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Monday, January 2, 2012

Lincoln, Nebraska / The Cornhusker, A Marriott hotel

December 2011, Weekday, Concierge King - guestroom #1001

Status perks
I filled out the Virtual Concierge form online before my stay because I was arriving before check-in time and wanted to request early check-in. I decided to also request an upgrade to the Concierge floor at the same time. I did not expect much, because I don't usually receive this as a Silver member. I was pleasantly surprised when I received a room on the Concierge floor and a breakfast coupon because the lounge was closed in the morning. I think the only reason I was given the breakfast coupon is because I was traveling with another Marriott member who had higher status than me, and he received a coupon when he checked in. My packet was already prepared for a Concierge floor room; however, the agent handed me the breakfast coupon at the end of check-in, and stated that she would give me one too.

The guestroom was located at the end of the hall on the top floor. My preference is for a top floor corner room away from the elevator because it is usually quieter. I wish I had not forgotten to also request a guestroom with a non-connecting door. This guestroom had a connecting door, and I was able to hear my neighbor's TV when I went to bed that night. Fortunately, it was not on for very long. The bed and soft chair in the room were both comfortable. 
view from room

I was surprised that the coffee set up in the guestroom did not include liquid creamer, since I usually see this at full service Marriotts. The Concierge lounge was right down the hall, so I figured I would just get a Starbucks coffee and creamer from the lounge in the morning. I knew the lounge was going to be closed for breakfast; however, I mistakenly assumed that it would be accessible for beverages. 

Everything else in the guestroom was pretty standard, except the bathrobe, which I thought was cheaply constructed. It was more like a summer robe--3/4 length sleeves, barely below the knee, and made from thin fabric. 

Concierge lounge
I was able to get coffee and water from the lounge in the afternoon when I arrived. The lounge was open that evening; however, I had a business meeting, so I did not visit then. The next morning was a weekday morning when the lounge was closed. It was a few days before Christmas, and a sign on the door said that the lounge would be closed. I have stayed in other Marriott hotels, including Renaissance and Autograph Collection properties, that allowed keyed access for beverages after closing. Because of those experiences, I expected to be able to get coffee and water in the morning. And, I had planned to print my boarding documents. The Concierge lounge at this hotel was not accessible for anything after it closed that evening.

Food & Beverage
Breakfast in the restaurant was excellent. Our free coupons said that tax and tip were included, which was a pleasant surprise. The coupons also said that they were only good for the All-American Breakfast. When I saw that the entree was one of the most expensive meals, I decided to ask our server if I could get something else instead. She said yes, so I ordered the spinach, sun-dried tomato, egg-white omelet. I do not recall the exact menu names of the breakfast items, and I could not find a menu online, so the titles I have listed here, might be slightly incorrect. The food and beverage quality was excellent. 

Fitness center
The fitness center was a nice large room with several cardio machines, cardio theater, a flat screen TV, and hand weights; however, there were a few problems with the room. The AC was not working either day that I visited, and it must have been 80+ degrees in the fitness center. There was a portable fan plugged in and running on the floor, which did not provide any relief. It felt like it was just moving the warm air around. One treadmill did not work at all, and the incline did not work on another one. The 5 lb hand weights--which is the size I prefer--were missing. There were ample clean towels available, and a working cold water machine with cups. 

I had reserved a room for $125 with the AAA rate. Less than a week before my stay, I had not received the virtual concierge form that Marriott usually sends. I decided to double check my reservation online, and I noticed a room rate of $99! I changed my reservation, and then received the virtual concierge email a couple days later.

The airport shuttle service was prompt, and all of the employees at the hotel were friendly. A nice feature at this Marriott, is that there was no charge for wireless Internet. Most full service Marriott hotels have a charge of $9.95 - $14.95 per day, except for guests with Gold or higher status.