Well hello everybody! I am back with a review of Islamabad Marriott Hotel – the most expensive hotel in Islamabad, according to the locals.
If you read my post on the disastrous holiday, you’d know how I ended up at Marriott which was the best thing that happened in the two weeks.
Marriott is a 5-star hotel overlooking the beautiful Margalla Hills in Islamabad. Looked like it catered mostly to diplomats and rich Pakistani tourists. It was well beyond my expectations from a Pakistani hotel in terms of standard and quality but we did notice a few misses, which added that Pakistani touch to everything.
I haven’t stayed at many 5-star hotels so I don’t know how many of the below are legit pros but these are some of the things that really stood out for me during my stay at the Islamabad Marriott.
- Fresh fruits every day
- Delicious food (desi and non desi)
- Minibar has reasonable prices – market prices
- DND and cleaning are buttons, not tags
- View of Margalla Hills
- Multiple security checks which can be annoying but it’s a good thing in Pakistan
- Staff is professional and friendly at international level
- Close to the city’s main landmarks
At the risk of sounding like a rich brat with #firstworldproblems, these are some of the things that I did not like about Islamabad Marriott
- Pricey (compared to other hotels in Islamabad)
- AC/Fan always one temperature – basically remote doesn’t work
- No exhaust in the bathroom – make sure the room’s AC is on when you poop because the next person to visit the bathroom might die if you don’t.
- Wiring is visible in the room
- Only one elevator area with 3 elevators – hotel is horizontal so long walks
- Wifi connectivity issues – no backup systems
- Only one set of toiletries per room even though room is for a couple
- Customer service over the phone is terrible. One tip for anyone dealing with Pakistani staff – they are very nice people, they say salam when you pass by, they smile, they are patient. But if at any point you feel they’re being lazy, feel free to throw a fit. It’s a sad reality that Pakistani services respond well to arrogant and noisy customers.
I would recommend anyone who visits Islamabad to stay at Marriott for at least one day if they can. The hotel may be just like any other 5-star hotel in the world, but not every 5-star hotel has a view of Margalla Hills and delicious (plus clean) Pakistani cuisine! Needless to say, book at least 15 days in advance or you will end up paying three times the price.
We booked Marriott from the on the spot and learned the hard way that bargaining works. The guy next to us booked a room for 21,000PKR when we booked for 30,000PKR – only because he bothered to ask for a discount.
So yeah, have fun it’s awesome!