As part of a long journey, I briefly stayed at the Philadelphia Airport Marriott and ended my stay both pleased and disappointed.
The hotel is connected to Terminal B and on-airport parking. If you are taking a cab to the hotel, there is a convenient driveway where you can park and briefly check in. As an added bonus, across the street from the hotel entrance, are the car rental facilities. I was able to return my car the night before and avoid overnight parking charges and the hassle of returning in the morning.
One Arrivals Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19153, USA
As a Platinum Elite member, I was permitted to check in rather early in the day. I had a number of requests, all of which were reasonable but made me look like a rather demanding guest. Luckily, the desk agent was up to the challenge. In addition to an early arrival, I was also hoping for a suite upgrade, runway view and an alternative to the overnight parking option. The agent rose to the occasion and was able to honor all but the suite upgrade. I was offered a suite if I would be willing to check in later, but it wasn’t that important to me.
I have commented a lot about the check-in process in my hotel reviews for good reason. It sets the tone for the stay. Even if the agent can’t accommodate a special request or preferred room, a pleasant agent can show that the hotel cares about the guest experience and really that’s the most important thing for me. The agent was enthusiastic and loved rising to the challenge of succeeding at all four of my requests.
Here’s where things become absolutely average. Room 1111 is runway-facing (kind of) and it is a king room but it’s just not an exceptional option. Maybe I have been spoiled by excellent airport properties like the Hyatt Regency Pittsburgh Airport, the Grand Hyatt DFW or have expectations for something like the Crowne Plaza Singapore Changi Airport (excellent review from a gifted photographer).
Let’s focus on the positive, the bed was really quite good. The sheets were comfortable, and the mattress was just the right combination of firm and soft.
The desk was high-quality and had sufficient space for two laptops, though power connections were less than ideal throughout the room. The room also had a nice settee at the base of the window. While the room was fairly compact, this felt like a nice effort.
But there were some serious drawbacks. What’s the correct name for a half of a mini-fridge? A disappointment. I mean, I guess that airport hotel guests are probably not bringing back leftovers from dinner out, but it was still bizarre. I could have fit a couple of bottles of water in there and that would have been it. What’s the point of having it in the first place?
The room felt really small generally and while every room can’t be a suite (if I wanted one I should have booked one) it still felt a little cramped. The TV was small, the mini fridge (which is a half fridge by definition) is now a quarter fridge and aspects of it felt cheap, despite the airport prices of around $200/nt or 35,000 points booked on the day of travel. While 35,000 seems like a mid-level hotel, and the property looks like a mid-level property when I equate back the points (about 12,000) to SPG points it really feels like I am getting ripped off with Marriott.
While anything is better than KenetMD, the toiletries were neither amazing nor substandard. In a word, the bathroom is dated. It’s not special. It’s not just that it features a shower over tub, but the tiles are gross and the shower curtain is a groping nightmare though it features a bowed shower rod.
This part of the hotel feels like a lack of effort. There is nothing special about the bathroom and it only detracts from the experience. There’s nothing objectively wrong about the hotel room, it’s a standard hotel room – fine. But the price point was almost twice as expensive as nearby alternatives.
Located on floor two is direct access to the parking garage and Terminal B. While my flight was out of a different terminal it was quick and easy to transfer once inside. While Terminal B didn’t have TSA Precheck open on the morning I checked in, it was a short walk to Terminal C for security then a little further to my flight in Terminal D.
Would I Stay There Again?
I am kind of torn. It was an expensive use of points (35,000) but was exactly the solution I needed. I felt like an expectation of something special at an airport property may be misplaced, but that is to suggest that all airport properties are entitled to stop trying while all other hotels are held accountable for their service and amenities. The convenience is probably too much to argue with and I think that I would stay there again if the situation was similar (short stay and early departure) but otherwise, I think I would rather prefer other options nearby.
What do you think? Should airport properties be held to the same standard as other hotels?