This new tool may tell you what to expect during your next Marriott stay

Sep 14, 2020

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The novel coronavirus outbreak has fundamentally changed travellers’ hotel stays. From contactless check-in to frequent cleanings, hotels will have to demonstrate its safety measures to lure travellers back.

Marriott recently rolled a new resource to inform travellers about specific COVID-19 precautions being taken at select hotels. The new “What to Expect” page features several drop-down boxes detailing an individual property’s policies along with an overview of what services and amenities are (and are not) operating as usual.

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For starters, it’s worth noting that this isn’t available across the entire portfolio, though more hotels are being added regularly. To see if a specific property has its own “What to Expect” page, simply pull up the hotel’s homepage on Marriott’s website and look for the “COVID-19 updates and what to expect at our hotel” link. Here’s an example from the St. Regis Deer Valley:

Screen shot of St. Regis Deer Valley
Screen shot courtesy of Marriott

If a property doesn’t yet have its own “What to Expect” page, it’ll simply have a version of the first notice bar in the above screen shot.

For those that do, each page features the same welcome note that reads, “Now more than ever, we are passionate about delivering an exceptional experience and truly memorable moments throughout your stay. In response to current circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we have implemented a variety of new protocols and elevated practices, keeping with our high standards of cleanliness and luxury service”.

“Allow us to introduce you to some of the measures we have implemented and what to expect at our hotel regarding changes to amenities, services, and facilities”, the note continues. “We are delighted to welcome you”.

RELATED: What your hotel stay will look like in a world after coronavirus

Following the introduction, you’ll see a set of expandable boxes with a variety of additional details. While some reference consistent, corporate policies, others are property-specific, including:

  • Property amenities and services: Details how normal amenities and services like the pool, fitness centre and spa are being adjusted in light of the pandemic
  • Food and beverage offerings: Provides information on available dining options, including their hours of operation and any additional restrictions or limitations
  • Marriott Bonvoy: Clarifies what Marriott Bonvoy members can expect, including breakfast offerings and lounge access policies for Marriott elite travellers

You’ll see the feature at select Marriott Bonvoy brands like Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott.

For instance, the JW Marriott Anaheim Resort’s “What to Expect” page says that in-room dining and the Tocca Ferro Italian Chophouse are closed, while the rooftop bar will reopen soon. If you’re a coffee-lover and enjoy a jolt of caffeine in your room before starting the day, you’re out of luck. According to the hotel, in-room coffee makers will be available upon request — a common occurrence at the properties we searched.

(Photo courtesy of the Ritz Carlton New Orleans)
(Photo courtesy of the Ritz Carlton New Orleans)

At the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans, room service will be contactless, and the hotel lounge won’t offer entertainment.

If you’re wondering why you’re only seeing the feature on select properties, a Marriott rep told TPG that it is “focusing on the full-service properties which have more services and amenities”, adding that the number of locations with such a page is significant and growing. He also confirmed that “all properties [are] expected to provide information on a mix of various customer communications channels”. So even if such a page doesn’t exist for an individual property, you should be made aware of steps being taken prior to your stay.

RELATED: Your ultimate guide to Marriott hotel brands

The coronavirus has devastated the travel industry, and promoting safety will be key to getting travellers back into hotel rooms or aeroplanes.

Hotel companies like Marriott have been hit particularly hard by the effects of the coronavirus. Marriott’s Bethesda, MD, headquarters filed a Work Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) on 3 September and announced up to 673 layoffs.

According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association, almost two-thirds of hotels are at or below 50% occupancy, below the threshold at which most hotels can break-even and pay their debts.

Here’s hoping communication measures like this new resource from Marriott along with consistent enforcement of policies like mandatory mask-wearing can build consumer confidence as the travel industry rebounds.

Featured photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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