A Legacy of Service Keeps Marriott on Track

April 16, 2010
JW Marriott Camelback Inn and Resort One of the greatest strengths of Marriott is the vast experience and undying commitment of our operations managers who serve so well and faithfully in our hotels around the world.  Every year at spring break Donna and I take our children and grandchildren to Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, Arizona.  We haven’t missed a year since we acquired Camelback in 1968.  Our kids joined us, then our grandchildren and this year we welcomed four great grandchildren.

Each year we take some of our “old timers” to dinner.  This year five of our managers and their wives joined us.  Two are retired but three are still going strong.

Jim Rose, who was recently named general manager of Camelback Inn, and his wife Diane joined us.  Jim has 42 years with the company.  He started as a front desk associate at the O’Hare Marriott in Chicago when we had seven hotels.

Steve Hart also attended.  He has 33 years with Marriott and is area vice president for our southwest hotels.  His wife Claudine worked for us 40 years ago, but she retired a while back to raise her family.

Wynn Tuner, a retired general manager of Camelback Inn started over 40 years ago as a lifeguard.  He and his wife Terri are working in the community with many worthwhile charities.

Ed and Linda Paradine were there.  Ed joined us as a sales manager at our Hogates restaurant in Washington, D.C., 38 years ago.  He just retired a couple of years ago, but still works as a consultant to White Lodging as they prepare to open a 1,000 room JW Marriott hotel in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Ralph and Nancy Scatena were there.  Ralph started as a front desk clerk 29 years ago.  He is now senior vice president of sales and marketing for our entire western region with over 1,200 hotels.  Nancy started working for us at our Essex House Hotel and worked 9 years for Marriott before she married Ralph.

In total, these men and their wives worked for Marriott for a combined 230 years.

I sleep better at night knowing that men and women of experience and commitment are managing our properties in Phoenix and all around the world.

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

A Legacy of Service Keeps Marriott o

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In August I was called from my home in Philadelphia to be with my son who took ill in Tulsa Oklahoma. Arriving at the airport we started making calls for lodging since we had not had time before flying out there. We were blessed to reach Stacey ****** at The Fiarfield Inn in Tulsa South. I ended up having to stay in Tulsa for almost two weeks so Stacey, Joe Dees, Patti in the breakfast room became my family as I struggled to manage my insurance agency in Philadelphia while attending to my son. I cannot tell you what a comfort each person at the Fairfield was. They went out of their way to, not only accomodate my needs, but to comfort me in one of the darkest chapters of my life. I am eternally grateful for their kindness. It supported what I have always told my husband while we begin vacation plans...anything less than a Marriot is Camping! Bless you all.

Michele Deery-Thomas, West Chester, PA

I love staying at the Marriott in Worcester, MA, and although it is not frequent, the desk manager and her associate always remember me, which I love. (Her name is Margaret.) This month I had the opportunity to stay at the Renaissance Westchester for a family function, and I absolutely am enthralled with the individual coffee packs in the room coffee maker. I love them! Is there a way for me to order some directly? I can use them in my little 2-cup coffee maker. It's the most flavorful coffee I've had in a long time. The brand is Urbanista, and it's Colombian, Nicaraguan and Sumatran blend. I'd love to order a large quantity of the packs for myself. Thanks.

For Bill Marriott:

There is a reason I go to great lengths to stay at Marriott properties when I travel. Case in point: Saturday, 10/16, TownePlace Suites, Chantilly, VA. I had arranged to leave my luggage at a local branch of our office that morning before I drove from Chantilly to Reagan National to fly home for a week. My access card to the local office had always let me in, but not this Saturday morning. I called Joey at TownePlace and asked if there was a way to store my luggage and clothes until I returned 1 week leater. He went out of his way to make sure there was a secure place for me to leave my property. He assisted well above and beyond the call. It'e because of people like Joey that I return to Marriott properties and will again this following Sunday.

Thank you Joey!!!!

p.s. I made my plane thanks to your assistance.

I have been a loyal Marriott customer since the 1960's when Marriott was the caterer at my boarding school, National Cathedral. For years I have told my children that the service is the best in all brands. Recently, we had a chance to prove it again. My daughter had been sent on a business trip by a her employer- it was her first week on the job. Someone booked her into a less than safe hotel. Even the cab driver was reluctant to leave her, and gave her her card and said "Call me if you decide to move." She is young, she couldn't reach her employer because of time issues, and she had very little money. She called me in tears because the lock on her door didn't work, there were no lights and the phone was disconnected. there were four men sitting outside her door.
I told her to hang on. I called Residence Inn Denver West/Golden
14600 W. 6th AvenueGolden, CO 80401 USA.
I told the young woman about the situation, that I was in Florida, aqnd had no way to help, except to try to get her a room. they not only found her a room, but when the cab driver took her to the wrong marriott, they shuttlede her free of charge to the right one. they charged my card, and the next morning when her employer contacted them, immediately took it off my card.
As usual, I could count on the service. I don't remember the young woman's name, but she greeted my daughter as she arrived, and made sure everything was okay.
Thank you so much - this is why I feel so good using your
corporation. I hope someone can thank that young lady for me!

I just want to share my thoughts with you on the Marriott Marquis.

To start with Sherrol ******* our sales representative is outstanding. She made the reservation process absolutely flawless and spent time with me in phone conversations and e-mails making sure that everything was in order.

Patricia ***** took care of every single detail for our stay at the Marquis. Patricia went out of her way to accommodate our group and her attention to all the "small things" is what makes a great employee. Our group was thrilled with the check in process and of course, absolutely loved their rooms.

The staff at the Marriott Marquis were truly "At Our Service" all weekend. The entire staff was friendly, helpful and made sure that we felt "at home" in this beautiful location.

The Bell Staff took exceptionally good care of our luggage both delivering it to our rooms and reloading the luggage on the buses at the end of our stay.

Our group refuses to stay anywhere else in New York. They love the Marquis and the people who make the Marquis a special place to stay in New York. Our gratitude to each and everyone of them.

Bill we recently stayed at 7 of your Fairfield Inn properties, all were great except two, please change or remove those single cup coffee makers in the rooms, the coffee is not worth drinking.

Mr. Marriott, I've had some terrific stays with Marriott over the years. As a multi-million mile frequent flyer, I've seen a few hotels in my day. Even when things don't go exactly right, Marriott cares and I appreciate it.

Mr. Marriott,

My family and I recently stayed at the Marriott Courtyard New York, JFK Airport, 145-11 N. Conduit Avenue, Jamaica, NY. Sonia ******** is an employee at this location and my purpose in writing is to tell you what an exemplary employee she is. My husband and I are Marriott owners and when I travel I stay at Marriott's exclusively. Although we receive good service throughout our stays, the service we received from Ms. ******** was extraordinary. She went above and beyond "the call of duty" to make us feel like we were at home. Although I am sure you have many employees that meet this standard, it is rare to find someone who meets the highest standards. You should be proud to have her on your staff.

Renee Davin

Mr. Marriott,
My husband, Daren Davidson, just had the pleasure of meeting you and your wife at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Washington D.C. while he was there on business recently for Sandia Nat'l Labs. He was very grateful he got to tell you in person how much he appreciated watching games at the Marriott Center at BYU. You are someone we greatly admire and we love staying at your hotels whether for business or pleasure. We have nothing but good experiences and we love that we can always count on some great reading material in our rooms as well:)
Thank you for the great legacy you have lead!

Brother Marriott,
I have appreciated your fine hotels for many years in many US cities and have never been disappointed. Your mother and father would be proud of what their dream has become.
I have no idea what or whether you or your hotels are willing or able to do for charity purposes. There is a very large group supporting 3 Navy SEALs who are being unjustly tried for basically doing their job. The complete story is on www.supporttheseals.org. In late June the major interests in this group are planning to hold a 2nd fund raiser, probably in Coronado CA to raise funds to help these three fine men (two have already been exhonorated, the trial of the other is in progress in Norfolk VA) pay their legal fees. To clear their military records, they requested trials using civilian attorneys.
Do you personally, or does your corporation contribute through donations or in kind services to support things of this nature?
I know our group of nearly 240,000 at this point, would appreciate whatever you or your employees could do to assist us in this very worthwhile endeavor for these fine military men.

I am a 2 years member of MARRIOTT REWARDS Gold Elite after my 2 weeks purchase at MVCI MARBELLA (August 2008). I wonder why you do not offer to your European members the opportunity to subscribe to your VISA Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card.
Please give me some good news to come about it.
Sincerely yours.

Dear Mr Marriott,
most hotels these days charge a pet cleaning fee of $10 - that's 10 times less than Marriott's $100 fee.
This seems unfair, especially as to paraphrase a Trip Advisor comment, the majority of pets cause far less mess in hotel rooms than a lot of guests - after all, they don't smoke, get drunk and fight, etc.

Dear Mr Marriott,
your blog is about high levels of customer service, however I think that you will acknowledge that sometimes there are issues and they are not always dealt with in the most appropriate way. It would be really great if you could install the 'talk to a live person' functionality on your site for times when service does fall short - it would help the person affected feel that Marriott cared.

Mr. Marriott,
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you and your company for something that happened June of 2007.
My husband, Ricky Hewitt, worked for a company that required him to travel almost on a weekly basis. He stayed exclusively at Marriotts when he was out of town. The week that I am speaking of, he was in the Atlanta area and was in a very bad accident which left him a paralyzed from the chest down.
Not only did the staff bring me his belongings to the hospital that he was at but the also brought a beautul plant to him.
Due to the fact that he stayed with your company so often, he accumulated quite a few reward points. He had so many in fact that we were going to take an Alaskan cruise for our 15th anniversary. But once the accident happened, we were able to use the points to have free hotel stays for me since I traveled so much between Atlanta and Florida during the two months he was in rehab at the Shepherds Center in Atlanta.
Since his passing, I continue to stay at Marriotts due to the beauty and cleanliness of your facilities and the friendliness and caring of your staff.
Thank you for making your company such a nice place to stay!!!
Pamela Hewitt

Your legacy of service was superbly demonstrated last month when I stayed at the Marriott Hotel in Quito, Ecuador with my nine year old daughter, Daniella. Your employees Elizabet ******, Gabriela *********, and Edwin ***** were especially thoughtful of my daughter, and their kindness made our visit a truly memorable occasion.

Mr. Marriott:

I want to personally recognize the wonderful customer service that I received recently from one of your employees in the Marriott Guest Services Center in Salt Lake City, UT. I ordered a rewards gift Cheque a few months ago and never received it. I called the Guest Center and Linda ******** answered. She gave customer service that was beyond any I have ever received from a hotel chain. Before we ended the call, I felt as if I have known her all my life. (And it just so happens that she was born and raised in a town 15 miles from where I live.) I felt Linda's smile as soon as she answered the phone. She was kind, courteous and didn't hestitate to get the job done. WIthin minutes, I was issued a new rewards gift cheque, the old one was cancelled and everything taken care of. The final gesture was over and above what I expected. She actually took time to call me at home that evening and let me know that the points for the original gift cheque had been returned back to my account. Now--that is what I call exceptional customer service. I am an VP/HR of a financial organization that prides themselves on the unique service that we provide. Linda would be a "star" in our orgianization. Please take time to recognize her and let her know how she made a difference in my life that day.

I was blown away by the personal attention at Washington Renaissance Marriott during the NAHRO conference there in late March. Two banquet workers particularly, Reth Oun and Komala, heard the slightest mention of an item I wished for, hunted up that item and sought me out amongst the multitude of session rooms we were using to provide my wish. It was like rubbing Aladdin's Lamp!!

FYI . . . Your new hotel in Winchester, VA does not show on Google maps. Neither the address given me by the hotel desk (123 Ward Ave) nor your web site address are accurate per Google. I suggest you use 2288 Northwestern Pike, Winchester, VA 22603, which is locatable on most GPS units and should mark the actual hotel entrance road. We have confirmed reservations for 5/1/10 at Winchester and I needed a reliable GPS address, which I believe others would also enjoy.

My latest Marriott Statement reflects that I have stayed more than 730 nights at a Marriott!!! More than 2 years of my life at a Marriott and still continuing! Right now, I'm at the JW in Houston --- and my ony suggestion is that you waive the $17/night parking fees for Platinum guests! Thanks, Rick P.

Couple of your posters I want to echo their posts.

Brett: About electronic receipts-AGREE, think of eFolio receipts that are attached to your stay, so when you visit Marriott.com you can look at past reservations and next to it should be an efolio receipt. brilliant idea and something Marriott should look into. BTW, your competition, Hilton does this already.

Rosalie: YES, would love to see more Marriott properties in New Zealand, probably the most beautiful place on earth. Lived there for a good while on the North Island-various locations. Full service to extended stays of Marriott's would be beneficial for that island.

Connie: JW Marriot Starr Pass Resort Hotel & Spa. Kudos to that place, stayed there a few years ago and what a setting. In fact, told three of my co-workers to cancel their locations and move to this resort. They did and when they work in Tucson, they stay there.

Keep up the great work Bill!!!

Mr. Marriott.

It warms me deeply to know that you are committed to your employees. In this day, it is rare to see such a personal connection between the executive leadership and the regional leadership. Your sincere commitment and profound dedication is an example to be followed by all in the business as well as the personal arena.

I've enjoyed Marriott hotels for many years but do have one major gripe. Internet access is now a necessity and not a luxury. It really irks me to see outrageous charges for internet and WiFi access particularly at upscale hotels in Europe. Here is an article that really resonates with me http://is.gd/bAPRB


Mr. Marriott,
I'm starting to see reports on agent group sites that Marriott hotels in Great Britain are raising rates on people stuck there due to this week's flight cancellations. Surely this will lead to quite a blow to your brand loyalty. I would hope you have your execs rethink what will inevitably be seen as taking advantage of a difficult situation for these travelers.

Mr. Marriott
thanks for sharing this. I always enjoy hearing and reading about your Camelback spring break trip each year.