My $1 Million Idea for Marriott (#74)

Upon embarking into 2013, I resolved to write at least one Blog post each week. So far, I’ve been fulfilling this in my own mind with my weekly Retail & Travel link love post over on the Adobe blogs. But I want to up the game, so here goes. At long last, a new post here at MichaelRHalbrook.com!

I’m a Marriott fanboy. I’m in my third year of Gold status with them, and consistently fall just short of Platinum status. I’ve been loyal to them as long as I can remember, even well before realizing that most of my Adobe coworkers based in Utah are also intensely loyal to them.

But, like anyone else, I’ve had my fair share of minor gripes and complaints about various and properties and experiences over the years. Nothing to raise my voice about too loudly or really alter my relationship with Marriott as a whole, but enough to remember.

This isn’t one of those times. This is just an observation and an idea for a minor improvement that would go miles toward building deeper relationships with those of us constantly on the road and relying on Marriott hotels (or others) to provide us a comfortable night of rest between days of hard work.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had the ability to store universal reservation preferences –

Marriott reservation preferences
Marriott reservation preferences

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had the ability to store universal reservation preferences – do I prefer a King bed? A low floor or a high floor? Extra towels? Feather or foam? USA Today or WSJ?

All great things. I love checking into the room and seeing the two extra bath towels on the dresser.

Here’s the idea, though:

How hard would it be to make these preferences granular, per hotel property? Let’s do it!

For years, I had a “Low floor” preference. I have an Irrational Fear Of Heights (IFOH), and when I would check into the Marriott City Center in Minneapolis and end up with a room on the 20th floor or higher, I’d have to enforce a mandatory “no go zone” 10 feet from the windows to maintain my own sanity. The low floor preference made a ton of sense.

Until I started a year-long project just outside of Boston and was staying each month at the Courtyard in Westborough, MA. “Low floor” there meant 1st floor with a sliding patio walkout door, a.k.a. the “please break into my hotel room at night and steal my valuables” room feature. I became accustomed to asking for the 2nd of 3rd floor there until I went to marriott.com and changed my preference to “High floor.”

…Which worked until the next time I was back at City Center. You get the picture.

This came to mind again last week on my 2nd or 3rd visit to the SpringHill Suites in Lehi, Utah. My “High floor” preference translated to this property means I’m hooked up with a 4th floor (top floor!) room. Not bad, and not high enough to trigger my IFOH (Irrational Fear Of Heights)

But at this hotel, the elevator is slower than molasses in January, which leads me to take the stairs at either end of the hallway – a choice I make at many of these “stubbier” hotels anyhow, for the purposes of working a bit more physical activity into my routine. The only thing is, at this hotel, it’d be better to be on the 2nd or 3rd floor.

So, why not?

Why can’t I set a per-property, or per-brand preference? (Many of the formats of building style, number of floors, etc., are pretty consistent across each Marriott brand.)

Better yet, why can’t I set messages for each property?…

…”Gosh, I really liked room 419 last time better than 417 this time. Seemed much bigger. Why did you stick me in a smaller room? Could I have the bigger one again next time?”

…”Room 203 by the elevator shaft was brutal. I couldn’t sleep all night. I’m fairly loyal. Could I please avoid that room in the future?”

…”You can save the breakfast flyer on my pillow. When I’m here, it’s one night, in and out of meetings. I’d always like the seasonal fruit platter at 6 AM, please.”

In this day and age, with such a fantastic digital and overall brand experience across the board, I’m pretty sure Marriott could execute on this like no one else, and I’d love to see it and take advantage of it as I continue to patronize and interact with their brand and their properties.

Who’s with me? What do you think? Would you add elements to the idea, or do you think I’m crazy and asking too much?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *