This past weekend we were at the San Mateo Marriott for BayCon (a science fiction/fantasy convention).

Last year when we were at the San Mateo Marriott, they had the whole place torn up for a major remodel, and mostly it was a misery to stay there.

This year, only half of the hotel was torn up.

For f*ck’s sake, you’re just doing a remodel, not building the place from the ground up.

On the best of days, this hotel is a nightmare to get around in.

It’s kind of set up like a hub – with super long hallways going out from the central elevators; and if you know how to get around, there are some shortcuts to get from the guest rooms to the convention rooms.

Except, of course, when half of the fucking hotel is torn up and off limits.

Our room was, literally, as far from the elevators as you can get.

Oh joy.

But we lucked out, because by using the outside stairs, we could cross a parking lot and enter the first floor not too far from the central elevators – and then down the hall to the elevators to go up to the convention rooms.  (Honestly, it was a shortcut.)

Checking in.

First, no one at valet parking.

No fucking one.

And I waited.  And waited.  And waited some more after being assured someone would be right with me; because they were “busy.”  And when I went back in (again), and someone would be right with me because they were busy (again), I asked, “How can that be?  There are two cars waiting to be parked, nobody waiting to pick up their cars; valet parking is clearly visible and there is NO ONE in that lot.”

That’s when they admitted they had the valet people running luggage up to rooms.


We would have liked to have someone run our luggage up to our rooms, but no one was available.  Nor were there any luggage carts available.  We had to schlep it all up ourselves.  After the front desk person came and took my car keys and gave me a ticket for valet parking.

BayCon has been coming to this hotel for many years.

I do not understand why it is a fucking surprise to the hotel that there are people who want to have their cars parked, and people who want help with luggage on the first day of the convention.

But there you have it, they are always unprepared.

It’s a fucking mystery.

The room.

When we checked in, I was informed repeatedly, that it was one of their newly remodeled rooms, and we were one of the first people to stay in that room.

Question:  If I’m not the first person to stay in a room, why would I give a shit if I was someone who is staying in a room that has been occupied?  Isn’t that just staying at a hotel?

This newly remodeled room.

The closet was not set in the wall – it was an open frame that divided a “foyer” area from the bedroom.  That was fine (even though it was tiny – we were wearing casual, so not a lot to hang – but if you’re there for anything requiring clothing to be hung – you’re going to be kind of shit out of luck).

But because of this configuration, there was this huge, totally empty foyer when you first entered the room.

No furniture, no storage.  Nothing.  Just a big fucking empty (wasted) space.

Off of this immense foyer was a teeny-tiny bathroom.

Shower, only (although the shower stall was good sized).

Shower, with truly mediocre water pressure, and not-very-hot water.

Turning the temp of the water to the highest, you got quite warm (but not hot) water.

I will say the flat screen TV was fucking enormous.

But we had to have engineering up because we couldn’t get sound.

And the guy from engineering said they were having lots and lots of trouble with the system.  With no sound, no power, and conflicting instructions from the company on how to rectify the problems.  (We were just glad that we weren’t just stupid for not being able to get the sound to turn on – it was a known problem.)

There was a weird little half sofa against one wall; which I kind of liked, although it was a little low so not very easy to get up from.

BayCon comped the high-speed internet to all attendees.  The high-speed internet was not very high-speed.  Don’t even want to imagine what the “regular” speed internet was like.

The bed was comfy.

No screens in the windows.

The coffee maker was fussy.

But the real WTF was in this newly remodeled hot-shit room –

One side of the bed had two power outlets, and a USB port.

The other side had FUCKING NOTHING.

Not even a wall outlet that could be used.


The desk area, had a couple of USB ports, but the power outlets were all in the wall under the desk.


People use a lot of electronic devices these days.  And if you have two people staying in a room, there are twice as many electronic devices – at least.

Some fucking outlets would be nice.

And it would be even nicer if you placed the ones you do have where they are easy to access.

So Marriott, I’m guessing you’re putting a piss-pot of money into your big remodel.

Too bad the results are just a long litany of


marriott 3

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