I’m happy to report that the mystery of the unheated Marriott has been solved.
We had time to kill while waiting for our 11:45 pm train to Beijing, so we walked across the street to Starbucks. Sitting at the next table was Roman (ro-mahn’), our concierge from the Marriott, who had just gotten off duty.
We talked to him about lots of different subjects (he’s a huge fan of Jimmy Kimmel and George Carlin) and I finally asked why the Marriott has air conditioning, but no heating.
“Because in Moscow you have a choice of using the city heating system or installing no heating at all,” he said. “Those are your only choices. If you use the city heating system, they control the temperature. They decide when it should be turned on and when it should be turned off. They won’t turn it on until the outside temperature stays consistently at -10 degrees Celsius or below. Then they set it at the same temperature for everyone in the city and it can’t be adjusted by individuals.”
This was mind-boggling to us.
“What if a guest is cold and wants to heat their room,” I asked.
“Marriott decided it was better to provide guests with portable heaters upon request,” he said, “instead of depending on bureaucrats to decide what the proper temperature should be.”
Far be it from me to swerve into politics on this travel blog, but can you say ObamaCare?