First Class Resort Hotel - All the Way
My wife and I had the pleasure of staying at the Marriott Sawgrass hotel from June 21-25 to attend a medical conference. At first, I was a bit annoyed when one of the group sales managers contacted me to inform me that the hotel was overbooked and asked if I would be willing to move to the Hilton Garden Inn hotel for two nights (paid by Marriott) and then switch back to the Marriott on the 3rd, 4th and 5th days. "How far is the Hilton from the Marriott," I asked. "About 20 seconds," replied the manager. The offer was further sweetened by offering $100 in Marriott credit, to be used in any way I desired. Deal.
Although we stayed at the Hilton for two nights (a nice little hotel, but not in the same league as the sprawling Marriott complex), we used the conference facilities for the medical seminar for two days and were given pool privileges, etc. at the Marriott. When we checked into the Marriott, we were delighted to discover that the manager had upgraded us to a suite, overlooking the beautiful lake and rear view of the complex.
My wife and I have stayed at many resorts and hotels throughout the world and could really find nothing wrong with the Marriott Sawgrass or its staff. Our room was beautifully appointed, had a large bathroom, large sitting area with desk. The only thing I found a bit odd was to have a balcony that extended maybe two feet from the sliding glass doors. You could stand on it, but not sit on it and enjoy the view. However, with such a scenic resort, who wants to sit on the balcony all day.
We did not use the spa facilities, but others at the conference did and said it was wonderful. We ate at most of the onsite restaurants and found the service excellent and meals very tastefully prepared. Fabricio from Argentina, the maitre d at the Italian restaurant, was a delight. He personally greeted us each day and we got to improve our Spanish while he boned up on his English. Freddie from Morroco was our waiter, as we personally requested him for each meal. Excellent service and delightful person.
A special kudos to the greeters, bellman and car parkers, especially Shawn. I jokingly remarked, upon check in, that the lakes around the complex looked like they would be full of fish. Shawn said they were. I told him it was a shame that one could not fish, assuming that such a swanky place would not permit guests to wet a line. Shawn informed me that I could, in fact, fish and went to his car to loan me his rod, reel and tackle box - no strings attached. This is what you can expect, in general, from the staff at the Marriott. Everyone greets you with a smile. If there is a problem, they don't make excuses, they fix it.
We did use the shuttle to the Marriott's property on the beach, offering a nice poo, beach and several casual restaurants.
The Marriott has two pools, a children's pool and an adult pool. Although in close proximity, the landscaping is such that all children's screaming, etc. is buffered. We love children, but not when they are left unattended and are running around the pool screaming and splashing guests who are trying to relax and read a book. Not the case here, as children stay in the pool geared to the families on vacation.
I would not hesitate to stay there again and will probably do so the next time a medical conference schedules this fine resort.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Worldwideangling@aol.com
Gary and Susan from Atlanta