By American standards, Marriott is an old company. Founded in 1927 in Washington, D.C., it has been serving Americans for just shy of a century. Today, the company keeps its headquarters in Bethesda, MD, which is just a short drive from DC.
Marriott has a long line of signature brands. You may have stayed at a Marriott hotel without even realizing it. Of course, the main brand used by the company is Marriott Hotels & Resorts. Whether you have stayed there or not, you are almost certainly aware that the hotel chain exists.
It also operates a signature brand under the name Delta Hotels. Delta Hotels is the Canadian equivalent of Marriott Hotels & Resorts. It has about 40 locations throughout the country.
Marriott’s luxury brands include:
BVLGARI Hotels & Resorts
JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts
The company also has a couple destination and entertainment brands, including Gaylord Hotels and Marriott Vacation Club. These options give guests access to a wider range of resort services. It’s entirely possible to have a whole vacation at one of these resorts without ever leaving the property. With so many activities, you will still have a great vacation.
Marriott currently owns three extended-stay brands:
Residence Inn by Marriott
TownePlace Suites by Marriott
Marriott Executive Apartments
In my experience, Marriott Executive Apartments is the nicer option.
We’re not even close to done listing the different brands used by Marriott, so I’ll just focus on the ones that are most popular:
Marriott is such a big company that it took me a few hundred words just to describe their different brands. Of course, that means you can find a lot of diversity when you look at different hotels operated by the company.
Generally speaking, the review that I have written below is about Marriott’s overall brand, except where noted. Please understand that there is more variety within the business and its facilities than I can describe here. Going through every possibility would require a book, and not a small one, either.
Top Features of Marriott
There are several features that you can expect to find when you visit a Marriott hotel. I’ll focus on some of the features that mean the most to me. Please understand that you may have different priorities. Hopefully, learning about what I find important will give you a more informed perspective. I do, after all, spend a considerable amount of time traveling for work. I like to think I know what I’m talking about when it comes to this subject.
Marriott Rewards is a customer loyalty program that gives you considerable flexibility. You can choose to apply the points you accumulate to the cost of your room. If you would rather use the points to pay for flights, merchandise, or special membership benefits, then you are free to do so. Personally, I use my points on hotel rooms. Yes, I fly a lot, but I also drive a lot. I’d rather save on hotel rooms that flights.
Still, you can apply your points to anything that interests you.
There are three levels of Marriott Rewards. You can either get a Silver, Gold, or Platinum membership. The level you get depends on how many nights you spend at Marriott hotels. Keep in mind that this is a cross-brand promotion. As long as you stay at a hotel or resort owned by Marriott, you can count those nights toward your membership. The more nights you stay, the higher your membership gets and the more perks you can take advantage of.
I highly recommend that you sign up for this promotion. Even if you don’t travel a lot now, you can start accumulating points. If you ever start traveling more than you think, then you will have a base of points that you can build on.
Trust me on this, the perks are worth it!
Earning Marriott Reward Points
You can also earn points toward your Marriott Rewards by referring your friends to the program. The last time I checked, I got 50,000 points for referring a colleague. I’m not sure of the specifics now, though.
I felt like this deserved a different subsection since it is a little different than the regular Marriott Rewards program.
Packages and Deals
Marriott works with a lot of other companies to make sure its guests get the best services at the lower possible prices.
This often means that you can get discounted prices on hotel and flight packages. You can also save on rental cars, parking, and tours in some areas.
Marriott even has some timeshare offers that you may want to look at. The timeshare thing isn’t particularly interesting to me, but you might want to check it out.
It’s worth looking at Marriott’s deals. You’d be surprised by how much money you can save just by looking for deals. You don’t even have to go to one of those travel websites. Instead, you get your prices and services directly from Marriott.
It shouldn’t come as a surprised to learn that Marriott has a lot of different prices. You can expect the price you pay to depend on what brand you stay at, the time of year, and the room you want. Rooms with really nice views, for instance, can cost more than those that face a highway or something similarly unattractive.
I’ve spent as little as $100 on Marriott rooms. Then again, I’ve also spent over $500 per night. It really just depends on the specifics of the time and place.
Criticisms of Marriott
I’m not really sure what there is to criticize Marriott about. It has fair, diverse prices. The rooms are clean. The staff is always friendly. It even has a useful website that lets you explore rooms and booking options.
I suppose it’s possible that you could find something to dislike about Marriott. So far, I haven’t discovered it, though. Even at its worst, Marriott is fine.
Customer Support for Marriott
I’ll talk about to levels of support here since this is a company that you might deal with in person and via phone or email.
Support Staff at the Hotels
This is where I have the most experience. On a very basic level, I have to say that the staff members I have met at Marriott were all very friendly. It’s almost like they’re getting paid to be!
Seriously, though, they are quite accommodating. If your request is possible, they will make it happen. If it isn’t possible, then they will explain why and apologize. Sometimes you just can’t get what you want. There’s only so much that a hotel can do. I get that. There’s no reason to expect more than what is possible. You’ll just set yourself up for disappointment.
Remote Customer Support
I think of remote customer support as the company reps you talk to on the phone and email with. In my experience, the customer service reps always respond to requests in a timely manner. I’ve talked to some companies that basically don’t seem to want to help you. I don’t get that feeling from Marriott. I’m always given the impression that they are working hard to make sure I get the services I need.
That includes everything from changing reservation dates to getting a specific room that I like.
Pros of Using Marriott
- Excellent rewards program
- Diverse hotels and resorts
- Strong customer support
Cons of Using Marriott
- I can’t think of any
I can’t even count the number of times that I have stayed in a Marriott hotel. It has so many brands, that I literally do not think I could keep up with it without my rewards summary.
I think that Marriott probably has a location that can fit your needs. It doesn’t even matter what your needs are. Marriott is so diverse that it probably has a hotel that is right for you. Are you looking for a no frills experience with a low prices? You can find that. Are you looking for a luxury resort experience that gives you wonderful foods and access to nice amenities? You can definitely get that.
As someone who spends about half the year on the road, I have gotten to know the different hotel brands pretty well. There are some that I avoid. I’d rather sleep in my car and bathe at the local YMCA than stay in those places.
When I see that there is a Marriott location near me, I’m always happy to make my reservation. It means I will have a pleasant experience that gets me prepared for the next day’s work.
I think that it mostly comes down to how seriously Marriott takes its job. If you are looking for a company that will do anything possible to make sure you are happy, then this is a great option for you.