by Maria Stanley
I recently had the opportunity to spend a weekend away with my family at the Ottawa Marriott Hotel in Downtown Ottawa. In desperate need of a weekend away with my brood, I was absolutely thrilled to go. Although we’ve been to Ottawa many times, we’ve never actually stayed at the Marriott before, so it was a great chance to check it out. I will admit that I’m a bit of a hotel snob – I’m always nervous when staying at a new hotel. But after looking up the hotel online, I was impressed – it looked like a beautiful hotel with great amenities for families.
The Ottawa Marriott Hotel boasts 474 rooms on 29 floors (and four concierge levels). It is located on Kent Street in downtown Ottawa, conveniently located near Parliament, several museums, the Sparks Street Mall, the Rideau Centre, and the Market. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter too.
We arrived at the hotel Friday evening, just before dinner. We checked our car at valet parking, and headed into the lobby to check in. The lobby is gorgeous, newly renovated, and huge – large enough to include the front desk area, seating areas, a large desk with two Apple desktop computers for guest use, an attached Starbucks (perfect!) and their restaurant, SPIN Kitchen and Bar. We were greeted by Anathea, Director of eMarketing & Social Media and Arjun, the guest services attendant, which was a lovely surprise. We were promptly checked in, and headed up to our room located on one of the upper floors.
Our room was a corner room, and was actually made up of two separate rooms connected to make for one great room. With the doors left open, it absolutely felt like one room which was great with the kids. There was even a door separating our room from the rest of the floor – the kids really LOVED this. The rooms boast windows that open and even a balcony. However, when making the hotel arrangements, I actually requested that the windows be screwed shut (this is done in the winter months) because I come with a fearless four year old, and didn’t want to spend the weekend trying to keep her away from the windows.
The room was gorgeous, modern and super clean. Each room had its own bathroom, desk and t.v. The beds were beautiful to look at and amazing to sleep in. Actually everything in the room, from the chairs to the lamps to the bedding are available to be purchased – they keep a catalogue in the room – I wish I could have bought the bedding actually. The room’s location also had an unbelievable view – looking out the window, we could see the Ottawa River, Gatineau and even the Parliament buildings – it was spectacular. The kids were ECSTATIC when they realized that they would each get their own beds, and it was great that the rooms were so roomy – it allowed them to really have fun and relax at the same time.
What I think really makes this hotel family friendly, is the fourth floor facilities. I had talked to the kids a little bit about the hotel and briefly mentioned that they had a very special fourth floor, so after a lovely dinner out, we checked it out.
The Marriott’s fourth floor, is a mecca for kids – it boasts a swimming pool area, a game room with air hockey, a pool table, an Xbox 360, Wii consoles, and Foosball. Also, there’s a kid’s room with an Xbox 360 and Wii consoles and free WiFi, an indoor tree house, mini-putt and floor hockey. The rooms were clean and bright and my kids had to be dragged out of there whenever we stopped by. I cannot tell you how many times my kids wanted to go to the fourth floor – they loved it that much. It is a great addition to the hotel, and makes it a wonderful stay for families.
Saturday morning we headed down to SPIN for breakfast. The breakfast buffet was pretty much what you would expect at any hotel – hot choices like eggs, cereals, fruits, etc. However, the server then came to our table and asked if we wanted eggs to order – I ordered an omelet and it was delish, and was definitely an appreciated option. After breakfast, we headed out for a LONG, hot day of shopping and sightseeing with the kids. The hotel is an easy ten minute walk to everything we wanted to go to, although on the way back, with very tired kids, it may have felt like an hour. We came back to our room and it was clean and lovely, and they had even perched my 4yo’s stuffed kitten on the top of the pillows in her bed which thrilled her to no end.
Saturday night, there was a small hiccup in our plans when the four year old came down with a fever and was vomiting. In the morning, I called down and asked if we could get some dry toast and a banana for her, and promptly received some toast, banana, cheese and crackers. Both kids climbed into bed, and experienced breakfast in bed for the first time. Thankfully the little one was in good spirits and was feeling much better, and requested that breakfast in bed become a regular thing at home. We decided to order room service instead of going to the restaurant – which was a lovely treat with kids. While we waited, the husband made himself a coffee with the Keurig (yes every room has one), and I had a shower using the Bath & Body Works products the hotel offers. I thought that was a great touch too. Room service arrived twenty minutes later, and it was a beautiful spread – pancakes, omelet, eggs benny and French toast. I cannot lie – the food was AMAZING. My husband, who LOVES eating breakfast, was beyond impressed.
So what’s the verdict?
We had a fantastic time in a beautiful hotel with amazing service. Everyone we ran into was friendly and helpful and made our stay even better. The kids loved the special areas dedicated to them, and Mommy loved the wi-fi connection, the proximity to Starbucks, the beds and the views. Of course, we know how Daddy felt about breakfast.
Without question, I would stay at the Marriott again, and will plan to stay there from now on whenever we’re in Ottawa. Thank you to the Ottawa Marriott for the wonderful weekend away.
Maria Stanley is a book obsessed, stay at home mom of two. Find her at her personal blog, BORED Mommy and on Twitter.