I recently spent a few days in the Queen City. First impressions: people like to talk to you. I doubled as a therapist for my Uber driver from the airport into the city. The barista from Coco and the Director and I are on a first name basis. Two entrepreneurs who started a skincare line are now my friends. And this all happened within 48 hours. I tell ya. If you’re in need of a friend, go to Charlotte.
Second impression: it’s tech savvy. After checking into Marriott’s live beta property, I began to notice the details: a very nontraditional lobby filled with iPads, charging stations everywhere, and beta buttons that mirror Instagram “likes”… just to name a few.
Ever heard of a hotel that doubles as a test lab? Probably not until today. M Beta Marriott in Charlotte is the first of its kind where practices and ideas are tested, allowing for guest feedback to occur in real-time. Knowing what works and what doesn’t is key for refining the future of travel.
Take a look at the button board that shows how many guests “like” a concept. A beta button lives at every area in the hotel and as guests pass through, they can tap the button just like they would an Instagram photo. Ahh, gotta love living in the digital age.
Why I love It
1) It screams local
M Beta Marriott puts a huge emphasis on staying true to Charlotte’s roots. The property sells craft beers in the bar from locals brewers alongside coffee from Carolina’s Forte Legato and local handicrafts in the gifting area. All three put a dent in my bank account.
2) Community and Collaboration
Who doesn’t love some collabs these days? I’ve never seen a property cater to it as well as M Beta with their collaborative spaces and various ways that bring the outside community inside. Coffee shop Coco and the Director is named after this exact concept – Coco standing for COmmunity and COllaboration, with the Director being yourself. This cafe is a coffee shop-meets-boutique-meets-work space. I could literally spend all day in here jacked up on caffeine while diligently scribbling nonsense on the whiteboard below.
3) A Point of Difference
From equipping the hotel with a wellness floor (complete with shower heads that spurt vitamin C!) to incorporating movie night with stadium seating and Wine + Color Wednesdays (just go, you’ll thank yourself later), this hotel isn’t afraid to be unique. They’ve even changed the arrival process by switching out reception desks with pods and equipping their mobile app with a mobile key, allowing guests to skip the pods entirely. When it comes to room service, they’ve said goodbye to the big table cart obstructions and replaced them with Fresh Bites bags. Think hand-picked ingredients that are hand-delivered to your door with incredibly easy clean-up.
This area could also be filed under ‘Point of Difference’ but felt it was necessary to have a section all to itself. I love a good hotel gym. I don’t ask for much – a treadmill, some free weights, a mat, and hopefully more energy and less jet lag. Believe me, M Beta Marriott had all of that and wayyy more. The fitness on-demand workout room housed bikes and floor space alongside hundreds of workouts to choose from. You can tailor classes to your abilities/needs/time constraints/level of fitness/etc. I’m also filing this section under ‘Home Interior Goals.’
5) One Pound Donuts
Now that we’ve discussed the gym, I feel that there’s no time like the present to discuss one pound donuts. A great segue, right? It’s important to get some cheat days in your life, and the food at M Beta does a body good. From Stoke Restaurant’s farm-to-table southern-style concept to the exclusive M Lounge treats, I was in a food coma during most of my visit. Nothing that a few visits to the on-demand studio can’t fix.
Until next time, Charlotte!
This post was made in partnership with Marriott, however, my opinions remain my own.