I have stayed in lots of Marriott hotels and they are my favourite chain. When the Marriott in Leeds first opened in the early 90s it would always be our starting point to the night. We would meet in their bar, John T's which you can enter from the street and have a couple of drinks to start our evening. This was my first memory of the Marriott and in 1997 I had my interview for Virgin Atlantic there to which I was successful. I then spent the next 2 ½ years staying in lots of hotels around the world and many of them were Marriotts. You can't go wrong with a Marriott. I love their rooms and most rooms I have stayed in have two double beds which is great if you are sharing a room with a friend. I stayed at the Marriott Leeds for my Hen Night and my 30th birthday. For my birthday they upgraded me to a suite which was fantastic. What I've noticed about the Marriott is that they are all the same quality all over the world and some are more exclusive than others depending on where you are. It's safe to say that you can't go wrong with a Marriott and you must always take the B&B option because they always put on a great buffet breakfast. Last November I stayed at the Marriott Dalmahoy in Edinburgh. This is an old building but it was still an enjoyable stay and my room was fantastic and very comfortable. My best friend had her wedding at the Marriott Hollins Hall and this was a wonderful day enjoyed by all. The grounds at the Marriott Hollins Hall are beautiful, especially on a summer's day - we spent the afternoon out in their gardens drinking Pommes and nibbling on canapés in the sunshine. It was lovely and the staff were great. Marriotts are good for corporate events too. Most of them have a well equipped business centre and free high-speed internet access as well as a gym and pool. They can provide rooms for business conferences supplying you with everything you need like flip charts, data projectors etc. They will do whatever you ask so if you want tea and coffee and cakes delivering 3 times a day then they will do just that. So next time you are visiting a city, going away on business or away for the weekend. Try and get a Marriott booking - you won't be disappointed!
I have stayed at about 8 Marriott Hotels and I have always found them excellent. If I have to stay anywhere the first thing I do is check to see if there is a Marriott nearby. You may get the impression that they are a lot more expensive than other hotels but this is not always true, some Marriott's I have stayed at have about £70 a night including breakfast, always look out for their room rate deals, if you sign up to their Marriott rewards card they sometimes offer you better rates. Another benefit is that if you shop at Tesco you can use you club card points to put towards or pay in for you room. I have saved points on a few occasions and got free stays. Sometimes if you do find they are slightly more expensive than other hotels I would recommend you still go for a Marriott hotel, the standard of their rooms, service, facilities and food is always very high across all of the hotels I have stayed at.
I stay in Marriott Hotels regularly and have been doing so for the past ten years or so. They are always my preference and the Regents Park Marriott Hotel is always the Marriott that I prefer to stay in when I stay in a hotel in London. I have stayed in there quite a few times (not sure exactly how many) but up until this weekend I had never stayed in there with my family. I have stayed there for business, I have stayed there with friends when we wanted a big night out in London and now I've also stayed there with my family for a family weekend (including children) in London. Every time I had a wonderful stay in a lovely but unfortunately I don't think that it's the most family friendly place, especially when you compare it to other Marriotts (particularly the Swansea and Swindon Marriott's). -The Rooms- All Marriott rooms are pretty much the same. You get the double beds (no singles in a marriott unless you want an extra bed in the room), the satelite television, ensuite bathroom and tea and coffee making facilities. In addition to that we had bathrobes and slippers which I always really like. I know that it's probably silly thing to get excited about but I prefer to use bathrobes to towels when I have a bath so I was really pleased that we got that. I was also impressed by the selection of free toiletries which has expanded a lot since the first time I stayed in the hotel. As well as shampoo, conditioner and shower gel you now get bath salts, an emery board, body lotion and mouthwash. I generally bring my own stuff but I think it's a nice touch and it's always good when you can go to a hotel without having to worry about packing things like shampoo and conditioner. The bedroom itself was lovely. We had two very comfortable double beds. All the pillows, matress and duvets are feather, which made it very comfortable (and if you have allergies you should be okay as they are allergy treated). The room was pretty much perfect. It was clean, it was comfortable and it had all of the little extra's that make staying at the Marriott so much more enjoyable than staying in other hotels. Unfortunately there were two problems with our room. The first was the noise. You could hear all the noise from outside and you could hear all the noise from the corridor, even small noises like people opening their bedroom doors. The second was that due to maintenance the balcony doors didn't open. I don't like going out on balconies anyway but I do like to have some fresh air in a room. -Executive Lounge- We upgraded for this weekend and I would say that it is definitely worth doing, as long as you don't have children with you. The executive lounge gives you a range of free soft drinks, snacks and hot drinks from 6am until midnight. Breakfast is served in there (but you'll have to go to the restaurant if you want a hot breakfast) and at dinner time there are canapes and deserts. The canapes were amazing. As well as a selection of cheese and crackers there was salmon. I didn't have to have any dinner the night that we had canapes because they were just so filling. Another great thing about it is that there's free costa coffee. I love costa coffee and although it wasn't as good as it is in the coffee shops (you get it yourself out of a machine) it was still great. The lounge has very comfortable seating as well as a wide screen television, a selection of papers and free internet access on a computer that's provided for guest use. I really enjoyed using the executive lounge and found it to be a very comfortable and pleasant experience. However, children under the age of sixteen are not allowed in the lounge so do be aware of this if you are travelling as a family, especially if you plan to have breakfast in there. -Restaurant- I have enjoyed both dinner and breakfast in the restaurant but consider the food served in the evening to be incredibly over priced. I did have a good steak there but it wasn't any better than other restaurants that charge £12 rather than £20+. I guess you expect things to be overpriced in hotels, especially in London. The breakfast is good with a good variety of hot food and continental breakfast. The service was excellent, although there was a queue to be seated but I don't think that can be helped. I really like the look of the restaurant in this hotel. It has a really spacious feel so that you don't feel like you're sitting on top of the people at the next table and it's really light too. I thought the chandeliers were particularly nice. -Leisure Club- I was not at all impressed with the leisure club. I can't really comment on the gym because I've never used it (although it did look good and had a good range of machines) but the swimming pool was a really let down. First of all the stairs leading to it were closed for maintenance so you had to walk through the leisure club reception which was freezing, then there was the pool itself which was a good size but it's one of those pools that gets gradually deeper and unfortunately starts out so shallow that you can't swim in it, so it's not good if you want to swim lengths. There was no children's pool. Children can of course use the bigger pool and they do have a shallow end but I think it's preferable to have a seperate pool for the children. As I've mentioned, this isn't the most family friendly marriott and the leisure club is a big contributing factor to this. They even have times when children are not allowed in the pool. There was also no jacuzi that I could see. The changing rooms were awful. They were dark and cold but did have all of the essentials like lockers and hairdryers. The leisure club reception was unmanned when we got there and we waited for a while before realising that we could probably just let ourselves in (they had towels and a code to the changings rooms left on the desk). I thought that this was really poor service. It was our first time using the leisure club there and it would have been nice to have someone point us in the right direction. -Everything else- The staff were very friendly and very helpful. Whenever I walked past a member of staff they would always smile and ask how I was, I thought that this was a nice touch. I called the guest assistance number a couple of times and didn't get any answer which was very frustrating but when I did get through to them they were very helpful and very polite. The location of the hotel is excellent. It's right by Swiss Cottage tube station and it's easy to get a bus to Camden or Archway. Taxi's aren't too expensive into the west end, although it's easy enough to get there by tube anyway. It cost around £10 to get to Oxford Street in a taxi. There are no stairs in the hotel, except for the emergency exit. I found this to be very frustrating because the lifts took ages to arrive, especially in the mornings when people were checking out and everyone was rushing to get into the lift. The exterior of the hotel does not look very impressive but when you go inside it is lovely, especially at this time of year with all the Christmas decorations up. The reception is very comfortable and has a lovely warm atmosphere. I would just like to say that the fact that the hotel is not very famly friendly has not influenced the score. If I was travelling on my own I would be happy that there were no children in the executive lounge, I just think that those who are travelling with children should be aware that it's more catered towards adults than families, although children are still welcome in the hotel.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! It was my birthday on Thursday and my partner and I always try and doe something special. Just a little getaway. Nothing extravagant. Last year I stayed at a Marriott for my birthday in Central London but this year we thought we would go for a little drive out of London to Waltham Abbey. It just borders the Woodlands of Epping Forest, and is just off the M25, M11 and the M1. So it was only about an hour journey from south east London but it did feel like I was off to the country!! There is not much in the surrounding area. A 10 minute drive takes you into town but trust me there is nothing there other then a fish and chip shop, Tescos and a couple of dental surgeries! I stayed on a Friday night and the room cost £99 (weekdays is £114 for the room only). I booked the hotel online via their website and had a special offer to include breakfast. So my tip is if you do stay at any Marriott hotel book via their website as they regularly have special offers. You have to book with a debit card or credit card to secure your stay and usually have to present this at checking in. This hotels check in time is 2pm. Not bad. When we arrived there was a large area of free parking which I agree there should be and the entrance is obvious. We were greeted warmly however the receptionist seemed robot-esque. She probably says the same thing to every person. I was very surprised when she said to my partner.. "Oh Mr Smith (not his real name I must protect his identity!!) Nice to see you here again, I can see you stayed here in December". I was like EXCUSE ME!!!! When... why.... And who the flip with!!! But it's ok. We booked it for someone else I completely forgot. But i am not sure they should give out information like that. Can cause rifts if you know what I mean. Well the bar is in the central foyer when you walk in to the building which is nice but slightly off putting as you have to walk past everyone to go to where the rooms are but it does give it a very relaxed atmosphere. The room was very welcoming, clean and tidy. Plenty of towels and the bed was so soft I couldn't get up. They had all the things you would expect. TV, hairdryer, iron etc. and it recently underwent a £5 Million refurbishment to the bedrooms, conference rooms and lobby. You also have free access to the swimming pool which is open until 11pm and the sauna and steam room. As well as the gym. It also has a children's pool, so although in general it does not cater for children it does have this which is a great idea. They also have an in house restaurant called seasons. However we did not eat there as it was expensive..... Around £60 for the main and drinks if you don't splash out and the food was not something that grabbed my attention. Although the room itself looked lovely, candlelight etc. We ate at a nearby old Orleans... which was very very busy, we waited 45 mins for a table but probably because there is nothing else to do around there!! We ordered breakfast to come up to the room (you have to pay an extra £5 delivery charge per breakfast). You can choose a large range of breakfasts and you can pick the time you want it delivered. On our breakfast they forgot the cheese and salmon but it was to much hassle to complain so we just ate the croissants and toast. We checked out at 12pm, which is check out time and was greeted very nicely. However when we saw the bill we were extremely surprised. Someone had used our room number in the restaurant and had a slap up meal that cost £149!!!! This made us feel a bit funny as they had to try and 'sort something out'. But they did find out it wasn't us and obviously did not charge us. So all in all it was a nice escape break but nothing mind blowing and I will not be urging to go back there next time I have a break away. But it was worth the £99. www.marriott.co.uk Reservations: 00800 19271927 (freephone) in UK and 1 800 409929 (freephone) in Ireland. (Also published on ciao under myself izzoh)
I am fortunate enough to work for a company that occasionally decides to send me off to stay in five star hotels. Due to this whimsy, I have twice ended up in the Leeds Marriott for a week. Check-in always goes great here. There's a nice concierge who usually offers to help me carry my bags up, or, if I've arrived early and want to roam Leeds, give me a ticket and mind my bags until I return to check in properly. It is fairly close to Leeds Station, so I don't even have to heave my bags any great distance (for a 5'1 female, this is a massive advantage). The rooms are clean, and huge. You get TWO BEDS. I'm still not sure why someone requesting a single room would get two double beds - is one for naps and one for proper sleeping? Are they expecting orgies? The mind boggles. Not that I objected, mind you. The spare bed came in very handy to lay my clothes out on. Both beds were wonderfully soft and comfy, with the nicest pillows I've ever had. I will say that one of the disadvantages of the extra bed was that neither was perfectly positioned for TV watching. If you want the perfect angle, you have to lie diagonally across the bed, or move the TV. Bathroom was fine - free toiletries were LOVELY! Soap, hand-soap, body lotion and shampoo, all in lemongrass flavour, replaced daily. Never had a problem getting hot water which meant I went all bathing-obsessive and bathed two or three times a day in the lovely big bath. Television was... adequate. You got the five basic channels and a couple of news channels, but for the amount you're paying, you'd think they could at least throw freeview in. Internet was in the rooms... for a price. I think it was £15 a night. My first stay I couldn't get the wireless to work so was tethered to the desk by a terribly short ethernet cable, although I managed to get it working the second stay. Swimming pool was small, but lovely. I suspect it's partly because we were staying midweek in winter, but I rarely saw anyone else in there which meant I could quite happily splash back and fro at my leisure. I believe there was also a gym, but never used it. My coworkers seemed to like it though. Food was great. For dinner you could pick from John T's Restaurant, or Georgetown, which was a Malaysian restaurant - although we learnt the hard way that if you were eating in Georgetown and wanted it charged to your room, you needed to remember to take the little paper tag with your room number on with you. The real star of the show food-wise was breakfast. You could either eat at the buffet or, if you were feeling lazy (I was) request a tray brought to your room for a tray charge (£1.50 I think). I swear, they used to bring enough breakfast for three people. English breakfast, eggs, cereal, toast, little cakey things, juice, a jug of hot chocolate with cream ALL ON THE SAME TRAY. And if you wanted more of something (I liked several glasses of juice, a coworker wanted boiled AND scrambled eggs) you just noted it on your orderslip and it arrived for no extra charge. Rooms were lovely and quiet, but I will note one oddness. On both occasions I stayed there, there was a fire drill in the early hours. I'm not sure if this was massive coincidence, or if it happens often there, but tromping outside in my pyjamas was an experience I'd prefer not to repeat. All this luxury comes at a price, and that price was, I believe, around £120 a night (although I think rooms start at £89). Breakfast was, as I remember, £15.50 a day and I think we were averaging £20-30 each per night for dinner. All in all a lovely hotel - if you can afford it.
I have visited three of this chains hotels, The Forest of Arden in Warwickshire, Dalmahoy in Edinburgh and The Tudor Park in Maidstone. All hotels are very impressive and are very attractive and welcoming as you approach them. The receptions are large with very efficient staff who deal with check - in quickly and are all very friendly. The rooms are superb. Very well furnished, extremely clean with trouser press, fruit, tea coffee, plenty of wardrobe space, telephone, satellite tv, etc. The beds are king size and are very comfortable. The restaurants are excellent with the Dalmahoy the top of the bunch, the food is very scottish based and was delicious. Service in all three was first class and the atmosphere was very relaxing. The really good bit about this chain though are the facilities at the hotels. At Maidstone there is a reasonable Golf course, good gym and pool. The grounds are well laid out with some pleasant walks and scenery. At the Forest of Arden there is a championship golf course which has staged the English Open and is very challenging, a pool and leisure club which contains a gym, steam room and sauna. The Dalmahoy is the pick of the bunch that I have visited. Again it has a championship golf course, which has staged the Scottish PGA, Open and various Amateur competitions and is long and difficult. The Leisure Club is huge with a pool, sauna, steam room, gym a couple of bars and a restaurant. The standard of service throughout my visits has been exemplary and I have no hesitation recommending them to anyone. You can also collect Marriot rewards if you visit regularly and use them towards your next stay. They are quite expensive £100 plus per person per night, but are worth it. It is possible to pick up special offers though particularly for weekend breaks ( as I think they are aimed predominatly at business users)