I recently stayed 3 nights at this hotel near Portsmouth, NH. I already told you of my spa experience, but this is a comprehensive report about the hotel as well. The long version is posted on my website: www.travelprincessdiaries.com, but here's a brief synopsis.
Things I liked: Location, new england charm, restaurant, view, decor, room size, free internet, fireplace in room, fitness room/indoor pool
Things I didnt like: we were given a crappy room at first, no service in concierge lounge, wallpaper/carpeting well worn, spa experience, no slippers
I rated this an 8.09 out of 10. As a category 6, I expected much more. For more details on the rating and on the stay, please check out the website.
When I am rating a hotel, one of my categories is "follow-up after checkout". Most of the time I leave a comment card and never hear anything from the hotel. I must say that the Wentworth impressed me on this one.
I didnt fill out a comment card because there were none in the room, but when I was checking out I mentioned a couple of things to the staff at the front desk regarding my disappointment with the lounge being closed and no slippers. 2 days ago out of the blue I received an email from the Rooms Division manager noting my concerns, and offering to personally take care of any issues on my next visit if I call ahead of time. WOW - I may have to change the title of the review on my website (where's the WOW?). I am very impressed with the followup especially since my feedback was verbal and could have been so easily ignored.
For those who want to see a the review check out www.travelprincessdiaries.com.
Dear Princess: This is customer relations management writ large! I was thinking that there are so many times when the answer to a comment card is nothing short of pasted together stuff, and then this one appears! Fantastic response and timely too.
Thanks for sharing--let's hope it is a trend!
"2 days ago out of the blue I received an email from the Rooms Division manager noting my concerns, and offering to personally take care of any issues on my next visit if I call ahead of time. WOW - I may have to change the title of the review on my website (where's the WOW?). I am very impressed with the followup especially since my feedback was verbal and could have been so easily ignored."
That's a success story in the making!
Just read your full review. Very comprehensive, and it sounds like the staff earned their money. One thing about the room upgrade -- I think it's great that you eventually got a great suite with a great view and although I'd like to see that as the the standard, it's not. Excerpted from T&C: Room Upgrade: Suites not included; upgraded accommodations at no additional charge. Based on room availability at check-in and limited to a member's personal guestroom. So, it appears the hotel exceeded the standard even with the initial upgrade with the awful view. Also, if you're into marina's, check out the Vinoy Renaissance in St. Petersburg. It has a fantastic golf course as well. And I'm not a SPA person, but no slippers even sounds odd to me. Otherwise, glad you had a good time.
Great photo of the Wentworth. When I stayed there last January on points, I was upgraded to the Admiral Suite, a duplex in the center turret in the photo and the lithograph reproduction below. With 360 views, travertine bath, a spiral staircase and kitchenette, the suite exceeded all expectations and was an absolutely amazing experience.
Above: Wentworth-by-the-Sea as built in 1874
This will be the 7th year since the hotel was restored to it's original grandeur and reopened as a Marriott franchise after falling into disrepair for 20 years. In addition to operating Marriott's Wentworth-by-the-Sea and other Marriott brands, the franchise, Ocean Properties also owns notable properties under Starwood, IHG and Hilton brands.
It is very reassuring that Ocean Properties management followed up. Responding to guest feedback is imperative for a company's success. As a Marriott franchise, it is also reassuring that they are attentive to Marriott Elite feedback and understand the Elite culture so well. Given reports about needed maintenance and repair, after 7 years of wear and tear, any hotel property would be due for a refurbishment. Not really knowing the ins and outs, I fully expect that Ocean Properties has sufficient reserves to complete the reburbishment and upgrading that Marriott requires to remain a franchisee in good standing.
Combined with location, quality of accomodations, service delivery and responsiveness to guest feedback, I would guess that financial position to maintain the property are among the criteria that determines Hotel Category. As mentioned in another post, I also stayed in the Wentworth's Little Harbor Marina Suites last Memorial Day on a paid/points combo. By default, the Little Harbor Marina Suites are 1 or 2 bedroom villas that easily command upwards of $250/night.
In short, Ocean Properties delivered knock-your-socks-off service twice and consistently exceeded my expectations. Contrary to comments about 'peeling wallpaper', 'stained carpet' and a pedicure that went south, my experience at this property is very positive. Without hesitation, I applaud the elevation of Marriott's Wentworth by the Sea to a Category 7.
TJC, I am thrilled for you that you received such wonderful service. If my experience would have been the same, I am sure I would share your opinion. I am also guessing that if your experiences were more like mine, you might share my opinion.
First impressions are the key and set the tone for the entire stay. I compare my stays using points at Wardman Park - a category 5 in DC, and the Wentworth - a category 6, and I was much more blown away by the service at Wardman Park - so much so that the small bathroom and other minor issues didnt bother me. But when the initial impression is set to a sour note, then things like peeling wallpaper and stained carpets tend to stand out more. Was I wrong to expect better service from a category 6 than a category 5? Why as a Platinum Premier didnt I receive the same great service that you received? What differences in service should there be between a cat 5,6 and 7?
Just an update - I mentioned that Lonnie, the rooms division manager contacted me based on my verbal feedback at checkout. I responded by sending my full review (the same one posted on travelprincessdiaries) and received another response thanking me for my detailed review (which was shared with the managers of the various departments), and requesting future contact to follow up on specifics.
PP and TJC,
You have talked me into it!
I am going to WBTS late in May!
Any suggestions? I have to go to a family reunion (Not Here) on Thursday May 27. I have booked a suite at $299/night. I hope I get an upgrade?
Open for either, or anyones suggestions, never been here before!
Above: A view of Marriott's Wentworth-by-the-Sea as seen from New Hampshire 1B aka Wentworth Road. In the foreground are the Little Harbor Suites featuring duplex 1/2 bedroom villas with fully equipped kitchens overlooking the marina. In the background is the main hotel, a historic landmark. The center turret has 3 floors including the Admiral Suite, a 1 bedroom king duplex with a spiral staircase and spectacular panoramic views of the seacoast.
One size does not fit all, and the architects of Marriott's Wentworth-by-the-Sea understood that very well. The hotel has two buildings and each one offers unique accomodations. If you or any member of your party is disabled or challenged by climbing stairs, a single level corner room in the main building on the 4th floor with a view of the harbor is the place to be.
With the stairs issue out of the way, the most unique aspect of this hotel from all of the Marriott's I've enjoyed anywhere are the multilevel suites. The main hotel features 3 duplex suites located in each turret. The Admiral Suite which is the largest is in the center turret on the top two floors. We enjoyed this suite because the bedroom and bath are on the same level. The Admiral's loft features a wet bar w/minifridge and microwave, dining table, TV and fold out sofa. Note: Internet access is wired and free. Wireless in the lobby of the main building.
The seacoast summer season officially kicks off with the Memorial Day weekend. W/o surprise the Little Harbor Suites are prized because they overlook the marina and are duplex villas. We enjoyed a 1 bedroom duplex suite with poolside access. With a 5 fixture master bathroom, a balcony overlooking the marina in the bedroom, a powder room on the main level, washer/dryer, fully-equipped kitchen and a fold-out sofa, this villa sleeps a party of four very comfortably. The upper level duplex suites are 2 bedroom/2 bath and 2x the rate.
As the only full-service Marriott in the entire state of New Hampshire, the Wentworth has several dining venues all of which are outstanding. During the summer, Latitudes which overlooks the marina has exceptionally well-trained staff. For lunch, the lobster roll sandwich and New England clam chowder is to die for. The main dining room has a domed ceiling with a wrap-around porch. The CL is keyed and open 24/7 to Gold and Platinum for bottled beverages. An attendant is there during standard business hours. No alcoholic beverages are served in CL that I recall.
Wentworth-by-the-Sea is about 2 miles from downtown Portsmouth, a mile from Kittery, ME and an hour north of Boston. I highly recommend renting a car. The 20 mile drive along Rte 1A/1B along the seacoast to Newburyport, MA is a must do. The Portsmouth seacoat is peppered with scenic overlooks, beach towns and lots of places to satisfy a hearty seafood appetite. On the drive back, take I-95 up to Kittery, ME and have dinner at Warrens then backtrack to the Wentworth. Dress casually, bring along a fleece jacket and flip flops for walks on sandy beaches and boardwalk in Hampton. And, don't forget your camera!
The Wentworth turns the corner on seven years old. As Princess notes, there's evidence of wear and tear and likely due for a refurbishment. I did not experience any of the issues Princess described. What a difference a day makes? Reaching out to the Front Desk is extremely effective. Feel free to send a PM.
All the best for a New England seacoast adventure of a lifetime!
Please do report back after your stay. I am curious to hear about your experiences and if they've rectified the slipper situation ;-)
If you are into sunrise pictures, this is a great location for catching the sun coming up over the ocean. These were taken very close to the hotel.