If you want a facility built by the 9th grade shop class and run by the 8th grade home economics class, this is your place. It purports to be "luxurious," and the builders did use some higher end products, like marble countertops, deep jetted tubs, and glass tiles in the bathrooms, but with scuffed finishes, peeling paint, sloppily applied grout, brand new furniture coming apart (literally), and the like, the superficial image of luxury becomes a joke -- and not a funny one. The place looks good IN PHOTOS, for sure.
The "Gold Floor" (third floor) is straight out of the seventies. The bright, BRIGHT sun-yellow paint on the walls nearly blinds you, and the bold geometric patterned carpet is a throwback to a previous generation. Thought the carpet was ugly, if it had been clean, I would not complain. I have never been in a hotel with so many STAINS, CRUMBS, LINT BALLS, AND BITS OF TRASH adorning the carpets as in this BRAND NEW hotel! We stayed for two nights and the same bits of stuff lay on the carpets the whole time, including just outside the rooms the maids were working in.
It was not only the hall carpeting that convinced me that the owners must have neglected to purchase vacuum cleaners for the hotel, or neglected to train the maids in their use. As soon as we walked into our room, I went to the window to open the shade and turn on the air conditioner (which, surprisingly, had not already been turned on, as in virtually all hotels where we have stayed). In leaning down to switch on the AC, I noticed a large chunk of CHOCOLATE NUT BROWNIE (yum!) and other detritus lying on the carpet in the corner. Apparently the large armchair up against the air conditioner unit had never been pushed out of the way so as to vacuum the corner of the carpet. Hence the gobs of food and dirt. Believe me, the last thing one wants in a Jacksonville, Florida, hotel room is a corner snack bar for the creepy crawlies. With this level of housekeeping, it will not be long before the roaches will feel right at home.
Just after cleaning up the brownie from the carpet, I nearly jumped out of my skin because of a LOUD CRASH at the other end of the room. I thought my husband had dropped something heavy on the bathroom floor. But no, he had opened the closet door, and the IRONING BOARD which had been propped up on the designated hooks had crashed onto the tile floor. It turned out, the ironing board was a sort of booby trap: the hooks on which it was supposed to hang inside the closet had been installed too low and in the wrong position, so the board was actually KNOCKED DOWN by the closet door as my husband opened it. There was no way to get the ironing board to hang on those hooks, so I just leaned it up against the wall of the room, next to the TV.
Before retiring, I looked for a surface on which to rest my eyeglasses, but because I was on the wrong side of the bed from the night stand, I just reached up and lay my glasses on the flat surface at the top of the headboard. Imagine my surprise when the four feet of flat trim separated from the headboard and began to slide off. This was a brand new bed! Later, I noticed another piece of board resting ON THE WIRES BEHIND THE TV -- it turned out to be a three foot long piece of trim which someone stashed out of sight after it fell off (or possibly was never installed at all on) the FRONT of the CREDENZA. The same ninth grader must have assembled that new credenza as well as the headboard!
Marble Waters does not have rooms with two queen beds -- we struggled to sleep in the doubles. But we KNEW we were getting doubles. What we did NOT anticipate was the noise and inefficiency of the air conditioner -- the room always seemed warm and humid, though we cranked the AC up pretty high. We also noticed that in the bed closest to the window, we could not sleep because of the AC noise, and in the bed further away, the AC, though not as loud, just didn't seem to reach to cool the air. I had expected a new hotel to have efficient, quiet AC units, but this was not the case.
BTW, my husband also pointed out that there was no artwork at all on the walls of the room -- the burnt orange and pumpkin painted walls were completely bare.
Though free breakfast was not advertised or even mentioned on the hotel website, we were pleased to find out at check-in that we would get a continental breakfast with our room. Pleased, that is,UNTIL we went to partake. The breakfast consisted of a platter of Sara Lee-style mini cinnamon rolls, a platter of tiny croissants, a platter of sliced melons and strawberries, and a selection of mostly kiddie cold cereals (Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes, Apple Jacks, that sort of thing.)
But there was coffee! WELL, MAYBE NOT! There were china mugs set upside-down on the buffet table, so I picked one up. As I was about to fill it from the carafe of coffee, my husband pointed out that there was lipstick on the rim of the mug. Oops! Slight dishwater failure -- it happens. So I took another cup. This time I examined it myself -- oops, coffee dribbles down the inside. Hmmm -- another dishwater failure! I picked up two more mugs -- neither was clean. I was beginning to despair, but took a final chance . The last mug had a HUGE HUNK OF WHAT LOOKED LIKE RED VELVET CAKE (maybe it was expanded cold cereal?) stuck on the inside of the mug. I was dumbstruck. I found an employee who had been puttering around and showed her the FIVE dirty mugs I had found -- she apologized and said she would mention it to the dishwasher. By this time, I was pretty convinced that the hotel had NOT HIRED A DISHWASHER.
Well, at that point I opted for a foam coffee cup (I hate foam coffee cups...) and poured myself some coffee. One sip, and I was done. I make my TEA stronger than that coffee. It was, literally, undrinkable. I actually think what came out of that coffee carafe might have been the water in which the "dishwasher" had "washed" the dishes! Nasty.
Unlike every modern hotel, the Marble Waters did not have express check out, so we had to check out at the front desk before we (gladly!) left.
We had previously stayed at the Holiday Inn Express West while visiting our family in Jacksonville. The Marble Waters Hotels was closer, newer, and looked more luxurious (in pictures) than the Holiday Inn Express, so I was very hopeful about it. It is not the VERY WORST hotel I have ever stayed in, but it is pretty close!