Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa is Unbelievably Disappointing
Aug 6, 2009
Pros: good restaurant in lobby, nice toiletries, nice pool, terrific television set in room
Cons: horrible staff, charges for virtually everything, lack of air conditioning
The Bottom Line: There are a lot better hotels than this one in Stamford. Keep driving!
Traveling is a passion of mine. I love going places, staying at hotels, enjoying spa services, dining at new restaurants and everything else that comes with traveling. Since having my twins, Catherine and Charles, traveling has more or less come to a stand-still. It is rare that I venture off by myself overnight, and the idea of me and my husband traveling without our children is unheard of. Our vacations are planned several months in advance and have a pretty rigid structure that we attempt to follow. The babies need naps, meals, snacks... You get the idea.
When my mother and I had the opportunity to go to Stamford, CT and stay at the Marriott Hotel & Spa for the 2009 national finals of the All American Girl & Boy Pageant (in which Catie and Charlie were competing), we were thrilled. The hotel looked absolutely amazing on the website: indoor/outdoor pool, fitness center, and, of course, the Agora Spa. We were so excited to go.
Even though I am a travel agent, I was able to get the best rates on Orbitz-- Just $101 per night, plus tax. If i went through the Marriott website, it would have been $139 per night, plus tax. I was able to book two connecting rooms so that we had enough space for the four of us, two cribs and all of our stuff.
Check-in was supposed to be at 3:00pm. We arrived at 4:15pm, and one of our rooms still wasn't ready. There were no bell carts (or whatever they are called) to use in order to bring all of our stuff to our room, so we had to wait in the room until everything was brought up for us. The front desk staff barely spoke any English, and brought the two cribs that we had requested into someone else's room. I also requested two rooms with king beds on a low floor. Instead, we ended up on the eleventh floor with two double beds in each room.
Upon entering the room, we noticed that it was not very toddler friendly. All of the furniture had sharp angles, including the knobs and handles to open drawers and such. While it looked very nice, there was the constant feat that one of the twins would hit their head or something, and get really hurt instead of the average bump. Furthermore, there was a window located at toddler height, which opened into the room and was only secured from opening all the way with one flimsy wire on each side. The handles to open the window were very easy to use, and Charlie opened it in no time flat. I was terrified that the wires were going to snap and we were going to have a tragedy on our hands. We just couldn't relax in the room at all.
Speaking of the babies, the cribs looked like tiny cages. Catherine is very slim, so it really wasn't a problem for her. Charlie, on the other hand, is a big boy and tosses a lot while he sleeps. It was very confining for him. Catie slept through the nght, but Charlie was up constantly-- so much so that I relented and let him sleep in my bed with me.
There was a problem with air conditioning all throughout the hotel. In the rooms, the air conditioner turned off and on constantly, and was very lous. My poor mom woke up every time that it switched on. The hallways were absolutely stifling. The ballroom where the pageant was held could have been a sauna. It was afwul. You would think that a Marriott would do what they could to make sure their guests were comfortable.
The pool was one of the bright spots of the hotel, thank goodness. It was a large, zig-zag shaped pool, with half indoors and half outdoors. When we arrived, it was raining, so we were able to enjoy the pool on the indoor side. The following two days were beautiful, so we would enter the pool indoors and swim to the outdoor section. There are no lifeguards on duty, which tends to be the norm at hotels.
Another bright spot was the American Grill restaurant in the lobby area. This restaurant is independently owned, which you can tell by the friendlier staff and better service. Breakfast starts at 6:30am, which was terrific for the schedule we try to keep with the babies. The food was good and well-priced.
The Agora Spa was absolutely ridiculous. My mom and I were looking forward to having spa services. However, when they wanted $95 for a regular pedicure, we had to pass. Massages were well over $100. We didn't even bother asking for prices of other services. The staff was rude on the phone when we called, too, which led me to believe that it would have been a less-than-relaxing spa experience.
The bell staff was the absolute worst that I have ever encountered. They didn't know where their luggage carts were. They wouldn't look at me when I asked a question. They brought our luggage to the wrong room the first time they brought it up. They were rude. They didn't speak English all that well. They were slovenly. They were not a good representation of Marriott at all. If you do end up staying at this poor excuse of a Marriott, do not trust the bell hops to take care of your luggage. Do not interact with them at all, if possible.
After spending time in the pool, we decided to give the babies a bath... only to find that one of the rooms did not have a bathtub. Make sure you request a room that has a bathtub if you want one, otherwise you are going to be stuck in a bizarre shower with half of a glass wall. Since there was no door or curtain to separate the shower from the rest of the bathroom (except for the half wall), everything on the floor was absolutely soaked. Fortunately, the other room had a bathtub for the babies.
There are some really nice amenities in the hotel rooms. The television is a flat-screen HDTV that looked like it was at least 40". There is also a temperature-controlled mini-fridge. The toiletries are actually from Bath & Body Works, which is really nice.
Unfortunately, there are some really lousy aspects to the Marriott Hotel & Spa, aside from the ones I already mentioned. Room service just plain stinks. We asked for a Belgian waffle for breakfast, and made sure that there were no nuts. What arrived was a Belgian waffle with pecans in the batter. So much for the nut allergy... In-room movies are wicked expensive. We watched Disney's new Monsters vs. Aliens, and it cost a whopping $15! I was stunned when I saw that on the bill. Parking is not included, and costs $18 for each 24 hours. Wi-Fi is available, but at the cost of $9.95 per 24 hours. They nickel and dime you for absolutely everything at this hotel.
The Northern Lights Bar in the lobby of the hotel left a lot to be desired as well. My sisters best friend, Bonnie, came to meet me for a drink. After sitting at our table for 20 minutes, I finally walked up to the bar to order drinks and bring them back to the table. I ordered an amaretto sour and a Sprite. The amaretto sour could have been water, it was so weak. The total for those drinks came to a whopping $12-- And it wasn't even top shelf amaretto.
Overall, the Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa was a real disappointment. the lack of air conditioning throughout the hotel combined with the lousy service equaled a miserable weekend. We couldn't wait until we got home. Needless to say, we will never stay at the Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa again.
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About the reviewer
Candice Cain (Candice923)
I own the Candy Cain Travel Co. in Brookhaven, NY. I am a certified Professional Bridal Consultant with the Association of Bridal Consultants and my agency is certified by IATA and CLIA. I specialize … more
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conveniently located at exit 8 off i-95- in the heart of the fastest growing fortune 500 corporate city- and just 45 minutes north of new york city. the stamford marriott is accessible by public transportation- walking distance to the train station- within walking distance of downtown and directly across the street from the stamford town center mall featuring 130 shops and food outlets. pets allowed with 20.00usd non-refundable fee