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All reviewsirish pubthe concierge loungebusiness hotelnice hotelnorthern njfront desk staffthe indoor outdoor poolnew jerseywest pointrecently stayed herelobby barwooded areabreakfast buffetrecent staybusiness tripwoodcliff lakewedding
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Reviewed July 12, 2007

I just returned from a business trip, that included a stay at this hotel. I am a frequent guest with Marriott, and it is my preferred brand, so I am usally biased and only have nice things to say about Marriott hotels. I believe so much in the Marriott experience that Marriott International is the only hotel stock that hold in my investment portfolio. I also hold shares of several real estate investment trusts, one of which is Host Marriott, which is the REIT that owns the hotel buildings owned by Marriott. Now that you have full disclosure, on with the review.

Check-in experience:

When I arrived at the hotel there were 3 guests ahead of me needing to check in as well. The hotel has a Marriott Rewards Elite check-in line, but that was not staffed, since there was only one individual working at the front desk. When I finally got to the front of the line, I was asked for my name, after providing it the desk clerk, identifed me as a platinium level guest and asked what I wanted for my arrival gift. He also provided me a card with a code for free internet access. The desk clerk asked for my credit card only, he did not ask for photo ID like the other Marriotts I normally stay at do.

Lobby experience:

The lobby was clean, and seemed to be well taken care of, though it looked like I stepped back in time at least 15 years by my calculation. Eventough this is only a 4 story building, the elevators were very slow. For the frequent travellers reading this review think slow like the Marriott Marquis in NYC or the Marriott Magnificant Mile in Chicago.

Hope you do not need a shoe shine, there is not shoe shine stand here. With the corporate offices of Hetrz, BMW North America, Mercedes Benz USA, Sony's US headquarters, all being withn walking distance of the hotel you would figure there would be a shoe shine stand. Went to CVS and bought a travel shoe shine kit.

Hallway experience:

This is were the property started to show it's flaws. The hallways were dark, the carpet and wallpaper were dated. The carpet were coming apart where at the seams from when it was installed and/or repaired. It was also very worn, faded, stained and looked like it should have been replaced years ago. The ice machines in this hotel are near the elevators, I would not recommend getting a room anywhere near them since the two on my floor were the loudest I have heard in a long time, I think this is a factor of the age, since they looked like thay should have been in the Smithsonian and not a Marriott.

Room Experience:

The old, worn and dated theme from the hall continued into my room. The furniture in the room looked to be in the 15-20 year old range. I made this guess based on the style and the wear. The dresser drawers were hard to open and seemed to be off the sliders, and the bottom of the drawers were mis-matched, some were white, others brown, either due to repairs or from combining drawers from 2 dressers to make one good one.

The room also had a distinct musty smell to it, I could not tell if it was coming from the air conditioning unit, the carpet or both.

The bed had the new Marriott bedding, all white, bed scarf and extra pillows. The bed on the other had was shot, the matress felt like a sponge, and in fact had no internal springs, just one big foam matresss. The box springs were also worn out . New bedding on old bed, can you say lipstick on a pig?

The TV was the typical old Marriott TV, has anyone seen these new LCD HD-TV Marriott has been heavily pomoting on TV? I have not come across a property with them yet.

The walls between the rooms are there for display purposes only. The guest in the room next to me had a conversation with is wife every night, and I heard is as clear as if he was sitting on my couch instead of the one on the other side of the wall in his room.

Nice balcony with a view of the woods behing the hotel. Would have been a nice place to hang out and read the USA Today and Wall Street Journal, but there was no chair on the balcony, or any other balcony from what I could see. Come on if the Courtyards can have chairs on the balconies, why not at this Marriott?

The desk was old as well but very functional, it is the two tiered desk where the lamp and phone are on the upper smaller desk and the lower, larger desk can be pulled out and rotated, so you can watch TV while you work. I have been to a few of the renovated Marriotts with the new desk that swivels, I loath these since they are sized smaller and I can not spread out 2 laptops and my paper work.

The lamp is hinged so you can move it in an and out, when doing this the whole lamp felt flimsy since it internal screw that kept everything tight must have loosed over time. When you would push the button to turn the light on the whole socket assembly would pop out the the base, causing a potential shock hazard. The socket assemble would not seat properly since it would no fit with the flourscent bulb assembly intalled in the lamp.

I had 2 phones in my room one wired, and one cordless, the cordless phone would not get a dial tone.

The internet CAT-5 cable was affixed to the desk by some plastic fixture so you could use it but not steal it. This is unlike most other Marriotts where the cable is in the drawer or closet. The bad thing is if you configure the desk like an "L" and your network port in your PC is on the farside from the cable, it will not reach. One last thing the cable was missing the little clip that would hold it in the PC. I left the cable pulled out onthe desk all week, the maid put it back each day, but never reported the broken clip to maintenance to get it fixed.

The desk chair, was old, faded, stained and would not lock into postion and would lean back too easily.

Internet connection speed was fine early in the morning and during the day. At night when all the guests were in their rooms it came to a crawl. I switched over to my T-Mobile cellular card and got a much betted response time. I ran the connection speed tests at --- and it returned a connection speed in the neighborhood of 189k, less than 4 times dialup speed. I was impossible for me to get any work done via VPN at night to my corporate office from the hotel, so I just stayed at the office later worked form there.

My last night there I reported the issue and within a few minutes a maintenance guy was there to replace the cable. When I asked about the worn carpet, furniture, etc. he said they will be renovating this hotel in the fall.

Room Service:

Ordered room service the first night there. My order took over 30 minutes to show up, this is a 290 room hotel, not a 1,200 room hotel it shoud not have taken that long. When the order did show up the burger was slightly warm and the fries were close to room tempature and soggy.

Bathroom:

The bathroom was a good size and everthing functioned properly but it could have been cleaner. There was mold in the corners where the tiles met the tub and mold all over the bottom of the shower curtain.

The towels did not follow the new Marriott standard, they are a biege color, not the normal white towels you would expect and they were thin and worn, the Faifield Inns I have stayed at in the past have had nicer towels.

Concierge Lounge:

Lounge was very small and always crowded for breakfast, there are only 4 tables, 2 small ones seating 2 people and 2 round ones seating 4 people. I needed to every day, ask someone if I could sit at an open seat at their table, during breakfast. It was not that crowded at night and findiing an open table was not a problem.

For breakfast they had the typical spread of fresh fruit, breads, pastries, juice, hard boiled eggs, etc. The scambled eggs were under cooked and runny every day I was there. The sausage was over cooked and chewy, the breakfast potaotes were very greasy, and bacon was in a serving dish with a good 2-3 millimeters of liquid bacon fat on the bottom. There was also smoked salmon out for breakfast, but by the time I had breakfast all that was left was a plate with a pile of lettuce and a few scaps of salmon.

In the evening they seemed to have some sort of pasta and some sort of fried appitizer each night, along with fresh vegtables and some cheese.

Both the morning and evening lounge attendents were very nice and social. They both had the same flaw, the inability to monitor the amount of food left and call down to have the kitchen run more up before it ran out. I got the distinct impression that the evening lounge attendant was affraid to call down to ask for replinishment of things that ran out.

Resturant:

One morning I was running late and the lounge was full so I figured I would grab breakfast at the resturant. Was seated and then went up to thte buffet and when I saw that the food there prepared exactly as the food in the lounge, I decided to eat at the office cafeteria, since I was not going pay for something that was no better than what I could get for free in the lounge.

In the evening the resturant is closed and the only option other than room service is an Irish themed pub that is the hotel bar. Walked in, looked at the menu and walked out. Mainly beacuse the place is wood panneled from floor to ceiling, and was very noisey, I prefer to eat someplace quiet and relaxing for dinner. What made the decisionnnnn final was the menu's lack of healthy options (read low carb and low fat). One funny thing is this is the only Irish pub I have ever been in that had an entire page of it's menu dedicated to the cuisine of Italy, in fact there were more Italian choices than Irish choices.

Restaurants in the area:

There are several very nice resturants in the area of the hotel. I only mention this because I ended up eating at them during my stay. Eating at these resturants shed some light into why the hotel's resturant was closed at night. I saw the hotels shuttle bus more often in these resturants parking lots at night than in the hotel's parking lot. It leaves my asking why would thay take bus loads of their customers along with their wallets to someplace that generates no revenue for te hotel.

Gym:

I was suprised to see the a well stocked fitness center, I was turned off by how cave-like and depressing the fintess center seemed but the funky smell sent me packing. I ended up just taking a jog outside.

Exterior:

The flowers and grass looked nice, but the building could use a fresh coat of paint.

This one makes me wonder. If you leave the hotel in the morning and want to walk along the sidewalk that is between the hotel and the parking lot you can't. Why not? Because the sprinklers are set to be on in the morning when guests are leaving the hotel, nice touch!

Fire Alarms:

The fire alarm system at the hotel went off twice while I was there. On the same night, once at some time after 1am and again sometime after 2am. I am a light sleeper so I heard the siren in the hallway. The thing that concerns me is that there is a fire alarm siren box in my room which failed to go off. So we have a combination of false alarms and malfunctioning sirens, the disrepair theme strikes once again. This time as a major safety hazard in my bookkkk.

The Waterfall:

One night during my stay the automatic front doors of the hotel were roped off with caution tape. I asked the hotel employee standing in the lobby what happen, the response was it rained and a drain was plugged on the roof and water poured into the hotel lobby

Hotel Management:

I spoke to several other frequent guest in the concierge lounge, some who even stay here every week for months at a time. I also spoke with at least a half dozen of the hotel employees.

The guests I spoke to have reported issues to the hotel management and standard response is "we are renovating in the fall", instead of addressing the issues now. As well as the general lack of customer service and attentiveness by the staff here.

The employees I spoke with at this hotel, about the condition of the property, all pretty much said the same thing. Management and ownership of the hotel have not been willing to spend money.

The Shocker:

Found out while staying here that the hotel is not only run by corporate (Marriott International) but is is also owned by corporate (Host Marriott). It boggles my mind, that his property is so run down and poorly managed.

Summary:

This is the first and last time I will ever stay at this property!!!

I know it will be renovated in the fall of this year, but unless Marriott steps in and replaces the managment and the staff this place will still have lackluster customer service and will fall into a state of disrepair quickly.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank Wandering_Moose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2007

I am actually fairly surprised by the few overly positive reviews for this hotel. We stayed there this weekend and it was ok but I wasn't overly impressed. I thought it was well below your typical Mariott quality. The positive points: the beds were in fact very comfortable, I found the front desk staff to be rather friendly, the common areas and the pub were very nice, and the buffet breakfast was very good. The negatives: the rooms were dingy and in need of refurbishment. Both rooms I saw had discolored stained carpet and areas of mildew in the bathroom and a funky smell. The outside needs to be updated as well. It was very motel looking. We had a patio but no chairs or anything for it although it wasn't likely we would have chosen to sit outside and stare at the parking lot anyway. In addition, we were there with a group from a wedding but the wedding rate was not honored (only about a $17 difference so not a huge deal but still annoying). The final and probably worst thing was that there was the largest bug I have ever seen in the room and a dead spider in the corner. All not very appealing in a place to stay overnight. I have stayed at many Marriotts and I believe it fell well below what the standard should be for a Marriott. The beds and friendly staff saved it from a worse rating in my book.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank rsb3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2007

Great beds, great location, great restaurant (O'Toole's), great room service and a fantastic breakfast buffet! Absolutely loved this hotel and would recommend it to anyone travelling to Northern NJ.

JB

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank jova51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2007

Have stayed at this Marriott twice. Both experiences were great. It was very comfortable for business travel, had nice desk and place to work in the room. Had an indoor pool if you have kids with you. Good breakfast buffet at Allies and the bar has pretty good food at night.

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
1  Thank cbishop3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2006

We often stay at this Marriott since it is close to our home and provides a consistent level of high service. We have found the staff to be excellent and very family friendly. The only downside is that the restaurant is usually closed for dinner on weekends and the selection of restaurants nearby is very limited. If you do stay at this hotel on a Saturday, make sure to make a dinner reservation at a nearby resturant early since they book up early. The bar does serve food but we did not find that to be a very pleasant experience.

  • Stayed: January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank bukrah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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