Thursday, February 26, 2009

Marriott Wardman Park Hotel

Marriott Wardman Park,
Washington DC

I recently stayed at the Marriott Wardman for a conference (as it is mostly a convention hotel) and must ay I was not disappointed. However, for such an extravagent establishment, I found it odd that it was missing some of the simple basics.

I believe my room may have been upgraded, or was just an accessible room. Originally I was supposed to only stay for 2 days then move in with a colleague for a meeting that occurred after the original conference, due to availability, but after talking to the kind people at check in, they assured me everything had been taken care of and I was escorted to a large room in the Park Tower.

I must give this hotel kudos, for it's ACTUAL accessibility. I have been in "accessible rooms" before that simply had a bar in the bathroom, but the size was hardly substantial enough for a wheelchair! This room had a large tiled foyer with a kitchenette, that was perfect to park my motorized scooter I use when I travel! the bathroom was also very accessible. It was very large, and had a hand held shower head that could be lowered.

However- although the bathroom was huge, the one thing it lacked was HOOKS. there was absolutely NOWHERE to even hang a towel. I happen to have hanging toiletry bags, and I couldn't put them anywhere. I ended up setting them on a counter, and things kept falling out and on to the floor. Very annoying.

Also, the fact that internet was $13 a day and was NOT wireless was very frustrating. Clearly when you travel on business you are going to need to access your email and the internet, and it was irritating to say the least to be tied to the desk to access the internet. Very circa 1999.
Either have it wired, and have it FREE, or have wifi and charge a little less...but still there is no need to pay such a rate daily to sit at a desk.
Room service was also out of this world expensive. We ended up paying $80 for breakfast for 2, and all we got was eggs benedict and coffee. A carafe of coffee for 2 was $17, and of course the delivery fee is ridiculous. The quality of the food was decent, but nowhere near $80 worth of amazing! The 2nd day we ordered breakfast, we noted there were 2 diners, and we did not receive a table. One of us had to dine at the desk, while the other just sat in a chair with their tray on the ottoman....not an ideal situation, especially for the cost.

Although the on site coffee was Starbucks brand, there was not a Starbucks location in the hotel, which I found to be disappointing, especially for the size of the establishment.

The size was definitely exquisite, and although it took me about our entire stay to start learning where things were (the entire hotel is like a maze, with 2 different towers) the hotel staff is very accommodating and helpful. there are staff members at every high traffic area to answer questions of where to go, so I didn't waste too much time getting lost after the first day.

The conference facilities were nice, but after the third luncheon I began to get sick of the typical salad, chicken and rolls. Luckily, both restaurants were wonderful with great food and service! For a nice change on the last couple of days. For our last dinner, the concierge also referred us to a delicious japanese restaurant that was within walking distance. The hotel was very close to lots of great places to eat and shop!

Overall not a bad place, in a great location, but I am not sure that I would stay here if I had my choice of hotels in the DC misses the mark on simple things, and the $13 a day internet is definitely not conducive to teleworking.

Overall: *** (3 out of 5)

Loved: location, spacious room, good service, ACCESSIBILITY
Not so much: Very expensive WIRED internet, hard to navigate, no towel hooks!