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Four Marriott brands in ten days (Longish Trip Report)

Four Marriott brands in ten days (Longish Trip Report)

 
Old Oct 3, 12, 12:06 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: HFA
Posts: 1,582
Four Marriott brands in ten days (Longish Trip Report)

I haven't stayed at Marriott hotels for a few years, but when last month I had to stay at several different cities, sometimes with Marriott brands the most natural option, I signed up for the Gold challenge. Here's a review of five recent stays.

Greenbelt Marriott (Greenbelt, MD, near DC).

Got it on Priceline for $48 a night, less than half the lowest on-line rate. It's exactly what I expected from a Marriott: respectable but nondescript. As I checked in I was thanked for being a Gold member, and while I don't think my room was upgraded, I was invited to use the lounge and was told internet fees ($12.95 a day) will be waived. Standard room, very spacious with a comfy bed, but all looked a little run-down. On my last day, a Saturday, I was invited to the restaurant for breakfast. All in all a great deal.

Courtyard By Marriott Greenbelt (Greenbelt, MD, near DC).

I needed an extra night. Priceline wanted over $80 for extending my stay, and the GM at the Marriott could only offered me the lowest on-line rate, $109. So back to Priceline, for one night, and for $47 I got the courtyard just across the highway. Again, its lowest rate was more than double.

It's a typical motel. Everything felt flimsy, and of questionable quality. Still, it was comfortable and spacious. My status was never mentioned, and of course no benefits. I can't see why this Courtyard is considered (for example, by Priceline) at the same level as the Marriott (3*), or why it typically sells for the same rates. I would certainly prefer the Marriott.

SpringHill Suites Pittsburgh Bakery Square (Pittsburgh, PA).

In the past I could stay in this area of Pittsburgh for less than $50 a night courtesy of Priceline. For some reason, I was unsuccessful this time. So I used a CMU rate I was eligible for, and got the SpringHill for $119. This is a new property, in a part of the city that used to be horrible but is now getting a face lift. I stayed five nights, and wished I could stay longer. A brightly colored suite, tons of space, everything smells new and fresh, everything clean and fully functional. Decent breakfast, excellent internet connection, and parking, all included in all rates, so no status is needed. Very positive experience.

Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel (Arlington, VA, near DCA).

For my last night I wanted to be close to the airport, and decided to indulge. I got the Renaissance for $101. What a luxurious experience! The reservation staff go out from behind their desks to talk to you face to face. I was greeted again as a Gold member, was upgraded to the top floor, was told of the internet fee waiver and the fact I could have breakfast in the main restaurant as this was a weekend. The room was simply superb. Not overly spacious, but felt of luxury, with a great view of DCA and the capital and an excellent bed. Nice amenities, too. Undoubtedly the icing on the cake for this visit.

Appendix

On a different trip, but only one week later, I decided to do the Renaissance again.

Renaissance Paris La Defense Hotel (Paris, France).

Again, a wonderful experience. I was with family, so we booked two rooms. This was via LNF; I ended up paying 105 euro per room per night, about one third of the on-line rate. We were treated like VIPs. Early check in, late check out, lounge access, free internet, invitation to use the main restaurant for breakfast on a Sunday, a bottle of wine in the room, everybody looked thrilled that I was a Gold member and went out of their way to show it. We loved the rooms, the service and the atmosphere.

There was only one minor glitch: my rate included breakfast, and this was confirmed on the NLF confirmation, but was somehow lost in translation and the hotel wasn't aware of it. They insisted that we have breakfast in the lounge on the second day. I would expect them to honor my printed confirmation, but it didn't bother us enough to do anything about it.

Summary: It's good to be Gold. I don't know why Marriott needs so many brands, but I could certainly tell the difference between Marriott and Courtyard and between Marriott and Renaissance. Courtyards are probably worst for status members. SpringHill Suites are lovely. I'll try to stay more with Marriott in the future, so the challenge proved itself.

Comments welcome.

Shuly
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Old Oct 3, 12, 12:51 pm
  #2  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Programs: UALifetimePremierGold, Marriott LifetimeTitanium
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Thanks for the 'trip reports' on the various properties!

I'll update the exec lounge sticky w/ some of the information you've provided.

Cheers.
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Old Oct 3, 12, 2:02 pm
  #3  
LKO
 
Join Date: May 2004
Programs: Marriott platinum
Posts: 296
Thanks for the trip report! You've provided some good information on the properties listed. Great rates but it's too bad all those priceline rooms won't help you retain gold status! Once you've enjoyed the gold/platinum benefits it's tough to give them up. I guess that's why Marriott provides a gold challenge, they want to keep you as a customer in the future. Glad it worked out for you on these recent stays.
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Old Oct 3, 12, 4:33 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: CPH
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Wow, I paid EUR 105 for Renaissance Hamburg and I never get any of the perks like the Ren in La Defense!

LNF rates don't normally states whether breakfast is included or not, you need to reconfirm with the LNF staffs so that they can put it into your reservation.
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Old Oct 4, 12, 11:42 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Originally Posted by shuly View Post
Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel (Arlington, VA, near DCA).

For my last night I wanted to be close to the airport, and decided to indulge. I got the Renaissance for $101. What a luxurious experience! The reservation staff go out from behind their desks to talk to you face to face. I was greeted again as a Gold member, was upgraded to the top floor, was told of the internet fee waiver and the fact I could have breakfast in the main restaurant as this was a weekend. The room was simply superb. Not overly spacious, but felt of luxury, with a great view of DCA and the capital and an excellent bed. Nice amenities, too. Undoubtedly the icing on the cake for this visit.
Wow, that's a great rate, even for the weekend! This is indeed a great property -- but the CC properties have an edge b/c of much easier/closer metro access. But, if you're driving, or at the hotel for a conference or something, I highly recommend this property. Nice fitness center, too.
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Old Oct 4, 12, 11:52 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by scottmlew View Post
Wow, that's a great rate, even for the weekend! This is indeed a great property -- but the CC properties have an edge b/c of much easier/closer metro access. But, if you're driving, or at the hotel for a conference or something, I highly recommend this property. Nice fitness center, too.
I left the car in the driveway, checked in, then drove to the airport to return the car and took the shuttle back. The next morning I took the shuttle to the airport. No metro issue for me.

The shuttle both ways was quick and comfortable.

As for the rate, this was standard weekend rate, no tricks.

Shuly
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Old Oct 4, 12, 11:54 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by nacho View Post
LNF rates don't normally states whether breakfast is included or not, you need to reconfirm with the LNF staffs so that they can put it into your reservation.
I had a written confirmation that said breakfast was included. The hotel decided not to honor it. Again, if it were important, I'd just go to the restaurant, have breakfast and then sort it it out. But it wasn't.

Shuly
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Old Oct 5, 12, 11:22 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: CPH
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Originally Posted by shuly View Post
I had a written confirmation that said breakfast was included. The hotel decided not to honor it. Again, if it were important, I'd just go to the restaurant, have breakfast and then sort it it out. But it wasn't.

Shuly
You should have called the Plat line - that's really bad. You should also write a complaint to Marriott about this because the hotel is not following the rule.
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