I had a funny experience the other day – one that reminded me why I only stay at a Marriott hotel when I can help it. I've travelled a lot for work and have nearly 950 nights at Marriott over the past 8 years. What I like about the hotels is the consistency of the rooms - I know what to expect and there are few surprises. The rooms are shaped the same way, are stocked in the same way, and are consistently clean and comfortable in the same way. It’s important to me given to have this one place of consistency at the end of another fast-moving day.
So the funny thing is, the Marriott experience has become my gold standard for judging the merits of a room. Now when I travel to other brands, I find myself judging the room quality to what I'm used to. A few weekends ago, my wife and I stayed at a Bed & Breakfast over a weekend at the tip of Long Island. We were surprised and disappointed with the experience: the bed wasn’t right; the room was a bit dusty; someone else’s socks were stuffed in the sofa cushions; etc. It all didn’t feel right.
Am I just being too critical, or do others feel the same way?
Great point and well articulated, Nimble Thunder! I completely agree.
I remember the Holiday Inn promotion of 25 years ago ---- "The Best Surprise is No Surprise".
Too bad IHG and it's HIs never lived up to that principle. My last HI stay three years ago featured a screeching sound at 3 AM --- which turned out to be two cockroaches walking around the carpet in the middle of the room. That was a surprise --- and the end of HIs for me.
Now, when I see clients in that town, I overnight 25 miles down the road at a full-service MARR.
I agree. Keeping business travelers loyal takes more than a good rewards program. I expect a room to be clean, comfortable and designed to help me be productive while traveling. I am typically in a hotel 3 nights/week. I cannot remember the last time I had a problem with my Marriott room.
While there are certainly other quality hotels availble, the consistancy is not there. When staying in a non-Marriott a couple of weeks ago, I got out of the shower to find that there were no bath towels. I never really thought this was something I needed to check in advance. Other times, I have had my room re-cleaned or changed before staying.
Business travelers have a choice. A clean room, good perks and points are important.
Keep up the good work Marriott!
No you are not being too critical, rather right on point! Marriott is a huge corporation and has many properties worldwide. Keeping all those properties in shape and up to standard (when many are franchised) is a major endeavor.
I see the quality of a Marriott experience in the faces and the actions of the Associates as well as the condition of the rooms and public areas. I also realize that rooms, like cars and houses, show their wear and need repair or replacement. Marriott tries to keep the standard from slipping.
I too had a one night HIE (Holiday Inn Express) this Spring. It was in Florida and overall not a bad time, but like you, I tried to compare what I was experiencing to any of the many Marriott brands, and the HIE came up short: smoking allowed, rooms clean but tired, breakfast just OK, etc.
Thanks for the post and the remarks about Gold Standard--right to the point for me!
I have used the Marriott experience to judge all stays and try to keep the comparisons equal: JW against other premiums brands, Courtyard v. like properties, etc... The Marriott and its full brand suite has almost always met and exceeded my expectations. Like you, I enjoy the comfort of knowing what to expect, and appreciate the early check in, late check out and other perks that come with loyalty. I stayed in a off brand property last week and wanted to leave as the curtains seemed funky, smoking had been allowed recently, and there was even a cigarette burn in the bedspread. I couldn't get out fast enough in the morning.
You are not alone. I am doing exact the same. However I am starting to catch myself become more upset of if I found mistake at Marriott’s hotel than the same mistake at others. My expectation on Marriott is getting higher because it is the way they “should” be in my mind. Especially I do recommend to others and letting them down just not acceptable. Don’t you think?