I stayed at the Depot Renaissance while I was attending the MEA Customer Relations Roundtable in Minneapolis. I was thrilled to find out that the Depot is a Marriott property because it meant that I’d receive the great service that I’m used to and also earn some rewards points.
The room itself is small but tastefully decorated. And, I had an excellent view of the parking lot across the street (our recent stay at the Peabody Orlando has ruined me for life). LOL.
There’s a little desk which is perfect for doing some work.
The bathroom area is tiny but it’s sufficient for a solo traveler. The space wouldn’t be enough for Brian and I to get ready together if he were traveling with me. Since I was alone, it worked out okay.
When I returned to my room the first night following the networking reception I was surprised to find the message light on my room phone lit up. I figured it was Brian checking on me because I sent him my room number. It turned out to be one of our long time blog followers who lived in the area. It was a little creepy but then I realized that I made the mistake of announcing my arrival to the world by checking into FourSquare so I wasn’t really that hard to track down.
Brian and I always chat at night whenever one of us is away from home so I told Brian what happened. He totally freaked out. It wasn’t enough that I called the front desk to instruct them not to give my room number to anyone and not to accept any more messages; Brian actually called down there himself to give them the low down and to ensure that my safety was a priority for the hotel. The person in charge at the concierge desk must have sensed Brian’s concern because she assured Brian that security would check my floor a couple of times more than normal each night.
I was extremely impressed with the way the hotel handled the situation. Although they had blocked all calls going to my room, each night that I would call for my 4 AM wake up call the next day, Brandon would give me an update. He’d be like, “You received another call again today. Would you like to move to another room?” The first night I had already unpacked all of my stuff (that’s the first thing I do as soon as I get to my room after checking in) and I didn’t want to go through the hassle of packing and unpacking again. Besides, he didn’t know which room I was in so it didn’t really matter. The next night it was more of the same but I told Brandon that I was checking out the next morning so it mattered even less. Nonetheless, I appreciated that they remembered Brian’s instructions. It wasn’t like they remembered the first night and promptly forgot about it. They continued to respect and protect my privacy throughout my stay. Seriously. Not only did they block all external calls, they blocked all calls going to my room. So when I had problems with my breakfast order not getting picked up from the previous night and I had to call down to check on my room service order a couple of times they totally acted like I didn’t exist. LOL.
The lady who brought my breakfast apologized for bringing orange juice instead of pineapple juice as I had requested. She said they were out and she tried to call my room to ask if orange juice would be okay but that the call would not go through. That’s actually when I realized that ALL calls were being blocked. Even the ones initiated by hotel staff.
I was a little cranky about the problems with my breakfast door hanger not getting picked up not once but twice but I couldn’t really stay mad because of the extreme care and professionalism with which the staff handled my delicate situation. It seemed to me that they had some prior experience with this sort of thing. Brian did tell me later that the lady he spoke with reassured him that they’ve dealt with situations like this before. I’m sure this happens a lot when celebrities stay somewhere because their fans would be calling and making their room phones ring incessantly and maybe even trying to track them down in their hotel rooms, but I doubt that those instances involved regular people like me. I felt kind of bad that they had to go through all that trouble to protect me when I wasn’t really all that concerned or fearful. Brian was more freaked out than I was, to be honest.
Anyway, I bet the hotel staff was relieved when I finally checked out because then they didn’t have to go through all the crazy call blocking, extra security, and stuff because I think they finally resorted to saying that they didn’t have any guests staying there by my name any time that anyone would call or ask for me. I’m sure it was quite challenging to serve an invisible guest so, in the end, I really couldn’t blame them for the problems I experienced with breakfast. I’m sure it had to do with no one being in my room or me not existing. LOL.
Huge thanks to the Depot Renaissance staff for a wonderful stay and for making me feel like a celebrity. Even just for a few days.