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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Nice blog post, Bill. Congrats on so many successful years as a leader in the hotel industry!

BTW: Marriott ranked #1 in Heardable's latest research report profiling the top performing hotel chains online. Big kudos to you and your entire marketing and technology teams!

Here is a link to the press release that came out today on Yahoo News:


Jon Samsel
CEO, Heardable

Dear Bill

It was my pleasure, when I was working with the Marriott’s for more then 6+yrs have learnt and developed talent , I still remember Garry Kaas, my mentor in training ,and your words “take care of the associates and they will take care of the guest” . Your blogs are inspiring and makes us think and do things differently that will stand out in our daily life.
Thank you once again

A few years ago, my aunt and I sat behind you and your lovely wife at an Interfaith Concert at the Hebrew temple on McComb Street in DC. My aunt and I recognized you immediately and were so impressed that you were there with the rest of us -- we did not disturb you and the concert was absolutely fantastic.

Pilates -- I want my husband to do this (and myself) and so will let him know that Bill Marriott does Pilates. We work out but we are both shrinking!

Would like for you to blog about your feelings about senior workers in your hotels. And how you engender loyalty. We have 3 hotels we frequent in DC -- the Dulles Marriott, the Key Bridge Marriott and the Renaissance on 11th Street. We see some of the same folks over and over on a yearly basis for our organization meetings. And they recognize us, too. How do you do it?

I have made every effort over the past few years to either read or listen as you convey your various experiences and it is certainly a pleasure being one of your many customers and investors. We have long enjoyed our relationship with the Marriott system and whether it's a domestic stay or an international one, we always know that the hallmark of "excellence" is always there with the Marriott footprint. We know that whatever the circumstance the outstanding quality and responsiveness from your associates clearly demonstrates your leadership has filtered through to the "troops" and they must certainly bring a lot of pride to your family name.

Best of continued success!!!!

Marriott is the only hotel chain that I will stay at! I am always welcomed there and the service is the BEST of any hotels I have ever stayed at. Being a rewards member is a nice perk as well. Holiday Inn, Red Roof, Hilton, Westin...none of them can even be compared to the exemplary service you and the employees give to your customers.

DON'T STOP BLOGGING! It's great to hear your stories and behind-the-scenes accounts of growing a business. I've been staying at your hotels for years and I can see your personal touch at all the properties. I'm a lifelong customer.

Hello Mr. Marriott

As time goes companies names are getting smaller Holliday Inn (HI, Kentucky fried Chicken (KFC.
During this 50 years have you though about making Marriott name smaller or changing it at some point?

A report of one of your Staff Members "Going the Extra Mile"....On May 18th we are on our way to our son's house in Ohio. We had a reservation to stay at the Fairfield Inn in New Stanton, PA....about 4 hours from New Stanton, my husband (who wasn't feeling well) got very sick and we had to turn around and come back home. Around 7 PM we realized we didn't cancel our reservation.....I called the 800 number and they told me they would see what they could do (since it was after the 6 PM cut-off) I then called the New Stanton location and a very nice fellow "Nick" went the extra mile and called his supervisor for approval to cancel the reservation without penalty. Much appreciation to "Nick" and the hotel supervisor (manager)...we will stay there again on our way to Ohio...just because of how caring they were. Thank you!! Thank You!! They should be commended for "going that extra mile!"

Dear Mr. Marriott,

Congratulations on your successful blog, I really hope you continue this marvellous job for many years more!

Great information and post. I would like to thank you for sharing your ideas and times

I had the privilege of watching your father and mother and their romance, marriage and ascent to greatness on PBS. He was a most interesting and innovative man and she his steadfast partner and wife...what an inspiration they were! I loved watching their story especially since I lived in DC for a few years and know all the areas where the Hot Shoppes were located. I also lived down the street in a highrise in Crystal City one block from the Marriott located on South Eads St. with access into the Metro Station and lots of cute shops.

I am single mom with a 13 years old.
I don't have a stable job, don't have a stable place to live.
This afternoon, I don't know what I can do in the future, I feel so upset, hopeless & frustrated. I got your e-mail & read your blog.
You gave me the strength to face life, I will try to apply a position in Marriott now..
I will face life with confidence & faith.
Thank you for your blog, it really give ma a new hope for life...
God Bless!!

Bill your are a renaissance man. Your blogs are fantastic. I hope you'll write (record) even more. They are the great insightful essays.


Mr. Marriott,
Where does the time go! I cannot believe it has been five years of following your log. I enjoy and look forward to hearing from you each and every time. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to share with us.