Two weeks before Christmas I spent one night at the Marriott Madison West, the only full service Marriott in Madison aside from the Sheraton which is my usual "go-to" hotel when I'm in Madison.
When I arrived I was greeted by someone (not sure what his position was, maybe the bell captain) inside the main entrance. After I checked in at the main desk, this same person asked if there was anything he could get for me. I noticed a sign at the front desk with three or four holiday offerings at the hotel, one of which was hot cider. I said that I would enjoy some of that hot cider, and the person went over to a bar near the elevators where the hot cider supposedly was, but there was none there. After popping into the executive offices, the man came out and said, "Sorry, we're out of hot cider. Can I get you anything else?" I demurred and took the elevator up to my room.
I was upgraded to a corner suite, but before I unpacked I went to the concierge lounge only to be greeted with a another sign offering hot apple cider, but no cider in sight anywhere!
What a disappointment! I did notice that later in the day the sign at the front desk had disappeared (before I could snap a pic of it!)
The suite was reasonable, if a bit dated:
Suite entry to living room
Suite Living room
Suite bedroom from living room (bathroom to the right)
It is my understanding that there are plans afoot to renovate the hotel in the (near) future, although I didn't see any notifications of that around the hotel. (When the Sheraton in Madison planned it renovation there were posters with pics, plans, sample fabrics, etc.)
The concierge lounge fare was pretty standard. There was nothing exceptional about the offerings. Wine and beer were served by the attendant. There was no hot apple cider! The lounge was not 24/7. It closed at 10pm and reopened at 6am.
There were no newspapers ANYWHERE. There were none at the desk, none in the (minimal) gift shop, and none in the lounge at breakfast. I was told that the hotel no longer gets ANY newspapers because everyone reads them online. I couldn't believe it! Even the Residence Inn two blocks away has BOTH the Wisconsin State Journal and USA Today at the front desk for free in the morning! Clearly a reason for me to find a hotel in Madison other than the Marriott.
I did get extra bath amenities when I requested them via the app. That process worked smoothly.
Aside from being upgraded to a suite, I didn't feel any special recognition for being a Plat Premier/Lifetime Plat.
Maybe most of the staff just wanted to check-out for the holidays a week early. It's pretty clear to me that this hotel needs some training in that "special sauce" that us former SPGers expect which brightlybob highlights in his New Year's Day Essay New Years Day Essay - Bonvoy!
This was my fourth stay at the Marriott Madison West in the past three years. My stays there have always been in connection with adding a brand for a MegaBonus. Aside from that opportunity for extra points, I can see little reason for staying at this particular Marriott.