Service of a Surprisingly Good Hotel Stay: Residence Inn Marriott NYC

February 23rd, 2015

Categories: Customer Care, Customer Service, Hotels, Uncategorized

Residence Inn Marriott NY

As we live in Manhattan we haven’t had the chance to try out any of its hotels in many years. We needed to spend one night in a hotel the other week in between apartment moves and were happily surprised to find one–Residence Inn Marriott–through hotels.com in midtown, 148 East 48th Street, at a modest price: $119+ tax.

Residence Inn Marriott NY 2Our stay came with a bunch of bonuses: A generous breakfast, an upgrade to a room with a balcony and view of the top of the Chrysler Building and a kitchen with plates, glasses, a stove and fridge. Between snow on the balcony and frigid temperatures outside we didn’t take advantage of the terrace and we weren’t there long enough to use the kitchen but still. Busy guests could leave at the front desk a list of groceries to stock in their room.

The night we were there we didn’t hear another soul.

Residence Inn Marriott NY 3The room was decorated simply and was spotless. The Wi-Fi worked in an instant. The staff was friendly, welcoming and we were impressed.

In the morning we expected that the free breakfast would consist of coffee and a cheap Danish wrapped in cellophane. Were we wrong. The breakfast room was bustling with contented guests, [perhaps as amazed as we were], some seated on bar stools at bar height tables with a TV on the wall tuned to the morning news; others at tables; still others on sofas around a fireplace. There were free newspapers too. The food choices, served cafeteria style, ranged from bagels, English muffins and bread you could toast; juices; coffee/tea; fresh fruit; cereal; yogurt as well as Belgian waffles, scrambled eggs, sausage and potato. And there was an assortment of fresh Danish.

What surprised me most was the breakfast staff. They cleared tables so that the next wave of guests would have a clean place to eat but they did much more. One asked a man who was alone with a baby and encumbered with bags–clearly beached at his table–if he might get him something. Another approached us and volunteered if we knew that we could have gluten and lactose free options.

The staff seemed happy at their jobs.

We didn’t know what to expect or whether to have high expectations given the price and were stunningly surprised. Have you had a similar happy experience at a hotel in a big city—or anywhere for that matter?

Residence Inn Marriott NY 4

 

 

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10 Responses to “Service of a Surprisingly Good Hotel Stay: Residence Inn Marriott NYC”

  1. Portia Bagaglia Said:

    Having spent a lifetime living out of a suitcase, I know what a relief it is to find one’s self in comfortable, friendly digs for the night and not feel like you or your employer is being taken to the cleaners!

    One of my favorite hotel stories is that of Le Sirenuse in Positano. Although it did not start out that way, it is not cheap these days, but I remember when it was.

    Childhood friends of my father, from before the Second World War, the Sersale family were well-to-do minor Neapolitan nobility that had no reason to do much of anything other than enjoy themselves leading a comfortable, sophisticated cosmopolitan life, which, I’ve been told, they did generously and with considerable charm.

    When the war came, Aldo and his sister Anna, moved to their ample summer home in Positano to avoid the chaos and try to ride out the worst of it. Meanwhile, one of their many pre-war English friends had become a British Army officer. He remembered having visited the Sersales and thought to himself that their home might make a perfect spot for British officers to take R and R from the front lines. He arranged for the army to “requisition” it. Aldo and Anna stayed on to manage the house and, coincidentally, to look after their possessions and have enough to eat — food for civilians was in short supply during the war.

    Immediately after the war, with England bankrupt, many of the British officers that had enjoyed staying with them on R and R, sought to return for inexpensive vacations in Positano as their paying house guests. Aldo and Anna, now relatively hard up themselves, were delighted and “house guests” grew into a small pension, and then relatively quickly into a luxury boutique hotel.

    I’ve been lucky enough to have stayed in some pretty wonderful places, and, although it has been twenty years or more since I was last there, Le Sirenuse certainly ranks right at the top with the best of them.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Portia,

    What a delightful story! Positano is a charming village on the Amalfi Coast–an enchanting part of Italy: How lucky for those British officers both during and after the war and for you to have enjoyed such a place.

    I once stayed in a country estate in Scotland run by a family that had transformed their home to an elegant guest house. In the living room there was a cabinet with all the fixings you’d need to make yourself a drink and you were on the honor system to mark down what you took.

    Before dinner the guests assembled in the large living room. When we were there they didn’t mix with each other. We were given the menu so that when called in to dinner, we could ask questions and order promptly. I was there with my husband and we whispered, hoping that the other guests might not guess where we were from. Why? Because an obnoxious older couple shouted at each other about their recent wedding in Philadelphia. She was going on about how she was closer to royalty than Princess Diana and how horrible his family was. We wanted to crawl under the couch at first and when this continued in the dining room, under our table.

  3. Lucrezia Said:

    Yes. Marriot is one of them and with good reason. The hotel is owned by its employees, a huge motivation for quality work. If in doubt, it’s the place to pick wherever one lands, here and abroad. The York in Toronto and Holiday Inn in Mexico City qualify for big brownie points. There are also guest friendly establishments in Boston and Denver, but names escape me.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    I forgot that about Marriott. I think that such a model makes good business sense. Trust in that brand is no doubt why we gave it a try! I don’t recall hearing bad things said about any Marriott.

    Years ago [I don’t know if they still do] the Ritz chain gave maid managers on a floor enormous leeway to the tune, at the time, of $3,000 to replace what customers blamed staff about, i.e. “The maid spilled my perfume!” or “broke my perfume bottle.” There was to be no argument–they would buy a new bottle of the same size for Mrs. Customer end of story. Sure some sleazy people took advantage but others were impressed and told all their [wealthy] friends who liked the atmosphere.

  5. Kathleen Said:

    We had a similar experience last year when we arrived in Sanford, FL, on a rainy night around 7 PM when the Auto Train was about 10 hrs. late. To their credit, Amtrak agreed to reimburse a motel/hotel stay up to $75. Not being familiar with the area, we stopped at the first “known” motel, a Days Inn and were pleasantly surprised. Clean comfortable beds, a breakfast like you described and friendly staff. Cost was $72. I think I would try another Days Inn.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Kathleen,

    Good to know. I’ve not been to a Days Inn.

    Having once represented a corporation that owned some branches of its business and others that were owned by licensees–over which it had almost zero control and all trouble and bad publicity came from the lack of service of these branches–I wonder about the validity of some brands. I have no clue whether licensees own Days Inn branches–I think that is how Sheratons used to be–or if it is all controlled by one corporation.

  7. Judy Schuster Said:

    I believe that Residence Inns nationwide are all of a similar caliber. I stayed in one in Ann Arbor, Michigan, several times while recruiting for my company at the University of Michigan. I always had experiences like yours. When I traveled to Ann Arbor, I was with three other corporate employees, all men. At most hotels, I found it awkward to invite men to my room (and there was rarely enough space to seat several people). But, because of the way Residence Inns are set up with a living room area separate from the bedroom area, I felt comfortable inviting the guys back to my room … in fact they kept their beer in my refrigerator!

    As an aside, I believe Residence Inns are a branch of Marriott. In Ann Arbor, the Marriott is next door to the Residence Inn.

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Judy,

    The Residence Inn we stayed at made the association with Marriott clear–it was one of the reasons we selected it over quite a few others in the neighborhood in the same price range on hotels.com.

    It’s great to hear that the quality is as great in other locations.

  9. Hank Goldman Said:

    We were happily surprised, during our stay in Florida, at the Homewood suites, by Hilton, near Dania Beach. They were very generous with breakfast every day, and dinners four nights out of seven. When rooms were asked to be made early…. They Were! All these “resident” hotels seem to be well run!

  10. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Hank,

    Good to know about the association between “resident” hotels and well run and to learn of another trustworthy brand–Hilton–and one more great place to stay in Florida.

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