Monday, July 16, 2007


The Marriott Hotels are a huge American chain which have hotels of different price levels and classes, with the Marriotts themselves being perhaps the highest class. They have a standard level of service everywhere, and have the Marriott Bible which for example, lists the 66 steps to clean a room. The staff are called 'associates' and it's all a bit happy clappy. But the hotels are nice, and sumptious. They could still improve, by, for example, providing free internet in the rooms (or including the cost of it in the room price, no-one would really know). Also they are not so good on local food and culture, but people who travel more than I do may be quite happy with that - it can be a bit of a pain, having to relearn hotel rooms etc every time you move.

Of course, this all comes at a price. When I first went to Armenia, in 1997, the Marriott was far off the horizon, and the then Hotel Armenia was the only reasonably comfortable hotel there (and a lot more comfortable than Kyrgyz hotels at the time). It had running water and electricity 24 hours per day, which was quite an achievement. And the rooms were clean. We stayed in the rear of the hotel which may have been built by the German company Siemens, and the rooms had their own clean bathrooms etc. I have a vague memory that the Soviet floor ladies were still around.

Moving on a few years, by the end of 2003 the Marriott was on the horizon, and sumptiousness invaded. The rooms of the previous version had been knocked together, with one of the bathrooms becoming a huge walk-in wardrobe. Luckily the price for us long-termers was not bad - though after a while we discovered another hotel nearby with free internet, and we moved out.

Not before getting enough Marriott reward points to allow me to stay in a Marriott in Montreal for free, just after attending the viola congress there. That was a fabulous location, with a huge window and a panoramic view across the city.

A year later, and the Adelaide viola congress, where we stayed at the Royal Adelaide Hospital for AU$17.50 a night. Returning to Sidney I felt I could do with being pampered. Thankfully I had found the holidaycity website which offered half the normal price for the hotel, provided you booked early, and you'd lose your money if you had to cancel. And again, what a wonderful hotel it was, with the panoramic view etc etc, a huge bathroom with a corner bath large enough for at least two, a bed ditto (does it really need 6 pillows?), and even a mini-kitchen with a microwave, kettle and fridge - allowing almost total self-sufficiency, and cutting overall costs even further.

For comfort and pampering, they are great hotels!


Lina said...

Hello Viola. Just came across your blog recently. It is unusual to see a foreigner writing from LTU. Great stuff! More stories from Lithuania pls :) Pop in to my blog also emigration-etc.blogspot.com

varske said...

What, you can't get free internet in your room in a Marriott hotel? Who do they think they are?

Just complaining you can't get it in a 70 Euro hotel in Belgrade when you can get it in a 60 Euro hotel in Saloniki and a 40 Euro hotel in Sarajevo and Banja Luka.

Now which is the backward place.