The name Marriott as a full service hotel is kind of new in Little Rock, but the building in itself is not. It used to be the Peabody hotel, a true institution in the capital of Arkansas, but in a lot of ways one that was aging fast. Months ago Marriott overtook the management of the property and there is right now a huge effort of remodeling the hotel.
The location is great, next to the river and just steps from restaurants and historic buildings. We enjoyed walking around, even when Little Rock is not your typical big city, there are some good places to eat. The hotel only offers valet parking and it costs 20 USD per night, something we find expensive since this is not a premium destination.
This is a huge hotel, there are more than 400 rooms. The lobby is spacious and it is possible to notice great improvements already, especially in the bar area, but any renovation creates disturbances, even when it is for good. The check- in counter is located in a temporary location, indeed it is not the best first impression. We were welcomed in a friendly manner and the check-in was done fast, but it lacked some of the charm of the true five star hotels. There is a business lounge in property, we were supposed to have access to it, but we were informed it is closed on weekends (something not uncommon in USA properties) still access to the lounge was offered in case we wanted to find a place to rest or work. Sadly when we decided to go to the lounge we got a very bad impression: the place was taken but a weird group of people, everything was dirty, they were watching loud TV and drinking alcohol. How is it possible these kind of things happen in a hotel like this?
We got one of the rooms that was not yet renovated, there was a little confusion about it from the person doing the check-in and we got a single King bed, the mistake was corrected immediately and we were offered a complimentary drink as an apology. The rooms look tired, but extremely clean and the beds were very comfortable, the view of the river was very nice.
Breakfast was basic but good, we were happy to find some good healthy options to eat. There is a gym onsite but not a pool, steam or Spa. We think this is a property with potential, and we hope for the best after all the renovations. The personnel is making a big effort to minimize disturbance during all the construction that is going on, sadly when one is booking the room nothing is said about it on the website. Sometimes it is better to close the property for some time during renovations to not hurt the name of the brand. We will not hesitate to consider staying again in the hotel once all the renovations are done.