Marriott Still Thinks Removing Desks is Brilliant & Innovative

Ever since Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports asked who stole the desk from his Marriott hotel room last week, media buzz and fervor to protest the new design has intensified…despite a Flyertalk forum that started all the way back in May. I asked Marriott for a comment last Tuesday and finally heard back today.  I was referred to this page which simply provides details on the “Brilliant” and “Innovative” changes being implemented across the brand. Bill Marriott discussed the changes over a year ago in a WSJ piece, explaining that Millennials crave a room that feels like a “Silicon Valley startup”…hmm

I didn’t expect much more from Marriott as the redesign is already in full swing and given the fact that they spent millions on consultants before embarking on the changes.  As a Millennial, I do find myself working more and more often from the bed (who remembers the days of bringing along an extra long Ethernet cord so you could browse from the bed prior to widespread hotel wifi access), but I do like having a desk…even if only for storage. The new rooms do have “space for everything”according to the link I was provided by press…

New Marriott Room 2New Marriott Room

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  1. Reading the article…I can somewhat sympathize. I can also see how a consulting group might come up with the idea. Ask a lot of questions about what I use on a typical hotel stay…I could see them even arriving at similar conclusions. Ask a lot of questions about what I value and what drives my booking behavior…and the lack of desk is a key miss.

    Like you, I may often work from bed or similar, send out emails, etc. But when I need a desk, I need a desk, and don’t always know in advance when I will need one – so I preferentially book brands that I trust to have a good, ergonomic (or reasonably so) desk option (this really drives hampton inns way down my list to “place of last resort in small markets”.).

    I also have avoided marriotts forever, due largely to the image that they are explicitly trying to shed per the article. Oppressively boring, stuff, and bland. It seems like they’re moving in a good direction in many ways…but if they’re omitting desks I don’t see where they’d win my business. I’m more afraid that they will infect Starwood with this nonsense.

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