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Seems to me that the majority of us who post on Insiders are folks who travel (a lot) for business and to a lesser degree, for pleasure. Like the airlines, Marriott depends on the business traveler to fill rooms and help the bottom line.
What can we say about the ability of Marriott to meet the needs of the business traveler? What elements in a Marriott hotel room enhance that experience and what elements detract from it? Are there things that are not offered to you as a business traveler that could be to enhance your stay
I for one would appreciate much higher and more reliable internet connections in the rooms, and wired connections that are secure.
I would also appreciate a small package (perhaps available at the front desk) of business sundries (clips, stapler, pad of lined paper, etc.) to be given out on demand.
In larger hotels the ability to have a printer delivered to the room would be very nice.
What does Marriott do or not do to enhance your business travel? Post some ideas and experiences/
Great points, SteppingStones -- especially wired internet connections. I always take my computer to Europe for research and with wifi connections alone both reliability and security issues (especially the former) arise.
An Executive Lounge that has a fully functioning printer system (and one that actually works -- I've encountered many nonworking ones) as well as real amenities and the possibility for discussion with likeminded travelers and/or business meetings is key.
Especially at the Elite levels, I think priority should be given to early check-in, especially abroad, since many flights arrive in Europe between 5-7am. I have only rarely had a problem with this, but one time was a problem that made an already very tired traveler also very worried. I had requested early check-in at the London County Hall and had to speak with a BBC producer on the phone in preparation for an interview the following day. She had all the info about reaching me at the Marriott, but I couldn't get into my room. As it got beyond 1pm, I was going a little crazy. The front desk decided they would set me up to take the call in the Executive Lounge. But as all of you know, (no offense to children) more and more families and children either running around or watching cartoons can make a serious and lengthy business call impossible. Fortunately, they got me into the room 10 minutes before the call.
Finally, I've noticed in Europe that many Marriotts no longer carry CNN, though they usually still list it on their hotel guides. France24 and BBC are often available, but it is important for me to keep touch with events and business at home and internationally and I find CNN the best way to do so.
I stay almost exclusively in full-line Marriot's, so my view will be sku'ed toward that.
1. Many updated marriotts have the swivel work desk. Love it! it allows for working and watchiny tv at the same time.
2. also, the work station with a half dozen power stations is great.
3. I also work a lot in bed (no jokes please), the air conditioning unis often blows the air righton me. Not good.
4. Lighting (especially while in bed working) could definately b e improved upon.
5. Love the idea of a business related care pack!.
6. count me in on the internet connection. I sometimes use nights out as an opportunity to catch up on prime time shows that I've missed. more often than not, the connection is so bad it's unbearable.
Professor and Stepping,
Your point about TV is really great. I love to watch FOX news, and to have this in Europe would be great, as I find the CNN in Europe not to be what I want to enjoy.
Likewise, the "Early check-in" in Europe would be great! So often, after the all night flight I just want some "Quiet time"!
Thanks for letting me share this with you!
I agree fully with the need for more electrical outlets. Between my computer, work blackberry, personal iphone, and other accessories, I often find myself unplugging the clock or a lamp.
A nice comfortable work area is also high on my list.
I'm often worn out by the time I get to the hotel, so I place a premium on fast check in. On business trips, time that I spend waiting to check in is time I could spend working or doing something for me. Most places do a great job, but some are understaffed and get overwhelmed, especially, it seems, at tourist places. Here's a radical idea: have automated check-in kiosks. If the airlines and rental car companies can do it, why not a hotel? I know, I know, not for everyone: just a thought.
I rarely have time (or interest) to watch TV, so I don't care what channels they carry.
Otherwise, I'm just looking for a comfortable place to crash at the end of a long workday.
Wireless internet connection is important to me. Courtyard in particular is very bad about only offering wired connection and often the desk set up is not comfortable, especially if I also want to watch the TV while I'm working.
I carry air cards for both AT&T and Verizon, yet there some hotels where I can't get more than 2 bars on either network so in-house wireless would be especially appreciated.
Totally agree with everyone about the electrical outlets. Stayed at my first Springhill Suites recently and was surprised to learn how limited the availability of electrical outlets were (at least at that one hotel).
Finally help me make my expense report easier by including breakfast in my room rate... at least as a Platinum perk. Why is Courtyard the only brand without some sort of breakfast for Elites? This has become especially troublesome when the hotels upgrade to the new Bistro format... any places where the rates included breakfast no longer do so because "it's not part of the new format". Either comp breakfast or give me a credit to ordering off the Bistro a la carte menu.
I'd like to add something to what Allyson said about Courtyards and breakfast. I am really one of those people who loves breakfast more than any other meal, and I can't function without it.
Since Courtyards both make Elites pay for breakfast (AND we don't get any points for non-room amenities), I simply won't stay at Courtyards anymore.
I simply don't get it. Why when usually lesser-priced and lesser frills places like Fairfield Inns have it, why do Courtyards not? So especially in Europe, where breakfasts at the hotel can cost 25 to 30 euros, I won't even consider a Courtyard. The price difference for a full Marriott (and the extra points I get nuliifies any possible savings).
When I travel, my priorities are a spotlessly clean roon (I am very fussy here), reliable internet access, breakfast, and a good work area.
There is no reason that Courtyards do not offer free breakfast or a club lounge since they are trying to upgrade the line. I find that annoying, and stay at them very rarely. If I stay at one I usually try to book a "stay for breakfast rate" if I can, but I do resent that cheaper hotels offer free breakfast and Courtyards do not. The Courtyards that I have experience with cost the same as the full service Marriots with less services.
However, my biggest issue is that club lounges are not open on weekends at the full service Marriots. My trips are usually from Wednesday or Thursday through Sunday. Having the use of the lounge on the weekend for breakfast and drinks and snacks would improve my travel experience immensely.
I really like the idea of a loaner printer for the room. There have been several trips where that would have made my life easier, ditto for the idea of a "business essentials pack" with paper clips, tape, etc. I also agree that more outlets on the desk would be great. However, I travel with so pieces of electronics that I travel with an outlet strip in my case.
I agree and add my voice of irritation of the inconsistent quality of internet access...in many Courtyard properties you have an option of paying for enhanced Internet access....to that I say "ridiculous".
OK, am I the only one that hates these single coffee packs? Bring back the 4-cup coffee makers Marriott!!!
Yeah, the internet connectivity quality sucks. Regarding the one-cup coffee maker, many of us have voiced that same opion in the past. However, I must admit that this week I stayed at a Ritz Carlton and the one-cup coffee machine there was wonderful. I'm pretty sure it had to do with the quality of the coffee. Actually, it was delicious.
By the way, the Ritz in St Louis is a wonderful facility and I would recommend it highly. It has old St Louis charm, impeccable service, a great lobby bar, and unmatched personell. Good Job!
Aside from a comfortable king bed which is imperative to get the rest I need to recharge and a mini-fridge for beverages/ healthy snacks to maintain hydration and energy-level, my must-have business travel essentials include on-site comp parking, early check-in; a spacious work area w/swivel desk, free high-speed wireless internet and a comp breakfast.
Nice-to-haves include a sofa to take a break, a desktop speaker-phone, loaner printer, business kit, Universal Sports channel and fitness equipment w/cardio TV. Although I am very handy and quite capable of rewiring the room (smile), thoughtfully placed wall outlets, a loaner power strip or multi-outlet 'smart plug' would be great.
I tend to travel from Thursday to Sunday so re-opening the CL on weekends and/or breakfast vouchers would definitely provide incentive to switch back to full-service if my destination has one.
I would agree, better internet at Marriotts would be a key for me. It seems the wireless is getting slower and slower and the wired connections are becoming fewer and far between at many of the marriott Properties I frequent. Recently stayed in a Marriott in Orlando, and could not get internet at all. I was told my side of the building was having issues, but did not even have a lobby computer or business center to rectify the problem, and no wired connections in the room. Internet upgrades are greatly needed at all level of properties.
One small college town in FL I frequent has a Courtyard and a Fairfield. The Fairfield is half the price of the Courtyard, and includes the breakfast and has upgraded rooms. Nicer hotel free breakfast and both properties do not offer wired internet, so i stay at the Fiarfield for $60. No benefit to pay the upcharge at courtyard. If the Fairfield is not available I will then choose the Springhill. still better value and amenities compared to most Courtyards these days.
1) Fast, easy check-in
2) Fit TV or Exercise TV option on the "free" channel options with access to Yoga, aerobics or stretch videos. This seem to be fading away ... why?
3) Curtains that are fully functional, not just fashion. Must close all the way to allow total darkness during the day.
4) Functional radio with the clock. I know, really old school ... but I do demographic research and you just can't beat local am radio for getting to the underbelly of the community.
5) Finding a Courtyard that gives a hoot about my Marriott Rewards Status. What am I, chopped liver?
6) A not small desk surface area and a swivel chair with good back support.
7) Check-out via the TV. Only works half the time.
8) State-of-the-art Fitness Center.
9) A concierge lounge that opens at 6:00 am. (not 6:30)
10) The local paper. Lose the McNews!
11) Did I mention access to in-room fitness videos?