Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hotel Review: Marriott Trenton at Lafayette Yard

My work sometimes allows me to get out of the state, so I'm always in search of a convenient and relaxing hotel at each new city I visit.  In most cases, though, my only choice is usually part of the Marriott Hotel group.  My travels are almost always to "smaller" cities that don't have the same footprint of a larger hotel chain like Hyatt or even Hilton.  Thus, I'm usually stuck with the Marriott portfolio even though that isn't always a bad thing.  In the case of this stay, I was pleasantly surprised.

My visit to Trenton was simply a quick overnight.  I would only be spending about 30 hours in the city anyways.  I looked at properties for Hilton, Intercontinental, Holiday Inn, Starwood, and even Wyndham first.  After all, I have elite status with each of those hotel chains.  Even a quick stay would probably come with an upgraded room and free internet/breakfast.  Unfortunately, I was stuck with the Marriott at Lafayette Yard, located right in the heart of downtown Trenton.  I used our special corporate code (EMAIL ME IF YOU WANT THIS CODE) to secure a rate of $86/night, and up to New Jersey I went.

Entrance to the Marriott-Trenton
Spacious Lobby
Another View of the Large Lobby

Upon arrival, I was greeted by an extremely friendly and engaging staff.  They did not check my credentials for my corporate code (again, email or tweet me if you want more details on this discounted rate code for Marriott) and issued me electronic keys for the room.  Although I don't have status with Marriott, I'm working hard to attain Silver elite status.  The prospect of spending a lot of time next year in a hotel (think 45 straight days) is making me work even harder!  This stay gets me one night closer to the ten I will need to become a "lowly" Marriot Silver.....it's better than nothing, though!

Check In Area
Without even asking, the front desk attendant issued me a room on the top floor and a code for the wi-fi internet, which was $12.95 for non-elites.  Drat!  The hallways on floor seven had a bit of a musty smell, but that was not an issue when I arrived in my room.  The area was perfectly suitable for a one-night stay, with a lounge chair in the corner and desk to get work done.

Standard King Room
The bed was extremely comfortable, and I appreciated the fact that my "Extra Pillows" request was honored by the staff when I originally booked the room about two weeks ago.  I slept so well that night that I almost missed my alarm!

Though the bathroom was nothing to write home about, it was certainly large enough and functional.  Water pressure was excellent for my late morning shower, and the toiletries were from Bath & Body Works, a decent upgrade over the generic stuff that you will find at most hotel chains.  I definitely made liberal use of them.

Bath & Body Works Amenities
I enjoyed the fact that my top-floor room had a view.  Granted it wasn't of the Eiffel Tower or the Empire State Building, but having windows on both sides of the room with a view seemed to really open up the room itself.  Downtown Trenton isn't the Champs Elysees, but I will always take a view as opposed to staring at the brick building right next door.

At Least It's A View
To get a lay of the land, I returned to the first floor to scope things out.  A surprising feature of the hotel is its large outdoor courtyard.  The expansive green lawn was a shock in an urban environment like Trenton.  Patio chairs and tables were certainly a great feature, though completely useless at night without any lights.  I returned at night hoping to grab a nice meal outside at the Archives restaurant, but was greeted by the pitch black dark.  Oh well, it's certainly a great lunch spot or place to relax during the day.

Outdoor Patio Area and Lawn
Overall, I certainly enjoyed my stay at the Marriot Trenton at Lafayette Yard.  The standard rooms are more than enough for a business traveler, and the hotel itself was much more spacious than I anticipated.  In fact, I saw several wedding parties and business receptions taking place when I returned to the hotel for the night.

This will be my go to spot if my work ever takes me back to Trenton.  As a full-service hotel, it's more than enough with a great staff, large standard rooms, and comfortable beds.  Until tomorrow, everyone!

-Charm City Traveler

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