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Inside The Brand New (And Surprisingly Large) Marriott Marquis

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[All photos by R. Lopez]

Stepping into the lobby of D.C.'s newest hotel, one might not feel overwhelmed by the size of the Marriott Marquis. The lobby is impressive to be sure; the atrium is filled with natural light and one of four Rodney Carroll sculptures, The Birth of the American Flag complements the atrium's contours. However, upon heading to the grand ballroom, the hotel gym or any of the 1175 rooms, the sheer size of the building unfolds and it becomes clear that not all of the gems of this hotel connected to the Washington Convention Center are sitting in plain sight.

Much like any other building in the Height Act-restricted District, Marriott's 4000th hotel is no skyscraper at 98 feet high. However, the Marriott Marquis also plummets 98 feet deep, and it's in those subterranean floors that the 31,000 square foot grand ballroom and smaller 11,000 square foot twin ballrooms are located. It's also on one of these underground floors where visitors can enter directly into the Convention Center although the proliferation of both natural light and plant life keep the hotel from feeling too much like the neighboring metro station. The hotel does have one similarity to the metro station in that there are cell towers down there (currently just for AT&T) that will allow smartphone users to continue to access their data.

This dedication to technology is visible in several aspects of the hotel. They not only do mobile check out but they're one of the few hotels to employ mobile guest service. The suites allow for guests to stream media from their tablets to the television. There's even a way to sync iPod playlists with the treadmills in the two-story fitness center.

The fitness center is just one of the above ground amenities that's not visible from the atrium. Sure, there are several in-house dining and nightlife options available on the ground floor from a diner that pays homage to the Marriott family's nine-seaters to a sports bar and a speakeasy-esque whiskey lounge, but there's also a 24 hour private lounge for platinum members who want to get a quick break and enjoy the view. To be fair, all of the rooms have some sort of good view. If the view from the room isn't a stunner of the surrounding Mt. Vernon Triangle, then those rooms looking inward can see that the tiling on the floor resembles cherry blossom branches. Not bad for a hotel essentially meant to partner with a convention center. Although the Marriott Marquis is open for business now, its dedication will be held on June 10th.
· All Marriott Marquis Coverage [CDC]