More Great News from Marriott

Last week’s big news was that the Marriott acquisition of Starwood closed, and immediately they offered to let members transfer points between accounts and status match.

That’s great, but today we have more good news. Depending on your perspective this may be even better news — not for the loyalty program, but for actually staying at their hotels.

Marriott had been at the vanguard claiming “they’re offering more flexible spaces that drive you to the lobby because it’s what millenials want” which I read as “it’s cheaper for them and brings incremental revenue potential.”

But there’s no incremental revenue from guests who avoid your hotels because rooms don’t have desks.

Here’s how the Hyatt Herald Square organizes a room about the size of my freshman year dorm in college that has no desk, but a ledge that you could pretend is a desk (but with no desk chair).

Fortunately desks are making a comeback at Marriott.

Marriott is redesigning its hotel rooms, and desks with chairs are once again a standard feature.

Desks had started to disappear from hotel rooms partly due to a perception that they were unnecessary in the era of laptops and cellphones, and that younger travelers weren’t using them. Rooms without desks also seemed to fit into a larger trend in the hotel industry toward minimalist decor.

But travelers began complaining…

As Marriott redesigns rooms, “Tubs are disappearing, too. Bathrooms will have only walk-in showers with hand-held sprayers in roughly 75 percent of the new hotel rooms, except for hotels in leisure/family markets.”

That’s great news for business travelers, not great for families that need to bath a small child.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Great news!

    Probably too late for the Renaissance Boca Raton hotel, which used to be your choice as well. My guess is now you do Hyatt Place in Delray? I just moved over there after 16 years at the Ren Boca.

  2. Finally! What a mis-step that was. I am a conference/meeting planner and have had to remove Marriott from my hotel brand portfolio due to the number of complaints I got regarding the absence of desks in the rooms.

  3. @Gary — Your freshman year dorm room would have been like a suite compared to mine! 🙂

    But, yeah, it’s “no desk, no go” with me, so this is a positive development…

    I stayed at Renaissance BKK Ratchaprasong in late 2015 in something called a ”studio suite’ and a picture I took of it shows a nice desk. Well, here’s the room in a web picture:–v2789532/

    Did Asian Marriott hotels refuse to adopt yet another bad policy — no desks, this time — hatched at their US headquarters?

  4. Can you try to re-structure your posts to put the “news” in the first paragraph? It makes it very hard to follow your logic.

  5. Awesome. Desks are really important.

    Don’t care if they change the sheets or not (they don’t.) I am sure the fluids from the previous occupant have already evaporated.

    But the desks are important.

  6. They have been putting desks/tables with wheels on them in Fairfield Inn properties for a year. I stayed in one last year and the room had an almost kidney bean shaped table with wheels in it. It works great for meals and laptops/working.

  7. BTW, the “studio suite” at Renaissance BKK depicted at the link in the comment above by DCS on September 26, 2016 at 12:37 pm was an upgrade on an AWARD stay as a “lowly” MR Gold… 😉

  8. @DCS: Almost all European and Asian Marriott hotels are superior to a Marriott in the United States. Even domestically, not all remodelled Marriott hotels eliminated the desk. It was definitely property-by-property.

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