Interesting can mean different things to each of us. As I pondered this questions, my first thought was about uniqueness of the building rather than the location. So many properties look the same. For example, not much distinguishes most CYs or FFIs. That's not to say there aren't interesting CYs or FFIs. I'd say the CY in Ocean City, MD is unlike any other of the brand. (I still don't think it's a category 9 property ).
Many hotels along the highway are so similar that if you took the signs away, I would be hard pressed to identify them and not just Marriott properties either (three stories, beige colored, entrance in the middle. It could be almost anything).
I've thought of a few interesting properties. Not all are in fabulous locations, though some are. I enjoyed the boat launch on the lower level of the Aruba Renaissance. That was unique.
Each of the Gaylord properties qualifies as interesting.
I really enjoyed the design of the Knoxville Marriott. I almost expected to see a monorail running through the 10-story lobby.
And I can't forget the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Big Island.
The point is that there are so many hotels that are purely functional. We've all visited that type. I'm curious about the unique properties, specifically the hotels, not the locations. Even the JW Marriott in Grand Rapids is pretty cool (sorry no picture).
So, what's the most (architecturally) interesting Marriott you've visited?
Great question and here are my favorites as well. BTW, I truly also enjoyed the Marriott in Knoxville, and here are others:
Seattle Waterfront Marriott
REN. Monte Carlo, (Cap d'All)
JW Washington DC
London County Hall Marriott
San Diego, Marriott Marina
Rome, Grand Flora Marriott
Wentworth by the Sea Marriott
RI, Scottsdale AZ, Paradise Valley
These are all places that I would enjoy visiting anytime!
I agree with bejacob. Often it is the building itself that is interesting. West India Quay in London is one of those buildings.
Stunning isn't it. But it is an enigma. The building is leased. The wonderful glass curved frontage belies what is behind. Because Marriott have only the lower 12? floors of the glass curve. The upper floors are private apartments. Entry to the hotel is from the road on the other side, and it is entirely different.
The entrance leads into what looks like a normal hotel. There are about 5? hotel floors, which are basically in a box behind the glass curve.
The CL is on the corner of the 7th floor of the curve, with fabulous views over the docks.
I've heard good things about some of those properties, jerrycoin. I've even set foot in a couple (County Hall and JW DC) though I've not stayed at any of them. Perhaps someday I'll get to visit the others.
My favorites (so far) would be:
Marriott Grand Flora - Rome: The location is perfect for us. We have always stayed around the top of the Via Veneto whenever we visit Rome. The building is beautiful and the rooftop breakfasts are breathtaking.
Ghent Marriott - Ghent Belgium: Don't just a book by its cover. From the outside, it looks like any one of the many old merchant offices along the Lei. Inside, it is a modern hotel, with a unique lobby and a great breakfast buffet. There is not a better location in Ghent.
Brussels Marriott - Brussels Belgium: Great location, between the Bourse, Grand Place and St. Katherine's. Old world charm, great service (to include Herve Vandendrice the head concierge), and a great spread in the lounge for both breakfast and the evening. We dined well on the down for lunch, then had dinner in the lounge.
Seem like good choices.
I realized "most interesting" can mean many thing, but as I mentioned in the intro to my post, my first thought was about distinctive architecture or specific features of the building rather than location. Admittedly, a property in an extremely cool location might be the most interesting as long as it's not some cookie-cutter building.
Those are some interesting properties, for sure bejacob. I love the boat marina right there in the lobby. To that, I would add these two properties:
The Boscolo Venezia, with it's private garden, leading to it's own private boat dock and water taxi for it's guests:
And also the new JW Marriott Venice Resort and Spa, located on it's own private island, access gained via private hotel water shuttle. We will have the joyful pleasure of staying here later this year.
Beyond these, I've stayed at a rather unique Springhill Suites, with rooftop pool and ocean view. The entrance has a vertical cactus garden attached to the outside wall, which is really cool.
The little yellow house in the foreground is the house that was used in the movie, Top Gun.
Speaking of vertical gardens, the landscape architecture at the JW Los Cabos was incredible. It stands out as one of the defining features of the property. There is a cactus garden on the rooftop of the Griffin Club, for guests to enjoy a view of from their room balcony.
There are no front or back doors in the lobby. It is perpetually open. The shot below is actually at the end of the lobby. The front of the lobby is about 50 feet back, but when I tried to get a shot of the entire length of the cavernous lobby with the ocean beyond, from the front entrance, all the camera captured was white light. This shot doesn't do justice to how visionary this lobby and it's surrounding architecture really are.
The cactus garden on top of the Griffin Club
In fact, as far as you can see, all of the landscaped spaces are actually the roofs of buildings.
This is on a roof!
And so is this. There are so many innovative, brilliant architectural landscape features to the property, that just a few photos won't do it justice. I took a lot of photos and will do an album. I really thought this place was incredible.
Another architecturally unique property is https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/phxtm-phoenix-marriott-tempe-at-the-buttes/ Unfortunately, I don't have any photos with me to post, but the hotel is actually built into the side of a giant butte. It's really cool.
Who doesn't love the rooftop terrace for breakfasting at the Grand Flora in Rome?
Or all of the fabulous marble?
Finally, the Lobby Atrium at the Marriott Champs-Élysées is special, for sure.