We often hear about the physical renovation of hotels, the redesign of hotel lobbies, the color scheme switches, but what about rehabilitation of the hotel as a service organization?
What brought this to mind was the issue recently raised at Marriott rewards insiders to rate specific hotels. This rating was at the suggestion of the community manager of MRI. It is step one in changing the game at a specific hotel. Step two, it seems to me, would be to start the change to make the property better. In order to do this, the hotel management needs to see the content of these ratings not just a summary of the scores they have received. Step three would be to actually do something about the shortfalls identified.
What started me thinking about this was the ratings which were received by the Marriott Marquis in New York City. For the most part the ratings are less than perfect. Many of us have had the same problem at the hotel – – elevator issues, service issues, and other problems, common at a large multi-thousand room hotel. So my question is? What will be done about this? Does it matter that a majority of those who care to comment find the hotel less than perfect? Can we expect change to result from these comments?
Does this matter in the scheme of things or have we given up on changes at specific properties?
Your thoughts matter so post them here.
It is so tight that they can't have me as a customer so I decided they won't. Companies that ignore their customers often go by the wayside, since the customer defines quality, according to Deming, and there are choices out there. I made mind and it is not to stay at the Marquis even though there's a new bunch running the place.
so that is what it comes down to. you have a choice as to which properties you will support with your business and those properties have a choice to either actively work on customer complaints, or not. Large hotels like the Marquis, or the NY Hilton, or any number of hotels in Vegas know that they will be full tomorrow and the next whether you (or I) choose to ever stay there again. Business in NYC is so good now (and has been for quite a while), that unfortunately for us, all these properties need to do to fill up is to open their doors. sad, but true. I've been staying no less that 50 nights a year in nyc for 30+ years and every single hotel I've stayed at eventually let me down and forced me to change properties. Same thing with Vegas properties....
I am not arguing with you Shoeman, just stating the obvious. The hotel world changes hourly, chains come and go, properties rise and fall based on corporate exigencies, and we either take it or we leave it. I have dropped just under 2 million points at the Marquis over the past decade, and have only paid one night's rent in all that time. (snafu with reservation) Even free, or apparently so, the hotel was a total disappointment and I will not go back. My post about a very humble Day's Inn in SF shows that hotels can be plain but do "plain" with panache and style and earn my repeat business. At as much as 600 a night the Marquis might be in synch with the other hotels but it irrevocably off my stay list, even paying for it,
I'm wondering if the review system will eventually get to the point, where more and more people rely on the reviews. If this does happen, it will be good for the guests, because eventually it will hurt the number of stays at poor hotels, and that will drive either a change in the process, or a change in the hotel manager. I think as the social media effect gets stronger and stronger, hotels (and businesses) will be forced to stay competitive (keep a tight ship), or lose too much business to stay running. I already check Urban Spoon, or a similar rating system before I will waste my money trying a restaurant I know nothing about. Hotels will be the same, in the very near future. Twitter and other mediums are already starting to have a large impact on Marriott and other chains.
I think that eventually given the power of social media, people get the message and decide not to stay at a place until and unless it changes. Yelp did a lot to zap restaurants, flyer talk has given some airlines headaches and hotels, as you say, will get in the swampy morass of customer savvy-ness in a few days, weeks or months. If they choose to rely on new victims (I mean customers sorry) to fill the rooms so be it I personally see a hotel stay as a contract and in my opinion the Marquis is breaking that contract with me based on their current behavior. and my experience.
I agree with Shoeman in the regard that the program is most likely an ad tool for Marriott. The number of responses or reviews in the ratings category won't be, IMO, enough to make anybody notice that a change is needed when and if it truly is.
Good reviews could become drivers and bad reviews will be, well, bad reviews.......and how many times have we heard someone say about someone saying something less than complimentary that....'that's just their opinion'.
What is weird as an example is the Pittsburgh Marriott Metro Center. Their renovation has taken over a year, with a huge remodeling process, and when they last got classified it dropped from a 5 Marriott star to a 4 star, which they say will be temporary until the renovation is complete. Nice thing is that most of the rooms are done, yet I am now able to use stay certificates I was unable to use before at this location, so it is nice for me! A little incovenient to even get to the front desk, but otherwise no major concerns on my end. I was curious if this was standard procedure to downgrade the hotel temporarily, perhaps based on the length of the renovation or what. This is the specific example I have of a renovation situation, as the hotel is in my hometown, and I use it a lot as it is across the street from where I go to watch the Pittsburgh Penguins at their home arena, and a lot of concert venues. Certainly a benefit for me!
This seems to support the community manager's February explanation that category changes are a result of point redemption. It seems the Pittsburgh Marriott went up from a 4 to a 5 not because of property improving renovation, but because during the inconvenience of a renovation, occupancy declined, freeing up more spots for redemptions, fascinating.
Alren. given your name and hometown, I'm going to bounce this off of you for your advice, I wasn't able to plan my Pittsburgh trip before the 3/15 cutoff deadline, so when faced with the choice, I chose paying 5k more points for the Renaissance because it seemed closer to theaters, PNC Park (although the Pirates are away, talk about availability), and historical attractions than the Marriott (great for Penguins) which seemed landlocked by an expressway. Is that a sound decision in your opinion?
Hi ERC! Hope you are having a good evening!
You are right on my"alRen" persona! I am from Pittsburgh, and absolutely think you made the correct choice. The Marriott is somewhat expressway bound, and parking is about the same price (if applicable) for each location.
The Renaissance Pittsburgh is built on the historical foundation of a 100 year plus building, so almost each room is somewhat unique. It kind of "wiggs" me out, in that I never know what kind of room to expect. Sometimes they put me in a fairly nice sized room, but will then have a marble bathroom attached which is almost the size of the room! Next time it will be a small bathroom with a moderate sized bedroom. Last year, for a 3 night stay, I got a free upgrade upon arrival (with some gentle asking to the front desk manager) with the approach that it was my girlfriend's birthday (was it? LOL!) and the request that I live close by, and just wanted a nice getaway for the weekend, and next thing I know I am hooked up with a 3 room REAL Jacuzzi suite, at no extra cost in $ or points. Very gracious of them, in my opinion, and we had a great time. Since the building is so old, one thing you are guaranteed is a 12 foot high ceiling, sometimes vaulted. Very nice!
The Renaissance is right in the heart of the Pittsburgh cultural district, and is literally a stone's throw from everything except the Penguin's arena, which is a big mile long steep hill to walk up to. Down at the Ren everything is right there, and level. There is also a fairly priced yet tasty Thai restaurant called the Lemongrass right across the street, which has really great value lunch specials, and is very authentic in taste. Give it a try if you get a chance. Right across the street from the main entrance.
I think for that small a point value you definitely made the correct choice, and I hope you have a nice time! Please let me know if I can provide any additional advice or information, it would be my pleasure.
Enjoy! - Al.
You are welcome ERC, and I would be glad to assist you during your stay via this forum. I am going to Sanibel Marriott resort on April 27-May 2, but will be monitoring this forum via my tablet. Please let me know if I can be of any help with any questions, no matter how seemingly trivial, to allow you to enjoy your stay to be the best that it can be. If I think of any special info I forgot to post, I will drop a line here. The hotel itself is almost horseshoe shaped (except for squared edges) and is classic Victorian inside. Great food at this location! (especially when using the non-current EEo's), made it an extra-value!
Sad but true! Wild to hear you are from the burgh! Have you been to PNC park yet, or Heinz field? Even if the Pirates don't win, it is a really nice time at a decent price. I stay at a Springhill Suites a lot on North Shore, adjacent to the parks themselves. It is cheaper to park at the hotel then it is to use the regular fan parking lot. Nice time!
Never had the honor of Forbes field, but I am from Mt. Lebanon originally, and now residing in Bethel Park, so I know Brentwood in the South Hills. I go through Brentwood at least once a week, and my new neighbors next door that moved in a few months ago are from there as well! Small world!
Very much a small world. We are having the Skyliners perform at our class reunion in July--you may be too young to remember the group but they are still playing and touring. Had many friends from Mount Lebanon in the day. Too bad you missed Forbes Field but you can head to Fenway for a musty seat poles in the way experience like it was. Real baseball feel
I am familiar with the Skyliners, but Forbes Field is a little before my time. I have seen the home plate on display where it originally sat inside a building at Univ. of Pittsburgh, and have heard many good stories about Forbes Field. I guess off to Fenway sometime in the next year (Have not been) as I really do enjoy baseball. Have a nice Holiday weekend! - Al.
While it is certainly possible that Marriott is using the rating system by Insiders to promote itself, I think that we must share the burden of making it more than that. I wrote a pretty detailed review of my recent stay at the Renaissance 57, which pointed out that the room was the worst part of an otherwise excellent experience. There were not the amenities I expected, it was stark, no drawers, mostly paneling, a climate control I had extreme difficulty finding, and a bed and floor choice not based on my profile. To me the more specific we can be in rating a hotel, the more they are likely to listen. And if they don't so be it -- we don't have to stay at that hotel anymore.
PS - This is why I also use and write on Tripadvisor as well -- the sheer number of participants is pretty much a guarantee of authenticity, although the expectations of different reviewers must be taken into account. But Tripadvisor does police and censor comments from those connected with the hotels unless they respond to specific customer comments.
I agree profC. The more we post and others post, and the more we use the ratings to determine our stays, the more the individual hotels will feel pressured to keep up. This also works for the hotels that are really doing a good job. They will enjoy the benefit of more customers for doing the best they can.