Got an email today... one that I knew was coming... "Marriott goes smoke free"
Dear Jon Strande:
In order to accommodate the preferences of the vast majority of our guests, all Marriott® hotels in the United States and Canada will become 100% smoke-free by October 15, 2006.
This is the industry's largest move to a smoke-free environment and includes over 2,300 hotels and corporate apartments under the Marriott, JW Marriott®, Renaissance®, Courtyard®, Fairfield Inn®, SpringHill Suites®, Residence Inn®, TownePlace Suites® and Marriott ExecuStay® brands. The new policy includes all guest rooms, restaurants, lounges, meeting rooms, public spaces, and employee work areas.
Currently more than 90 percent of Marriott guest rooms are already non-smoking, and smoking is prohibited in many public spaces due to local laws. Designated smoking areas will be made available outside of the hotel for our guests who smoke.
This policy will enhance the level of service and care we can offer our guests. We hope to see you soon in our new smoke-free hotel environment.
As a Marriott Silver Rewards member, I have an established preferences profile with Marriott. They know that I smoke, which is probably why I got this "personal" note.
I understand the trend in this country is away from smoking in public places. I'm cool with that. It's a bad habit and second-hand smoke can be annoying to non-smokers.
I'm not sure, however, about a few things:
1.) What constitutes "vast majority"? 70%? 80%? Did all those people really complain or was it a few really loud people?
2.) Did they look at the numbers and determine that half the smoking rooms remained empty because there aren't as many smokers?
3.) How will this policy enhance the level of service to me, the smoker? There is nothing in this email that tells me how you'll do everything in your power to make the change as pleasant as possible during my next stay.
4.) Could another course of action have been to install some air cleaners/purifiers in the smoking rooms and charged the smoking guests some fee to recoup the cost? Or could they have at least tried this first? If so, why didn't they mention that to me - someone they know is a smoker.
I don't know... at the end of the day, most hotels are the same (literally). I chose marriott because I've never been disapointed with any part of staying there, then again, I've never beed wowed either.
Again, I understand the trend... but mostly I don't like how Marriott handled it: as frequent guest who smokes, it would have been nice for them to acknowledge how this transition might affect me and offer some alternatives for my next trip (smoking in the bar, designated smoking lounges, etc).
What do you think? Any non-smokers out there who have a different take?