Marriott International may not be a pioneer but it's a perfecter. In January, Starwood Hotels & Resorts stunned the industry by announcing that it would ban smoking in all of its Westin properties in North America. It was a typical PR coup for media-savvy Starwood, but it covered less than 80 hotels. Today, Marriott trumped StarwoodÃ¢€”as well as Hilton, InterContinental, Hyatt and any other rivalsÃ¢€”by banning smoking in guestrooms and public spaces in all 2,300 properties across all brands in the U.S. and Canada.
The handwriting is on the wall for any hotel chains or, most importantly, individual owners: Now is the time to follow Marriott and Starwood by ridding your properties of smoke. Even smokers enjoy the freshness and sweet smell of a guestroom that hasn't been fouled by tobacco. But don't skimp by merely banning smoking. Make the one-time investment in deep cleaning required to completely rid your rooms of the noxious residue of smoke.