Heart of the House

February 7, 2015


I do like to talk (and blog) about our associates who serve our guests every day. Some work in the front of the house and some work behind the scenes in what’s called the “back of the house.” No matter where they work, we’re shinning the spotlight on their outstanding service and featuring their stories on a new website called “Heart of the House.”

I’ve always believed that it’s very important to celebrate other people’s success, not your own. In the early years, I tried to visit each and every hotel to thank our associates personally for their service. Now, with more than 4100 hotels, it’s impossible to thank everyone personally, but our associates and the “Heart of the House” really keep me excited.

Recent postings to “Heart of the House” include  “Alfredo to the Rescue.”  After Boston’s recent terrible blizzard, Alfredo threw on his Red Sox hat, trudged three miles navigating four-foot snow drifts to get to work and help keep the hotel running.

In Egypt, our 30 associates from the Sharm El Sheikh Marriott Resort went diving in the Red Sea to collect harmful debris. The underwater photos are truly incredible.

One of my heroes is Bobby Spitzburg who is the linen sorter at the Irvine Marriott in California. Bobby is autistic but for him that’s not a problem. Bobby comes to work every day on the bus and is always there on time. He began in the Newton Massachusetts Marriott 36 years ago.  Obviously, he was thrilled when the Patriots won the Super Bowl.  

Bobby stands at the bottom of our linen shoot at Irvine and and sorts a thousand pounds of linen every single day. He also spends time on the hotel floors pushing the linen cart around to collect the dirty linen. Bobby has an amazing ability to remember names. He knows the names of each and every one of his colleagues. He also remembers the name of every guest he meets. When our guests introduce themselves, they know that when they return to the hotel, Bobby will greet them by name. Bobby’s gift is one I envy a lot. Guests say they often come to Irvine just to see Bobby.


In our own backyard, associates from our headquarters put on their hairnets and spent the day packaging food for people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other serious illnesses. (That's my daughter Debbie taking the selfie.)

Every hotel is filled with dedicated staff in the front of the house and in the back of the house.  Some you’ll see, some you won’t see. I’m sharing these stories to recognize all of those who work so hard and their great spirit to serve. 

Visit marriott.com/HeartoftheHouse to read the stories and submit one of your own.

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

Listen to my blog

The comments to this entry are closed.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Really awesome knowledge shared by writer. Love this heart of house always but think it suppose to start wearing Indian ethnic wear which gives more TRP .

really great article, Thanks for this.

Nice Blog Definitely it will help to people

Heart touching story. Everyone should motivated by reading this story.

Wow!! what a lovely story it is....very inspiring & heart touching too...hats off!!

Motivational story great i love this story thanks

really great to read your post. i love this one

Motivational story great i love this story thanks for sharing.

Nice post.. Really interesting. I enjoyed while reading.

Heart touching story. i am motivated my reading this story.

In a organization where we celebrate on each an every success of of our employees, be it personal, occasions or achievement - it gives motivation to the person in work, it helps to boost energy level in work for others too.

The difference is here don't look for it anywhere because you wont find it. MARRRIOT group of HOTELS are second home for everyone. just give it a try and you discover the uniqueness. marriot locks the industry.

great article! Yes Success is all about having the right mindset and celebrate the success of others.

Inspiring write up. Before investing in business what is vital is investing in the people and celebrating each other's success and giving support when one fails

I personally have stayed at multiple Marriott locations and have been very impressed by the morale and enthusiasm of all the employees. very inspirational story and a great motivation for all of us into hospitality industry.

Very good article...

inspirational story. i am motivating my self reading this story keep it up..

Dear Mr. Marriott,
I would like to take a few moments to praise all the employees at the Marriott Residence Inn Garden Grove, 11931 Harbor Blvd., Garden Grove, CA 92840. We have been staying at this Marriott Inn since 2003. We bring our children and grandchildren here and we had a family reunion here Easter 2012 with our family from the East Coast. We have been impressed with every manager and every employee throughout these 10 years. Many of the staff remember our faces and welcome us with big smiles every time we check in. The general manager, Frank Palacios, has always been extremely kind and gracious and has always rectified any small problem we encountered. Last summer when we had eight of our grandchildren with us for a four night stay, he went out of his way to talk to them and make them feel special. Our children and grandchildren fondly call this hotel the Piwowar Family Hotel because it is truly our home away from home. I know that Cathie LaBreque, a former Front Desk Manager, is no longer there, but she always made us feel so special and always remembered our names. And, this past Tuesday, I spoke with Alexis who helped me book our stays in April, May, and June. It was so nice to talk to her and tell her how much this Residence Inn has meant to us over the years. She was very efficient. She helped us find the best rates and told me that she looked forward to helping us book our summer stay when our grandchildren will be visiting. We have been Marriott Rewards members for at least 14 years, probably longer, and it is one membership we will never give up. I know this is long, but I also want to tell you that I agree with your post about tipping the housekeeping staff. We tip every day and always include a small note of thanks and we have taught our children to do the same thing. I know it means a lot to them and, occasionally, we receive a small note back. God bless you and your family, Mr. Marriott! Keep up the good work!
Cathy Piwowar

Dear Bill Marriott:
I want to share my views about an individual working the night shift at one of your Springhill Suites in Pasadena. We have been Marriott rewards members for 10 years and own an timeshare in Hawaii. It is with the utmost pleasure that we recommend the excellent customer service of employee Anthony Jacques (working at the Springhill Suites Marriot Pasadena/Arcadia, 99 N. 2nd Avenue, Arcadia, CA 91006). He was pleasant and extremely helpful in meeting our requests for directions, store/retail information, etc. AND what was so impressive was his ability to provide us with prompt service AND attend to others at the front desk. I wanted to take my recommendation to the top but unfortunately searched for 15 minutes on the Marriott.com site and could find no place to post such a review. I hope you will PLEASE provide a way of recognizing what I consider the best of what Marriott stands for in customer service. It is not often that I want to take this recommendation to your attention. Kind regards, B. Burton, San Diego, CA.

Celebrate the success of other, there's no greater joy. In my opinion a real man is happy for his success but is happier with others succeeding.

it’s very important to celebrate other people’s success, not your own

this is very good lesson for me. thanks

Wow, jumped to the Heart of the House website and think it is great! Adding it to My Favorites. I love the stories. Thanks.