Skip to content

Here’s Marriott’s plan to fight coronavirus at its hotels

April 21 2020
5 min read
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The world's largest hotel chain has shared the details of its approach for strengthening the cleanliness standards at its hotels as it prepares for a gradual reopening of many countries in the Western world.

Just yesterday, TPG predicted that hotel chains would have to begin publicly stating what steps they'll take to combat the spread of the virus at their hotels to assuage the fears of potential guests who are hesitant to return to hotels where hundreds of people stay, and where each room has dozens of touchpoints, like faucets and TV remotes, that could act as spreaders of disease.

(Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)

Related: How hotels can assure cleanliness after coronavirus

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Now, Marriott has become the first of the major hotel chains to communicate specific steps it will take to better prepare its hotels to fight against the spread of the novel coronavirus. It has established the Marriott Global Cleanliness Council, which is, according to a company press release, "focused on developing the next level of global hospitality cleanliness standards, norms and behaviors that are designed to minimize risk and enhance safety for consumers and Marriott associates alike."

Led by Marriott's Chief Global Officer, Global Operations Ray Bennett, the council includes experts both within the chain and outside of it across the entire industry, including housekeeping, engineering, food safety, occupational health and associate well-being. Mr. Bennett says that "Through the council and scientific advice of experts, [Marriott is] taking a thoughtful approach to set an even higher bar of cleanliness and [developing] new guest interaction protocols."

In addition to establishing this new council to guide and oversee the company's approach as a whole, individual hotels will take specific actions to combat the spread of the disease.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

As predicted, hotels will lean on technology to help fight back against the spread of germs. Marriott has said that it will use electrostatic sprayers to sanitize various areas of the hotels. These will be used primarily to disinfect larger spaces like guest rooms, lobbies, gyms and other public areas, and use high-grade disinfectants recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) to combat known pathogens. Additionally, UV light technology is being tested to disinfect things like room keys and other items that are shared between staff and guests and among staff members.

(Photo courtesy of Marriott)

Marriott's also going to make changes to several customer-facing aspects of a hotel stay. Guest rooms will see the addition of disinfectant wipes for personal use, and surfaces in rooms and public spaces will be cleaned more often with hospital-grade solutions.

Hotel lobbies will see signage reminding guests to maintain social distancing, and furniture could be rearranged or removed to better comply with CDC and WHO guidelines. The chain is considering the addition of partitions between guests and front-desk agents -- and reminding guests that they can check-in on their phones at more than 3,000 properties -- as well as working with its partners to supply staff with masks and gloves. And, guests will notice hand sanitization stations at the entrances, front desks, elevators, gyms and meeting spaces.

(Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)

Finally, Marriott's changing food-safety protocols that include enhancing its sanitation guidelines and changing its guidelines for room service and rethinking buffets. On the in-room dining front, guests will be able to order through the Marriott app and have food delivered in special packaging and without contact.

Bottom line

Marriott recognizes that even if populations are given an all-clear to emerge from lockdown and begin traveling again, it's going to be a slow return to hotels, given the myriad ways through which this disease can spread.

By establishing a new corporate philosophy toward cleanliness and safety, along with implementing several consumer-facing changes, Marriott has taken the first -- and very important -- step to convince guests that its hotels will be safe to stay in, even if the experience won't be "normal" for quite some time.

Featured photo by AFP via Getty Images

TPG featured card

Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 6X points
6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.

Intro offer

Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points75,000 points
Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

Annual Fee

$125

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees