Amidst the row houses and historic buildings, the Marriott Lancaster is an impressive structure in its own right. The 19-story building towers over Lancaster, and, at the same time, blends in with the surroundings. The entrance preserves the historic shell of an earlier generation, and then the main hotel emerges in the backdrop.
I received an enthusiastic greeting from the front desk associate. In fact, the check-in experience was so welcoming that one would think that the associate has a significant financial stake in the hotel. He recognized my platinum status and offered the welcome gift. He proactively apologized that the concierge lounge is not open on the weekends, and without missing a beat, handed over two breakfast coupons. Finally, he was pleased to inform me that they had upgraded me to corner room. While I’ve received similar benefits at other Marriott properties, the associated delivered the information in an upbeat, amiable manner which made me feel like the hotel’s VIP.
Upon reaching the room, my wife noticed that there was a dirty glass at the doorstep. The key didn’t work, and she returned to the front desk. The associate awarded us a different corner room and offered that if we weren’t satisfied with the view, we could change again. Minutes after settling into the new room, another hotel associate stopped by to check on us. It was evident that this hotel takes pride in a superior customer experience, and I haven’t encountered this level of follow-up at five-star hotels.
The room would easily fall into the top quartile of Marriott hotels and not just because it was a corner suite. The standard Marriott ensemble is in place – flat screen TV, large work space, white comforter and sheets, speaker phone, and adjustable reading lamps. The bathroom offers generous counter space. The towels are soft, fluffy, and plentiful. The shower temperature and pressure were just right. And the lineup of bathroom products was in place. The room décor was bright but not overbearing. There were a few signs of wear. Specifically, one of the walls showed extensive scratch marks. It looked like someone had taken a fine object and exerted frustration on the unassuming post. But this isn’t a functional or cleanliness issue – just evidence of use. The selling points for the corner room are greater ambient light and greater space. Regarding the former, there are windows on two sides which usher in a wave of natural light. Regarding the latter, there room is about 15% larger.
Outside the room, the leisure spaces are excellent. The fitness center seemed right for the hotel’s size, and the equipment was up-to-date. I was pleased to see sanitary wipes, a water station, and even fruit. My breakfast coupon gave me unrestricted access to the buffet. There were enough options to satisfy just about anyone’s taste – cereal, oatmeal, fruit, eggs, waffles, potatoes, and meats. There was also a made-to-order omelet station. The dinner menu was more limited than I expected. There were small plates and $32 entrees but nothing in between. If you’re looking for a burger or sandwich, the bar or room service are your best bets. And on the plus side, you can still get late night room service. I ordered a burger after 10pm.
Finally, parking is easy. A walkway connects the hotel to the parking garage. It’s covered but not enclosed. In essence, you won’t get wet, but you will feel the outdoor air. Self-parking costs $18. My rate did include parking, so take a look at the package options when you book.
In summary, the Marriott Lancaster offers modern amenities in an historic setting. If you’re looking to be near Penn Square and the town highlights, you’ll be pleased with the location. And you’ll be even more pleased with the hotel’s accommodations and service.
• Superior customer experience not encountered at even five-star hotels
• Room in top quartile of Marriott properties
• Corner suite offers greater space and greater light
• Breakfast options enough to satisfy anyone’s taste
• Few signs of wear in the room
• Limited dinner menu at restaurant
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- In the heart of historic downtown Lancaster, the integrated Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square and Lancaster County Convention Center offers approachable grandeur and all the amenities discerning visitors expect. An exquisite combination of old and new architectural elements includes a 19th-Century Beaux Arts façade and breathtaking lobby with a city-block view down a magnificent interior street. All 299 luxurious guestrooms offer fantastic views, 37-inch LCD flat screen TVs, granite countertops, and deluxe pillow-top bedding. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lancaster Marriott At Penn Square Hotel Lancaster