Five Years Blogging - Pen Pals, Pilates and Hitting Publish

June 11, 2012

Blogging in my officeFive years ago, when I started this blog I wasn't sure what to expect.  I love writing and sharing my thoughts with family, friends and talking to associates and customers.  So I figured, well I guess so, why not?  Through the years it's been a great outlet for me and I look forward to hearing from you every time I hit the "publish" button.

I'm always surprised by what resonates with readers. Here are a few of the blogs that got the most readers’ reaction.

A few years ago I wrote about Murphy, my golden retriever, and what he's taught me about patience.  He's a loyal companion and he developed quite a following - both in favor and opposed to his approach to catching ducks.

Gale Frank-Adise's photoOne person wrote: "It's amazing how we learn from our best pet friends. Their perception about life is just very much down to earth."

Engaging with you online has also taught me a lot about empathy.  At Marriott, we've seen our share of ugliness in the world, such as the tragedies at our hotels in Islamabad and Jakarta where readers wrote:   

The guard at the Islamabad Marriott is a hero for saving many lives by stopping the suicide bomber. My sympathies to his family.  Thank you for recognizing his heroism.

I surprised many of you when I wrote about taking up Pilates.  This was after my wife, Donna, told me I needed to grow an inch and stretch out.  I’d never heard of Pilates before, but many of you had and I really appreciate the encouragement.  By the way, I’m still going strong!  Here’s what one of you said:

Mr. M - do my eyes deceive? Pilates! Holy Mackerel! Mrs. M knows how to get you moving. You inspire in many ways! 

Most recently, you commented on my blogs where I talked about the new job of Executive Chairman, as Arne Sorenson took over the role of CEO.  Your comments warmed my heart:

Arne and MeDear Mr. Marriott - I am glad that you plan on staying involved with the company.  After all, your name is on the front door.  And when I see that name, I know that I will be welcomed and well taken care of.  Thank you and all the Marriott associates! (From my room in a Courtyard!)

Thanks for being my online pen pals and reading Marriott on the move. 


I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move for FIVE YEARS!


Let me know if there are any topics you want me to blog about.   

Listen to Blog

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Dear Mr Marriott,
I've just discovered your blog after reading the Marriott website. Thank you for your wise words, particularly your 'recipe' for achieving a happy life and I look forward to reading your future blogs.
All the very best to you.

Very informative and impressive post you have written, this is quite interesting and i have went through it completely, an upgraded information is shared, keep sharing such valuable information.

Dear Bill,
Just quick note on the wonderful organization you and all your team have built. My wife and I like to park and stay at your Towne Suites in Kent Washington when we fly out of SEATAC to our biannual ECKANKAR conference in Minneapolis. On Oct.12 we put our bags in the car and only traveled a short distance when an on coming car lost control crossed the mid line and hit us head on. I returned home to day with my wife still in hospital. I started calling the airlines, car rentals and can you imagine, I called your property and they reversed the charges on the non arrival! After 5 days of shock, a little uplift.
Thanks Bill

Hello Bill: As I type this, I have my 14 month old grandson on my lap. Read a bit of your bio and how you got Marriott started. I have discovered my my father's dad (the only grandparent I ever knew) came from the hills of Italy where all were known for their hospitality.

My passion for hospitality has brought me to the point I am at now: I want to create my own chain of hotels known for their unsurpassed service and warmth that treats every guest and every associate as family.

I would very much appreciate your thoughts on how to begin: I have been trying for years to begin as a concierge to no avail.
What do you recommend?

You are the unparalled best in the industry and that's what I aspire to!

Gayle M. D'Addario

Mr. Marriott.
I am pleased and proud to have worked for his company for several years in Faro and Lisbon, Portugal.

It was a great school to have worked in catering in Faro and Lisbon,1972/1980, with Mr. Boin as General Manager.

I also want to tell you, that was the best company I worked for.

Many Tanks for everthing.

Road warrior Bob here and until two years ago was 180 nights a year with Mariott whose hotels are always great. Two years travel changed so no longer needing hotel but still love Marriott. Stopped in the hotel bar at Times Square Marriott Manhatten and sat down where I could to rest which is essential at my age and was run out of a fringe area to a bar as I had crossed an invisible line. But the bar area was only 25 percent filled as the vast majority were non drinkers who had filled the non bar tables and correctly the waitress did point out a secondary seating further away which I did get up and trudge further down to locate . Anyway suggest some consideration training whether folks are visitors as I am due to ticketing in the building or registered guests. Thanks for the cool Ac on a hot day and ticket access and a great cola beverage but maybe an area sign to denote space? Thx Bob W


We had a stay over the 4th Of July weekend at another hotel chain. It was booked by planners for a national event. It reminded why I love the chain of Marriott Hotels. We booked and prepaid hotel, I double checked our reservation. I had booked 2 queen size beds months in advance. We arrived and were told we had a king size bed and perhaps we would like to pay extra for a cot. The coffee maker didn't work. We had one wash cloth for 3 people. A sign informed us the bath linens wouldn't be changed. The chain was totally dishonest. It was not a mistake, everyone was arguing with the desk clerks about reservations. I was reminded why I always book through Marriott. We only stay at another chain if I can't find one in the Marriott chain. I should also state the hotel was an upscale hotel in downtown Chicago.

Possible blog? - What will the hotel of the future look like in 2032? What will customers want to see / experience in an age of immediate response, higher expectations and with a hi-tech focus on communications - and how will Marriott position itself to remain a leader?

IMPRESSIVE • Personal • Reflective • OMGoodness • ALL thoughts and reactions as I read the above.
We are living in such a fast paced world these days and CHANGE is not knocking but Pounding on the Door.
Your Commitment to Excellence • Putting People 1st • Acting with Integrity AND EMBRACING CHANGE is So Evident in this Blog for one.

Hello Bill, 7/3/12

After watching a show called the"Pitch" on tv and I thought of a catch phrase that might work for your Autograph Hotel chain. It goes like this:


Just a thought, Warner

Greetings Mr. Marriott,
Our team at the University of Arizona recently hosted a national conference at the Renaissance Capital View hotel in Crystal City this past June. I am writing to express how AMAZING the team is there. We planned the whole conference from Arizona; so needless to say, having an event planning staff that was equipped and available to supply me with information and help guide my conference planning was much needed. The event planning staff at the hotel, primarily led by George Vatter, went beyond my expectations. From the moment I stepped into the lobby until the very moment I left to take a cab to the airport, every member of the Marriott team offered nothing but kindness, wonderful customer service and friendly support. Our conference went on without a hitch and it was all due to the event planning staff. My hat goes off to especially George Vatter and his team who all supported our team and ensured our event was more than what we envisioned. The banquet staff and team leaders were incredible as well and I really admired the respect and kindness shared with employees. Mr. Marriott, while I am sure you have successful team across all your hotels, the team at the Crystal City Renaissance Capital View, truly is an example of a successful and exceptional team. Congratulations to you all, I will definitely always consider hosting our events and personal travel with your hotel. Thank you!

Mr Marriott,

I started working for Marriott in 2000, and admittedly, I have strayed a couple times (Starwood and Loews). After testing the waters to see what else is out there, I returned to your company. The traditions and organization within this company is second to none. I have checked around, and I have found my home with Marriott. This time I am here to stay and carry on the beliefs that you and your father have instilled in us all. Thank you for all you have done, and all you continue to do.

Best regards to you and, of course, Murphy


Bill -

I wanted to thank you for your properties! I am a Gold member and refuse to stay anywhere that doesn't carry the Marriott flag!! You have established and amazing company with phenomenal employees.

Sincerely -

Jessica 'A. Bernosky
Reward #152391645

Dear Bill:

I thought you'd want to know about the wonderful experience I have had staying at a Marriot property for the past day-plus.

I am the Chief Marketing Officer for a technology company headquartered in Salt Lake City, and as such I happen to travel a bit. And I also write about my various experiences and feelings about all things marketing related.

To this end, I have written about my positive experience staying at the Denver Airport Fairfield Inn. (See

Your employee, Margarita, is a credit to you and the entire Marriott family of companies. Thank you for helping make my stay at another Marriott property a great experience.

All the best and your family, both personal and professional.


Dave Politis

Hello Mr Marriott, Many years ago,I worked for Del Ankers Photo studio. and you visited us one time.I think you were reviewing a commercial that nelson funk made for you. I addressed you as Mr. Marriott, and you said to me,"it's bill" It was a pleasure meeting you then, and hope you enjoy your"retirement" I'm 86 years young,and still in the photo business,part time of course,and like you looking forward to that century mark and beyond.. Good luck sir or should I say Bill....

Love the blog! It still amazes me how companies fail to see the benefit of having a blog, both in establishing a web presence in search engines and communicating with customers.

Mr. Marriott, I too just found out about your blog and can't agree more. Your post (from what I have read so far) are great!
I've said at plenty of Marriotts in my day and I've always had a great experience.
I look forward to reading more of your postings and many more great experiences.
Thanks again.

Dear Mr Marriott,

I started two months ago as new Director of Sales & Marketing in the beautiful Ghent Marriott Hotel in Belgium. I just wanted to say congratulations for all your great hotels, this strong website, your personal blogs, the willingness to share best practices and the powerful trainings and way of management. The associates in this hotel are still talking about your visit upon opening 5 years ago, they are all so proud! I do understand them and I am very happy to be one of them right now!

Warm regards,


Congrats on 5 years of blogging! One of the best CEO speeches I ever heard was one you delivered to the International Association of Business Communicators shortly after Kathleen Matthews on your team convinced you to start your blog. What I learned from her was for CEO communications to work, the PR person has to make it easy. What I was reminded of by you is that CEO communications must be authentic. You have that in spades, Mr. Marriott. I still remember your anecdote about the Ritz Carlton shoe shine man from Istanbul -- every employee matters.

Thank you for 5 years of stories and inspiration.

I just wanted to post that I think this blog is awesome. I have unexpectedly learned so much about Marriott from reading these posts.

Dear Mr. Marriott - I just found out about your blog. This is great! I can't believe you're 80 years old now. I was there at Marriott when you had your heart attack in 1989? We've both grown a lot older since then.

I always appreciated your accessability to the average employee. I'm sure you can't remember but we shared a couple of meetings when you reviewed a design for a prototype retirment community for Senior Living Services. It still amazes me that you reviewed, and approved, every piece of wallpaper that went into the design of Marriott's facilities.

I suppose I was most impressed when I met you at a church meeting in Annandale, Virginia in the late 90's. I introduced myself to you and told you that I worked for you in the Architectire and Construction Division. You obviously realized that I was there when Marriott had an extensive layoff, and I saw the concern in your eyes when you said, "I sure hope you didn't get hurt by that layoff", or something like that. I was so impressed that a corporate giant with a quarter million employees would still be concerned about how a business decision impacted even one of his employees, years after it happened.

Thanks so much for your example of human kindness at the very top of the corporate world.

Dear Mr. Marriott,

Please keep on writting your Blogs they are always insperational for us as a Marriott Associate. We always read and listen your Blog with the other associates which inspire us to give More More & More.

Thank you so much for these years!!!

Regards, Munish

I'm so glad that your experience at Marriott was meaningful. In response to your question, I currently am working on a blog comparing the American economy to the economy in Hong Kong. Stay tuned for more about American investment and entrepreneurship.

I want to thank Marriott for giving me a job when I was young. I learned much about professionalism from working at corporate.

From your vantage as a business leader, how do we bring American investors back into saving our country?

Have you ever thought about creating a channel where American entrepreneurs can get advice from you?

May the Lord bless you and your family.