The Marriott hotel chain is known for its comfortable rooms and amenities. But in addition to a plethora of appeasing services, the popular company also offers value packages to individuals who are gay. Curiously, numerous hotels within the Marriott chain offer what they call "OUT" packages.
At the Renaissance Washington Marriott in Washington, D.C., for instance, the deal includes chocolate covered strawberries, sparking wine upon arrival and a copy of NaviGaytour Magazine, among other benefits. Here's a screen shot that shows some of the elements one receives when participating in the "OUT in DC" package:
The price for this package? For a randomly selected stay in a room with a king-size bed or two doubles from July 7 through July 9, 2012, the rate is $179.00. Other packages for families are available at the same cost as well (the DC Escape Family Time package offers kids meals for children under 12).
In addition to offering this deal in Washington, D.C., other "OUT" cities include Seattle and Philadelphia. These plans differ from the D.C. option in that they offer breakfast rather than chocolate-covered strawberries and wine.
The main thrust of the deals seem to be predicated upon an urge to attract a gay customer base, while distinguishing the company as particularly diverse and accepting. The Marriott web site even has a section called "Gay Weddings & Events," which is devoted to helping individuals plan their noteworthy occasions.
In the end, it may simply be a PR game, but one that seems to be working. Take, for instance, the testimonials that have been published on the company's web site:
"This year's Lavender Law was the biggest in history with over 1500 lawyers students in attendance, and we were thrilled to be back at the Hollywood Renaissance. I regularly send notes to my national sales rep praising Marriott as being the most LGBT-friendly brand with which I work."
"DC Capital Pride was very fortunate to have theRenaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel as the host and a Presenting Sponsor for our 2011 celebrations. Our partnership with the Renaissance elevated the caliber of this year’s celebrations and the experiences of our attendees. Everyone felt respected and valued, and we hope to work with Marriott Hotels again."
Based on the evidence, it does seem as though the Marriott is, indeed, distinguishing itself at the most LGBT-friendly hotel chain.