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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hacienda Heights, California / Courtyard by Marriott

June 2013, Weekday, 2-nights, King guestroom #244 and #223

Status perks and check-in
I did not receive any additional perks other than the standard platinum on-site amenity. This hotel has several corner suites; the agent at check-in did not tell me if they were all reserved, and I did not ask.

balcony 244
I stayed in two different guestrooms for my 2-night stay at this hotel, because the guests in the guestroom next to room 244 were smoking in this non-smoking hotel. When I got something from the gift shop the next morning, I asked about this, and the agent asked if I wanted to be moved. The two guestrooms are both king rooms, and they are similar. 

door diagram room 244
The guestrooms at this hotel are laid out in a horseshoe shape, and the center portion has three floors. The two end hallways have only two floors of guestrooms. Guestroom 244 is located in the center portion of rooms, so there is a floor above this guestroom. Even so, I did not hear any noise overheard. Guestroom 244 has a connecting room door (the reason I could smell the smoke), and a courtyard view.  

The courtyard view was nice, and the balcony was large enough for two chairs. All of the courtyard photos here were taken from guestroom 244. I did not use the balcony or sleep with the door open, because there were also a couple of ashtrays in the courtyard area. This is something I have not seen at a Marriott property since the chain became totally non-smoking. I was surprised to see this because I was told at a full service Marriott once, that guests are not supposed to smoke outside on the balconies either.
Guestroom 223 is located in one of the end wings, so it is located on the top floor. This guestroom overlooks the parking lot, and the balcony is not as large. This guestroom does not have a connecting room door. I think both guestrooms were the same size, although the second guestroom looked larger because it did not have the connecting room door. There was more room to walk through between the bed and the armoire because the furniture location was closer to the outside wall, since the arrangement did not need to allow room for the connecting door.

The guestroom photos here are all from guestroom 244, although there was not really much difference between the two guestrooms. Both guestrooms contained a sofa, coffee table, desk and chair, king size bed, nightstands, lamps, flatscreen TV on an armoire, single-serve coffee maker with supplies, and a small fridge. A full length mirror was on the wall across from the bathroom area, and there was a closet with an iron and ironing board across from the vanity.

The bathroom contained a tub/shower combination with a shower curtain on a curved rod, and the vanity was located outside of the bathing area.

One difference between the two guestrooms was the HVAC unit. The unit in the first guestroom--#244--was quite loud. The unit did have an on/off control, and there is a screen on the balcony door, so it could be turned off. The HVAC unit in guestroom 223 ran smoothly with much less noise.

The beds and bedding in both guestrooms was comfortable.

Food & Beverage
Asian chicken salad
I tried two food items in the evening--Thai sweet chili wings and Asian chicken salad. Both food items were very good, and the salad was excellent! The service was also excellent both evenings.

In the morning, I had the Breakfast BLT, which was also pretty good. The service in the morning was quite a disappointment compared to the service I received in the evenings though. There were guests patiently waiting in the dining area for the Bistro to open in the morning. I was waiting too, because I had stopped there after the fitness center, thinking that it opened at 6:00 a.m., and the Bistro did not open until 6:30. At 6:30, the employee behind the counter was texting on her phone, and she had not taken the "Open hours" sign down. A minute or two after 6:30, I decided to walk to the counter to ask if she was open yet. She said, "We open a 6:30," and then took my order. After this, she took the open/closed sign down, and at least five more customers appeared behind me.

Fitness center
The fitness center contained four cardio machines with cardio theater, as well as hand weights, a flatscreen TV, water cooler, and sani-wipes. It was open 24 hours, and the temperature was comfortable.

Business center
A couple of computers and printers were located in the lobby. Everything was in good working order, and I liked that I was able to two-side print my documents.

I liked the location of this hotel, and it was comfortable. The main disappointment for me, was that the no-smoking policy was not enforced. From a couple of comments that I heard, I got the impression that the guest next to me was a long term guest who had been there a while, and that employees were ignoring the fact that he was smoking in his room.

For those of you who may be thinking that I just went to the front desk and turned in the smoker, the conversation went something like this:

Me (after I had gotten a beverage from the gift shop, and given the agent my room number to charge it to): So, do you enforce your non-smoking policy--charge the guest and deep clean the room afterward?
Agent: Yes.
Me: Good.
Agent: Are you smelling smoke?
Me: Yes, in my room. I don't really know if it is coming through the vents, or what.
Agent (looks at computer): Let me see if I can move you to another room. 

I agreed to the room change, even though it was no longer a courtyard view, and I am glad I did. By the time I got back to my hallway, I could smell smoke as soon as I turned the corner; it was smokey outside the room by this time too.

I do not know how room reassignments work behind the scenes, but when I was changing rooms, a guest walked in on me. He had been reassigned to my old room. I don't understand how this happened, because it seems like the room should have been logged for cleaning, instead of available. I had to go to the front desk to get my bill corrected at checkout because when I transferred to the second room, the AAA rate I had booked did not transfer. The charge was $20 more for the second night.

There are several restaurants near this hotel. I tried Thai Specialty II, which looked a lot better online than what it was. I was disappointed with my to-go order, and I did not notice until after I had returned to the hotel that I did not receive the soup, which is listed on the menu.