I always thought that it was “Customer Service with a smile”, but on my recent trip to San Antonio I realized that that may be a bit of a facade. While the customer service was phenomenal, I felt like I was being sold on everything, every step of the way. Since when did the Hotel industry become so very commercialized in a non-lodging way.
One of the first things I noticed upon arrival at my hotel room (Single room, King bed, Thank you Employer.) is that there is a bottle of Evian water on the desk. How very nice I thought. That is until I saw the $4.50 price tag that would be “billed to my room if consumed.”
Seconds later, I notice the high speed internet connection. Alas, no laptop to take advantage of it. Probably a good thing when it comes with a $9.95/day price tag. Never to worry, I thought. Even the Gladstone at home has a free internet station for checking email and such. Not here. $5.00 connect fee and $0.25 a minute thereafter.
One of the other things that I noticed during my stay was a catalog that offers the Marriott “Revive Collection.” Now you can buy the very same style bedding that you are sleeping in during your stay. I tempted fate by looking up the Down Mattress pad and quickly thought better of charging it to the room. Every thing severly over-priced.
Ironically, in the night stand by the bed, next to the token Gideon bible is a book called “The spirit to serve, the Marriott’s way.” written by J.W. Marriott. Appearantly, the spirit to serve is greatly augmented by a $4.50 bottle of water and as I peruse the Room Service menu (out of curiosity, I wouldn’t even make my employer pay these prices) I notice that the markup on a bottle of Grey Goose vodka (my favorite) is just about an even $50. For comparison sake, a equal bottle at a bottle shop runs about $32. Makes for about 150% markup. That would boost my “Spirit of Service” too.