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Marriott stands by W Hotels brand

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Guest satisfaction has been on a downward slide
W Hotels is about to turn 20 years old, and it is having to deals with some identity issues. Guest satisfaction has been on a downward slide since Marriott acquired the brand.
Experts say the brand has struggled to stay consistent during its speedy growth around the world. But Marriott insists W is “more successful than ever”.
As the luxury-lifestyle brand continues to add several properties to the portfolio each year, it seems to be experiencing a ‘midlife crisis’.
Most recently, W fell from eighth to last among nine luxury brands ranked in JD Power’s annual North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study. It placed sixth out of 10 in the 2013 edition. Marriott’s Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott brands tied at the top spot this year.
“The W can be somewhat of a polarizing brand,” says Rick Garlick of JD Power. “It’s hip, trendy, cool and dark, and you can walk in there and say, ‘This is not for me’.”
But according to Jack Ezon, president of Ovation Vacations, the brand has also struggled with consistency.
“Within the course of mass expansion, especially into secondary and tertiary markets, the brand standards became inconsistent,” he says. “You need to know your W Hotels.”
Travel Weekly

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