I think it's a cool concept and will be well received in the U.S. I for one think the addition of wifi to all Marriott properties was not only smart but way overdue. Some of the items I really don't care about though...the "social areas", or "public spaces" Me personally, unless having an actual meal or drink at a bar, will be in my room. I want to relax, watch tv, and have piece and quiet. They mention Best Western, but I will never forget a Franchising professor I had back in college who said "I never stay at Best Western because you have no idea what you are going to get" I have used that advice over the years to look at reviews on several different sites to see what BW is all about. It looks to me that while yes there are some very nice properties out there, for the most part BW is not that great and made my choice to become a Marriott man that much easier.
ks, I saw this article in our local paper this morning (minus the little pop-up of the man-eating snake!!!!) and wondered if other Insiders would see it. Our paper carries a lot of USA Today articles which I enjoy. We have a couple of trips to New Orleans planned in the coming months and I might have to go visit this new hotel; although, I am not a millennial. Note that I said visit, not stay. We have our favorite places to stay, but this "old dog" is always willing to learn/try new things.
Thanks for sharing the article, ks77. As someone who is in the targeted "millennial" population I am intrigued by some of the things the AC brand is bringing to Marriott (e.g. smart TVs that can stream on-demand content, evening tastings will have beverages unique to the city, welcome amenity packets, mini-fridge in each room contains chilled glasses). However, there are features I am not excited about, which might make me an outlier among millenials (though I am not convinced of that); for example the "Rise and Dine and have a bag of food hanging on their door when they wake up" - I do not mind waiting for breakfast or sitting down to breakfast and do not think I would ever utilize Rise and Dine. Also, "bypass the front desk and check in and check out via their mobile devices, which will serve as keys" - I prefer to engage with a live person upon checking in and do not see that changing.
I also disagree with a piece of the comment by Marriott CEO, Arne Sorenson when he is quoted in the article saying, "More prominent design in the product, more food and beverage, a somewhat livelier scene, probably a bias toward being in the public space than the guest room, more integrated use of technology." I do not, nor will I ever have a bias toward the public space when staying at a hotel (and I am an extrovert!). The very little time I spend on the hotel property when traveling (with the exception of resorts) I would prefer to be in the room.
I wrote about the AC collection at the beginning of this year: Re: Any updates/thoughts on AC by Marriott brand coming to US?. You might find some of the links to articles in that tread interesting. I also remember seeing tryt53 mention that he has stayed at the New Orleans AC property. Any thoughts on the property as related to the US Today article,tryt53?
Overall, like I do with any Marriott brand, I will make lodging decisions based on location, and perceived value for price paid.
This AC concept does not interest me. At all. The bag of breakfast hanging over the door? Hmmm, that's how I feed the horses at the barn I help out at! Millenials are a herd now. No closet doors? This does not sound like a classy endeavor at all. Enthusiasts at the front desk? I'd rather have someone who knows customer service and common sense, not someone who has to follow a script in order to satisfy the customer. No thanks!
I feel very similar to jakeal on this one. The technology aspect sounds really cool but I'm not really fond on some of the other aspects of the hotel like the bagged breakfast and not having closet doors. I would probably give the AC brand a try some time if the location and price meets my needs.
Interesting stuff. I'm pretty much got a bit of all previous posters in my reaction;
sledchick - yeah, those attributes don't appeal to me either (plus I'm pretty confident I'd stand out like a sore thumb)
vaboy - yeah, the tech aspect sounds really cool - ha ha, funny ain't I ? but it would be interesting to observe
jakeal (and vaboy) - you nailed it - if price and location (and time, as in one night) meet - I'll give it a go and yes tryt53 when you share your New Orleans experience, toss in a nice photo of a dahlia - it's cold and gray back east
razorbackfan - exactly, I'll try most anything - once (at the right price point ). That's what fun about travel
Thanks ks for tossing it up on the board.
Good topic, ks77. I will certainly give one of these a go when the concept crosses the pond, though we may be having our own version in Moxy. I like the idea of the communal areas, I can't stay cooped up in my room when away and enjoy some time sat in the bar. I will certainly retry the checkin app, the only time I used the old checkin app my 2 rooms were allocated on seperate floors... Doh! But to be fair, the hotel swiftly dealt with that. Skipping the checkin line and using my mobile phone app as a room key is something I could certainly do, where the checkin line is very long, but otherwise I prefer the human interaction of personally checking in.
More and more of these are showing up for sure however; I will still be in my room or out of the hotel completely. I never have been one to travel to a lobby or to a public area to do things on a laptop. Sure, I enjoy a drink of 10 at the bar interacting with other travelers or the staff and then it's off to the room or out for dinner.
It is interesting on some of my travels to a certain location you'll always find the Millennial folks sitting around on their computers doing what ever it is they are doing for hours and hours. I ask the hotel if these people have rooms or loitering.
My high tech...ness is using Mobile Check-In/Out, having a room key card that opens the door rather than a clanging key on a plastic key chain with my room number displayed, other than that I won't be opting for the food bag around my door or having to bring my own closet doors. Or even better, having no drawer space at all as we found at the AC Bologna last August....not a fan.