Braille Monitor                                                           April 2007

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The Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel

by Barbara Pierce


The spectacular fifty-story atrium of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel, headquarters for the 2007 convention of the National Federation of the BlindFrom the Editor: In 2004 we published an article describing the layout of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. The hotel is in the midst of making some alterations, though a number will not take place until after our convention. By and large the layout is the same as it has been. So, with appropriate adjustments, we reprint the May 2004 article for your use again this year to prepare for our national convention:

I don't know about you, but I always find it helpful to know something about a convention hotel before walking into it for the first time. Several people who have already visited this year's convention headquarters hotel have pooled their information to give you a preview of the beautiful Atlanta Marriott Marquis, and I have tried to present the material in a way you will find useful. I am grateful to them for their help, but the fact that we will be in the hotel during the transition may lead to some inaccuracies in this report. Please note that the old Garden Level is now the Atrium Level, and the Convention Level is now the Marquis Level.

The main entrance of the Marriott faces Peachtree Center Avenue, which is west of the hotel. To reach the Marriott from the street, you walk east through a covered courtyard formed by the Marquis One Office Tower on the south and the Marquis Two Office Tower on the north. Continue east through the courtyard to reach the main entrance doors.

The hotel lobby is long and narrow along its east-west axis. The bell stand and hotel registration desk are on the north side of the lobby at the west end, and the concierge desk is south of the main entrance doors on the west end. Escalators run from the west end of the hotel up to the Atrium Level, and down to the Marquis Level. On the south side of the Lobby Level at the west end is a new Starbucks and a new gift shop/deli called the M-Store, which sells salads, wrapped deli sandwiches, and the like. Alas the Atrium Express restaurant is no more, though the seating area and a bar are in the area, so the food sold in the M-Store will now be your best bet in the hotel for a meal on the run. Near the southwest corner of the lobby is the entrance to a complex of meeting rooms numbered L501 through L508.

The health center with exercise equipment and a spa is still located to the east of this area. It is free to hotel guests and open from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. The entrance to the pool is on the Lobby Level on the south side and toward the west end. At the east end of the building on the south side of the lobby are more meeting rooms numbered L401 through L406. Along the north wall of the lobby are hotel offices. New escalators connecting the Atrium, Lobby, and International Levels run along the east side of the hotel. Two elevators connecting the Lobby Level with the Marquis and International Levels and the parking garage are located at the east end. Stairs and escalators leading down to the Marquis Level and up to the Atrium Level can be found at the west end of the lobby (south of the hotel registration desk).

The elaborate set of glass elevators in the spectacular fifty-story atrium, pictured in the accompanying photograph, occupies the center of the lobby and can be reached on every floor by crossing any of up to four balustraded bridges. A word should be said about the elevators. All fifteen are located in the center of the atrium and stop at the Marquis, Lobby, Atrium, and Skyline Levels, but it is important to board the one traveling to the guest-room floor you are hoping to reach. They divide like this: floors 1 to 17, 18 to 30, 31 to 41, and 42 to 47. If you should find yourself heading to the wrong part of the hotel, press the button for the Skyline Level, which is the tenth floor, where all the elevators stop and where you can easily change from one bank of elevators to another.

The Atrium Level is immediately above the lobby. Two restaurants are located on this floor. The west portion of the Atrium Level is connected to the larger east side by walkways on both sides of the escalators and stairs that lead down to the outside of the main entrance. The courtyard in front of the hotel is beneath this west end. Access to the two office towers is from the south and north sides of this central space. The retail shops that used to be here are no longer in the center of this west end, but a group of four meeting rooms still occupies the far west end and northwest corner of the space. These rooms are numbered A701 through A708.

The entrance to the Peachtree Center Mall is on the south side of the west section. Access to the food court, a number of shops, and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) system is from this point on the Atrium Level.

On the north side of the Atrium Level is Champions. Choose from a wide assortment of appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, and salads. Champions is open for lunch, dinner, and late-night entertainment. It also offers wine, cocktails, and beers from sixteen countries. Entertainment includes twenty-six televisions with satellite technology, two big screens, basketball, football, and eighteen-hole putting games, pool tables, and more. Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. If you seem to remember that Champions was in a different location, you are right. The Marquis Steak House is no more. Champions now occupies its space.

Almost in the northeast corner of the Atrium Level is Allie's American Grille: traditional American cuisine, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It has an expanded menu because of the closing of the Marquis Steak House. It features a hearty breakfast buffet every morning. The hours are breakfast: 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.; a lunch buffet: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; dinner 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
In the southeast corner of the Atrium Level is the indoor/outdoor swimming pool, but please note that access to it is from the Lobby Level.
The Marquis Level is one floor below the lobby. The west end houses a cluster of meeting rooms numbered M301 through M304. The Kinko’s and Fed-Ex offices are also in this area. The Marquis Ballroom occupies the north wall of the Marquis Level across most of its west-to-east length. The smaller Imperial Ballroom, which divides into Ballrooms A and B, occupies the south wall, across from Marquis Ballroom 2. The southeast area of the Marquis Level contains a number of meeting rooms numbered M101 through M109. An escalator connecting the Atrium, Lobby, Marquis, and International Levels is at this east end of the hotel along with the two elevators that connect the Marquis and International Levels to the parking areas.

The International Level is immediately below the Marquis Level, on the hotel's east and south sides. The Courtland Street entrance is also in the International Level lobby.

To make your room reservation, call the Marriott at (888) 218-5399. The 2007 room rates are singles, doubles, and twins $61 and triples and quads $66 a night, plus a 15 percent sales tax. The hotel is accepting reservations now. A $60-per-room deposit is required to make a reservation. Fifty percent of the deposit will be refunded if notice is given to the hotel of a reservation cancellation before June 1.
The 2007 convention will be like no other we have ever conducted. You won't want to miss the event, and it won't be the same without you. So make your travel arrangements and room reservation, go to <nfb.org> and save $10 by preregistering for the convention and purchasing your banquet ticket before May 31, then join us June 30 through July 6 for the most exciting and informative gathering of the blind to take place in 2007. See you in Atlanta.

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