We visited the Crabtree Valley Marriott, across from Crabtree mall on Glenwood, for Thanksgiving dinner. We've tried several of their holiday meals (Easter, Christmas, Mother's Day) and have only been impressed by the Thanksgiving meal. For our family the others just aren't worth the money.
A few weeks prior to Thanksgiving, I looked at the website and was surprised to find no mention of the Thanksgiving meal. For years, I've thought they'd start advertising their holiday meals on their website but still no progress on this front despite their promises to the contrary. So I called the hotel and asked what the menu would include this year. Not surprisingly, at that late date, we still had our pick of meal times...most holiday meal venues are booked months in advance. I was amazed to learn their menu still was not finalized, but decided to book anyway. The manager, Jose, promised to provide chicken tenders for my younger child, who is a picky eater.
They called a week prior to Thanksgiving to confirm our reservation and were able to provide the menu then, when I asked.
We arrived to find a few tacky Thanksgiving balloons at the welcome stand--they looked like ones I'd see at Harris Teeter. Contrasted with the 8 foot tall rabbit balloon sculpture at Easter, these 3 little balloons just looked sad. The tables had nice linens but only dinky little fake pumpkins with a flower or two and no nice covers on the chairs. Usually we arrive to live harp music, covered chairs, nice linens, amazing arrangements with roses and other nice fall flowers...it just feels elegant. Not this year.
Our table that the attendant indicated was reserved for us was occupied by another family who had just been seated. Rather than moving them, we had to wait a while so that they could figure out what to do. Finally they seated us at a 6 top table. Not as intimate and easy to carry a conversation with a family of four, but it was fine.
The food was delicious, especially the turkey, which is truly the key to Thanksgiving. There were not as many choices this year--no green beans and not many vegetables, but what was there was good. The desserts continue to be bought from outside and are not exciting at all. But that may be a gift in keeping your calorie count low.
The manager did come to our table to make sure our chicken tenders order was filled and the server was nice, although it took her 4 tries to get our drink order correct (milk, water, tea, and sprite--not especially challenging, but she just couldn't remember it in repeating it back to us or in bringing it). And she didn't stop back by to see if we wanted refills for a good 20-25 minutes. Disappointing in a self-serve buffet where her only job was drinks and removing plates.
The good news is that the Crabtree Marriott has undergone a much needed renovation. The facelift has definitely improved the look of the lobby, halls, ballrooms, elevators and pool area. So nice!
TIPS for the management: Advertise your holiday meals. Your own website would cost you nothing but time. Try advertising on Open Table and the local paper. If you had a larger crowd, you could improve your list of offerings and ambiance so that it feels special and still increase profit. Offer a kids' buffet of chicken tenders and other kid friendly options for dinner and dessert. Decide your menu in advance. Obtain guests' email addresses and advertise to them for each holiday meal. We love to be reminded to make reservations so we don't have to think about it. Offer a returning guest discount. Build your base of customers who return year after year. Find local musicians to play for the meal, who are willing to work for great food for their families and a decent stipend.
The meal was good, everyone ate, no one was stuffed but everyone was satisfied. But the meal cost as much as a Grove Park Inn Thanksgiving meal where every bite is fabulous (including kid options and desserts) and there are more choice than you can imagine, ice sculptures, fabulous ambience, and amazing service. But it was a much shorter drive!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Embark on an exciting getaway at the newly renovated Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley hotel. Our contemporary hotel has been entirely reborn, including sleek new guest rooms, enticing public spaces, 21,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and a well-equipped fitness center. Maximize relaxation in our modern guest rooms, which feature amenities such as smart TV’s with Netflix and upgradeable Wi-Fi. Following a rejuvenating night on our luxurious bedding, wake up and indulge at our brand new BRAISE Contemporary Southern restaurant. BRAISE serves an unforgettable breakfast buffet, southern fusion lunch and dinner, as well as specialty cocktails in the lounge. Weddings shine in our ballrooms and our catering is nothing short of delectable. Our hotel puts you within easy reach of desirable shopping at Crabtree Valley Mall, downtown restaurants, PNC Arena and North Carolina State University. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Marriott, Priceline, getaroom.com, TripOnline SA and Cancelon so you can book your Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley Hotel Raleigh
- Marriott Raleigh