Dear Marriott community:
This is just a head check to see if it's me, or if Marriott has been sliding downhill.
Until seven or eight years ago, we were pretty exclusively Marriott customers. Then we noticed that at each Marriott stay, things were taking a turn for the worse. Examples:
--In Sao Paulo, we asked for bottled water. Desk clerks refused, saying we should buy water and bring it with us. The same hotel, outrageously overpriced, had the most rotten furniture and carpets.
--In Zurich, there was no luggage service. The desk clerk, a young girl weighing maybe 110 lbs soaking wet, had to swamp our luggage. Forget it, I said, I'll haul my own luggage. I didn't want to watch the poor creature break her back.
--In Beijing, we were waiting in line for a taxi in front of the hotel, a freezing night with a fierce wind (typical Beijing winter night!). A Marriott employee who was apparently running late to catch a plane or something, cut in front of us in line, declaring he couldn't be late. I hope he caught his plane, we had to wait in the cold another 20 minutes for a taxi.
--Worldwide, Marriott properties, from the JW Marriott hotels (Mexico City comes to mind), to the Fairfield Inns, are a reminder how terribly expensive and inconvenient it must be to run a hotel. Carpets are worn, and the places smell a lot like the discharge tanks on those carpet cleaners you rent at Home Depot. The furniture is kind of sticky. Overworked staff can't keep up with things.
So now typically we go with Hilton. Prices are competitive, but generally the Hilton hotels are adequately staffed, and the places are clean, and don't have that worn, humid, cover-it-with-Febreze odor.
Once in awhile I'll go back to a Marriott just to see what happens, and I always regret it. Stinky, itchy Marriott.
Right now I'm at a Marriott and the pattern is not broken. After driving nine hours, I'm exhausted and was hoping for a good night's sleep. Not going to happen. Stinky and itchy, again. My wife won't sit on the tacky furniture or sleep in the sorta clean bed, and she won't use the caulk-peeling shower, I can't repeat what she said. She's going to stay up all night on the mesh computer chair.
So yeah, I'm pretty disappointed in what used to be a reliable hotel chain. Marriott seems to want the Romney income on a handcart budget. And I don't blame the poor employees, who 99% of the time are cheerful and as helpful as they can be. I blame the Marriott management, trying to squeeze their employees, and their customers.
Sad situation, but at least Hilton is there.
Your comments are appreciated.