Today's Wall Street Journal contain this article about hotels attempting to dazzle guests at check-in. Many Ritz customers are shown or spoken about. Perceptive front desk staff can do a lot of this and it costs very little. Oh, that it were so everywhere!
I was at work today and met a client who ran into Bill Marriott Sr. in Philadelphia in 1970. He was at a Marriott bar, began talking to the gentleman, who then got a drink for his wife and him. He said Bill Marriott was very cordial, friendly, and his wife asked for wine, and he gave it to her in a 20 oz glass! LOL!
I have been dazzled by the front desk at three Marriotts in all: Ghent Marriott (x2 trips), Athens Ledra (x3), and Rome Grand Flora (x5). That is not to say I was not treated nicely at some other Marriott hotels, but it's often where you least expect it (Venice Airport).
I think just like I would hope we all treat people nicely at airports and hotels, I think front desk staff (and gate agents) should have special training in the meaning of hospitality and how to treat customers, especially those who have shown their loyalty over the years. Since I've only stayed twice at Marriotts this year, both in the US for a change, I can say unequivocally that I was greeted very poorly at check-in at the Chicago Magnificent Mile, which set the tone for the stay, and well by the Renaissance 57 staff in NYC, but then didn't get any of my preferences for room type.
there should be a base level of treatment that everyone should get. that treatment should be pleasing by anyones standards. Any courtesies afforded elite members should be above and beyond. I think non-elites would have no problem with that, and elites would also be happy with the added attention. seems to me like a win-win.
As I travel in many small towns 5,000 to 10,000 in population in the midwest I occasionally have to stay in Super 8 --- that's often the only game in town. Most are not smoke free, so you get a non smoking room if it's available, no guarantees even if that's what you reserved. And many of these are owned by people who cook some of the worst smelling food and you smell it throughout the motel. It's not particularly pleasant, but when I'm in that location for 2 or 3 days, options are limited, so as I was always trained...improvise and adapt and overcome. Now you see why I am grateful for what Marriott offers, most of the time.
I posted a while back about a SF Day's Inn, which was more than adequate, extremely old but clean and well located. These types of hotels serve a clientele and apparently do it well. As an aside I was looking for hotels in the small town where I will be visiting my mom next week (no Marriott's) ans found that most have smoking and non-smoking rooms. In CA there are no smoking rooms in every place I have stayed but apparently Colorado does not feel the need yet.