Do you know if you can mention more that one person as an example of "Spirit to Serve"?
There are really a number of people who make Marriott property stays very special. Traveling is just NOT as simple as it once was. Minimizing or eliminating time/money mistakes is what I really like from Marriott employs as they help my loved ones and myself.
There are a lot of deserving people, I hope we hear about many, many more.
Here's something interesting -- twice today my posts have been declined and I have had to repost. The first, fortunately, I saved. Now I'll have to repeat the second (I think - one never knows with the new system), but it's more important.
I think Spirit to Serve is one of the most important aspects of Marriott life, and why so many of us have been disappointed. But I think we've been disappointed with Corporate and with front desk. The REAL Spirit to Serve people are those who make up our rooms, put up with our occasional disorderliness, and serve us in the CL if it's open. Those people I always reward. Yes, I'm a really good tipper, because I lament the fact that the people who serve us best are the least rewarded in compensation. I have always found the people who clean my room, deliver room service, or are (especially in some places like Athens) in the CL, deserve special recognition.
I have much more problem with front desk people. I have been treated discourteously at both check-in and checkout about 50% of the time. I want to make clear, with my European and ME travels, that this rarely happens there. (But a lesson to be learned, Marriott?) The only place in Europe I have been treated horribly was at the Paris Rive Gauche, where I had stayed many times and recommended here and on tripadvisor. So when I stayed on points and was treated like the lowest level of guest after I refused to pay for an upgrade on points, I wrote about. And language was not a barrier. The woman at check-in rattled off as fast as most French people can in French that I would not get upgraded. Most of you know the rest, and after I also complained on tripadvisor, the head of Marriott France wrote me back and I contacted the head of the RG without response. The funny thing was that I understood everything she said. But the disrespectful way in which she told me I'd be put in an inferior room (facing south Paris' industrial district) was a little too much. Fortunately, as I said earlier, I was only in the hotel to sleep before returning home. I'd hoped to have a nice night in Paris before leaving but I would have had a much nicer one at the Marriott CDG, which has always treated me as an honored guest.
Marriott's training needs to be consistent. Some hotels, like the Athens Ledra and Ghent Marriott, either were trained well or intuited it on their own. But when you're there you feel like you're the only guest they care about. And they treat you like a special member. The Grand Flora is similar. The first two are very reasonable in price, if not downright cheap in this economy, so I want to recommend them highly. The Athens Ledra is a great base for tours or cruises and you can stay in the Ghent Marriott (and how lovely it is, right on the canal) and easily get to anywhere in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Germany, etc. It's a too little known treasure, but I believe it was named #1 in the Marriott world a year or so ago. If my memory is correct it is completely deserved. When I checked in I got treated like (thank you, Shoeman!) like a queen. And it was the same through every one of three separate stays. Isabelle contacted me directly (or a number of us) offering special deals at the Ghent Marriott, one of which I took advantage of. The Athens Ledra simply treats Americans like visiting royalty unless you give them reason not to. (I didn't see any, but have seen the 'ugly American' experience play out elsewhere, with shouting in English that only results in people who do speak English saying in their own language [as I would in the same circumstances] that they do not speak English.)
I am trying to think of my best experience of a Marriott in North America and am having trouble. The Courtyard Québec City is very nice, but out of the way. The Toronto Bloor St. was great. But in the US? Granted I don't stay a lot in the US since my research takes me abroad, but I think the last time I had a really wonderful Marriott experience was in Seattle in the late 90s.
Wow, I don't know where to begin!
I took your advice and booked The Grand Flora in Rome, and will be buying the airline ticket this week, as December is not available on Delta yet.
Is is interesting that so many compliments are coming in from properties outside of the US. Had the same good experience you did in Toronto and Seattle.
Here are a few US places that really impressed me with their "Spirit to Serve" and acknowledgement of PP members. (Not in order, just from memory). These are properties that have been consistent, and I look forward to visiting while traveling in the US.
Ren. Hollywood, Ca
Seattle, Waterfront Marriott
San Diego, Marriott Marina
Camelback Inn, Scottsdale
RI, Williamsburg, Va
RI, Branson, Mo
CY, Key West, FL
FF, Titusville, FL
Dearborn Inn, Dearborn, MI
Marriott, Vail, CO.
Professor, How far is Ghent from Paris? Ghent sounds like a place worth visiting if I can in May.
Your Rive Gauche experience rivals SS (NYC) and your Chicago trip and my Louisville "Slipper" trip. Sadly, have you noticed when things go wrong, they really go wrong!
You're certainly right about the Chicago Marriott and my last (really last) RV experience. Alas, since my research rarely takes me to US hotels, but only for conferences, I've never been at the ones you rate highly (except Seattle).
Oh my goodness, get to Ghent! It is a short trip by train from Paris and the hotel is amazing. It is right on the canal. The facade is medieval, but the interior hotel is totally modern, and Isabelle is the greatest. You're near the castle, some great restaurants, and one of the greatest paintings in the world in the cathedral, "The Ghent Altarpiece" or the "Lamb." From Ghent you can easily get anywhere in Belgium like Bruges, and you can fly in and out of Brussels, which is usually cheaper than Paris. And the Brussels Marriott in the Grand' Place has always given me an unasked for suite. And even though I've done most of my research in France, I have to say that Belgian cuisine is among the best I've had in all the world.
So do it!
PS - Timing is important, as NewHilton found out. Winter months are not great, not because of snow, but rain, but get into spring and you'll have a glorious time.
Jerrycoin - yes, you can nominate more than one associate at a property for a Spirit to Serve award as long as you describe how each has individually exemplified the award. Nomination instructions, FAQ's and more information are available at, https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/community/spirit-to-serve