The Marriott brand is known worldwide for their luxury hotels and five star service. I experienced this first hand at the Marriott Hotel in Baku, Azerbaijan, the Absheron, where I was invited to try the spa and Fireworks restaurant. The Marriott fits into the impressive Baku skyline, it is a huge building with an imposing façade. Centrally located, I imagine this hotel is a popular choice for business visitors to Baku, yet when I visited I noticed crowds of young locals enjoying the outdoor eateries.
The spa is up on one of the highest floors, with incredible views of the city and a calm, quiet atmosphere. The therapists were very smiley and happy to be attending to our every need. Face down on the massage bed, I could have been anywhere in the world and for a moment I definitely forgot I was in Azerbaijan’s booming capital city. As I’d expect from a Marriott establishment, the massage was wonderful, personalised and attentive, relaxing and soothing. The treatment concluded with a glass of refreshing iced tea to hydrate and wake us up. We sat for a while in the relaxation room, in the comfiest chairs overlooking the entire city and the amazing Caspian coastline. After an invigorating shower, we travelled back down to one of the Marriott restaurants.
There are four dining options, we were in the oriental terrace restaurant, Fireworks. On Fridays this restaurant holds a beer and kebab buffet, a casual, fun night equally popular with tourists and locals. I cannot fault the service which was amongst the best I experienced in Baku… very friendly and accommodating, English-speaking waiters made our dinner very enjoyable. Luckily, the head chef was on hand to choose our meal for us as I was completely bewildered by the choice and variety on the menu.
After glasses of chilled Prosecco, a selection of Middle-Eastern meze was delivered to us: mangal (aubergine) salad, hummus, halloumi salad, and warm flat bread. The flavours were vibrant and the dishes were extra moreish, I couldn’t resist nibbling away for ages. A mixed grill arrived soon after for main course: an array of juicy fragrant meats dressed with spices and presented with grilled vegetables. Fresh watermelon was a palate-cleansing, healthy end to the meal.
Wandering away from the epic Absheron building, lit up gloriously, I knew I would remember my evening here fondly for years to come. It is a giant in the Baku empire that offers everything a guest could ever want.
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Thoroughly Modern Milly travelled with British Airways, London to Baku.