See the end of this article to find out how to win a 2-night stay at a Marriott New York City hotel.
As an avid traveller, I first met Erin online in travel blogging forums. Then in May 2013 I found out that the Bender family were going to visit Puerto Rico at the same time as me and I was thrilled!
Puerto Rico is my favourite international destination, when I’m not living in New York, and I couldn't wait to finally meet them and share my Puerto Rico insider tips.
We stayed in the rainforest at a lovely bed & breakfast, the El Yunque Rainforest Inn, exploring beautiful waterfalls, then travelling via ferry to the island of Vieques. As a former nanny it was a highlight to spend time playing with Mia and Caius, building sand castles on tropical beaches, grabbing lunch and sharing all kinds of fun adventures.
Since then Erin and I try to catch up wherever we can. In July 2015 Erin was in New York for a few days so I spent a day showing her around my part of town. This time Erin asked me if I would like to take an invited stay at the Downtown Marriott on behalf of Travel With Bender. A weekend in Downtown New York? How could I refuse? Of course, I was delighted.
Here’s 7 reasons Downtown Marriott exceeded my expectations and why the Bender family should stay next time they are in New York.
1. Beautiful Downtown Views
As soon as I walked into my room at the Marriott I was greeted with an absolutely breathtaking view of New York City. Wide windows showcased the downtown skyline. I could even spot the Statue of Liberty! Peering out at the historical Trinity Church from high above and soaking up the amber sunsets were highlights for sure. I could have sat on that window seat all day.
2. Bill's Bar & Burger and a Starbucks in Hotel
I enjoyed both dinner and breakfast at Bill's Bar & Burger in the Marriott. It was extremely convenient to just walk downstairs for my reservation. My sister, Darcy, joined me for dinner and we caught up over warm spinach and artichoke dip, Rhode Island style calamari, and juicy burgers, which did not disappoint. I opted for the BBQ Bacon Burger with smoked mozzarella, BBQ-bacon mayo and a crispy onion ring. In fact, it was one of the most delicious burgers I’ve ever eaten. They also offer salads if burgers aren’t your thing. Mia and Caius would have had a solid selection from the kids’ menu.
I was so full, but just couldn’t go past the decadent chocolate cake for dessert. And I knew that the state-of-the-art fitness centre will be there waiting for me. :)
Breakfast was also a pleasure at Bill’s Bar and Burger. One morning I tried a scrumptious breakfast sandwich and the next it was eggs benedict (Erin’s favourite!).
And what more could you ask for than fresh, juicy berries and tea delivered to the suite? Delish! I know how room service can be a lifesaver when kids are involved.
Thankfully the Downtown Marriott houses a Starbucks - iced coffee is possibly the best way to start the day as far as I’m concerned.
3. 9/11 Memorial & One World Trade Center Observatory
The Museum tells the story of the events of September 11, 2001 through interactive technology, archives, narratives and a collection of artefacts. The Memorial’s twin reflecting pools are free to visit. They are each nearly an acre in size and feature the largest manmade waterfalls in North America. The sombre pools sit within the footprints of where the Twin Towers once stood.
The One World Trade Center Observatory is located on floors 100-102 and feature incredible panoramic views of the city, as well as fascinating exhibits, and excellent restaurants.
4. Comfortable, Spacious and Well Connected Rooms
My suite was very spacious, featuring a closet, plenty of drawers, a desk and comfortable chair overlooking the city.
Marriott Hotels are known for their ultra-plush, luxurious bedding for a reason – once you’re addicted you can even purchase their mattresses and sheets. I felt so cosy and had the most comfortable night’s sleep. My favourite feature of the suite was when I shut the curtains the room stayed dark, allowing me to sleep in and have a tranquil morning.
Internet speed was zippy and there were plenty of options to plug in all of my devices for charging. The one caveat of the room was that the TV was outdated, as was the remote. I found it quite complicated and challenging to use.
5. Smiling Friendly Staff
The staff in the hotel were attentive, and very friendly, always wearing a smile. I felt welcome from the moment I stepped through the doors.
They even delivered a wonderful welcome gift to my room with all kinds of goodies. Yum… chocolates!
For any questions I had, they were ready with answers. The concierge was a bottomless pit of knowledge, and helped me to find interesting activities and attractions in the area.
This type of service sets the hotel apart. I noticed flustered parents with children in hands that certainly appreciated the personal help, and have no doubt serving families is a real priority for Downtown Marriott.
6. Close to Great Shopping
I think Erin would get a kick out of leaving the kids with Josh in the room for a couple hours while we went shopping together, hey Erin?
7. Battery Park and the Statue of Liberty
Battery Park is a short, easy walk away (even for the Bender kids). It’s a delightful place for a relaxing stroll, grab an ice-cream, feed (or chase) squirrels, fly kites or watch one of the many concerts in the park. During the summer months the kids can also enjoy weekly story time.
You can also see the Statue of Liberty from the park or for a closer view, catch the free Staten Island Ferry. It sails right past Lady Liberty to Staten Island and then returns for free as well. The views of downtown Manhattan are flawless. Alternatively, you can pay for a direct ferry to Liberty Island for an iconic Statue of Liberty selfie.
With the Advance Purchase Promotional Rate you can save 20% off by booking 7-21 days in advance. Use Promotional Code: ADV before 31 December 2016.
Thanks for visiting the Marriott for us, Anna! What do we think of the Marriott? Watch below!
Want To Win A Stay Here?
Now it’s your turn to visit this gorgeous hotel. Want to win a 2-night stay for yourself + a guest at one of Marriott’s best NYC properties?
Upload a photo to Instagram or Twitter of your favourite unique NYC place/activity with the hashtags #UnexpectedNYC AND #sweepstakes for your chance to win!
View all the terms and conditions here. The contest runs from 7/21/16 – 9/16/16. And you can choose to stay at one of Marriott’s seven (7) participating NYC properties: The JW Marriott Essex House New York, The Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel, The Algonquin Hotel Times Square, The New York Marriott Downtown, The New York Marriott East Side, The New York Marriott Marquis, and The New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge. Good luck!