Marriott on the Move

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'What's Cooking' at Marriott

Posted:10/27/201111:18 AM

BLT PopoversMy career began in the restaurant business.  As the company transitioned over to hotels, I never wanted to lose those roots.  To this day when I visit a hotel, I often go straight to the kitchen to see what’s cooking.

Now you can see what’s cooking by visiting our new website.

http://www.marriott.com/restaurants

 

It showcases many of our restaurants and bars and gives you the chance to share them with your friends on Facebook and make a reservation on OpenTable, an online reservation system.

We have so many incredible hotel restaurants many run by the world’s best chefs -- Laurent Tourondel, Gordon Ramsay, Kerry Simon, just to name a few. (View the video to see how to works.)

I’m often asked to compile a list of my favorite places to eat. It’s tough to do, like picking my favorite child.  I guess I love them all.  I’ll probably get in trouble for this, but I want to share some of my favorite meals with you:

Order the Tomahawk Ribeye at JW Steakhouse in London at the Grosvenor House.  

You’ll love the New England Sea Scallops at 606 Congress in the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel.

The Brasserie Lipp at the JW Marriott Mexico City makes a decadent dessert, the good old Hot Chocolate Soufflé.

At BLT Steak at Camelback Inn, I recommend ordering kobe and don’t miss out on a popover.

At the Renaissance Blackstone Hotel in Chicago, be sure to order one of the tasting menus at Mercat a la Planxa.

We’ve worked hard to make our restaurants and bars destinations for both out-of-towners and local people.  So, next time you’re looking for a great night out, visit our website, look over the menu and make a reservation.  Bon appetit.

And, please leave a comment on your favorite Marriott restaurant.  

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

Listen to blog

 

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Fond Farewell to a Marriott Friend

Posted:07/25/201110:27 AM

 Listen to Blog

On July 6, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal published extensive obituaries on my friend, George Lang, one of America’s most successful restaurateurs.

George Lang

George had a truly fascinating and exciting life.  He was born in Hungary in 1924.  He was Jewish and escaped a Nazi forced-labor camp and imminent execution in the Second World War.  He came to New York with no money, but with hopes of becoming a concert violinist.   

When his violin career did not work out, he pursued a career in restaurants.  He worked for Restaurant Associates and was instrumental in establishing the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York City, one of the world’s most famous.  George also established and ran the famous Café des Artistes Restaurant in New York.  He wrote a lot of cookbooks and was one of the most renowned restaurateurs of all time.  

George Lang's Book Cover

When he left Restaurant Associates, we got together.  As we talked we came to the conclusion that it might be a good idea for George to establish a consulting business and I offered us up as the first client.  At that time, we were big-time in the airline catering business.  We just acquired the Qantas Airline account at our London Flight Kitchen at Heathrow.  Qantas flights to Australia were, of course, a long haul and very expensive in first class.  They were charging a lot and expected the highest level of service.

George volunteered to go to London and create a very high-end food service for Qantas in-flight catering.  He not only designed it, he stayed on in the kitchen for many weeks, training the chefs and ensuring that they did an outstanding job. 

When we opened our Marriott hotel in Budapest, Hungary, I was there for the opening and George showed up.  He was there opening a very famous restaurant in Budapest and joined us for dinner.  

He was a great friend and George and I worked together on many projects through the years.  I will miss him.  He made an outstanding contribution to the restaurant industry for over 40 years.  And he certainly helped me out when I really needed it the most with Qantas in London.  

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

George Lang Obituary (The New York Times)

 

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Honoring Marriott's Elite

Posted:05/12/2011 6:56 PM

2011 Awards of Excellence Honorees Tonight, I have the privilege of being joined by our most elite associates from all around the world at our annual Awards of Excellence gala.  It is an event we hold every year at our Marriott Bethesda North Hotel in Bethesda, Maryland, to honor the best of the best within our company.  These associates not only provide our guests with great service, they also make it a point to take wonderful care of their fellow associates and the communities where they work and live.

This year’s honorees come from throughout the United States, as well as around the globe, from countries like China, Egypt, India, Brazil and Scotland.  And, as usual, many of our honorees have some amazing stories that I would like to share with you.

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Helping Those Who Help Others

Posted:05/05/2011 2:42 PM

Peter OBrien Group meetings, conferences and conventions are a very important part of our business and account for over 35 percent of our total sales.  One group that often holds their annual conference in one of our hotels is the National Association of School Nurses (NASN).  They are terrific people who take care of our kids at school and it’s a great piece of business for Marriott generating more than 3,500 room nights.

Last summer, the Director of Meetings for NASN had to unexpectedly resign a month before their event was being held at the Chicago Marriott, leaving the group in desperate need of a new meeting planner.  One of the account executives from our national sales team, who has worked with this group for many years, Peter O’Brien, suggested a few reputable meeting planners that might be able to help.  But, the group trusted and respected Peter so much, they asked if he could help them plan and organize their meeting.

Although it is rather unusual for an outside group to use an “inside” meeting planner, Peter gladly took on this role while still maintaining his “day job” in our sales outfit.  During the week the meeting took place, Peter worked 15-18 hour days to ensure everything ran smoothly and the event ended up being a big success.  In fact, the event was so successful and the group was so appreciative of Peter’s and the hotel’s hard work and stellar service, that they recently signed an agreement to host 5 more of these meetings in 5 different Marriott hotels around the country.

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Good Training Leads to Service Excellence

Posted:04/08/2011 4:42 PM

The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company LLC When we talk about service at The Ritz-Carlton, we talk about the Gold Standards.  So I’m excited, that our Ritz-Carlton brand recently received the tremendous honor of being one of only 40 companies named to the elite J.D. Power Customer Service Champion list for service excellence.  To determine which companies would make the list, J.D. Power & Associates evaluated more than 800 different brands based on customer feedback, opinion and perception.

The ladies and gentlemen that are a part of our Ritz-Carlton team are truly doing an amazing job when it comes to ensuring their guests have defining moments during their stays.  First and foremost, we put a major emphasis on training for all employees, no matter their department or title.  Every new employee must attend a mandatory New Employee Orientation before they are allowed to serve a guest.  During this training, there is a strong focus on The Ritz-Carlton culture, which is referred to as The Gold Standards.

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Take a Minute . . . and Relax

Posted:03/22/201112:55 PM

Saray Spa About every March, I head to Camelback Inn, our Marriott resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, for a vacation with my family.  It’s usually spring break for the kids and I celebrate my birthday there and have every year since 1967.  I’ve been going to Camelback since I was 16 and love that part of the world.

One thing that we really enjoy while we’re there is going to the spa.  For many, getting a massage is an incredibly relaxing and mind clearing activity.  In addition to the spa at Camelback, we manage 169 other spas worldwide and we have more than 90 new spas in our pipeline.  Spas are really becoming a major part of our business.

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Our Culture Sustains Us Through Challenging Times

Posted:03/04/2011 4:21 PM

North Africa and the Middle East Winston Churchill, one of my heroes, once said, “If you’re going through hell, keep on going.”  It certainly describes the challenge our Marriott associates have faced over the past several weeks, as Egypt, Bahrain, Libya and other countries in the region have experienced a great deal of political turmoil and unrest.  Marriott has quite a large presence in that part of the world with 30 hotels across many brands.  The safety and well being of our guests and associates is always our number one concern.

In Libya, our brand new JW Marriott hotel in Tripoli opened for business just as the disturbances began.  As we reviewed the options, we realized we needed to evacuate the few guests who were in the hotel, as well as our 185 associates who had come to Tripoli in pursuit of new careers with Marriott.  The evacuation was coordinated by our regional crisis team and operations team, headed up by Mark Satterfield. It was a complicated operation with special bus convoys and a charter Airbus 310 airplane.  We all breathed a sigh of relief as they took off  from Tripoli airport and landed safely in Jordan, to return to their home countries and their families.

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Marriott Opens Doors to a World of Opportunity

Posted:02/02/2011 4:45 PM

Marriott Opens Doors to a World of Opportunity People often ask me what motivates me every day to go to the office, when other business leaders at my age have long retired. The answer for me is simple. I know that every hotel that Marriott opens, whether it's in Indianapolis or India, is opening doors to a world of opportunity.

Creating these opportunities for our people, guests, owners, investors, and communities is the purpose that drives me personally and has made Marriott successful for more than eight decades. It's our reason for being, our unifying mission and the unique value we deliver to people and communities around the world.

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Lending a Hand in Haiti

Posted:01/28/2011 3:51 PM

Associates from the Harbor Beach Marriott Help with Relief Efforts in Haiti It’s been a year since a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, killing more than 230,000 people.  Although we don’t have a Marriott property in Haiti, this tragedy affected many of our associates who originally came from Haiti.  Our South Florida hotels alone employ more than 1,000 associates from Haiti, most of whom have immediate family in the area affected by the earthquake.

At our Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa approximately 233 of the associates are Haitian.  The hotel began their relief efforts immediately after the earthquake hit and one of the first things they did was meet with these associates.  They learned that more than 20 percent of their Haitian associates lost family members in the earthquake.  One couple lost 13 family members and another lost 10.  Many others waited to hear news about their loved ones.

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Taking a Trip Down Memory Lane

Posted:01/21/201111:58 AM

Items in Marriotts Archives When a company has been around for a long time, it’s only natural that there are a lot of historical mementos, keepsakes and records that have accumulated.  We keep a lot of these items from the past in our company archives at our headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland.  We recently refurbished our archives, made them more accessible to our associates and visitors to the building, and just a few weeks ago, I paid a visit and took a trip down memory lane.

It was great to see everything on display there.  I particularly enjoyed seeing the manual for training our waitresses, or what we call servers today, back in the mid 1930s.  There were a couple of quotes that I thought were pretty terrific.  To all our waitresses, it said, “Have a pleasant smile because it will increase your tips.”  We put a lot of focus on proper grooming back in those days.  We were particularly concerned with women manicuring their nails properly.  The manual said, “All servers should have carefully manicured nails – rounded, natural-colored and no bright nail polish.”  Back in those days, we had a lot of rules for consistency and that consistency really helped build our company into what it is today.

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

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