The hotel, Marriott Luwan, is nice, and the rooms are nice, but that’s where it ends to make it a Marriott Hotel. Staff barely spoke English. In a city, where it is not difficult to find workers who speak good English, is pretty bad hiring policy for an international hotel of this caliber. I am a Marriott frequent resident and usually stay with the Marriot ChanFeng Park which is a very good Marriot. Marriott Luwan probably is brand new, and sort of out of the way. I stayed so I can get some variety into my hotels. I have stayed at most of the Marriotts in Shanghai.
Coming back from the Hojo in Ningbo, which probably is one of Hojo’s very few 5 star hotels on the planet (read my separate review on that), the experience at this Marriott was pretty dismal. The check-in was ok. More like a Chinese 5 star hotel, where you go straight to check in, and get your check in done. I was told they were upgrading me to a river-view hotel, when that is what I picked when I booked at Marriott.com
Anyway, I tried to have dinner at the 28th floor restaurant, but left because of poor service. I was given a table which was reserved, and then a few minutes later was asked to move table. My rule, poor service equals to bad food. So, I left, went out of the hotel, to the back of the hotel and had dinner at a pasta joint called Hungry Man. It was hand made Fetucine with jumbo shrimp in white wine souce. Cheap and extremely delicious. This is when I remembered, Marco Polo brought pasta from China to Italy. Rest is Italian cuisine history.
Back to Marriott Luwan, being still a little early in the evening, went up to the 28th floor sky-deck to have a few drinks. Layout of bar is pretty poor. High chairs block off the view. I wonder what idiot designed this room? There was a jazz band, but they were hidden in a corner. I never learned why hotels in China hide the bands? They treat them more like elevator music. So, heard the music but never saw them. A Heineken beer was approximately US13.00. Expensive. Had 3 drinks and went back to my room. They were short staffed with one single bartender, with a fairly full room. All the waitresses could do, was sit and watch, while the bartender played catch-up.
Saving grace – The hotel is probably brand new. So, carpet is unusually clean. Gym is well kept, and with decent equipment. Also the hotel is right next to the river which has a river walk. All brand new. I couldn’t resist getting up at 6 am and taking a run on the riverwalk. It was very pleasant. A lot of walkers early am. Did two rounds and ended up the gym for some light weights, and back to the room.
This is a nice and relaxing place to stay. Getting here was not very difficult. Subway is not too far away. If only they can improve the service, improve the menu, bring in better food and staff. And English speaking staff. For $159 a night, 3 nights, not worth it. This was more like a Courtyard then a regular premier Marriott. I could not find coffee in the morning. If you are morning coffee person, bring some Via. I probably will go back to my usual ChangFeng Park location and skip this hotel.