Friday the 13th may have been unlucky for some, but for three of the major Grand Cayman resorts it was a very special day indeed.
Head of Marriott International Inc. J.W. ‘Bill’ Marriott Jr. made a flying visit to Grand Cayman to check in on the brand new Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman Resort, the Courtyard Marriott Resort and the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort. The latter recently underwent an extensive $15 million renovation.
Mr. Marriott is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International, Inc., one of the world’s largest lodging companies. The company manages and franchises hotels and resorts under the Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Courtyard and many others.
‘I was extremely pleased. It was a great visit,’ exclaimed Managing Director of the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, Chris Sariego.
‘I was warned that he usually gives some constructive criticism with regard to properties, but he didn’t give any. He loved the property, he loved the location and he commented that the staff seems to be very happy,’ Mr. Sariego said.
In fact, Mr. Marriott was so enthusiastic that he suggested getting various pictures with members of staff, alongside those photographs that were scheduled.
‘He’s a very humble, approachable person,’ said Mr. Sariego, who explained that Mr. Marriott was eager to say hello and speak with members of staff, and he shook hands with everyone. He also conversed with some guests. ‘It was a true honour to meet him,’ said Mr. Sariego.
Mr. Marriott flew in to Grand Cayman for only a few hours. He enjoyed lunch at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman before visiting first the Courtyard Marriott, and then onto the Grand Cayman Marriott Resort.
Communications Director for The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman Melissa Perkins said that Mr. Marriott did a detailed inspection of the property, including a back-of-house inspection in the kitchens. Nearly all 850 ladies and gentlemen were lined up to greet him. He went on to tour the property with General Manager Jean Cohen and developer Michael Ryan. ‘He was very impressed with the property and thought it was one of the finest Ritz-Carltons he had seen,’ said Ms Perkins.
General Manager of the Courtyard Marriott Hotel Steven Schwartz was very pleased with the outcome of the visit. ‘He was very pleased with the hotel and exceptionally pleased with the fact that our guest service scores run (out of 100) in the mid 90s.’ These guest service scores are calculated based on guest surveys, explained Mr. Schwartz.
All the staff of the hotel was lined up in the lobby to shake hands with Mr. Marriott.
‘He was also really pleased with our new bedding and our white, crisp linens,’ said Mr. Schwartz.
Mr. Marriott’s leadership spans nearly 50 years, and he has taken Marriott from a family restaurant business to a $19 billion global lodging company with 2,700 properties in 70 countries.