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“Perfect Location for visiting ISU!”

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Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Normal
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed October 15, 2013

This Marriott is the perfect location for visiting Illinois State University. Our daughter is a freshman in the Hewett dorm at ISU. You can see Watterson, Hewett and Manchester dorms from the windows of the Marriott. The campus is within a short walking distance (under 5 minutes) to the large dorms, the Quad, the Bone Student Center, Watterson Dining Center and all the ISU campus. The fact that parking is included with your stay at the Marriott is also very helpful so close to ISU, where parking is difficult to find. The hotel itself is a newer Marriott, comfortable beds, clean with nice bathrooms. Not only is it a short walk to the dorms, it is also a short walk to Uptown Normal where there are lots of great restaurants to choose from. There is no more convenient place to stay if you are in Normal to visit a student at ISU.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Firepat23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JeffPritts, General Manager at Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2013

Our location to ISU campus and the all of the new shops in Uptown Normal are a huge plus for our location. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to seeing you here again soon.

Sincerely,

Jeff P
General Manager

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235 - 241 of 394 reviews

Reviewed October 14, 2013

The staff at this hotel really get it. The customer service is among the best! We returned here after nearly a year and found the property to be well maintained, the parking garage is connected and the parking still free. The lobby area is attractive and the location allows us to park and walk nearly everywhere in the downtown Normal ISU area. The rooms are spacious and the beds are comfortable.

Two things kept this property from getting the top rating. First, they still charge for Internet! @ $12.85 a day. In this era, that add on is just wrong. If you are a top rung Marriott member, then you have internet charges waived but the rest of you are SOL. Keep in mind this is not a cheap place to stay to begin with! During our Saturday Oct 12th stay, on floor 7, there were several rooms that had room service dishes and plates in the hallway for at least 6 hours in the late afternoon early evening! Someone needs to patrol the hallways for thinks like this.

We would return if the rate is decent but it is amazing to me that lower rung les expensive Marriott properties do not charges extra for internet and this one does.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Robert T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JeffPritts, General Manager at Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2013

Thank you for your letter. I have addressed the room service tray issues and were able to find the lapse in the process. The internet continues to receive upgrades to make sure that the value is there for all customers. It is also free in the lobby and the outlets for those that just need to jump on quickly.

I hope we get the opportunity to see you again - our rates constantly vary according to demand so be sure to keep an eye out for any great deals coming up on slow weekends.

Sincerely,

Jeff P
General Manager

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Reviewed October 14, 2013

I spent the night at this facility for a conference and was happily surprised. Considering it was a college town, i expected the hotel to be downscaled. To my surprise, this was modern, clean and friendly. My room was clean and the bed to my liking.
The only downer was pay Wi-Fi, even for the conference. Most hotels offer this gratis. Also a downer was the very expensive rack rate. Jeez, am I in NYC???
To offset this, I noted that the restaurant prices were not inflated.
I'd come back here again, but only if I was getting reimbursed by my employer.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
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Thank FrankieFile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JeffPritts, General Manager at Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, responded to this reviewResponded November 7, 2013

Thanks for great review and I'm glad we were able to surprise you with our four diamond facility. The rates vary greatly in this market depending on the demand so be sure to always check where were at for your upcoming stays. The hotel does offer complimentary internet in the lobby area if you are not in need of greater bandwidth in the room.

Sincerely,
Jeff P
General Manager

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Reviewed October 10, 2013

close to amtrak station and downtown Normal
you can enjoy the uptown cycle and university just 1 block away
great location,easy to find restaurant and CVS nearby
room is clean and big, with member card update a free breakfast

Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
Thank Kan F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JeffPritts, General Manager at Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, responded to this reviewResponded November 7, 2013

Glad you enjoyed Uptown Normal, always lots to see and do here and close to everything. Thank you for sharing your thoughts from your stay.

Sincerely,
Jeff P
General Manager

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Reviewed September 26, 2013

I brought 6 guys here to play a few days of golf (I'll explain in a bit) and enjoy some laughs, which were plentiful. I've stayed here a couple of times in the past and can attest they do lots of things exactly right, especially in attracting, retaining and training their employees. In fact, several of the front desk staff were here at least a year ago, and in a college town, that says something. They're genuinely friendly and efficient. The lobby, like many of the Marriot properties, is a beautiful, light and airy design, very welcoming and pleasant to simply sit in, watch the people, or wait for your group to get downstairs. The rooms are spacious, very clean with upscale linens (bedding yes, towels not so much) and all the extra outlets conveniently located for your devices. Certainly, not a "luxury" experience per se, but more than adequate at a nice value price.
Just a couple of beefs....
The bar staff was very inconsistent with service, at times slow and unengaged, at other times attentive. Certainly waiting for a server a a table was an exercise in patience. A function of understaffing or unconcern? A little of both I think. One barkeep would throw down a generous pour with a smile, down the bar a fellow (manager I presume) would sternly measure down to the last 1/8 oz. My preference is always less portion control with an adequate price-point to maintain a budgeted profit margin i.e. I gladly pay more for unforced and less obvious profit taking. I'm a capitalist, not an artist, so I appreciate attention to the bottom line, but if it was my call I'd pour 'em loose and charge 'em large. It's particularly galling when the price of a top-shelf bourbon in Normal Illinois is $13 (not so high in Chicago, kinda high in central Illinois) and the pourer's got his little jigger out spilling nary a drop. One of our group, admittedly over-served, expressed his displeasure with the seemingly stingy pour and rather than simply splashing a little more whisky in his glass with an apology, even a token one, called the manager over who also took the corporate line and basically shrugged his shoulders. It's probably not something the barkeep could fix like that, but certainly a manager is empowered to quickly and quietly sovle the issue with another 1/2 oz of the brown liquor. Not a big deal, in my opinion, simply a lost opportunity for cheap customer satisfaction.
And as good and well-intentioned the front desk was, despite lengthy conversations with a variety of managers and staff pre-arrival, all the groundwork to pre-pay for all the rooms and pre-assign rooms to the name of those in our group in order to expedite and simplify check-in was pretty much for naught. I probably wouldn't go to the trouble of faxing a credit card authorization form in order to pre-pay to go through that mess again. Better to let each individual do his own thing and participate in the standard check-in process.
All in all, I don't anticipate staying anywhere else in Bloomington-Normal, it's that good
Oh the golf; why on earth would you fly 1200 miles to play golf here? Having attended IWU decades ago, I have an affinity for the area, especially in later Sept-early Oct. We'd booked a few rounds at Bloomington Country Club, excellent Midwest golf, only to find they'd moved their aeration back to 2 days before we arrived. Last minute scrambling left us with rounds at the ISU course instead, a little rough around the edges but thanks to to professionalism and hospitality of their head pro Laura, it sufficed. The Den at Fox Creek and especially our excursion north to play at Olympia Fields North course were the icing on the cake. Plus now, these guys are looking at returning if for no other reason than getting back to the Lucca Grill for pizza. Best I've ever had.

Room Tip: Go to the 9th floor with view of the front of the property....otherwise your view could be the rooft...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank JonL_52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JeffPritts, General Manager at Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, responded to this reviewResponded November 7, 2013

Glad you and your buddies enjoyed the golf trip. The town has an amazing amount of quality golf courses especially the Den as you mentioned. Our bartenders are trained to make the drinks to recipe and typically do not pour them large, but I too enjoy a bit more of a pour especially when out on a weekend like this so I completely understand. Hope to see you again in the near future.

Sincerely,

Jeff P
General Manager

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Reviewed September 4, 2013

There wasn't a single unhelpful, grumpy employee at this Marriott. Everyone seemed to be happy to be there and all were very pleasant and helpful. They made sure we found our room, called the front desk when our room locked us out, apologized for the coffee (more on that in a minute), and made our stay very relaxing. We were in Normal for a wedding and the reception was held at the Marriott.

The lobby is beautiful with lots of earth tones. The breakfast buffet was quite good, and they did try to keep up with refilling the buffet. I would suggest going the "omelet made your way" rather than the scrambled eggs which tend to get overdone. The pastries are still awesome and the fresh fruit was delicious. Now about that coffee....it tasted burned and from the bottom of the pot. We mentioned this to the waitperson and she apologized, said it was machine coffee from corporate and we weren't the only ones to complain, but there was nothing she could do about it. Hey, Corporate! Let them brew their own coffee, cause yours was really bad.

Before I go on to the reception, let me complain about one more thing. $12.95 for 24 hrs of internet access/wi-fi. Really?? If La Quinta and Holiday Inn and other medium priced hotels can give it to you for free, wouldn't you think the Marriott could when you're paying a lot more for the room?

The reception was incredible. My husband and I had the chicken offering, with roasted potatoes and broccoli and the friend next to me had the steak with the same sides. We all agreed that the food, for this many people, was exceptional. The open bar was great. I asked Jeff, one of the bartenders if he could make me a reasonable version of a Margarita and he came through, not once, but twice! Way to go Jeff! For appetizers we were served crab cakes, bruschetta and little cordon bleus which were also delicious. It' hard to do a big party right with no hitches, but this wedding reception was incredible! As the saying goes, a fine time was had by all. And the people at Marriott made it happen.

Room Tip: Even numbered rooms look out toward the restaurants and the Amtrak station so you have a good view o...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank YankeeMiss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JeffPritts, General Manager at Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2013

Loved your letter! Thank you so much. I am very proud of our team here and their incredible service culture. As for the coffee - I couldn't agree more, but the server does have the power - we have heard enough complaints that we are switching back to our old product. I for one am very thankful Corporate finally heard us as well. As for the internet, Marriott is coming out with a tiered service by end of the year. Basically you can pay for the amount of bandwidth you need and not for the max every time. PS the hotel is doubling its bandwidth this month from 40mb to 80mb.. Glad you enjoyed the wedding - we do over 60 weddings a year and take great pride in making those special days special.

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Reviewed September 3, 2013

From check in to follow up, the B-N Marriott people "get it!". The front desk clerk was friendly and helpful. The bartender made dinner an experkence; made me feel important, engaged in conversation, and really cared about the service experience. The lobby, room, and parking were nice, but people make the difference.

Room Tip: All rooms here are quiet and comfortable.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Lynn542Bloomington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JeffPritts, General Manager at Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, responded to this reviewResponded November 7, 2013

Thank you for the great compliments. I'm very proud of the service culture we have here in Normal. My team truly enjoys what they do and it shows. Thank you for sharing the compliments.

Sincerely,
Jeff P
General Manager

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Additional Information about Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center

Address: 201 Broadway Avenue, Bloomington-Normal, IL 61761
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Bloomington-Normal > Normal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Normal
#4 Family Hotel in Normal
Price Range: $113 - $184 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center 3.5*
Number of rooms: 228
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center is the only AAA Four Diamond hotel between Chicago and St. Louis. We have two concierge floors with a private lounge for your most important clients. Four Diamond service as only Marriott and John Q. Hammons can provide awaits at our hotel in Normal, Illinois. Stay with us and enjoy a location directly between uptown Normal and Illinois State University. We are also within walking distance of the Amtrak station. We are the only hotel in town to provide covered parking and a skywalk from the town's adjoining garage. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bloomington - Normal Marriott Hotel And Conference Center
Bloomington - Normal Marriott Hotel Normal
Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center IL

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