I don't post often, but appreciate those of you that do. I stop by often and read many beneficial posts.
I wanted to take a minute and recognize the fact that Marriott has set up this site for compliments, complaints, info sharing and venting. That's a good thing.
I have stayed at Marriott Branded Hotels since I first was asked to travel for business in 1988. My choice was made easy by location of hotel to normal destination on Long Island. I signed up for the Rewards Program not long after my first stay. I also signed up for each and every other Hotel Brand where I laid my head at night.
It didn't take long to see the difference that cemented my loyalty. Consistancy in cleanliness, service, responsiveness, and atmosphere. From full service properties to CYs, FFIs, RIs, and the rest. The Brand Marriott was better than the other brands. I liked that. I've told friends and family. I still feel that way, but do worry if the mantel is getting heavy for the team to carry.
I have stayed up to 25 miles away to stay in the program. There are places I go that no Marriott property is within 40 miles. Then, I stay elsewhere. I used Hilton, Holiday Inn or Choice Hotels the most. Infrequently, Best Western or Microtel were the only choices.
I've read a lot of nice things about Hilton. I can honestly say my experience has not been great. I find zero consistency for cleanliness or service from one Hampton to the next. Choice offers a bed, nuff said. Holiday Inn has gotten my attention.
Marriott has it hands down over Holiday Inn, BUT... They are now my back up Brand when Marriott is not available. AND they are doing pretty well. The two things they do consistently better than Marriott is recognize frequent stayers and triple sheet the beds. At first, I thought it was schlock, but I am finding it nice that every time I check in a Holiday Inn property, the front desk person smiles and seems to genuinely appreciate me with a "Thanks for being a Gold/Platinum member, I've upgraded you accordingly". Those triple sheets are GREAT!
So, my long winded post is info sharing for our hosts. A little more feeling at check in can go a long way. Curb appeal can create Stay appeal.
Excellent post and well said! Marriott is a fine company with a long, distinguished history of service to the customer and the community. The legacy of the first Mr. Marriott is evident in the way in which the hotels are designed and maintained.
For many of us, the disappointment comes when a hotel fails to live up to what we consider the Marriott standard. I find that individual associates behavior can make or break a stay, depending on their attitudes and willingness to listen. I know that hospitality is a business but one that requires good customer relations to stay there.
On Insiders we are merely (I hope) reporting on what we experience and when we like it we say so. Our past experience colors and informs our expectations, and we are posting when it does not.
Any Marriott is a good place to stay but they must (and have for the most part) earn our loyalty through consistent treatment, especially of Elite members.
I too have had to stay at the competition. Usually it is due to a Marriott not being in the area.
However, one recent case was when I fled a Marriott "smoke free" property after having smoke come into my room from the window (smoker right outside), then in the hallways near the second room and in the lounge dining area as well as the main lobby due to staff NOT keeping people out of the "no smoking" signed area of the front door. It went all over. The Marriott staff must have all had colds as they couldn't seem to notice this intense smoke coming in (3-4 smokers right in the doorway and door open). I went to a Hilton in this case and the smokers were well away from the front door, I had clean air.
I have generally been treated very well by Marriott and I have in turn made sure many many thousands (tens of thousands of dollars) have gone their way. I try my best to respect their staff and property - but I must admit I get a little bit unhappy when things aren't done the way they should be.
For the past few years, I have mostly seen Marriott properties and nothing else. However, having seen Hilton, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn and Four Points recently, I must say - Marriott...time to work on those weaknesses. You may be a leader, but the competition is there and it is GOOD.
Tobacco smoke is something I hate, so especially Marriott would do well to get a LOT better at dealing with this in particular.
1)During the 4 nights spent at 3 different properties this week I took note:
CY Wilmington, DE....Smoker area around side of building near exit door. Not in front.
CY Ocean City, MD... Smoking area at edge of parking facility under hotel. Not near door.
TPS Mount Laurel, NJ... Didn't notice smoking area any where near check-in office door.
No smoking odor or resulting residue at any of these properties.
2) From the original posting, recognized as platinum at each property.