Marriott on the Move

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Booking with Marriott While on the Move

Posted:09/29/201112:37 PM

In 1957, when we opened our very first hotel, the Marriott Twin Bridges, families were just starting to drive long distances on Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway.  It was a great system and really changed America. 

Our Twin Bridges Motor Hotel was located outside Washington, D.C. and it featured a drive-through front office.  It made for quick and easy check-ins.  Guests were able to be guided to their rooms by boys on bicycles and then able to park very close to their room – a real convenience, especially for large families.

Recognizing travel trends is vital to staying competitive and giving our customers what they want.  But no area has changed as much as the reservations area.  It’s online and it’s increasingly mobile.  Our new mobile app – designed for devices like iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry – is receiving great reviews.

About 400,000 people have already downloaded it.  Within days of being launched, it was ranked the fourth most popular free app on Apple’s iTunes and the most popular travel app.

Our e-Commerce team has created a hit!  Unlike some other hotel companies that have one app per brand, Marriott’s app lets you search for more than 3,600 hotels among 13 brands in 71 countries.  It also finds nearby hotels using GPS. 

When we first opened hotels like Twin Bridges, no one envisioned making a reservation this way.  It’s never been so easy.

So, download the app that we linked below and leave a comment letting us know what you think.

Oh, by the way, you can still book a room by calling a reservationist or by stopping by the front desk.  Some things will never change.

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

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Download the Marriott app for iPhone

Download the Marriott app for Android

Download the Marriott app for BlackBerry

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Let The Ritz-Carlton Stay With You

Posted:09/22/2011 1:39 PM

 

Our marketing team at The Ritz-Carlton was busy this month as they rolled out a new brand advertising program:  “Let Us Stay With You.”

It flips the age-old message that most hotels ask:  “Come Stay With Us.”  Instead, The Ritz-Carlton asks, “Let Us Stay With You.” 

 

The phrase works for The Ritz-Carlton.  It’s personal.  It draws on those wonderful, lasting memories when you stayed at a Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

Let Us Stay With You

How do the ladies and gentlemen make the magic happen every day?  They do it by getting to know their guests and acting on what they’ve learned about them.  We’re “pulling back the curtain” to show you all what makes Ritz-Carlton different, what really sets The Ritz-Carlton apart in the luxury category.

The advertising campaign is really cool and has some beautiful photography along with it.  You can visit the new website and get tips from The Ritz-Carlton concierge about interesting things to do in their town.  This online feature draws on Foursquare, a location-based social media network.  

It’s all about “real” experiences at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel.  “Let Us” make your child a sous chef for a day.  “Let Us” create and name a drink in your honor.  “Let Us Stay With You.”  It’s got a nice ring.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.  I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move.  And thank you for letting us stay with you!  

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THE CHAIRMAN'S AWARD FOR LIFE-SAVING ACTS

Posted:09/15/2011 3:05 PM

Chris&Me&Boston-Station

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We give out a lot of awards at Marriott, everything from leadership to community service. One of our most prestigious awards is The Chairman’s Award, which we give to associates who have saved lives. 

In a typical year, we give more than a dozen of these.  One of the most recent went to Christopher Allen, resident manager of the Boston Marriott Cambridge.  (We're pictured above.)

One Saturday morning, Chris was taking the “T” subway to Fenway Park to see a Red Sox game.  As he waited for his train, a woman on the other end of the platform tripped and fell onto the tracks about five feet below.  

Realizing he was one of the only people in the vicinity, Chris sprinted over, jumped into the pit, and lifted the badly injured woman onto the platform.  Thankfully, he was able to get himself out of the pit just moments before a train arrived at the station. 

The lady has been in touch to express her gratitude for Chris’s bravery, and what she described as the “foolhardy act” of helping to save her life.  I’d have to agree that Chris took a big risk that day -- and I’m not  encouraging everyone to jump onto live train tracks -- but I’m sure glad Chris was in the right place at the right time.  He certainly performed an heroic act.  

 

Chris is one of our many associates who in the course of their daily lives did something extraordinary.  By saving lives, Chris and the other “Chairman Award” recipients inspire us everyday. 

I’m Bill Marriott, and thanks for helping me to keep Marriott on the Move. 

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On a New Journey: Ten Years After 9/11

Posted:09/08/201112:15 PM

WTC Flag tight

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I’ve walked by it for almost ten years now.  It’s tattered and torn just as it was found.  The Marriott flag that is framed and displayed in the lobby of our headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland is a vivid reminder of the devastation and what it must have been like at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001. 

Someone, in the days following, reached down and pulled the flag out of the twisted steel and dusty rubble.  It was recovered as rescuers searched for survivors of that horrific terrorist attack.   

No one will forget the image of the trade center towers collapsing.  But what some forget was the next building to go down.  

When the planes struck and the towers fell, they crushed our 22-story hotel located right in the middle of it all.  Its address was 3 World Trade Center.  From our hotel you could access Tower 1, steps away was Tower 2 and they were all interconnected.

WTCMarriott I was watching with other executives in our board room in Bethesda.  We were stunned at what we saw and, as the day unfolded, we learned of the plane hitting the Pentagon and another plane apparently headed for D.C. but crashing in Pennsylvania.  

We tried, in vain, to reach our team at the World Trade Center hotel, but it was impossible to do so.

We later learned that two of our associates, Joseph Keller and Abdu Malahi, lost their lives assisting guests and firefighters.  When last seen, Joe was trapped behind a wall of rubble in the lobby.  Abdu was on the upper floors knocking on guest room doors.  The south tower collapsed first, followed later by the north tower, completely destroying the hotel.  It was painful to watch 10 years ago and it sure is painful to retell today.  

It took a while for us to realize that this attack was a world-changing event.  Nothing would ever be the same again.  America was under attack.  

Very quickly all airline travel to the U.S. was grounded.  Hotel occupancy dropped by 80%.  We asked:  How long will this go on?  We contacted our banks to ensure we had the maximum financial liquidity to carry us through the tough time that faced our travel industry.  We worried, would our country survive this terrible event?  Of course, we did survive and travel returned but the world had changed.

Next to the flag in our lobby, we placed a plaque that recognizes the heroism of all our associates.  It reads:

Our Spirit to Serve

 From sacrifice … honor

 From adversity … resolve

From grief … remembrance

Here in Washington on 9/11, we had five hotels within blocks of the Pentagon.  Our associates there also played a role in providing rooms for first responders and evacuees. On this 10th anniversary, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will honor the Pentagon heroes at a ceremony held at our Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City Hotel.   

I’ve often been asked what keeps me up at night.  My response used to be “terrorism.” I’m resting a little better now that terrorist outposts - including bin Laden’s - have been eliminated.  

As for the tattered flag here in Bethesda, Maryland, it’s on a new journey.  First it will be on display at the New York Marriott Downtown Hotel located a block from the 9/11 Memorial.  

From there, the 9/11 Museum has expressed an interest in placing it in a permanent exhibit.  The museum is a year from opening, but that sounds like a good resting spot to me.   Besides, the flag has been there before.  The museum, which I’m proud our foundation is supporting, is in the same location as the Marriott World Trade Center Hotel.

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

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In 2002, on the one-year anniversary of 9/11, The New York Times wrote a detailed account of our hotel's role. read article

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I'm Bill Marriott, Chairman & CEO of Marriott International.

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