New Marriott doesnÆt try to hide its Brooklyn accent

Travel Weekly Agent Life editor (and Brooklyn resident) Phyllis Fine recently stayed at the New York Marriott Brooklyn. Here is her report:

NEW YORK -- Known for that famous bridge and as the birthplace of many celebrities, BrooklynÆs mystique is long-lived and even international. (Consider as evidence Brooklyn chewing gum, a popular brand sold in Italy.) So it makes sense to use Brooklyn and its history as a theme throughout the first full-service hotel built in this New York City borough in 68 years, the New York Marriott Brooklyn.

The hotelÆs meeting rooms are named for BrooklynÆs famous places and faces (from Ebbets Field, where the Dodgers played baseball, to Coney Island, from Jackie Robinson to George Gershwin), and all the artwork features Brooklyn locales.

The boroughÆs mystique is strong enough that many clients will enjoy the Brooklyn artifacts on display outside the hotelÆs restaurant, Archives. The Dodgers case, for example, features a base from Ebbets Field and a yellowing copy of the Daily MirrorÆs front page trumpeting the baseball teamÆs World Series win in 1955: ôDodgers Dood It!ö reads the headline.

Open since last July, the property is targeting a mix of business (during the week) and leisure (weekend) clients interested in a ônice, new hotel thatÆs a little bit less expensive,ö said Mitchell Heymann, director of sales and marketing. Spring weekend room rates range from $135 to $180; the highest weekday rates are $229, but they will drop to $189 for July and August. The pricing is about 20% lower than a comparable hotel in Manhattan.

The propertyÆs location is also a strong selling point -- set on the edge of downtown Brooklyn, right next to Brooklyn Heights (a fun, historical neighborhood for clients to explore) and a few blocks from newly trendy Cobble Hill, which has some good bookstores and restaurants. The subway across the street offers corporate clients a seven-minute ride to ManhattanÆs downtown business district and leisure clients a quick trip to ManhattanÆs Greenwich Village and SoHo.

The hotel also is a short walk to that famous landmark, the Brooklyn Bridge; on a nice day, clients can walk across to downtown Manhattan. I overheard a man telling his friend that he had wanted a room with a view of the bridge, but I found out later there is no such thing.

The propertyÆs 376 guest rooms are not high enough for fabulous views; they only fill the first several floors of a building whose upper floors will soon be independent offices. Business travelers can take advantage of rooms on the Concierge Level floor, which offers a complimentary continental breakfast in the Concierge Lounge. The Room That Works, designed for business travelers, features an ergonomic chair and a desk with extra work space. All rooms include two-line telephones with message light, dataports and voice mail. There also are hair dryers, personal safes large enough to house a laptop computer, minibars and irons and ironing boards.

On our visit (my husband was with me), the only place where the hotel fell short was on an amenity highly valued by many business travelers: the gym. The exercise machines had recently been moved to a larger room, but I had to wait my turn for the lone treadmill. Since that time in mid-February, however, the property has added another treadmill, three exercise bikes and more weight machines, Heymann said. In fact, by next winter the property will have a 8,000-square-foot spa facility that will include massage therapy and a revamped exercise area. There is already a 75-foot lap pool available.

Our suite was comfortable, and we found staff members quite accommodating. For my dinner in the Archives restaurant, I asked for and received my choice of side dishes from another entree. The result was delicious: herb-crusted salmon with scallion-mashed yams and spicy pot liquor greens. Portions were ample, and we decided to see if we could have our doggie bags stored in the restaurant refrigerator for us to take home the next day. The restaurant kitchen could not accommodate us, but the front desk offered to install a refrigerator in our suite for the night.

The next day, determined to take advantage of being closer to Brooklyn Heights than usual (we live in Cobble Hill), we had lunch at Healthy HenriettaÆs, an excellent vegetarian restaurant with many Mexican specialties. We also took in a movie at the Brooklyn Heights Cinema, which shows a quirky mix of independent and Hollywood films.

New York Marriott Brooklyn

Address: 333 Adams St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201.

Phone: (888) 436-3759 or (718) 246-7000

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