Overall, we like the Marriott brand because usually we can rely on consistent good service, cleanliness and overall room ambiance. We chose this hotel for its convenient location to Busch Gardens.
My first impression of our room was that it felt modern and updated. The granite countertop and bath wallpapers stood out in my mind as nice touches. Free wifi in our room was also appreciated.
But so many other things "failed" or stuck in my mind as negatives. First, it was disconcerting to see a security guard camped out in a chair directly in front of the elevators as soon as we got off on floor #2. It was like he was blocking access or going to screen guests before they headed to their rooms. Even though he didn't stop us to inspect our bags or whatever the need for him to be stationed there, his presence was threatening and left me wondering if the hotel had persistent problems with bad guests causing disturbances, or safety issues such as theft or worse.
Next, not sure how close the beach, but why was there sand in my bathtub? There's no way I would have wanted to take a bath. I wished I had brought my reef sandals to wear into the tub when I showered because the grit felt gross, or was it something else. That was one of the most unpleasant showers I've had in a hotel. Reminded me of a hostel where I did bring sandals with me.
Also, with all the rooms upgrades, why did Marriott skimp on the bath towels and shampoo/conditioner? These were the coarsest and thinnest towels I've experienced, more in line with a motel in my experience. And since I have long hair, the amount of shampoo and conditioner was also skimp for two persons sharing the room. And forget body lotion, which most hotels in this price range provide. SKIMP is all I can say.
The balcony my boyfriend requested turned out to be room 245 which backs up to a really busy and noisy Pkwy 199! Trucks roaring by at 3am woke me up more than once and I'm NOT a light sleeper.
Bottom line: with all the hotel choices near Busch Gardens, we probably won't stay here again unless we receive Marriott rewards again since my boyfriend is a travel agent.