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Monday, April 5, 2010

San Diego, California -- Marriott

April 2010, Sunday night, 1-night, King concierge guestroom

Status perks and check-in

At check-in, I was recognized as a Gold member and thanked for being a loyal customer. I had reserved a basic room, and I was upgraded to a room on the 24th Concierge floor with a balcony overlooking the bay. I received free valet parking, and Concierge lounge access.


Guestroom

The room was a decent size with a small fridge, safe, couch, chair, coffee table, and desk with chair. The bed and pillows were supremely comfortable—the sheets were so smooth, they must have been 1,000-thread count! The coffee in the one-cup coffee maker was excellent. Internet service cost $14.95 a day, so I just checked email in the Concierge lounge since I was only here one night. I was told that starting on the 27th (I assume he meant April 27), Internet would be free for Gold and Platinum members.

Food & Beverage

I observed a couple of roomy lounge areas, a restaurant, and a coffee shop, although I did not visit any of them. The Concierge lounge was closed when I arrived late in the evening. Breakfast in the morning included scrambled eggs, meats, fruits, oatmeal, bakery items (I was glad to see whole grain bagels), yogurt, juices, milk, coffee, and other beverages. It’s a nice large room overlooking the bay. There were four or five computers with Internet connection, TVs, and a fax machine. There were 20+ tables, and the occupancy level sign said 115.



Pool

I did not visit the pool, although it looked inviting from inside. There are two lagoon style pools in a tropical setting with plenty of lounge chair seating.

Fitness Center

The hotel directory said that the fitness center was in the south tower on the 3rd floor and did not open until 5:30 am. I was glad I called to make sure I knew where it was located before I left my room, because it has been moved to the bottom floor of the north tower, which is the tower I was staying in. It was open 24-hours, and the entire outside wall is windows overlooking the patio/pool area. There were dozens of cardio machines with Cardio Theater, weight machines, weights, and working TVs on the wall. Everything was well maintained and clean.


Overall

This was my first experience at a Marriott as a Gold member. I usually only have Silver status because I would need to stay almost exclusively at Marriotts to obtain Gold status. I can’t usually do that, because their rates are often too high on weekdays, and I also travel to many small cities, which do not have a Marriott property. I stayed at this property because I found an excellent AAA rate for a Sunday evening. I had Gold status during my stay because of a temporary promotional status upgrade. After this experience, I can see why Gold and Platinum members are so loyal. I was treated like I was someone special, and I was very happy with the room and Concierge upgrade. I would definitely recommend and stay at this property again. This is the fifth hotel I have stayed in, in the San Diego area, and I liked it the best. I was happy with my other stays too—the service and comfort at the Marriott was just a little better.