The Top Three Things I Look for When Visiting a Hotel

February 2, 2018


It probably goes without saying, but I have visited thousands of hotels. Just this past year, I have seen over 100—and that’s a drop in the bucket compared to my younger days. Touring properties is a passion of mine, not an obligation. 

I’m often my happiest when I’m at a hotel and spending time with Marriott International associates. And while I would love to spend all my time chatting with them, I’m also there to evaluate the hotel and how it is running. Here’s what I’m looking for:


Engaged Associates

That goes back to our roots where we started in the food business 90 years ago. The minute I step onto a property, I can feel the mood of the associates. I can tell when associates are engaged and when they’re simply going through the motions. It all starts at the top; when everyone is excited about their work, it tells me their general manager is doing something right. There’s nothing more important for a GM than having a finger on the pulse of the organization.


Quality Food

Like most people, I enjoy going out to dinner. Dining on property gives me a firsthand view of how a major piece of Marriott’s business is working. There is some excellent food that comes from our hotels. If I can stay on property for a great meal rather than look around the neighborhood for one, I’ll stay. Plus, when I see an on-property restaurant full of happy diners, it tells me the hotel is working hard to provide guests with a complete and wonderful experience.



Just like my dad, I look for cleanliness. One of my favorite tests is evaluating the cleanliness of the elevator grooves, along the threshold of the elevator. That may sound a little crazy, but, to me, it shows attention to detail. Elevators are one of the most trafficked areas in a hotel, so associates should pay extra attention to those areas. Treating cleanliness as a priority will always be worth the time. Though it may seem like a small thing to others, it’s those little things that add up.


I’m curious, what do you look for when staying at a hotel? Let me know in the comments.

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move!

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