Post # 1
Hi, my fiance and I are on the fence and keep going back and forth between two choices, and some objective perspective would be helpful. Would you choose a more established airport hotel with a lot of wedding experience of the swanky, chic hotel which is a great setting for photos. This is for ceremony and dinner reception. Packages are very comparable.
Hotel #1 has a 90s updated look, very professional staff, and gets great reviews for their food. Ballroom is very nice, but we would have to section off one wall because it’s extremely large. The party entrance is upstairs and off to the side so it’s a bit more private. Got a deal on rooms for guests. It’s an airport hotel, so convenient and close to tourist-y things. We get the open bar included for an extra hour. Day of Coordinator and cake from a reputable bakery are provided.
Hotel #2 has a glamourous entrance and lobby, very modern, got pretty good reviews for their food. Ballroom is very nice, just the right size so there will be no wall dividers. Got a deal on rooms for guests and it’s a nice hotel for guests who are staying for the weekend, more like a vacation, except the hotel is in a nice residential area away from tourist attractions. No Day of Coordinator but the sales person will be there until the cocktail hour is over, and the Banquet Captain takes over from there.
We love the look of Hotel #2, but have gotten suberb customer service from the sales staff at Hotel #1. Fiance is leaning heavily towards Hotel #1 because he feels like "they will take care of us." And they have been more on the ball so far. But I am still on the fence, because I love the elegant ambiance of Hotel #2. Then again, most of the time we will be the in the ballroom, both of which are nice
P.S. For those in the Bay Area, the hotels are the Airport Marriott in Burlingame and the Sofitel in Redwood City.
Post # 3
I would totally go for the Sofitel. It looks like a much more memorable experience. I used to live in Oakland, and I’m not sure what touristy things you are thinking are by the airport in Burlingame. If I was travelling to go to your wedding, I’m going to want to go to the city, which is not that much farther from Redwood City than from Burlingame. Or down to Half Moon Bay, which is even closer to Redwood City. Maybe I’m missing something though – in all the time I lived there, I can’t remember ever going to Burlingame/Daly City except to go to the airport.
Post # 4
Hi, Suzanno. Thank you for your feedback. I just meant that Burlingame is closer to San Francisco and all the tourist-y things there, while the Sofitel is in the middle of a residential area.
I should have added that the Marriott is giving us a lot of extra Rewards points which is attractive to my fiance, lol. They really want our business.
The Sofitel seems nice but they have dropped the ball a little bit already so I’m more nervous about how they will handle the wedding itself.
Post # 5
Well, obviously price is also a consideration – and reward points are practically money. My sister and her husband did most of their honeymoon on frequent flyer miles and Marriott points.
And you have to be able to count on the venue. Ours is probably not the fanciest place we could have reserved, but we have known the staff for years, and they are taking really, really good care of us – which is priceless. Also the included DOC is a great deal – our venue also provides the DOC, and I couldn’t be happier with him. I originally thought he only coordinated their staff, but it turns out he is basically ours for the day, to coordinate everything. Since he knows the venue inside and out, and has been involved with our planning from the beginning, that is huge.
It sounds like you really like the Sofitel though. Maybe you could schedule an appt to sit down and talk with their banquet manager or whoever is handling your event, and express your concerns. If you schedule this one day, and then an appt with the coordinator at the Marriott the next day, I think you could come away a pretty good idea of what you want to do. The most important thing is that you’re happy with your decision. I wouldn’t go with Marriott just for the points, but if you feel like they will take better care of you, that is probably worth a slightly less photo-fabulous backdrop. After all, your photographer will make it look great, and nobody is going to spend the reception looking at the ballroom divider.
Post # 6
uuummmmm… i’d go with the sofitel – only b/c the marriott is an airport hotel – and in all honesty, if your’e looking for a "wow" it would not be with jets flying overhead – the lobby is kinda older looking and bare, no??… it’s for sure convenient to sfo, but still, it’s an airport hotel… yes i’m a bit of a snob when it comes to that…sorry if i’m offending you – but that’s just my take…
have you looked at the sheraton in burlingame if you want an airport hotel?? i think hands down, the starwood hotels are much better than any other brand…
i dunno – i’ve stayed at that marriott while traveling for business b/c it’s so close to sfo and it’s just "eh" nothing really spectacular, kwim??
also, make sure the "coordinator" is going to do just that – not just serve as the liaison between the banquet captain and all other hotel staff. get in writing what duties she is going to perform. if your’e looking for a doc, please make sure (for your own piece of mind) what responsibilities s/he will be taking care of.
good luck and happy planning!
Post # 7
Something about "airport hotel" and "wedding" does not go hand-in-hand for me. I’d pick the more glamourous one 🙂 But that’s just me.
I think it’s best to decide what your priorites are: price, location, alcohol, food, look of the hotel, how they will take care of you, and then see which hotel meets your priorities best.
Our priorities were food and the look of the reception room. So we ended up with a beautiful venue with amazing food, but now we can barely afford to give out drinks 🙂 But it’s all about what is important to YOU.
Post # 8
I would second Anti-Zilla’s comment about the coordinator. My venue also comes with an event coordinator, who I assumed was basically the banquet manager. I was getting to the point of thinking I should actually have a DOC, so I decided that maybe he could recommend someone. And it turns out that he is basically dedicated that day to our event, and will do anything we need, including coordinating all the vendors (delivery times, set-up, etc), and will also coordinate set-up of all our stuff (guest book, favors, altar decor) as long as we give him directions on how we would like it to be placed. But the point is, at no other venue did we find anything like this – the banquet coordinator was generally in charge of coordinating only venue staff in their duties. So I would make sure that the DOC is actually coordinating the event for you – rather than just for the hotel.
Post # 9
Thanks so much, ladies. Part of me just wants to pick the Sofitel and be done with it since it’s just one night and how much could go wrong, anyway? lol! Another part of me says it’s just one night and we should pick the Marriott because we feel relaxed about their staff’s capabilities and we get all those miles (which will really help us).
And I know it’s just one night and what really matters is we will be MARRIED! I type that and automatically smile. 🙂 So why am I agonizing over this decision? It’s ridiculous, but I’m scared to put so much money into something and later regret it. I wish I had a magic ball or something.