Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Renovates, Wisely Includes A Big Upgrade To Their Main Restaurant Spaces

So unlike the Embassy Suites, the Marriott Convention Center hotel correctly assessed that its recent renovations should include its lobby restaurants. As they were definitely tired. The main one was called Allie’s American Grill and was a forgettable casual endeavor; the smaller one was called JW’s and was similarly unremarkable.

Marriott switched it up with the renovations, going with two relatively contemporary spots.

The larger one, the main restaurant, is now called 13. It boasts a large area of shaded sidewalk seating on 12th Street just north of Market— a very smart move on the Marriott’s part — and an updated American-inspired menu.

And then there’s Circ, also off the lobby, with a “chic Contemporary setting offering signature cocktails and a menu of light snacks and appetizers.”

Overall, the $6.3 million worth of renovations were focused on the lobby and the adjacent restaurant spaces.
The lobby combines public space with the latest technology -- the better to plug in laptops, PDAs, cell phones and other devices.

"The layout and design of our new lobby allowed us to transform our under-utilized public space into differentiated experiences and comfortable zones where guests want to linger for working, socializing or relaxing. We have three zones: social, individual, and 'at your service,'" said Bill Walsh, general manager of the Marriott.

Amenities are designed to make business travelers more comfortable in the lobby, allowing them to switch gears between social and business meetings. For instance, food-and-beverage menus, as well as music and lighting, change throughout the day, encouraging patrons to linger.
Commendable job, Marriott. Seriously. It is good to see you freshening up.

Hotels redouble sales efforts to stay hot through summer [ Philadelphia Business Journal ]
Philadelphia Marriott Downtown [ Official Site ]

Center City Embassy Suites Completes $10 Million Renovation, Forgets To Include TGI Friday’s Amazing Rooftop Space In Said Upgrade

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