The Top Three Things I Look for When Visiting a Hotel

February 2, 2018

1957_JWMJr_TwinBridgesKitchen

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.

 

Cleanliness

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!

Listen to the Audio

 

An Equal Chance for All

January 3, 2018
The Courtyard by Marriott Pune Chakan in India is doing some great work. Earlier this year, the team won our Debbie Marriott Harrison TakeCare Award of Excellence for promoting the wellbeing of their associates and making the hotel a healthier place to work. Recently, they made a video celebrating their...

Taking Care of Our Own

December 21, 2017
The holidays are a time for many things, but above all, it’s a time for family. I am fortunate to be spending another Christmas with those I love. On Christmas Eve, we host a big family dinner and on Christmas Day my wife Donna and I go house to house...

Doing Good in Every Direction

October 31, 2017
I’m of the firm belief that to do something right, you can’t cut corners. I’ve been at that crossroads many times before, but I can confidently say I’ve done my best to do things the right way. This covers anything from maintaining ethical business practices to putting associates first. Personally,...

All in the Family with Fairfield by Marriott

October 26, 2017
Fairfield by Marriott turns 30 this month. In the blink of an eye, I’ve seen the brand evolve from its first property in Atlanta, GA, to nearly 900 hotels around the world, entering new markets like Brazil, China, and Nepal this year. Though a lot has changed, I’m comforted to...

Lending a Helping Hand

September 11, 2017
Hurricane season is hitting hard. Hurricane Irma has made landfall while cleanup is underway in the wake of Harvey. And as the floodwaters start to recede in Houston and other cities in the Gulf Coast, the stories are starting to emerge. Simple acts of kindness can mean the world to...

Building a Foundation of Hospitality

August 17, 2017
Five years ago, my family’s foundation partnered with San Diego State University to create the China Hospitality Education Initiative, or CHEI. Our idea was to establish relationships with a few Chinese schools and offer hospitality teachers hands-on operational experiences and teaching resources to supplement textbooks.

Marriott's "Boots on the Ground"

July 26, 2017
A Snapshot from this Year's Business Council Conference I can’t believe it has been almost a year since the close of the Starwood acquisition. I am so proud of all of our associates and our integration teams for all of the hard work that they have done to make this...

Where's Your Happy?

July 10, 2017
Me and My Wife at Lake Winnipesaukee I recently had the pleasure of doing a fireside chat with my son, David, at a Marriott conference. The theme of our conversation centered on how we promote associate wellbeing through our TakeCare program and where we find our happiness. It’s a simple...

Here’s to the Journey!

June 26, 2017
Whether it’s learning a new skill, being a part of a great team, or making a difference in the community, these are the things that matter to our associates.

A Tradition Worth Celebrating

June 6, 2017
This year we recognize nine associates and four hotels who consistently go above and beyond for our guests and associates. I could write at length about each one, but I’ll highlight just a few here.