Marriott guest sues property after alleged sexual assault by hotel employee

A woman filed suit today against a Marriott property, claiming she was sexually assaulted by an employee of the hotel during a stay on April 23, 2010.

In the suit, Katherine Olson claims hotel employee Mauricio Rodriguez entered her room using a master key code card, removed his clothes, and assaulted her. The suit also alleges that Rodriguez was intoxicated.

According to the suit, Marriott International:

“failed to provide adequate security, allowed employees with access to master keys to become intoxicated, served employees excess amounts of alcohol and allowed employees access to master keys after their shifts”

The hotel in question is located at 50 N. Martingdale Rd in Schaumburg. The news is especially embarrassing for Marriott as they just took announced the removal of all porn movies from their hotel pay-per-view system claiming the decision was made to “keep adult content out of the reach of children and unavailable to any adult who chooses not to view it”

This is the second lawsuit Marriott is involved in this month that involves sexual harassment. Earlier, a Las Vegas property was sued by two employees of the hotel alleging that a supervisor assaulted them, claiming hotel management was informed, but failed to take any actions.

And this all comes six months after ESPN reporter Erin Andrews filed suit against another Marriott property for failing to protect her, when a stalker filmed her through the peephole of her hotel room.

Ritz-Carlton names Herve Humler President & COO; Simon Cooper to oversee Asia Pacific region for Marriott

Herve Humler, one of the original founders of The Ritz-Carlton in 1983, has been named Ritz-Carlton’s President and COO.

Speculation of Simon Cooper’s assumed exit from the Ritz-Carlton company sent shock-waves through the Internet yesterday, but the real story makes sense: Simon Cooper, Ritz-Carlton’s president and COO for 9 years, has been named President & Managing Director, Asia Pacific, for Marriott International. Hardly a surprise to those of us who know the hotelier’s passion for the Asia market.

Both leadership changes are effective Sept. 1, and both come with an enormous amount of excitement, and of course, piqued interest, for both hotel brands.

Humler will
oversee 73 Ritz-Carlton hotels throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean, and will be at the forefront of opening more than 30 new hotel and residential projects currently underway with Ritz-Carlton.

Cooper will be responsible for leading the growth of Marriott International’s Asia market, which includes more than 130 properties and 70 hotels.
Cooper’s leadership helped expand the hotel’s vast international presence, and helped Ritz-Carlton beat out its rival Four Seasons in recent JD Power report, in which the hotel was given the highest ranking for “luxury hotels”.

What does this mean for hotel guests? Only time will tell, but we’ll be sure to update you as soon as we have more information.

Atlanta loses three hotels to weak market, two to become dorms

Three hotels have succumbed to weakness in the Atlanta market. Among the recent casualties is the 502-room Marriott Renaissance. Rates have been pushed lower by an abundance of capacity that has caused even top brands to get stuck charging less than $100 a night. When there’s far more supply than demand, of course, this is what happens.

Joining the Renaissance in the graveyard will be the city’s Wyndam Garden Hotel and Baymont Inn & Suites. Georgia State University will be buying both and converting them to dorms. The future of the Renaissance remains uncertain, though 75 percent of its laid-off staff will be moving to other Marriott properties.

Given the state of the Atlanta hotel market, there’s the risk that more hotels could follow:

“More and more property owners are asking themselves the question, ‘Is operating this facility as a hotel really what produces the maximum economic return?'” Mark Woodworth, president of PKF Hospitality Research, tells the [Atlanta Journal-Constitution].

[photo by Nrbelex via Flickr]

Sanibel Marriott wants your pocket change for extra night

Pretty pissed about the proposed 2-cent increase in stamp prices? If you’re among the Luddites still using dead-tree communication, I imagine it’s pretty annoying. To get some relief from this postal madness, head on down to the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa in Fort Myers, Florida.

Through the end of the month, for a three-night stay between August 22, 2010 and the end of September, you can book your third merely by putting your 2 cents in. Yep, a pair of pennies extends your stay. Since room rates start at a mere $159, the entire experience won’t drain your bank account. Remember to use discount code PK3 when booking online.

Courtyard by Marriott opens 2 new properties in Europe

The Courtyard by Marriott chain of hotels is in the middle of a major revamp – but at the same time, the chain is working hard to expand across Europe.

The chain already has 40 properties and over 7,000 rooms in Europe, and today, they announced the two newest additions to their lineup – Budapest and St. Petersburg.

The 235-room Courtyard Budapest City Center is located on Blaha Luiza Square in the Pest section of Budapest. The hotel is located in close proximity to both the airport and public transportation lines.

The new 273-room Courtyard St. Petersburg Center West/Pushkin Hotel is located in central St. Petersburg within a 10-minute walk of the Marinsky Theater and St. Nicholas Cathedral and the State Hermitage. It is Marriott’s second Courtyard-branded hotel in St. Petersburg.

Both properties feature everything that makes a Courtyard such a great pick – high speed Internet, the Grab & Go snack market, flat screen TV’s and a well designed work area.

The two new properties are open and ready for guests – to learn more about them, and the 848 other locations in the chain, check out the Courtyard by Marriott site.