Marriott Travel-Sized Toiletries Are Going Away, and My Recent Experience Was Great
A little over 2 weeks ago, we covered the announcement that Marriott travel-sized toiletries would be leaving its properties. By the time of the announcement, some of their brands already had made the switch. I stayed at a Marriott Courtyard this past weekend, and I loved it. Here’s what it looked like from a customer perspective.
The Announcement From Marriott
On August 28, 2019, Marriott announced a move to eliminate the travel bottles for toiletries, aiming to help the environment and cut costs. The switch will replace them with refillable pump bottles in the shower for bath gel, shampoo & conditioner. They cited positive feedback from test markets.
For one, I was super excited about this. Others said it was a cool idea for environmental reasons. Just like Mark does, my wife loves to take home the travel-sized / throw-away bottles. Sure, these can come in handy if you’re going somewhere that won’t provide these, but how often is that? Clearly not enough to use them up. We have quite the collection at home from Marriott, Hilton & Hyatt properties. I have well over 50 bottles that haven’t been touched yet. For me, the bigger picture on the environment is worth this change.
Other people were not so excited. Some have called it being stingy. Others cited #Bonvoyed for the direction of the chain. I’ve even read conspiracy theories that weirdos are going to put bodily fluids into these bottles to get their jollies. And some people think it’s not sanitary, but I haven’t seen any stats to back this up.
My Experience at a Marriott Courtyard This Weekend
As with many Marriott properties, they offered 250 points for skipping housekeeping. This sign and the employee told me about it during check-in. Another sign in my room said I could choose this. I stayed at a Marriott Courtyard for 2 nights this past weekend when traveling to a friend’s wedding, and I didn’t expect to be in the room much anyway.
While I always skip housekeeping on short stays, many people don’t. Some think coming back to a turn-down service is part of the hotel experience. Others just like the ‘freshly cleaned’ feeling. I question this, since I doubt most people clean their houses every day. However, the 2 areas where this really makes sense to me are if you have little kids (housekeeping needs to throw out the diapers) or are really close to a beach (you’ve tracked sand into the room). In these, I can see needing housekeeping daily.
However, something new occurred that can change this discussion. Now that there aren’t travel-sized bottles, you don’t need to get new ones. If you’re traveling with 2 adults, those bottles don’t last long. You’ll need housekeeping to come give you more. If you’re skipping housekeeping, this won’t work. You’ll need to call the front desk asking for more bottles. With the large bottles, how fast can you really run out and need housekeeping to come refill them? For me, I see another advantage in this new set-up. Skipping housekeeping for points has one less ‘what if’ negative scenario.
My Room Had Some Travel-Sized Toiletries Still
My room at the Marriott Courtyard property had pump bottles in the shower for shampoo, conditioner & bath gel. In the original announcement, there was no mention of hand soap or lotion. I looked; they aren’t there. I was interested to see how this would play out. My room still had an individual bar of soap and a travel-sized bottle of hand lotion. Maybe these are from leftover stock they’re still phasing out. Maybe these will remain. However, they’ve already cut down 60% of the toiletry waste from my stay even while keeping these.
If we leave aside the conspiracy theories and discuss this realistically, this is a great move. I don’t understand the argument that ‘nice hotel’ needs to be synonymous with waste. Reducing all of this unnecessary waste in hotels is a great step forward, and I hope other brands will follow. Unless your room has a big mess, skipping the housekeeping for points is always valid in my view. Now, there’s no concern that skipping housekeeping means you can’t get new toiletries when running out. You’ve got a much bigger supply to work with AND we’re helping the environment. I see this Marriott travel-sized toiletries change as a big win.