Oct112017

Marriott Riviera La Porte de Monaco on the waterfront

About a year ago I won an auction bid at $115 for a two night stay in a Deluxe sea view room with breakfast buffet for two at Marriott Riviera La Porte de Monaco in Cap d’Ail, France. My original plan was to stay in July during the week of the Tour de France time trials in Marseille. I figured a week in France and a week in Portugal would be a great vacation getaway with my wife.

Except, Kelley did not want to summer in the south of France. We went to Amsterdam and Prague instead.

Marriott Riviera on my own

I planned my current trip with a $367 British Airways ticket from San Jose to Prague and a $100 LOT Polish one-way ticket from Prague to Warsaw to Nice to redeem the 2-night stay at Marriott Riviera La Porte de Monaco before it expired October 31, 2017.

Cap d’Ail French Riviera walking tour Day 5 describes my arrival to the Marriott hotel. Adventures like the one in that post are the kinds of things I will do when traveling carefree on my own. What turned out to be a positive photo opportunity for me personally would have been a marital fight if I had put my wife through the same experience. I keep our travel itinerary much better organized and structured when she is involved. C’est la vie.

Cap d'Ail-7

Marriott Riviera La Porte de Monaco

I loved the hotel location for convenience of walking into Monaco. A large Carrefour supermarket is located in a shopping center about ten minutes walk at neighboring Port de Fontvieille.

The hotel is located in France and literally on the western edge of the border of Monaco. Step out the hotel doors and walk across the street and you are in Monaco. I never saw a sign indicating the border around the hotel. I saw a Monaco road sign on the eastern side of Monaco about 150 meters past Le Meridien Beach Plaza Hotel Monaco.

Fontvieille

Fontvieille is the harbor on the western side of Le Rocher de Monaco, the Rock of Monaco, where the Palais Princier royal palace of Monaco is located.

Room 105

Technically I had a sea view room, although my first impression of the first floor room was I received the parking lot view, albeit, with several $50 million dollar yachts visible in the parking lot.

Marriott view-2

Marriott room view-1

The hotel has 11 floors.

Marriott floors ext

At $57.50 per night with breakfast, I did not expect the grand treatment. While I normally enjoy the convenience of low floor rooms for using the stairs instead of the elevator, this Marriott did not allow access to the lobby via stairs. The stairway by the elevators is only for emergency usage.

Marriott exterior

Room 105 is a long room.

Marriott 105a

Marriott 105i

Marriott 105b

Marriott 105d

Marriott 105c

The refrigerator only contained two bottles of complimentary water, which is a feature I appreciated.

Marriott 105f

Marriott 105g

Marriott 105h

My first order of business on Day 6 of my 15 day trip was laundry. This was the first hotel stay that was not a one nighter for the trip.

My clothes dried quickly on the patio in the Mediterranean air outside. Even my heavy black Levi jeans were dry in 16 hours.

Marriott 105j

Marriott 105k

Patio Door Warning

Marriott 105warning

“Warning! Door locks automatically. Do not close if you are outside.”

I am cognizant of patio door locks after Kelley shut the patio door one time and we were locked outside on a 4th floor balcony at the Scandic Hotel Nijmegen, Netherlands during a major summer rain storm. We faced the back side of the hotel and only a few single women passed by during the course of an hour. Kelley left me to do all the yelling and single women about 70 meters away walking in a rainstorm were not giving a man yelling from the balcony any attention. Eventually one woman responded to my calls for help and alerted the hotel staff who rescued us. We were quite chilled from an hour in the rain.

We wondered what the Dutch word is for help and learned it for future reference – hulp!

Breakfast Buffet

Marriott morning

First morning breakfast was a nightmare when I went to breakfast at 8:45am. There was a conference at the hotel and I waited for about ten minutes to get an elevator. There were guests already waiting and it took the third elevator before i was able to squeeze in myself. That is when I learned there was no stair access to the lobby.

Then breakfast itself looked like chaos. Most of the tables were dirty. All I wanted was coffee, but there was no self-service coffee and all the staff were frantically busy from the group crush. Guests trying to make their 9am conference start crowded the narrow lanes restricting movement through the food areas. The buffet arrangement was not set up for large group movement with spaces only wide enough for two persons to pass.

Marriott buffet-2

Marriott buffet-1

I waited about 15 minutes after the crowd had departed to finally be offered some coffee.

The second morning I waited until 9:45am to go to breakfast and it was far more relaxing.

Standard breakfast buffet with a woman who cooked omelets.

The patio was far too bright for me, but probably more popular than indoor seating.

 

Marriott Outdoor Pool

The pool is ground level across from the marina.

Marriott pool1

Marriott pool2

The fitness center is in a room near the pool area. I never visited during my stay, but saw fitness equipment through a window.

Cap d’Ail Beach

The beach is a few minutes walk from the hotel. I strolled by one morning and there were a couple of people swimming.

Marriott Cap dail beach

Marriott beach view

Monaco was a blast for me walking around for a couple of days. I am glad I was able to experience two days there while staying at the Marriott on the cheap. The city impressed me as the cleanest place I have ever been. There were always people around cleaning and gardening all over the city.

Marriott Riviera La Porte de Monaco has a fine location for touring Monaco, but I personally was not too impressed by the hotel. I thought the Le Meridien Monaco was a more interesting hotel as far as a chain hotel. Fairmont Monaco might be ideal for some with its waterfront location by the Monte Carlo Casino.

Hotel Shuttle

The hotel operates an hourly shuttle to parts of Monaco including the Palace, Monte Carlo Casino and Monaco Train Station. Their van only holds seven and reservations are required. I could not get a last minute reservation on the first day to go into Monaco at 1pm. I was the only passenger at 1pm the next day when I rode the shuttle with my luggage to Monaco train station.

Marriott Rewards

Marriott Rewards category 8 = 40,000 points/night.

Deluxe Sea View Room rates for the dates I stayed was 489 EUR total for Oct 9-11, 2017 without breakfast included.

I paid $115 for my winning auction bid for the 2-night stay.

Cap d’Ail French Riviera walking tour Day 5

Cap d’Ail walk Google Maps

 

 

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. “What turned out to be a positive photo opportunity for me personally would have been a marital fight if I had put my wife through the same experience. I keep our travel itinerary much better organized and structured when she is involved”

    Ha! I know exactly what you mean! (And, when travelling with the Mrs., the hotel better be a notch nicer too!)

  2. I think I’d been pretty upset if I’d paid EUR489 for your no-sea-view room!
    I find Marriott in Europe and Asia to be usually overpriced – I think a lot of US travelers book a Marriott without looking at local options, giving Marriott a huge price premium!

  3. @Rupert – There are two higher priced room category rooms than simply ‘sea view’ specifically stating higher floor: Riviera Sea View (95 EUR more per night) and Panoramic Sea View (200 EUR more).

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