Loyalty Matters

October 19, 2015

Loyalty - family at sunset

I usually write about the people in our company and how important they have been and are to our success. It’s true that there’s another part of the equation, however, and that of course are our many, many loyal customers from around the world.

Just like we’ve had associates who’ve been with us for decades, we’ve also had wonderful customers who have stayed with us as we’ve grown and as their lives have changed through the years.

Recently, Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson and I received a letter from one of these members of the extended Marriott family. I share it here because it’s a reminder of how important good customers are and if we do our best to serve them well, we can become an important part of their lives too.

Dear Mr. Marriott and Mr. Sorenson,

This is not a letter asking for anything or complaining about a service. In fact, this email might sound corny, but I felt the need to write. 

This past January, I was diagnosed with interstitial lung disease. It makes you think about a lot of things in your life and, believe it or not, as I started listing things I realized Marriott was part of many good times and milestones. 

So, I wanted to thank you for some great memories.

If one was to ask me about brand loyalty I would only have one company that I'm truly loyal to you.


 My first business trip at 20, I stayed at a Marriott;

My first California trip (including a small earthquake) was at a Marriott

My first [loyalty] program enrollment was with Marriott

My wedding night was at a Marriott;

The kids’ first trip to Disney, we stayed at a Marriott

My son’s first Easter egg hunt was at Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa;

When we bought our timeshare, it was/is, of course, a Marriott

When we found out our Jenny was terminal, our last trip together and one of the best memories we will ever have, was a wonderful, bittersweet trip to the Marriott Aruba Resort

We live on Long Island and we have weathered more than one hurricane at a Marriott property;

My 50th birthday was spent at the Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Beach Resort;

Last fall, instead of a party for sweet 16, my daughter Courtney and I went to Italy and stayed at the Rome Marriott Park Hotel;

Every summer vacation is at a Marriott;

And now, after saving up for years, we are planning the family's first “out west” ski trip together and, of course, we will stay at a Marriott.

We are not the wealthiest of your patrons and may not have spent a lot of money at the hotels. I may not have ever reached gold status. I am, however, loyal and grateful for the lifetime experiences my family and I have shared with you. 

I hope to write to you someday and say, "I danced at my grandchildren's wedding at a Marriott!"

So here is a simple "thank you" for all the memories!


To this wonderful customer, I say thank you, thank you!

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


Follow me on Overheard@Marriott on LinkedIn.


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This is very moving and it makes you think of how many peoples' firsts we have been there for and hopefully, there will be many more!

Mr. Marriott

Thank you so much for sharing this letter with everyone and for reminding us of the little things in life we should always appreciate and cherish... most important, how much of a difference we can make in someone's life with the things we do every day, especially when it comes sincerely from the heart.

This mesange make us feel important for guests lives. how important to be brillant host every moment.

Mr. Marriott and Mr. Sorenson,

This has got to be the most moving customer service letter I have ever read, at any of the companies I have worked for. It really highlights the importance of treating every guest as if they are the only guest. You have no idea what lasting impression you are having on a guest with just a simple smile or a kind word. The fact that Marriott is a running thread in this guest's life is a testament to how special we have always made him and his family feel.

I'm proud to be a part of a company that can have that sort of an impact on a person.

This was beautiful..had me teary eyed. Absolutely love Marriott and will continue working with this company until my last breath.

Thank you for sharing this letter with all of us. Two very powerful words - thank you, wow, they mean so much to all of us. This is loyalty at its best.

This story is very inspirational and really speaks to the importance of the work that our associates do everyday!

Wow this is a wonder story so touching, Thats why is so important to take care of our guess and make there stay with us the most memorable :-)

Dear Team & Associates,

My heart was touch when i've read this simple & very touching & encouraging letter from a devoted & well supportive guest of all time. i salute you!

I know, even i am just a small & simple associate of this Company joined for the past two in a half years, i am so proud & wished more to continue so with my children if the LORD GOD's will in the future.

Thank you so much MARRIOTT for giving me chance to work in your company, may the LORD GOD blessed you more to reach people whose in need like me.It is true that this company is far more better to work with than any other company.

With humblest regards,


What a sweet and sincere letter. I think many of us have special Marriott memories along the way and never express them. Could not help but think of our old friend Bob Hope. Thanks for the memories!

I cried after reading this e-mail, because I feel the same way with this company. I started as a housekeeper, and now is a Century Club Member and a Housekeeping manager. Thank you, Mr. Marriott for all the blessings that you have given me and my family.

Mr. Marriott and Mr. Sorenson,

This seems like as good a place as any to applaud "Marriott". I am truly impressed by anyone and everyone associated with Marriott. It is obvious that you and your company are doing something/everything right. Let me start with the housekeeping staff. They are so friendly and welcoming it supports my decision to stay at Marriott hotels. They are either the highest paid or best trained group of people around. Your check in and front desk personnel also are wonderful. We utilize your parking valet staff and they too are wonderful. Least I forget the Marriott call in/registration staff. They are polite, courteous, knowledgeable and helpful. I also applaud the diversity of your employees. Some rather tough jobs are always handled with a smile and a greeting. Marriott has found the secret to success and I wish nothing but good fortune on the Marriott "Family". Thank you.

Beautiful letter.
We actually feel the same way. Have spent many yrs. on the
road during career times, staying in Marriot's because you knew
what to expect when you checked in. A professional well run

During those yrs. would find pleasure in our Marriott Timeshares
with family and friends and it continues to this day.

What a gift the Marriott family have given our family and friends. Thanks for all of those great times and memories.

I am very honored to work here at the Aruba Marriott vacation club and this story is what makes these moments and experiences worth it.

This brought tears and made me think about all the good exciting times Marriott offers and brings to families across the globe. I am on the verge of losing my Aruba timeshare due to the economic downturn (& now a healthy upturn). Because of this article, I am going to make one very strong last effort to keep what I feel to be an investment that will bring me & my family great joy for a very, very long time! Sometimes we just need a little reminder.....

Thank you Marriott for sharing!!!

What a wonderfully written, heartfelt letter! It is so very special that Marriott was able to host this loyal guest through so many of life’s milestones...and so thoughtful of this guest to share these memories. This reinforces the purpose of every associate working in the hospitality industry.

Congratulations Mr. Marriott,
That letter pretty much says it all, doesn't it?
I/we have similar memories having always respected the Marriott brand, both as a guest and an employee. We have sampled other hotel chains, vacation owners clubs and rewards programs and believe you are the best.
Best Wishes for many more years of enjoying your reputation.

I too am a loyal Marriott member since 1969 on my first sales meeting at the Marriott what used to be 95 in Boston area. I have been a Platinum member and about 20 years ago was made Life Platinum. All our vacations and family outings are scheduled around wherever a Marriott family of hotels exists.

I too have to say thanks for the memories