By now, everyone has read posts on MRI or read Bill Marriott's blogs on how Marriott is working towards more greener initiatives. For example: Green Your Hotel Stay for $1 a Day with Marriott. I'm not sure how well this is working considering some recent experiences. For example:
I'm guessing that one in ten rooms I've been assigned appear to have toilets that waste water (improperly adjusted leading to overflows, flappers that don't seal, handles that stick, etc.). Whenever I find this situation, I will let the front desk know and hopefully, they will have it fixed by my return in the evening. 90% of the time, they do. Are other MRI members experiencing "bad toilets" and reporting them?
Another scenario quite common is the "turn the room into a freezer" when room attendants crank down the air so cold it's ridiculous. Last week, I stayed at a CY in Tampa and the air had cooled the room to 58.7F on highest setting of "10" (I have a travel alarm with built-in thermometer so I knew for certain). I told the front desk, they acknowledged the waste of energy, and stated they will request their staff to make adjustements. I told the desk a setting of "6" will cool the room to 70.5F; that night, room had cooled to 63.6F on setting "8". Some improvement!
It also never seems to fail that the curtains/drapes in the room are always opened - is this to "light up the room"? In weather extremes (hot summers/cold winters) this makes no sense to me. These drapes provide an extra level of insulation over the R3.3 glass to an R8+. I would think a CFL light on the desk would use a LOT less energy than 6-10 feet of exposed glass while also accomplishing "adding a little light to the room."
Ever wonder how much your points are worth? Is it a better choice to take gift points or an actual market item? Here is my analysis:
Assumption: You want a hotel room in Illinois for 5 nights on the following dates: 2011-01-23 through 2011-01-27. Your choice is to:
* use points (category X points/night X 4 nights = total points needed as fifth night is free) -or-
* pay cash (rate/night X 5 nights)
* Taxes are not included in the calculations (potentially 10-15% more cash value for the points)
I created a spreadsheet for all 104 hotels in Illinois:
Cat # Points 5 nights Ave$ Night Total $ Cents/point
1 15 7500 30000 $91.53 $457.66 1.526
2 38 10000 40000 $109.70 $548.52 1.371
3 30 15000 60000 $137.59 $687.95 1.147
4 10 20000 80000 $172.00 $860.00 1.075
5 7 25000 100000 $133.42 $667.12 0.667
6 4 30000 120000 $191.50 $957.50 0.798
7 0 35000 140000 n/a n/a n/a
8 0 40000 160000 n/a n/a n/a
All 104 22812.5 91250 $139.29 $696.45 1.097
Members earning Points can receive 200 bonus points at Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield Inn by Marriott, Residence Inn by Marriott, Springhill Suites by Marriott and TownePlace Suites by Marriott as their arrival gift option. This is worth low/high of $1.33 to $3.05 if Cat5 or Cat1, respectively. On average, $2.19.
The Platinum Arrival Gift 500 bonus points option is available only to Points earning Rewards Program Platinum Members staying at participating JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Renaissance Hotels, EDITION Hotels, Autograph Collection, and Marriott Vacation Club worldwide. This is worth low/high of $3.34 to $7.63 if Cat5 or Cat1, respectively. On average, $5.49.
Most "green" initiatives are a joke at this point. I mostly see things being done that look good without any substance. Case in point:
- A hotel had a vegatable garden to reduce gas used to transport food to the hotel. They had 3 tomato plants which would be enough for 10 people.
- Almost every hotel has a sign posted that asks you to hang a towel for reuse or place it on the floor for cleaning. This is being done to save water and soap. I always hang up the towel and everyday it was taken and a clean towel is in its place
- It is not uncommon that the hotel room not only has been pre-cooled for my arrival, often the lights are all turned on.
There is substantial energy that could be saved if any of the hotels were serious about it. Currently it appears that guest comfort trumps green.