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Sadly, Hartford, CT is lacking in both the boutique hotel and high-end cocktail bar departments. That makes life here at NPS kind of difficult. Marriott hamster cage for you! And mid-tier booze to boot.

View from the 19th Floor (Hartford, CT)

View from the 19th Floor (Hartford, CT)

The good news, relatively speaking, is that my travel companion this trip is a super Elite Marriott Platinum whatever. He booked all the rooms. What that means to NPS is that the bottle of water is free! Such amenity.

Here is what cage number 1921 looks like. (FWIW, 1921 is way better than 717 was last go ’round.)

Hartford Marriott 1921

Hartford Marriott 1921

1921 bed

1921 bed

1921 pays homage to the TV (standard Marriott practice)

1921 pays homage to the TV (standard Marriott practice)

The shower is glass and is very nice. NPS approved.

Not plastic!

Not plastic!

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A last minute hunt for a decent cocktail bar in the city came up with nothing. So down to the Marriott bar it was for a nightcap. Negroni? Check. Stagg Jr? Sure why not. NPS advises you to just skip the bar visit.

One ray of sunshine during this visit is that Max’s Downtown is a very nice restaurant with an interesting wine list. Highly recommended.

In the end, this Marriott property is a low three showerhead kind of place. Nice enough in its generic big hotel you must be here on business way.

Four cities in two days will do that to you.

Upgraded on one hop to Pittsburgh on United!!

Then a tiny ancient United puddle hopper to NYC (Mesa needs more new planes).

New York was gorgeous

Train to Connecticut from Penn Station bright and early

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Now leaving NY

Now leaving NY

Then it was on to the worst Hertz rental car of all time. Dirty, over milage, driven hard, shimmy. Just crap. You can really suck Hertz!

This Hertz car sucks

This Hertz car sucks

Again I find myself at a sub-optimal hotel. This time mostly because Hartford, CT appears to be off the hipster beaten path. At least my friend Drew is accumulating Marriott points! The Marriott Hartford seems to be like most Marriotts. You can decide whether that’s a good thing.

This is a plastic shower.  Bane of this blog's existence.

This is a plastic shower. Bane of this blog’s existence.

The rather unfortunate report on the shower is that not only is it plastic and over a tub, but also the hot water is tepid and there is no water pressure. Because the pressure is bad, the plastic showerhead does not work properly. All of this results in the worst shower of 2014, and sets the bar nice and low. Life is too short for a bad shower.

Hamster cages for everyone. Even Drew’s super Elite status lands you a room like this.

Bedroom 717.

Bedroom 717.

TV homage.  Bedroom 717.

TV homage. Bedroom 717.

Tiny plastic bathroom 717.

Tiny plastic bathroom 717.

At least the concierge floor is on 21 and there is a nice view and some almost acceptable net.

Frozen tundra from the Concierge Lounge.

Frozen tundra from the Concierge Lounge.

There’s just not much more else to say. Two lowly showerheads and no surprise for this place.

On the restaurant side of things, Max Downtown is world class, but standard issue. Want a good meal? Max will do it. Decent wine list and a great slab of cow.