Hello Old Friend – Reimagining Marriott

Marriott Cocktals

When I first started my professional career right out of graduate school I immediately gravitated towards a few brands for business travel. At the time the big two for me were Delta and Marriott. I’m not sure why I fell in love with Marriott in particular, but I did and that close affinity never really went away even though I have long since divorced Delta. What did go away was how often I stayed at the Marriott Hotel brand itself. Instead I found myself patronizing the JW Marriott, Renaissance or one of the many other brands within the Marriott family. It wasn’t until Marriott approached me to participate in a innovative program that I realized this shift, but there’s no denying it.

I still loved the Marriott brand though and so I accepted their invitation to participate in the Culturazzi event series. The goal of the series is to shine a bright light on the transformation Marriott has undergone in recent years; a coming out party of sorts. What I experienced truly surprised me and once again changed my thoughts about this enduring hotel brand.

Yes, I was compensated for my time and yes it would be easy for me to write a fluff piece, but I haven’t done that and I won’t. Will I gush? Yes, probably but it’s truly heartfelt. For the first time in a long time I felt as if a hotel had listened to its guests and changed the way it does business with us in mind. Not exactly a novel concept, but one that is all too rare sometimes.

Marriott Great Room Marina del Rey

As I wrote in an earlier post, when I walked through the lobby with the newly revamped Great Room design I was shocked and amazed at Marriott’s rebirth. Gone was the depressing lobby, long dimly lit hallways and a dodgy bar with a lone businessperson nursing a whiskey and flirting with the waitress. In its place is a grand space, open and well lit, decorated with function and design in mind. Scores of outlets makes it a great place to surf the web, do some work while watching TV, sipping a beer and nibbling on some snacks. In other words, it’s a fun place to be and I wasn’t alone, whenever I walked through this heart of the hotel it was packed with people like me, surfing the web and enjoying the day.

Before I knew it I had fallen in love with Marriott Hotels again, and it felt good. When I travel it’s always a mix of business and pleasure. If it’s business I always find some down time to see the sights and explore and if I’m on vacation, I almost always have to do some work. I don’t think I’m alone either, thanks to our electronic tethers we are always working, even on a beach in Fiji and we need hotels that can accommodate this new lifestyle. The new look and feel of Marriott has made this possible and I couldn’t be happier to be affiliated with them, even if in a very small way.

By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

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