The current Mega Bonus inspired me to move around a little bit during a recent work trip to Orange County, CA. Realizing I was arriving late in the work day into Santa Ana, I opted to look nearby for a property I hadn’t previously visited. “The Duke” as it is known, is a recent addition to the Marriott property portfolio, and it is part of the Renaissance hotel collection.
The hotel is currently under renovation in the lobby / front entrance area, so they’ve adopted a makeshift valet stand which routes you to a side-entrance to check in. This was a bit quirky as there was insufficient signage to explain what was going on, but I managed to figure it out. On entering the hotel, I found the check-in staff to be remarkably professional and helpful.
The young lady promptly welcomed me as a platinum guest, and explained that they were new to Marriott. Consequently, she said, their systems were not yet quite integrated, but that she would ensure I got my Platinum Arrival Gift (500 points). Additionally, she pointed out, they do not yet have a lounge, so she would credit me 750 points for breakfast. It was amazing to me how adeptly she nailed this compared to how many long time Marriott properties manage to get these arrival and breakfast points incorrect. Important to note, these extra points posted promptly after my stay, just as she said they would.
I was upgraded to a very nice two room suite on the 9th floor. I am including pictures below. The room had very nice furnishings, perhaps a bit worn over time, but with a great couch and two televisions to enjoy. A valet stand with a lint brush and a shoe horn made for a very nice touch. I used them both! Additionally, the room had a Bose sound system, and a Kuerig coffee maker with 4 K-Cups The carpets and finishes were all top quality, with marble topped tables next to the bed. My only small disappointments were noticing some glass rings on the table tops and several scuffs (likely luggage) on the walls next to the closet. This left me wondering how clean the room really was given the inattention to these small details.
Looking out the windows, I had a great view down at the pool. To note, while I didn’t get to enjoy it, the pool set-up, whirlpool, and cabanas looked terrific! It reminded me of a resort setting, or a Vegas pool, but without those pesky resort fees! I look forward to relaxing there on my next trip out!
I wanted to hit the rack early to adapt to the two hour time zone difference, knowing I had three busy days of work in front of me. I didn’t want to drive the rental car around, so I opted to take a little walk to see what I could find for an early dinner. Note, this hotel is on a fairly busy six lane road, albeit set well back from the street. I never heard road noise, but it made the walk a little more than I had bargained for. I found a nice little Mexican restaurant nearby, and enjoyed a great steak burrito with loads of extra salsa. Ah, food on the road!!!
Checkout was simple enough, albeit no receipt under the door. The young gentleman at the desk happily offered me a printed copy of my receipt and asked me how I enjoyed my stay. I told him I really enjoyed the property, and looked forward to my next stay. As mentioned earlier, earned points arrived in my account promptly and accurately – well done to the team at “The Duke.”