Review: Dallas Fort Worth Airport Marriott, Texas, USA
We had a nine hour layover at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and stayed at the nearby Dallas Fort Worth Airport Marriott for our layover. We used the complimentary shuttle bus to travel to the newly renovated property. Airport hotels vary tremendously in quality and experience. How would our airport stay measure up in terms of a convenient Dallas Fort Worth airport hotel experience?
This post is one chapter on our trip during the pandemic to Curaçao in the Southern Caribbean. This trip was enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status and Hertz Gold Plus Rewards. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
Read more from this trip:
- Introduction: The Caribbean Coves of Curaçao via American Airlines First Class
- American Airlines Business Class: Vancouver – Dallas Fort Worth
- Dallas Fort Worth Airport Marriott, Texas, USA
- American Airlines Admirals Club Lounge – Dallas Fort Worth C Gates
- American Airlines First Class: Dallas Fort Worth – Miami
- American Express Centurion Lounge Miami
- American Airlines Admirals Club Lounge Airlines – Miami Gate D30
- American Airlines Business Class: Miami – Curaçao
- Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort, Curaçao
- Cas Abo Beach
- Grote Knip Beach
- Klein Curaçao Island
- Crossing the Queen Emma Bridge into Willemstad, Curaçao
- VIP Lounge Curaçao – Hato International Airport, Curaçao
- American Airlines Business Class: Curaçao – Miami
- JW Marriott Miami, Florida, USA
- Turkish Airlines Business Lounge, Miami, USA
- American Airlines First Class: Miami – Los Angeles
- American Airlines Business Class: Los Angeles – Vancouver
Review: Dallas Fort Worth Airport Marriott, Dallas Fort Worth, Texas, United States of America.
“An Airport Hotel Conveniently Located Next Door to DFW Airport, that was anything but convenient”
Booking the Dallas Forth Worth Airport Marriott:
During our stay, the “in airport” Grand Hyatt DFW was commanding prices of over $300 USD per night. As a result, we ended up looking off property for a place to stay near the airport.
I picked this particular property as it was the closest off – airport Marriott property near the Dallas Fort Worth Airport. It turns out that the airport properties aren’t all that close to the DFW terminal, and it’s a bit of a drive to get to the airport row hotels.
As with many Marriott airport hotels, it’s usually a good value on Marriott Bonvoy points. A standard night during our stay was valued at 28,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. If you value Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.005 cents per point, you would come out ahead if your room rate was above $140 USD.
Despite this, there was a double elite qualifying night Marriott Bonvoy promotion on during our stay. Accordingly, we opted for a paid cash rate. I searched around and the best one that I could find was the American Auto Mobile Association (AAA rate) for $151 USD for a base level Guest Room – One King.
As Marriott Bonvoy Titanium level members, we would also be entitled to the best available room, including select suites, access to the Marriott M Club Lounge, and a welcome amenity including breakfast, additional Marriott Bonvoy points or a local welcome gift.
Getting to the DFW Airport Marriott:
We arrived to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport off American Airlines Business Class Vancouver – Dallas Fort Worth. We would end up arriving in Terminal “A”.
Per the hotels instructions on the welcome email, we called the local number for the shuttle pick up. The hotel is located immediately off the main airport grounds in a bank of hotels in neighbouring Irving, Texas.
The phone number provided for the shuttle was for the general hotel line. While there was no direct shuttle pickup number, I dialled zero and got the main airport switchboard. The operator took my name and gave me directions to basement Lower Level Pink Columns for the hotel shuttle. I was quoted 15 – 20 minutes for arrival of the shuttle.
The shuttle arrived after 26 minutes. There was a little confusion as there were several Marriott’s in the area and the driver indicated he was taking people to 8440 Freeport. This meant nothing to travellers so it was smart phones out by everyone travelling to verify addresses; adding to delays.
Eventually underway on the shuttle bus, it was announced we would be heading to the 4 other terminals prior to heading off to the airport. Each terminal had a stop at each end of the terminal so it was 8 stops anticipated. Fortunately, after the 4th stop, the bus was totally full with about 20 passengers, and we headed over to the hotel.
There were a few travellers on the bus whom I had overheard had called the hotel switchboard and never got an answer.
The bus ride itself took about 15 minutes from the airport. It was about 48 minutes from the time of our call to the switchboard prior to us getting off at the hotel so it was not exactly a super quick experience.
If you’re planning on a quick transfer over to the hotel, in our experience it took almost an hour’s worth of time to get there; cutting into a short ten hour layover time. It certainly wasn’t something that I would call “easy and convenient”.
Checking into the Dallas Fort Worth Airport Marriott Hotel:
Getting off the shuttle bus, we arrived to the Dallas Fort Worth Airport Marriott hotel.
The first impressions of the lobby were great. The lobby was recently resigned to be a more modern and contemporary space. The Dallas Fort Worth Airport Marriott very much had the feel of a newer property consistent with it’s top to bottom renovation.
We queued for check in. There was no elite area for check ins. We ended up in a line of 4 passengers from the same shuttle bus with only 2 staff manning the desk.
The check in was handled professionally and promptly. We were thanked for being a Marriott Titanium Member and assigned room 1824. We were also offered two bottles of water to take with us to the room, which I easily accepted and appreciated. I also checked to re-confirm the shuttle schedule back to the Dallas Fort Worth airport and was provided a thirty minute departure frequency from the hotel to the airport.
In advance of check in, I happened to look up in the Marriott App and saw that we had been proactively upgraded to a suite courtesy of Marriott Bonvoy Titanium status. I didn’t discuss it at the front desk, but things seemed to be in order when we had a high floor room assignment.
When we got to the room #1824, I discovered that it was actually a basic level room.
I checked back in the App which showed still suite so I went back down to the front desk. The front desk immediately re-assigned us to #334 a suite, with some kind apologies.
The First Room:
Guest Room – One King
The standard level base room of #1824 was pretty compact. There wasn’t anything wrong with the room but it was just another hotel room.
Along with other areas of the renovation, the room was nicely appointed with modern grey colours. Like most basic rooms, it was on the compact size and a little small for two travelling together.
There was a long countertop desk, which was perfect for storing of bags, purses and smart devices.
The bathroom was also completely renovated, and featured a single vanity sink along with the usual stand up shower found in most business hotels.
The toiletries were by the usual “this works” by Marriott.
The Second Room:
One Bedroom Suite, King Sofa Bed
After I returned to the front desk and showed them the Suite notation in the app, my keys were swapped out. We were later provided a small food and beverage credit as a good will gesture.
Our room assignment was now on the third floor to room #334.
Our impressions on entering the suite were of a great large space that was appointed with everything that you’d expect from a suite in an older hotel. There was lots of room and space to stretch out.
The suite was much more comfortable than the basic level room, with a proper living area, a separate bedroom and a dining table in the space surrounding the windows.
It’s always nice to have the option of dining in suite with a dining room table, as it’s great to be able to take a meal while being able to spread out and work.
There was a coffee maker and teas available with the room. This was located in the dining area.
In between the space of the outer windows and the hallway was the bedroom. The bedroom was medium sized and featured it’s own television and side table spaces.
Just off the bedroom, there was a passageway to a double vanity bathroom. The bathroom was galley styled and a little compact to maneuver in with two travellers.
Off the galley bathroom was a combination shower and toilet combination that was all one room.
The floor layout of the hotel was pretty straight forward, with what appeared to be one suite available per floor.
We had some challenges getting connected to the wifi in the room, although it worked after I restarted the phone.
In terms of sleep quality, the hotel room was very quiet, and we didn’t get interrupted by airport noise or any other noise during our stay here.
Around the Hotel Property:
The M Club Lounge:
Along with most Marriott Hotels, the property offered an M Club Lounge. The M Club Lounge is available for those that have purchased Executive Club Level rooms of have Marriott Bonvoy Platinum status or higher which allow for complimentary access.
The M Club Lounge was located on the ground floor of the hotel and was situated slightly off the lobby area. The timings were listed on the door outside.
During our visit, the timing were as follows:
- Breakfast: 6:30 AM – 10 AM
- Hors’ D’Oeuvres / Dinner: 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
- Snacks 11:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Along with the other areas of the hotel, the lounge was a nicely appointed space in modern colors. The lounge was mostly deserted when I passed through, although admittedly, I was travelling at odd hours.
There was seating for about forty people comfortably, included a few areas in the back that would also seat additional people.
In terms of food presentation, my stay didn’t align with any of the meal timings. The usual bottled beverages were available and it was appreciated to be able to get some additional bottled water at odd hours.
The M Club was nicely appointed, although there wasn’t a lot of food out during our visit. My stay didn’t align with any of the meal timings. There were the usual tinned sodas, bottled water and some Tropicana Fruit Juices. It was appreciated to be able to get some additional bottled water at odd hours.
Convenience Sundries Store:
The Dallas Fort Wort Airpot Marriott hotel offered a Convenience Sundries Store. The store was well stocked with sandwiches and even had single portion alcohol available for purchase. It was one of the better stocks sundries stores I had seen in a hotel in quite some time.
This was terrifically convenient and we took dinner from the sundries as opposed to ordering and waiting for room service delivery.
We ended up picking up a Turkey Swiss Sandwich each for $13 USD. When we took them to the front desk, the host that originally checked us in apologized for the room mix up and comped us the sandwiches. This was a much appreciated gesture. He also took the time to apologize about the suite mix up and was very apologetic about the whole thing.
Health Club and Pool:
There was a small health club and pool available on the property of the Dallas Fort Worth Airport Marriott. There was no appointment needed for the pandemic and access was available through a key card. The pool area looked a little dated in comparison to the rest of the modern looking hotel.
The pool was of the indoor / outdoor variety and had a wet pass through that you could swim out to. There was also a courtyard area that was surrounded by buildings. This likely lessened the wind, but didn’t allow for much sunshine into this particular zone.
The Health Club area also featured a large sized gym, which was on the bigger size than I was expected for an airport hotel property.
Departing the Dallas Fort Worth Airport Marriott:
We aimed to leave the next morning on the shuttle. We allowed ourselves 1 hour to get back to the DFW airport. At check in, we were advised of the bus leaving at :00 and :30 past every hour during our visit. We had a 6:15 AM departing flight on American Airlines, so unfortunately, we had an early morning wake up.
At about 2:20 AM, we arrived to the lobby to complete checkout procedures. When I asked about getting the shuttle, the sole person at the front desk indicated that the driver had called in sick, and that there was no shuttle available until 4 AM. There was no alternative or voucher provided in lieu of the shuttle.
I asked about taxis’ and he quoted me $40 USD for a ride back to the airport. For a hotel that advertises a twenty four hour shuttle service, this was a bit of a service let down. I can appreciate that the hotel can’t anticipate when staff are going to be sick, but it’s always helpful and hospitable to provide an alternative.
We ended up calling for an Uber Black which took 15 minutes to arrive. It was another fifteen minutes and $30.71 USD + tip back to the airport. This negated a lot of the cost savings of staying off site at the DFW Marriott.
The next day after my stay, I received a mass email from the General Manager of the Dallas Forth Worth Marriott. The message was carbon copied “African style” to three employees all with @marriott.com email addresses.
The message was standard variety describing how important our stay was as Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Level members and that if our stay was less than perfect, please let us know. We were also encouraged to follow their social media channels and that we might get a survey in the coming days ahead.
I took the opportunity to “reply all” to let them know that the lack of a shuttle despite it being guaranteed had us stuck at the hotel and had put us out an additional $30 USD. I sent it off but I never got a reply back from the General Manager, or 3 of his associates.
I didn’t pursue it any further, although it was probably a lost opportunity for the hotel to resolve the circumstance with some goodwill Marriott Bonvoy points. I recognize that there are greater problems in the world than bus driver’s that call in sick. However, if a hotel offers a certain feature that’s integral to the operation of a stay such as an airport shuttle, in my view, it should provide that with some certainty.
The Bottom Line: Dallas Fort Worth Airport Marriott
This was a pretty simple and straightforward stay; an airport layover of nine hours with a simple shuttle ride as an Elite frequent traveler in the hotel’s loyalty program.
Despite this, the hotel mixed up the room assignment by either never processing the upgrade or assigning the wrong room. They offered a sincere apology and provided us some goodwill sandwiches, but then let us down again when no shuttle was available. When I brought it to their attention, no one bothered to answer. Admittedly, these are first world problems.
Would I stay here again? I probably would, but only if my layover was at least 12 hours. I probably wouldn’t bother with the bus if I had to do another 9 hour layover as the transfer over gobbled up a lot of extra time.
While you don’t expect a stay to be perfect, it seemed that there were a lot of minor service issues that included the room assignment mix up and the non existent shuttle. Whether you have the time and patience in your travelling schedule to deal with these types of issues will probably dictate whether you should stay at such a property.