Review: Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan

Introduction: Qsuites To Armenia
Review: Qatar Airways Qsuites 777 New York To Doha
Review: Qatar Airways Business Class A320 Doha To Yerevan
Review: Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan
Review: Hyatt Place Yerevan
Review: Yerevan Airport Lounge
Review: Qatar Airways Business Class A320 Yerevan To Doha
Review: Qatar Airways Qsuites Business Class 777 Doha To New York


I was spending just over two days in Yerevan, as my flight arrived at around 1AM, and was scheduled to leave at around 3AM two days later. As a result I decided to book a hotel for three nights, since a 3AM departure would translate to a lot of time without a hotel room, even with a 4PM late check-out.

The good news is that Yerevan is a fairly inexpensive hotel market. After doing some online searches I decided to book the Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan, which is generally regarded as one of the best hotels in the city. The rate was only about $70 per night. This is a Category 4 Marriott property, so a free night would have cost 20,000 points — in this case paying cash was a better value.

Since I’m usually a Hyatt and Starwood loyalist, I should mention that Starwood is opening a Luxury Collection hotel in the city on April 1, 2018, which looks like it should be a great option. There’s also a Hyatt Place, which I initially wasn’t planning on staying at, but ended up staying at for a few hours (more on that in the next installment).

The Marriott was only about a 15 minute drive from the international airport. The first thing the Marriott has going for it is a great location, as it’s right on Republic Square. I don’t think a hotel could have a better location than that. The hotel also has a beautiful, grand, classic exterior (unfortunately I didn’t find the interior as charming).


Marriott Yerevan exterior

The lobby was intimate. Inside the entrance and to the left was a cafe, while to the right was reception, as well as a sitting area and mini-business center.


Marriott Yerevan lobby


Marriott Yerevan reception


Marriott Yerevan lobby


Marriott Yerevan lobby

The check-in experience was friendly and efficient, and I got the impression that they don’t get a lot of Platinum members at the hotel. With my key in hand I was told to head up the staircase in the center of lobby, then walk to the very end of the room, and then take the elevator on the left. The hotel has a few different wings with guest rooms, and this is the only one that doesn’t have direct elevator access, as far as I know (which is fine when you’re traveling light, but with lots of luggage that would have been more complicated).


Marriott Yerevan lobby

At the top of the staircase I found myself in a long hallway, surrounded by shops on one side and windows on the other.


Marriott Yerevan hallway to room

Past that were the hotel’s conference rooms, the gym, the entrance to the pool, and then at the end of the hallway on the left were the elevators.


Marriott Yerevan hallway to room

I took the elevator up to the fifth floor, where my room was located.


Marriott Yerevan hallway

Once outside the elevator I turned left, and then my room (#509) was about halfway down the hallway on the right.


Marriott Yerevan room exterior


Marriott Yerevan floorplan

On the plus side, I was assigned a spacious suite. Unfortunately it wasn’t especially modern. The suite featured an entryway with a walk-in closet just inside and to the left.


Marriott Yerevan suite entryway


Marriott Yerevan suite closet

The living room had a loveseat and a chair, along with some side tables.


Marriott Yerevan suite living room


Marriott Yerevan suite living room

There was a chest on the near wall with a kettle on it, that had coffee and tea.


Marriott Yerevan in-room coffee & tea

Then there was also a minibar.


Marriott Yerevan minibar

On the coffee table in the middle of the living room was a small welcome amenity consisting of dried fruit.


Marriott Yerevan welcome gift

The bedroom was in a separate area and there was a doorframe leading to it, though there wasn’t actually a door (which I didn’t mind since I was traveling alone, but which I’d find annoying if traveling with someone). The bedroom featured a rather firm and worn-out mattress.


Marriott Yerevan suite bedroom


Marriott Yerevan suite bedroom

There was a nightstand on one side of the bed, and on the other side of the bed was a desk, which had an uncomfortable seat.


Marriott Yerevan suite bedroom

Due to the position of the doorframe, the TV was just awkwardly placed on a stand in the corner of the room, which is poorly placed if you’re trying to watch TV from bed.


Marriott Yerevan suite bedroom

The bathroom was just off the bedroom, and was on the small side for a suite, with a single sink, a toilet, and a shower/tub combo.


Marriott Yerevan suite bathroom


Marriott Yerevan suite shower


Marriott Yerevan suite toilet

Toiletries were from Acca Kappa, and I was surprised to find that a couple of the bottles had been “recycled” from a previous stay, as they weren’t full.


Marriott Yerevan suite toiletries

My room featured a view of the backside of the hotel.


Marriott Yerevan suite view

Both the living room and bedroom had balconies, though neither balcony had any furniture.


Marriott Yerevan suite balcony

The only thing on one of the balconies was an ashtray full of cigarettes.


Marriott Yerevan ashtray in room

So yeah, overall I guess the room was… adequate? I appreciate the upgrade to a suite, though I would have preferred a renovated standard room, especially if it had a view of the city. I guess I should have asked for that at check-in, though at the time I wasn’t aware that some rooms were renovated, and others weren’t. I also feel like it would be logical enough to ask a Platinum guest their preference.

In-room wifi was free and fast enough.

Breakfast was served in the hotel’s main restaurant, Armenia Brasserie Restaurant, located on level three. From the lobby you had to go up two levels via the staircase, and then there were double doors leading to the restaurant.


Armenia Marriott Hotel breakfast restaurant

As a Marriott Rewards Platinum member I was entitled to free breakfast, available daily from 6:30AM until 11AM. While not the most extensive buffet I’ve ever seen, the selection was well thought out, and everything tasted good. I also appreciated that they had freshly squeezed juices, made-to-order eggs, and an Armenian corner.


Armenia Marriott Hotel breakfast buffet


Armenia Marriott Hotel breakfast buffet


Armenia Marriott Hotel breakfast buffet


Armenia Marriott Hotel breakfast buffet


Armenia Marriott Hotel breakfast buffet


Armenia Marriott Hotel breakfast buffet


Armenia Marriott Hotel breakfast buffet


Armenia Marriott Hotel breakfast buffet


Armenia Marriott Hotel breakfast buffet


Armenia Marriott Hotel breakfast buffet


Armenia Marriott Hotel breakfast buffet


Armenia Marriott Hotel breakfast buffet


Armenia Marriott Hotel breakfast buffet

The veggie omelet I ordered was prepared perfectly to my preferences.


Armenia Marriott Hotel breakfast omelet

Unfortunately while taking pictures I was yelled at and told “no photos.” “Not even of the food?” “No!” So at that point I stopped taking pictures of breakfast.

I also had access to the hotel’s executive lounge. I suspect what they’re currently using is a makeshift setup, as the lounge is in the back of the hotel’s Italian restaurant, Cucina Italian Restaurant. The Italian restaurant has the same entrance as the breakfast restaurant, they’re just separate sides of the same room. I’m not sure whether it’s stranger that the lounge is in the back of a restaurant, or whether it’s stranger that I never saw a single person in the restaurant during dinner hours, even though it was fully staffed.


Armenia Marriott Hotel Italian Restaurant

The lounge serves “dinner” from 5:30PM until 8PM and alcoholic drinks from 5:30PM until 10:30PM.


Armenia Marriott Hotel executive lounge

The lounge was only a small room with about five little tables consisting of two seats each. That’s a tiny lounge, but then again, I didn’t get the sense that January is peak season in Yerevan, and I never saw another guest in the lounge (instead the restaurant employees seemed to be hanging out here whenever I wasn’t).


Armenia Marriott Hotel executive lounge


Armenia Marriott Hotel executive lounge

In addition to the tables, there was a computer and printer in the far corner of the lounge.


Armenia Marriott Hotel executive lounge

Then there was a fridge with soft drinks and water available all day, as well as a coffee machine.


Armenia Marriott Hotel executive lounge drinks


Armenia Marriott Hotel executive lounge coffee

In the afternoons they’d put out a selection of desserts, which varied by day.


Armenia Marriott Hotel executive lounge afternoon snacks


Armenia Marriott Hotel executive lounge evening snacks

Then in the evenings they put out a somewhat more significant selection, including a few types of salad, cold cuts, cheese, and bread.


Armenia Marriott Hotel executive lounge evening snacks


Armenia Marriott Hotel executive lounge evening snacks


Armenia Marriott Hotel executive lounge evening snacks

In addition to the spread on display, one of the benefits of the lounge being in the back of an Italian restaurant is that you can order something from there. So both nights I was offered my choice of chicken or a veggie pizza.


Armenia Marriott Hotel executive lounge evening snacks

In terms of the hotel’s other features, as noted above, the pool and gym were off the hallway leading to my room.


Marriott Yerevan pool information

The gym was accessible 24/7 using a room key, and was reasonably well equipped.


Marriott Yerevan gym


Marriott Yerevan gym

The pool is only open from May through October, so as I could see from my room, it was drained.


Marriott Yerevan pool

The Marriott really does have a great location, and Yerevan is a fairly centralized city, so I was able to do all of my sightseeing by foot. The weather was considerably nicer than I was expecting as well — it was maybe 40 degrees and sunny, which isn’t half bad for winter. Since it was right around Armenian Christmas, there were all kinds of decorations still out, and lots of people strolling around.


Yerevan

I’m happy I decided to book the Marriott for that third night, as I managed to sleep from 7PM until 11PM, which was some much needed rest prior to a flight leaving that late (or early, depending on how you want to look at it).

Marriott Yerevan bottom line

Yerevan isn’t a very premium hotel market, though that’s certainly changing, especially as a new Luxury Collection hotel will open shortly. For the price I paid I certainly can’t complain about the Marriott. I received a spacious (yet very outdated) suite, the breakfast was great, and the club lounge setup was… quirky. My only real complaint about the hotel is that I think housekeeping could have done a better job, between the cigarette butts in the ashtray and the half-filled toiletries.

Next time I visit I’d make a point of asking for a renovated room rather than one of their unrenovated suites, as I think I would have enjoyed that much more.

Stay tuned for the unexpected Hyatt Place review, because I was surprised that I actually preferred that hotel to the Marriott…

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Comments

  1. That Marriott is gross!! SPG is better 🙂

    BTW there is a new Starwood Hotel coming to Yerevan soon!!!

    The Alexander, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Yerevan Opening April 1, 2018

  2. I stayed at the Marriott in Armenia in November, and enjoyed it a lot – especially since the bartender gave me good samples of Ararat brandy to taste 😉 Location is great indeed – and Armenian food is very good (how I miss khoravats!!)

  3. looks like a terribly sad room and hotel. And the ashtray on the balcony…ugh!! regardless of the price u paid

  4. While the style is truly very old, nothing is worn or actually looking old. The tissue box is sparkling, the protruding edges of drawers are pristine, and no scuff marks are visible around luggage storage. The whole style is not to my liking, but too many times I paid 200+ for hotels that were “modern”, yet the furniture was beat up and bathroom was aging. Ashtray and recycling of toiletries is definitely yuck.

    One funny thing I noticed: the description for the GYM literally has “Fitnes Centr” written in Cyrillic. Somehow I doubt that is actual translation to Armenian, likely some Marriott corporate translation department.

  5. I wonder if the hotel gets a lot of customers redeeming points. In fact, it is moving up in category from four to five this year.

  6. I stayed there in October 2016 and while the room was also old, the lounge had plenty options of food and the views were simply gorgeous. After sunset you could have drinks and hot food looking to the Republic Square and the fountain shows.

  7. It’s “retro”! Actually like that older-’80s-feel for such a location. Who wants a modern “W” style room when you’re in such a classic, exotic place?

    Wish OMAAT would give, say, 3-4 “cannot miss” sightseeing tips for each of the cities visited. I will visit Armenia this year and although I have all the guidebooks, etc., it would be best if we could have “the three main sightseeing things you cannot miss if you come here (i.e. for Paris, the Eiffel Tower, Louvre and Notre Dame) so you can say you’ve ‘done’ the town (at least at its bare minimum”.

  8. @Marija it’s an actual translation to Russian (at least there seems to be nothing wrong with it). Why they used Russian instead of Armenian is another question, though.

  9. @Scooter That’s a great idea.. but I think in many cases they just fly in, review the hotel and fly out 1-2 days later. Barely time to try out enough different sights to make up a short-list of what’s worth it.

  10. @Ivan
    “Fitnes” is hardly translation as far as Russian goes, it is just borrowed English word. “Sportzal” is likely closer to being actual useful translation, unless one wants to sound “western”.
    As of why is Russian still dominant… likely a left over from USSR past? For target audience, possibly more useful than English, depending on visitor demographics in this hotel.

  11. So we dont like it when we get a suite upgrade, but when we get a suite upgrade, we feel that our preferences should be asked. Poor hotel staff just cant win. I feel the receptionists pain.

  12. @Marija
    This is Russian. Modern Russian. Фитнес центр is the expression used by Russians in Russia when they mean a “gym” in an upscale hotel or a similar setting. It was correctly used in Yerevan, so that Russian-speaking hotel guests would know what’s behind the door.
    @Ivan
    The permanent sign in Armenian is above the screen.

  13. That omelet does indeed look like it was made with “the big love.”

    I hope that’s not like the Chinese “massage” big love though.

  14. Looks like the circa 2003 Marriott decor that a handful of tired US properties shave, but at least the room and its furnishings look well-maintained and not dilapidated. I get the decor may not be Ben’s style — and I agree that the furnishings look a little old — but a classic style shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing. I also wish Ben would confirm things with the hotel instead of making assumptions. All reports indicate this is a temporary lounge. Why didn’t Ben ask and confirm? If this was around Armenian Christmas then that’s also probably why the hotel and its restaurant were empty. Ben’s flight reviews are much, much better than his hotel reviews.

  15. For what it’s worth, that wasn’t just “Armenian” Christmas. A whole swath of Orthodox Christians also use the old (unrevised) Julian calendar.

  16. @Marija yup, @grrizzly is totally correct. Basically every more or less modern gym in Russia is called “Фитнес-центр” these days, “спортзал” is much less common.
    @grrizzly whoops, didn’t notice the Armenian sign, thanks

  17. @grrizzly still, there’s something weird in their language choices. For example, no info on working hours in Armenian or Russian.

  18. I’ve stayed here and it’s a good review. It’s an iconic building in the city, and the location cant be beat. Lots of restaurants nearby and a GREAT mueseum across the square. When I stayed there on points a few years back, it was very confusing concept for the guy who checked us in, we had to sort it out next day. But location, location, etc. Good review.

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