Hotel room alarm clocks are vestiges of the past that more often annoy or frustrate than help. Marriott’s latest idea to ditch alarm clocks is one cutback I can sign onto, especially if it saves breakfast or other amenities on the chopping block.
Marriott Is Considering Removing Alarm Clocks
Marriott is considering eliminating alarm clocks from hotel rooms across its portfolio of brands. Scott Mayerowitz learned of the news at a breakfast with Marriott executives, in which it was noted:
“The key thing is we have to be able to figure out how to service our guests at the end of the day. And the vast majority of our owners would agree with us,” he said, noting that it isn’t about cuts but about practical needs, such as the alarm clock. “It’s been a wonderful opportunity to look at some of those things that are historic in nature and have no application in terms of the real life we live in today.”
It’s not about costs…but of course it’s about costs.
False Dilemma: Cutbacks Are Not Needed
Let’s start with a red line: this is totally a false dilemma. Hotels in the USA were bailed out during the pandemic and now face unprecedented demand as consumers ramp up travel. Expect unprecedented profit to follow, especially with all the cutbacks to housekeeping, breakfast, and other amenities at properties ranging from budget and luxury.
In that sense, the premise is false and there are no cutbacks that need to be made. Instead, hotels should be restoring service to pre-pandemic levels instead of greedily trying to extract more cutbacks and higher prices. On the flip side, hotels seem to be doing just fine and therefore the squeeze will continue. One can hardly blame them for seizing the moment, though the pendulum will turn again…
I Still Don’t Like Hotel Alarm Clocks
But I will say that I do detest alarm clocks in hotel rooms. First, it seems like more often than not the clocks are incorrectly set. I just experienced that this week…no one had bothered to update the clock for daylight savings time (which occurred months ago).
Second, I hate it when the alarm clocks goes off in the middle of the night because no one bothered to reset it. I should not have to examine an alarm clock I do not plan on using to see if it is enabled or not. Indeed, I’ve started just unplugging the clock if the outlet is easily reachable.
Furthermore, it’s annoying to see that so many hotels still have 30-pin Apple ports (for what are now very ancient iPhones and iPads), which really makes the charging capability useless. With USB-C charging around the corner, I feel bad for the the hotels that are now “updating” their alarm clocks to Apple’s lightning port, as those will soon be out-of-date as well.
I do like the latest generation alarm clocks with the wireless charger on top in which you just place your mobile phone on it. But if I did not have that, I’d just plug in my own cable…which charges even more rapidly.
Some of you may say that older travelers rely upon alarm clocks in order to look at the time at night or set an alarm in the morning. While I understand that glancing at a clock may be more convenient than checking a phone, it is very easy to schedule a wake-up call even at budget properties. Alternately, you can just say, “Siri, set an alarm for 6:00am” and voila, you’re all set.
While discussion over what to cut next is based upon a false premise that further cuts need to be made, since hotels seem to be in cost-cutting mode I offer my input that I’d far rather see alarm clocks disappear than free breakfast eliminated or reduced.