As chairman and CEO of a global hotel empire, J. W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr. knows hospitality. He tells T+L what it’s like to be the ultimate repeat guest, his favorite room-service snack, and more.
Q: What was your first job?
A: I used to make hot-fudge ice cream cakes at my parents’ Hot Shoppes restaurant in Salt Lake City. The trick was to leave a little indent for the whipped cream and cherry on top.
Q: How can we welcome more foreign travelers to the United States?
A: Regulations regarding visas need to be fixed. Travel is an important economic engine, and a stay at a hotel is an export.
Q: Marriott recently collaborated with Ian Schrager on the new Edition brand. Where is the company going next?
A: We have two Edition hotels opening in Miami and London over the next two years. And in China, we have 56 hotels open and 34 hotels under construction, including two Ritz-Carlton hotels.
Q: In 1948 your family started vacationing at Scottsdale, Arizona’s Camelback Inn—which celebrates its 75th anniversary this month. Why do you keep going back?
A: We love the casitas with the private pools where the kids can swim; it’s like having your own house. And you don’t have to worry about a dress code.
Q: What’s your spa ritual there?
A: I practice Pilates and get massages.
Q: Do you have a favorite room-service order?
A: A club sandwich is as good as it gets.