I recently had the opportunity to visit Ottawa, and decided to stay at the Marriott-Ottawa, using the Rewards Points we accumulated through the Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Card.
I had initially planned to book through priceline.com, but eventually decided to use the Marriott Rewards.
The hotel is centrally located, with the major attractions such as the Parliament Hill and the Mint within walking distance.
I am a (temporary) Gold member of the Marriott Rewards, and requested a room upgrade if possible.
The front-desk manager checked and answered in the affirmative. She also answered our questions on breakfasts and using the hotel’s green program, which allows you to decline the daily maid service and receive 250 extra Rewards Points or $10 per day. We opted for the second choice.
The room was far away from the elevator, as requested, and had a nice view towards the Supreme Court and beyond.
As it is custom to many hotel rooms, the television set was set up opposite to the bed in the center of the room. The flat-panel, widescreen television was, fortunately, set for
16×9. I have had terrible experiences with hotels still setting up 4×3 on widescreen television sets.
The room was very clean and neat. There were enough and more power outlets. And I loved the modern table-lamps with three types of lights — straight, top and to the sides.
The hotel’s wireless coverage is fantastic.
There is a pool and a gym, which I used just once. I never had set foot on a treadmill with a television set and it was, well, cool.
As Gold members, we had free breakfasts for all three days.
Breakfast at the Lounge:
On the first morning, Friday, the Lounge was open for breakfast. We had bacon, smoked salmon, bread, croissant and coffee. There was also eggs, juices and much more. It was not a great buffet but for those in a hurry to leave, it was more than sufficient. The Lounge also had copies of the day’s newspapers plus a variety of magazines.
Breakfast at the Restaurant:
The Lounge is closed for the weekends, so I had vouchers for breakfast for Saturday and Sunday at the hotel restaurant.
It was also a buffet, but an infinitely grandiose one.
There were glasses of fresh fruits, oatmeal, milk, bacon, salami, sausage, hash brown, cheese, scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, different varieties of bread … the list was long, to make the old adage, ‘breakfast like a king’ look true. Of course, there was fresh juice (so promised the waiters) and coffee.
The evening we arrived, we decided to check out the Lounge on the 26th floor but both access cards would not work. Someone from the inside opened the door for us and we talked to the guest officer there about our issue. She called up the front desk and within minutes they delivered us new cards that worked.
And shortly thereafter, while we were at our room, the front-desk manager came into give a package with the vouchers for the breakfast, green program etc.
Though we declined our daily cleaning service, we requested a fresh batch of soaps and shampoo and they were promptly delivered.
Then, on our last night, we had a challenge due to some partying in one of the rooms close-by, which resulted in a terrible and long night.
In the morning we talked to the Front Desk manager who was already aware of the issue. The noisy guests were reportedly asked to leave.
But to compensate for our inconvenience, they offered us 2000 Rewards Points and cancelled the five-plus dollar tab for a snack.
These incidents were among the instances where professionalism of the staff and the customer-focussed philosophy of Marriot-Ottawa shined.