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2 posts from April 2017


An “Unusual” Cup of Joe

The Bo'i+o coffee shop at the Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua Hotel in the Dominican Republic

If you’ve read my blog before, you know one of the great pleasures of my job is to visit our properties and associates. It’s something my father loved to do, too. He taught me the importance of being seen in the hotel—being present and having a connection with the people who work there. Over the years, I’ve also come to love the uniqueness of each hotel and its location. In a sea of hotels, I love finding out what makes each hotel different and the people who work there special.

A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of visiting our Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua Hotel in the Dominican Republic. The Renaissance brand prides itself on the unusual, even using the tagline “Business Unusual.” They celebrate innovation and creativity, originality and expression. That commitment is on display not just in the way our associates care for guests, it even comes out in the physical design of each hotel. Renaissance Hotels echo and embrace its community.

The Pucamaima University design students in their winning design.

The Renaissance in Santo Domingo is a great example of using their space to reflect the neighborhood. They looked to local design talent to help create a new coffee shop. They partnered with design school The Pucamaima University in Santo Domingo to hold a design contest for its students. The winning design includes a bright and modern space with a signature element: wall art representing a young Dominican girl. They named their muse “Ana.” It is a beautiful piece of art by local artist Willy Gomez.

Now the Bo'i+o coffee shop is getting rave reviews from guests and locals who frequent the shop. It’s a win-win… for the Renaissance, for the design students who bolstered their resumes, and for the neighborhood.

I applaud the Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua for celebrating the unique opportunities of its community and people. They created an unusual experience with their coffee shop—not just another cookie cutter place for a cup of joe. I hope you’ll visit and try it out for yourself.

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

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Westin Santa Fe #MICultureChat
Associates at The Westin Santa Fe in Mexico City shared this photo as part of the #MICultureChat.

Last March I blogged about the fun I had doing my first Twitter chat. In that post I promised I’d do another one because I enjoyed the experience so much. Recently, I sat down again with my daughter, Debbie Marriott Harrison, for our second twitter chat.

This one was on the heels of our company’s merger with Starwood and we had an even bigger audience. In fact, participation from our hotels tripled! I was thrilled to see so many Starwood properties joining the chat.

We talked to associates about company values and the strong culture at the heart of our company. In fact, one of the things that attracted us to the Starwood deal was our similarities in culture. Starwood had always cultivated a fun and caring environment for their associates and had a commitment to their communities. We knew merging the two companies wouldn’t be a quick or easy process, but if we had the common denominator of a strong, people-first culture, the rest would fall into place.

I learned in this Twitter chat that no matter where you go in any of our 6,000 hotels, we have associates working hard to welcome and care for travelers. Our associates genuinely love what they do and it shows in the care of our guests.

Associates at each hotel also work hard to care for each other and their communities. So many hotels shared what they do to serve their neighborhoods year round… from beach clean ups in Hawaii to organizing lunches for the homeless in Zurich, Switzerland.

It was an honor to talk to associates and hear all the great work they put in to make our company culture thrive.  It’s what has brought us success so far and will ensure our success in the future.

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