For a chain, the Marriott’s Residence Inn is not bad at all. Check in was a breeze, partially due to the fact that they know us from repeat trips to this area, but the staff is competent enough that I don’t think you need any kind of edge to get good service here. The front desk staff in coconut Grove are full of genuine smiles and eager to help.
The room is typical of the Residence Inn chain, meaning fairly spacious, clean, and reasonably priced. If you’ve never stayed at a Residence Inn, I’ll ‘splain it to ya..
Being intended for long stays, these rooms are more like apartments. Entry to our room is onto the living room with L-shaped sofa (quite comfy) and average sized TV. Behind one L of the sofa is a small blond computer desk complete with free broadband Internet access. It works like a dream.
The kitchen in our room was to the right of the living room and is a small (but full) kitchen complete with everything you could possibly need… even a dishwasher. Don’t leave one lone glass in the sink for later though as the maids will put that sucker into that dishwasher while you’re gone, and run it. With one glass. Oh yes. I’m serious. All that water for a glass… too funny.
The dressing area is to the back of the living room, followed by the bathroom, with the bedroom to the right of those.
The dressing area has the sink and counter and has proved to be big enough for both of us in the mornings, but the bathroom is nothing special. It’s clean and white and there’s plenty of hot water… plus the shower head is high enough to accomodate a 6’6″ male. What more do you need, right? They supply soap, shower cap, and Physique shampoo… but no conditioner. grr argh. Ah well, I did remember to bring my own.
The bedroom is pretty big, with a very comfy bed and hella marvelous pillows (3 of ’em). No. Really. I love these pillows! I may have to steal a couple next time (Did I say that out loud?) The closet is like enormous, too, with mirrored doors. Score!
For you early morning folks, there is a free breakfast buffet until about 10AM. We went over at 6:45 the first morning and the pancakes were cold. He decided to just make himself a waffle though and slathered that baby with strawberries and whipped cream. Yum. The sausage patties were pretty good, the scrambled eggs a bit runny but acceptable had they been a tad warmer. The biscuits & gravy they served another morning were fantastic. There’s a full array of cereals and breads, along with a basket of apples and bananas.
5-7PM will bring you free food again by the office area in the form of hot dogs & burgers, tacos, spaghetti, etc…
The pool itself is a small kidney-shaped deal and kept surprisingly clean given the frequency of fall storms inherent to the area. This little courtyard is surrounded by palm trees and bamboo and all manner of local flora. Nice setting, that. Especialy since the brat forgot to specify a smoking room once so I had to step out for that little vice. In fact, the entire Marriott chain was slated to go completely non-smoking on the 15th of October, 2006. urgh.
As to location, well, it’s not on the beach, but it is close to the Port of Miami if you’re awaiting a cruise, and it’s just a block from CocoWalk, a small shopping center/bar area that’s pretty popular here.
All in all I’m going with 4 stars. It is a chain, after all… but this location is more pleasant than most and the maids go the extra mile. If you’re here on business, this is the best $99 per night you can find.
2835 Tigertail Ave
Coconut Grove, FL 33133