We just spent three nights over Thanksgiving at this hotel and loved the lobby and the suite. The architecture is refreshing with bright modern colors and surfaces that invite you to have a seat and strike up a conversation with a person sitting nearby.
Selection of this hotel
We have been traveling to Norfolk on business for about 20 years, and began staying at Marriotts 5 years ago. Normally we choose the Marriott Waterside because of its location and wonderful views. We could not resist the holiday rate of $89. a night including a hot breakfast and a light dinner. We are glad we tried this Residence Inn because it was a pleasant stay with clean, modern surroundings.
We were put in 919 on the top floor; it is a large room with a complete kitchen and a small kitchen table, which was perfect for one computer. The desk housed the other computer, and we could both work and enjoy the free internet without one of us having to camp out on the bed or sofa. The ottoman stored under the coffee table worked great as a foot rest under the desk. Usually I have to turn a trash can upside down for my feet. The flat screen TV pivoted so that we could view it from the living room/kitchen area or from the king bed, which was set off in its own nook. There were plenty of choices on cable including the History and Food channels.
There were two huge sets of windows with natural light in both areas of the room, which looked out over the parking garage just across the street and was much quieter than the other side of the hotel on Brambleton, a very busy road with lots of sirens being the main access to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. If sirens bother you, earphones or a sleeping pill may be necessary because this hotel is in the middle of downtown Norfolk, and the streets can be noisy if you are used to a quiet neighborhood.
The bath had a large sink area open to the bedroom and a good sized shower/commode room with a wide door. Unlike many small hotel baths, it did not feel as if you would be knocked off the toilet if someone opened the bathroom door while you were doing your business. We like roomy baths at home, too. We did not look at the one bedroom suites.
The Lobby and Eating Area
The new floor plan uses an open first floor with plenty of sites to meet friends or use your laptop. The furniture is comfortable in reds and browns with colorful pillows on the sofa, just like at home. The many different textures and colors of wall and floor tiles, tabletops, chairs, sofas, and decorations are quite cheerful. We found the lobby to be quite comfortable and would certainly enjoy spending time there if we were staying more than a day. It is wonderful having a place you can go and relax outside of your room if you are there for the whole day or especially a week or longer.
The Gym and Pool
The gym has mostly treadmills and step machines. The one exercise bike worked fine; bring headphones for the TV mounted above the handlebars. There were free weights but no cable machines. The pool is small but quite nice for walking in circles. The hot pool/jacuzzi works well, too. This area is noisy if there are children present, so be prepared for an echo chamber if you are not alone. There is not a shower/dressing area in the pool, so it is easier to change in your room.
Breakfast and Dinner
The buffet style breakfast offered numerous choices; the scrambled eggs were great each morning, and we also enjoyed the bowl of fresh fruit. Cold cereal, oatmeal, yogurt and waffles were also available. USA Today and the Wall Street Journal were provided each morning.
A light dinner was available; the one night we ate there was a fresh salad area with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. The entree was chicken nuggets, and the meal was plenty for us as we do not usually eat a large meal at night. The other two nights we ate at 456 Fish and Shula's, our favorite restaurant downstairs in the Waterside. Both are excellent places for dinner and less than a 15 minute walk from the Residence Inn.
There is a wonderful York Street public garage across the street from the hotel; the daily rate of $15. is reasonable. We enjoyed being able to leave the garage as many times as we wanted each day without additional charges. Parking on the street is scarce, and the security of a staffed and lit parking garage is wonderful especially if you are going out alone at night.
Do not miss the free Chrysler Museum if you are staying downtown. If you have a car, also visit the Mariners' Museum in Newport News. Nauticus is within walking distance as well as the locally owned Prince Bookstore (across the street from the Waterside) and Chocolage, which are both fabulous lunch stops. If you have a sudden Nordstom attack, head to MacArthur Mall just a few blocks down the road. We love their cafe as well.
The staff did their job well and seem to like working here. They all talked with us and could answer our questions. We feel that the service in most Marriott properties is good, and this one passed the test. The place is clean and well kept, and everything worked during our stay. While the hotel is only 6 months old, we have stayed in many new non-Marriott hotels where nothing seems to work well.
We definitely would stay here again because we like the modern, yet comfortable atmosphere and the convenient location. The suite feels like an apartment or home rather than a hotel, and this is welcome when you spend too many nights on the road each year.
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- Also Known As:
- Residence Inn Norfolk Downtown Hotel Norfolk