Good Morning Friends!
I am writing this post from the “Friendly Skies” (along with 200 of my “friends” on this United flight). I am en route to Tampa/St Petersburg from Washington, DC. I packed up a bunch of work from the home office, then decided to take the early flight home back to sunny Florida. Tomorrow we head to Charleston, South Carolina so at least this way I will get more than a few hours of sleep until I am back at the Tampa Airport. Plus, I was missing home and couldn’t wait to be back in my own bed…an inevitable hazard of traveling for work. I’m really looking forward to the Charleston trip. I’ve never been, so it will be a super fun adventure! I will write more about that later.
During my business trip to Bethesda, Maryland, I stayed at the Residence Inn Downtown Bethesda. This property is perfect because it is only four blocks away from the office. Although this time, it was a LONG four blocks due to the frigid cold temperatures! I’m a Florida girl now so bitter cold temperatures are not something I am accustomed to at all. On the upside, the cold weather got me thinking about the holidays and I was clearly more in the spirit! I turned on Mariah Carey Holiday on my Pandora. Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner and for the first time I could feel the magic in the air! I know I am so cheesy!
So here is my review for the Marriott Residence Inn Downtown Bethesda:
Overall Experience: Met Expectations, 3 STARS
Value: Washington, DC and Bethesda are very expensive during the weekdays. I rarely find a good deal. For a decent Marriott hotel in a good location, you are looking at around $300/night. If you book far in advance, you may find a better deal. Even the “Hotel Tonight” app on my phone was showing over $300 for a room in DC.
Location: Couldn’t get any better–right off the Metro, in the heart of Downtown Bethesda, and 4 blocks from the office.
Rooms: Wow! I got upgraded to a 2 bedroom/ 2 bathroom. This place is huge. I should of rented out the other bedroom!
Bedding: Nothing special. Standard Residence Inn bedding (my least favorite of the Marriott discount line). No complaints.
Bathroom: Much older, no upgrades here. Also, very plain looking–no decor. Pet peeve–bad hair dryer. Do you really expect me to use that thing to dry my hair? It would take three straight days to dry my long thick hair with that little baby dryer. Towels were below average–not soft or absorbent enough. Water pressure very strong and the water very hot–just the way I like it. Extra points for that! 🙂
Safety: Very safe. They have a doorman/bellman 24/7. Bethesda is a very safe neighborhood, plus the police station is one block away from the hotel.
Front desk/Lobby: Very nice and spacious. Clean and modern looking. No real scent control, but it didn’t bother me.
Food: Below expectations. They provide breakfast everyday and a little dinnertime spread at 6pm Tuesday-Thursday. The fruit was out of season so it really wasn’t edible. A yogurt and a whole wheat english muffin with peanut butter and a banana were the safe choices. Although there are other options, like scrambled eggs, sausage, potatoes, waffles, and oatmeal–nothing really appealed to me. Coffee and skim milk were always available. We can put that in the win column. It was fresh and brewed just right.
Platinum Experience: No real platinum experience here due to the brand of a Residence Inn. Perhaps my status helped me get the larger room.
Customer Service: Excellent! Exceeded expectations. Angela is amazing. They could not honor my room request because the guest staying in it extended his or her stay past my arrival date. I requested a larger, corner, and quiet room. At check in, the front desk upgraded me to a two-bedroom/two-bathroom suite. Granted it is a very old property and the room, kitchen, and bathrooms were very outdated–I know that they gave me one of their best rooms. Huge apartment for downtown. It would probably go for $4,000 a month!
Maid Service: Below expectations–They didn’t straighten up items or close empty drawers or line up my shoes. They didn’t turn off the TV, and they hung up a wet towel in the bathroom that I left on the bed. I was surprised that they didn’t open the window curtains. All these things are not required, but I find that most Marriott brand hotel housekeepers go beyond the call of duty to provide great service. I notice when that’s missing. It looked like the only thing the housekeeper did was make the bed.
Amenities: Met expectations. Nice gym, business center, and conference rooms. It is the full package in that regard. They even gave me a bunch of takeout menus of the restaurants delivering to the hotel. I was really craving a kebab so I walked to Moby Dick for some Persian food. It was well worth battling the cold and wind.