I always considered Marriott to be a business services hotel. That said, I booked at the Marriott at Metro Center in Washington DC. [While JW Marriott would have been my top choice, it was fully booked.]
To my suprise, my four day stay at Marriott Metro Center turned out to be less than satisfactory. I access the Internet to conduct multiple lines of business, and I cannot state enough how important it is to have 24/7 reliability.
For the whole of my 4 nights stay, I had nothing but access issues, down time, and less than stellar service. The most frustrating issue was not having room access for for 5 hours straight. I complained as was asked to use the lobby wireless. Even this was offline or tettering on and off at best.
I again complained and was sent to their business center where I used their access courtesy card. Suprisingly they had access, however, their browser was not updated, and thus I wasn't able to utilize very needed functionality for e-commerce on my business site.
This was over a 3 day period. I finally decided that it wasn't worth the trouble and frustration to say the least. So I had to literally bring my laptop under my arm and hunt for a free hotspot. Argh!!
Ultimately, I was able to get my work done on someone else's turf. But the bottom line is, I shouldn't have to do this if the Marriott had done a better job to identify the most reliable service contractor, and ensure that they have redundunt back-ups with another provider who can take them on when their primary provider is off-line.
I spend close to 3 months a year in Marriott Hotels, and now I am reconsidering making a bold move to another hotel chain who takes their customer's business seriously. I need a real hotel that caters to their customers!
I agree and have had the same problems over the years. Marriott's service in this area is disappointing, and costly too.
I think Marriott should investigate a truly high speed, truly reliable Internet provider, perhaps carried on fiber optic cables to their hotels, and one that is secure as well.
At a room rate of 200 dollars it seems unfair to fork over between ten and 17 dollars more per day for Internet access.
Here is the main problem with all of hotels and internet access. When such a thing became the mainstain of business travelers, the existing hotels were laid out with Cat 5 for phone ONLY. And back then, management didn't see the need (lack of vision) for another run of Cat 5 cable per room.
So hotels hurried to address the so called "internet rush" and everyone wanted to be a part of it, for various reasons. Because demand outwieghed supply, hotels were behind the eight ball and hurried with "wireless" solutions (btw, wireless isn't the way to go because it isn't secure).
Now in 2009, we have this lingering problem that imo should of been addressed years ago. Management should of, when remodeling hotels, run more cat 5 or cat 6 cable on each floor homerun to a swtich. Each swtich per floor with a fiber run from floor to floor then out to the circuit.
It was all in the design yet, managment failed to engage IT in their build out's. If a committment back then would of been to build it "correctly" then issues like this would of been non existent.
Managment (and this is a worldwide issue for ALL hotel companies) failed to see the vision and lower costs back in the day, even when IT said do it right and do it now, as it will be much cheaper....NOW the cost is eating away at revenues....not a situation to be in.
My expectation of Marriott is the flawless delivery of WiFi/Broadband at every property in every room on a complimentary basis to all Marriott Rewards members. The service should require a Marriott Rewards account+password to login. Guests w/o MR can apply online or pay. Complimentary or paid, Marriott ensures that guests can access the information and data that is mission critical.
This is a win-win scenario. Marriott Rewards members perceive value and increase loyalty to the brand. Marriott gets to grow Rewards membership and increase positive feedback from satisfied guests.
I totally agree with your statement. I have also experienced "less than stellar" performances on the Marriott (chain) Internet, both through cable and wireless. The main response from the front desk is to call the toll free number, talk to a person in India for an hour and a half and then suffer through the slow download and streaming times. I sometimes start to download something and then read the newspaper waiting for it to finish.
I use the hotel internet a lot to conduct business and it makes the stay somewhat frustrating.
There's wisdom in the adage, "If it's not broke, don't fix it." Does this apply to Marriott's service delivery of broadband/internet access? It's a rhetorical question, but based upon the discussion in this thread and earlier on Insiders, something is broke and bandaids won't fix it.
Marriott's efforts to rethink the features and standards that go into its thriving brand portfolio deserves credit. In the past year, a new TV commercial about Go Courtyard started airing a few months ago highlighting concepts being fused into the new generation of Courtyards. I'm staying at one of about 175 new TownePlace Suites, opened over the past year and experiencing some new enhancements and features first hand.
Given the ubiquity, reliance and importance of broadband to business travel, Marriott's approach to providing guests with broadband/internet service may need rethinking from the ground up. For example. After checking-in, unpacking and having some refreshment, getting plugged in is next on the to do list. About 90%+ of the time, my hotel check-in experience gets a 9 or 10 rating. No matter what the brand, Marriott has the Front Desk experience mastered to a science. Why not apply that discipline to the service delivery process of providing broadband and Internet access? It would be great to arrive at the hotel, check-in and when I open my browser, the first thing that comes up is a Welcome portal where I can log in with my Marriott Rewards ID.
I'd appreciate a welcome to the property, with an update on local weather conditions, a context-sensitive map, services that the hotel offers, dining options in the area, sightseeing, transportation. Since the hotel portal knows who I am and my Marriott Rewards ID, services targeting my Elite status might be there too. For example, Gold and Platinum might be shown Concierge Lounge hours at a full service hotel. Perhaps there might be an option to confirm newspaper preference.
At the property where I am right now, the Express Check-out just arrived. In addition to standard check-out information, it says, "Latest News From Marriott Rewards Enjoy a sneak peek at Marriott Rewards announcements, early access to exciting specials and expert tips from fellow members and concierges all in the new lobby of your online community - the Insiders. Join the conversation today at www.MarriottRewardsInsiders.com"
Ironically, the Front Desk and the vendor, FusionConnex will confirm my difficulty logging onto Marriott.com and MarriottRewardsInsiders.com After spending a frustrating 20 minutes trying to get the vendors help without success, it turned out to be the vendors lack of compatibility with the Firefox browser. What about business travelers who rely upon a MAC-based browser? Marriott.com functionality is browser independent, why should the Marriott portal for booking reservations, and Marriott Rewards account information be browser dependent at a Marriott property? There's something broke.
Make it easy to connect, 'smart', visually inviting and service oriented. Marriott, you do have great standards for refurbishing the physical aspects of the lobby, hallways, guest rooms and grounds. For example, the new LG flat panel TV's are outstanding. Why not apply refurbishment concepts and discipline to service delivery as well? It's time to refurb internet service.