic side.
(does your family know we are meeting often here LOL)
Must tell you about last year - sitting on the patio of our Villa at the Marriott (Coronado) - look up and to our shock - the USS Carl Vinson passes by - By the time we could find a phone or camera it was too late!!!
May 16-17, 2015 - JW MARRIOTT ESSEX HOUSE NEW YORK
(Many visits the last few years)
There is not time or enough space for me to describe a crown jewel in the Marriott chain.
I did have an unusual experience on the dates above that I would like to make public - along with all my joking about being a Platinum Premiere.
Checking in I was delivered the "canned" statement "THANK YOU FOR BEING A PLATINUM PREMIERE". I immediately answered that "It is well know amongst the insider community that if a Platinum Premiere presents his identification along with a five dollar bill the member the memer is immediately rewarded with a large cup of coffee at any Starbucks". Laughingly the reception agent said, "Well, guess what? We have 55 Platinum Members registered (so far) in the hotel this evening. You are the only Platinum Premiere AND you are the only one upgraded to a suite".
MY APOLOGIES FOR THE SARCASM - Unfortunately you can't "teach an old dog new tricks" and I probably will continue to be sarcastic from time to time. Let me say, though, Thank you Marriott - to have such wonderful accommodation in easily one of my favorite hotels in the United States, was a highlight of a business trip which I didn't expect.
I'm so "cheap" - maybe I should say "thrifty" - I very rarely ask for luggage assistance. There occurs from time to time a longer stay necessitating a larger suitcase but with the advanced wheels I usually make it my self. In any case, I am due there next month and will see if aid with the bags is offered without asking.
I share your concern with the Lounge - I excuse the crowd as it is one or two of the best CL breakfast spreads (lounges) that I have experienced. A good comparison is that place on Times Square which I avoid like the plague that has the worst (in my opinion) breakfast offerings of all the Marriotts in New York (that I have stayed at - and than includes more than half (Manhattan). (I'm an early riser - "suffering from a condition known as terminal old age" - I rise quite early and have found most (including the Essex) CL's are quite empty and quiet at 6:30 AM.
Me too misterchk, but if you ever stay at the Wailea Beach Marriott, take it! Many of their buildings don't have elevators... not fun lugging your luggage up 2-3 flights of stairs!!
My friend, I have spent MANY points at that establishment - but all trips there were for PLEASURE (love the adult pool) and when on vacation I splurge and make them carry my baggage and ME TOO (sometimes, when getting an ocean front room they take you in a golf cart!!
Ah, I'm glad your experiences there have been better than mine misterchk! You gotta come to Oahu sometime too
I travel (and stay over) in Honolulu (Waikiki) once every fifteen years. This visit is necessary to remind me why I don't like Honolulu as a vacation destination.
The Marriott Ko Olina (they are giving up management of that property) now has the Disney resort next to it and it creates (in my opinion) to much noise and crowds............I hope to find quiet when in Hawaii (Am I getting old== LOL)
LOL, I see misterchk! I don't blame you. Yup, the JW Marriott Ihilani is becoming a Four Seasons now, though we're getting a Ritz-Carlton Residence in Waikiki not far from the Courtyard.
How about staying at the Turtle Bay in North Shore on Oahu?
Any word on whether Marriott will let us use MVC points at the RC Residence in Waikiki? Not sure how those RC residences work... Seems to me that Marriott doesn't have very good offerings on Oahu, so this would be a nice option. What's going on with MVC Ko Olina? One of the posts says something about Marriott giving up management? We like going to that one with the kids, although I like Waikiki Beach a lot better than those lagoons at Ko Olina. Those are ok but don't seem like real beaches to me.
Marriott gave up the management - and I'm NOT sad.
The Ko Oliina resort is literally steps from the new HUGE Disney development and the area has literally become "Disneyland" thousands of screaming kids running all over the beaches.
Adding to the problem of a relaxing vacation is that the beaches are very popular with locals. Consequently space on the beach is a real issue.
I've never stayed that the Fairmont, but the Grand Wailea is a fine property too! Though last time I stayed was before it was absorbed into the Hilton universe. The Sheraton in Ka'anapali is another longtime favorite. My current aspirational property on Maui is the Andaz Maui
Oh, for the ultimate peace and quiet, there's the Travassa Hana. No TV or wifi in room... or clocks for that matter! But nice rooms (from what I've seen, never stayed) including seaside cottages
lol, very true misterchk. Ok, so Andaz Maui or Travassa Hana then
For anyone with young kids, the Disney hotel in Ko Olina actually offers free daycare for all guests
This is DansDeals, a site where he posts amazing deals for all kinds of things with a good percentage being travel. This is his review of the Andaz Maui. He is Jewish so some of the content obviously addresses complications with travel but most of the info is very useful.
Thanks for the link ks77! Despite the quirks it's still an amazing property and the service we did observe during our short visit dinner was just amazing. But I see Dan has run into the infamous view issue with Hawaii. Ocean view sometimes you only get a tiny sliver! lol
Yeah the levels of views at some properties is insane. At first I thought it was ridiculous, but after a little more thought I don't have a problem with it IF they give a clear explanation and an example picture of the actual view. To have 10 levels with only 3 having pictures to go by is misleading.
The Kaanapali Beach Sheraton has exactly what I am talking about. A dozen different room types but 6 different "views". However, on their site they give a clear picture AND floorplan. I stayed in the Deluxe Ocean Front in building 6 for my honeymoon and it was pretty awesome. If I ever go back I would be happy with the Ocean View or Deluxe Ocean View. The Deluxe Ocean Front isn't necessary.
Yup! The Waikiki Beach Marriott and Wailea Beach Marriott are both definitely guilty of this ks77!
I do love that Sheraton too. My family used to stay there every year when I was younger, though we kind of stopped after they renovated and jacked up their rates like crazy! Would love to return some day... But even the mountain view rooms there had pretty decent views.
LOL, some of us really need full time daycare and a nurse to administer our "prescribed meds" don't we jerrycoin?
I'm 21 misterchk, at 6:30AM I've just gotten about 3 hours of sleep. XD
I found everything at the essex house's breakfast to be pretty good except the eggs. but the lounge was huge so there was plenty of room for all the people (for the most part) .
and I don't need bell service, but at what is supposed to be an upscale hotel I'd at least like them to offer it.
at my current hotel the guy came and took the bags right out of our uber and brought them in for us.
My fellow warrior Jsucool76 -I hope you didn't misunderstand my comment - I on your side! If I required baggage help at a deluxe hotel and it wasn't available immediately the hotel would have one giant pain the the butt!! BELIEVE ME.
If your experience happened to me I would have written the hotel immediately (if not request asking to speak to management) as well as posting here.
Safe travels my young friend.
I love the Essex House. It's one of my favorite hotels in the world. It's such a classic beauty in a great location and so quintessentially New York. The CL is excellent, and I get a huge kick out of the closet-sized gift shop in the lobby (although I kind of feel bad for the attendant who has to sit in that tiny space all day!). About half of my business trips to NY put me in the Grand Hyatt at Grand Central Station which is fine, although it doesn't have much character. But when I am at liberty to choose my own NY hotel, it's the Essex House. Last time I was in NY, I spent a fair amount of my time lounging around at the Essex House instead of sightseeing because the Essex House is a destination unto itself.
The Essex House IS special! I hope Marriott maintains their management contract for many years.
I used to be a Hyatt "stayer" but I find the hotels )especially the Grand Hyatt at GC Station too busy - can't stand the lack of serenity.
I am not in love with Grand Hyatt NY, but I do really like the kiosks where you can check in and get your keys without standing in line. I wish every hotel had that option, impersonal though it may be. I hate standing in line to check in after traveling all day, schlepping luggage, etc., and whatever special lines they supposedly have for elites seem to be nonexistent, unmanned, etc.
I hear ya re Hyatt. I recently stayed at Grand Hyatt downtown Seattle and really did enjoy that property, although it is quite large. I have a stay coming up at Hyatt Regency downtown Chicago and kind of dread it. That place is a zoo, and you need a map just to find your way around.
HALL OF SHAME
SANTA YNEZ VALLEY MARRIOTT (Buellton, California)- July 10 - 11, 2015
An example of poor training of reception staff:
Buellton, California is a small town made famous by the movie "Sideways". It is well situated if you are travelling to the Santa Ynez Valley (Wineries and home to the former Michael Jackson home, "Neverland". Close by Solvang as well as the small city of Lompoc (Vandenburg Air Force Base) are served by this property)
When securing my reservation (online) I included by standard request for a "Platinum Premiere upgrade to suite." Upon checking in the receptionist advised "we have you for one night in a one BR suite"...so that went well!
That was the only mention of welcome, would you like points or gift etc......
I inquired about the arrangements for breakfast as the next morning was Saturday (also no CL) at this property. I was advised by the receptionist that "they have a wonderful buffet breakfast but it is not included in the price of the room. You can check the cost on the menu at the restaurant". I thanked her took our keys and proceeded to our suite.
Immediately upon entrance to our suite I checked marriott.com to see if the property was classified as a resort (which would exclude the provision for breakfast to Elite members). It was not.
I called down to the front desk. The call was answered by a different individual. I diplomatically asked if I would be receiving points since breakfast was not provided (I also inquired about my welcome points as the receptionist didn't ask).
This individual said she was quite sorry that I was not asked my preference and she would insure that it was on the record I would like points. She also asked if, in fact, I would prefer points instead of the buffet breakfast.
"I was advised by the receptionist when checking in that breakfast was not provided" I answered.
She then transferred my to the manager on duty which resulted in apologies etc. We ultimately received a wonderful buffet breakfast the next morning and the trip was very pleasant in a very delightful property.
I would like to reiterate that this property is wonderful. Unusual design (should be in the middle of a vineyard). These comments were describing a staffing issue that should be addressed by the management.
Yes - against my better judgment (gave into the others in my crowd) - BOY WAS I SURPRISED!
Restaurants made famous by movies etc are usually lousy - what I experienced was a class "a" eaterie.
Ranks with the best steak houses in the country.
Meat was prepared perfectly - the sides were terrific as was the service.
If in the area it is a MUST unless you are a vegetarian!
Besides eating and drinking I visited Boca for weddings and funerals !!! LOL
FYI - in my opinion the Renaissance is the pick between the two full service Marriott properties. (my humble opinion of course)
Being a "West Coaster" we don't travel to Florida for beach resorts.
Consequently for family obligations and business the two Marriott properties are great - the Renaissance is just more delightful and "laid back"
The motivation for this discussion was the cancellation of our ability to review properties.
Consequently it is more of a personal blog of my experiences that have impact on other elite members. Especially as to the receipt (or not) of benefits.
Also, I am on a mission (as a Californian) to save water and (LOL) space!