This last stay was the fourth time I've stayed at this hotel, usually for 3 nights at a time. I've been pleased each time with the service, with small exceptions. They have everything you could ask for, from on premises dining to a business center and fitness area and pool.
The last three stays I flew in, and I appreciated the free hotel shuttle, which I also used to take myself and my companion to dinner at some nice local restaurants a few nights, Though they initially said they didn't go that far, the shuttle driver kindly agreed to run us to the local mall as well.
Before I was aware of this service, I'd asked the front desk where the nearest drug store was, and she said it was about 10 blocks away, but never said a word about taking the shuttle. I ended up walking over a mile each way in frigid weather only to be told by another staff member that the shuttle could have run me there and back.
I also had a few snags with housekeeping, including one day where through mix-ups in communication I didn't get my room done until after 7 p.m., and another incident where I got in shower only to discover that the housekeeper had taken the soap I'd used out of the shower. I got out to get a new one and discovered that she hadn't left any! So I was dripping wet and had to call the front desk to send some up. I'd also filled the little hotel shampoo and conditioner bottles with my own shampoo and conditioner at home, and the housekeeper had taken those and disposed of them as well. Not the end of the world, but a definite inconvenience. I stayed in smoking rooms, usually their only king deluxe smoking room, and it has a few spots on the carpet, but is otherwise in very good condition. Bathrooms are always spotless and in good condition.
during my several stays, I've noticed small stains or spots on bedding a couple times, but nothing too obvious. And staff is always willing to correct any problem.
The beds, linens, and pillows are outstanding. Incredibly comfortable. I noticed in some of the literature in the room that they even offer the beds for sale and would seriously consider buying one. They're that comfortable. Down comforters and pillows and fine linens are a great touch as well.
They upgraded from standard to large flat screen TVs a few months ago, which is a definite benefit, though you still have to deal with the annoying opening screen trying to push pay per view movies, and there is no on-screen channel listing. (I later found it inside the Hotel services folder.)
For the price, I would expect the deluxe room at least to have a microwave and mini-fridge, as many other places do, but this is not the case. Only a coffee maker, (very good by the way, with coffee, regular and camomille tea available in an easy to use coffeemaker which utilizes the coffee pod system. No more loose coffee all over.)
The rooms have an ironing board (fairly beat up of course) and a good iron, as well as a hand-held blow dryer. The radio also boasts features like buttons to tune to different radio stations based on format, and the ability to plug it into your iPod or mp3 players headphone jack and use it as a speaker.
Another drawback is that the shower heads, though offering different spray settings, is fixed and not hand held, and as often is the case, is of the low-flow type and only generates a low pressure spray. You won't get an invigorating shower.
Front desk is usually helpful and friendly, though not late at night (Had one clerk literally hang up on me after I thanked her when I called to request the soap they'd not left in my room (see above)
Used room service several times and food was excellent, almost to the point where the exhorbanent price wasn't so painful. It's very well presented with everything you'd get if you were eating at the restaurant, including glass salt and pepper shakers, little bottles of ketchup, litle bottles of two kinds of mustard, and even little bottles of syrup. Had a steak that was outstanding, complete with edible flower on top, and the angus burger was excellent. The breakfasts were pretty good too. One point that annoyed me is that on top of the already pricey restaurant price, they add a 20% gratuity and an additional service charge. That's acceptible, but when the person brings it to your room, they have you sign for it and expect you to fill in an additional tip. I don't understand when they've already added 20% as a gratuity why you're still expected to add yet another 20% as a tip for the server. The only alternative is to stiff them, which isn't right either. This results in pancakes toast, a couple eggs and potatoes costing around $25.
As others have noted, the parking is additional, and you have to remember to stop at the front desk each time you leave. On the occasions I parked there though, when I left in the evenings there was no one at the booths and I never had to pay the two days I was there. I can see how paying $8 additional for parking is really asking a bit much given the room prices.
Location is great, across from botanical center and within walking distance of several attractions and a few good restaurants, as well as the outstanding library. Downtown is clean and well kept. One very cool feature is the sidewalks on both sides of the street in front of the hotel feature little colored lights embedded in the sidewalks that glow and then randomly blink on and off making a fun effect, particularly if viewed from above.
Business center is top notch and very comfortable, with all the supplies you could need and easily accessed internet and free printing. I thought to try to print out boarding passes there and was pleased to see a link to boarding passes on the opening screen which then took me to a page with icons for all the airlines. One click and you were taken to the page to print your passes. Very slick, and saved time getting them there rather than at airport..
Value for the money is good, though the prices are higher than any other hotel I looked at, so you definitely pay for what you get, unless you're able to secure a deal of some kind by advance booking, group, etc. I just noticed that if you book some time in advance and are willing to pay at that time and have the booking unrefundable and unchangeable, you can get a fairly good discount.
As a smoker, it's getting increasingly difficult to find a place that has smoking rooms. All of the Marriott properties are completely non-smoking, and they own several chains, including many in Ft. Wayne. The new Holiday Inn is also non-smoking. So the choices are severely limited, pretty much to this hotel or the Hilton Gardens farther outside town, if you want a decent smoking room. I greatly appreciate Hilton still allowing smoking rooms. They have them all on the same floor and the same wing so as to not affect other guests. When you're paying good money to relax and enjoy your stay, going all the way outside in the cold just to stand there and smoke shouldn't be part of the program. If smoking rooms are used by smokers only and isolated from non-smoking rooms, I fail to see the problem or why entire chains have banned smoking rooms entirely. If it's the cost of potential damage or having to replace furnishings more often, I wouldn't mind paying a bit extra for being able to smoke in peace. The fact that this property has smoking rooms is one of the primary reasons I've stayed here several times, even though I pay substantially more for rooms here.
The hotel is expensive relative to others, but you can expect a very comfortable stay and good service, even if you might have to get after them a bit to provide it.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.