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The desk is back: Marriott redesigning hotel rooms

NEW YORK – The desk is back.

Marriott is redesigning its hotel rooms, and desks with chairs are once again a standard feature.

Desks had started to disappear from hotel rooms partly due to a perception that they were unnecessary in the era of laptops and cellphones, and that younger travellers weren’t using them. Rooms without desks also seemed to fit into a larger trend in the hotel industry toward minimalist decor.

But travellers began complaining. “What happened to the desk in my hotel room?” Yahoo Sports columnist Dan Wetzel tweeted and blogged in December 2015, subtitling his post, “A Call to Arms for my fellow desk-loving Marriott patrons.” Other travellers shared similar stories, with one tweeting back that when he complained to the hotel about a deskless room, “They encouraged me to ‘work in the lobby.'”

The desks in what Marriott is calling its “modern guest rooms” are on wheels so you can move them around the room to work where you want.

In addition to other workspaces in the rooms, the redesign also includes hardwood flooring, benches to place your luggage on, locally inspired decor and various check-in options such as using your cellphone as a key to unlock the door.

Tubs are disappearing, too. Bathrooms will have only walk-in showers with hand-held sprayers in roughly 75 per cent of the new hotel rooms, except for hotels in leisure/family markets.

In addition, Marriott is partnering with TED to bring speakers into certain hotels for evening events open to guests and the public.

The redesign has been completed in more than 10,000 rooms at 25 hotels, including Marriotts in Charlotte, North Carolina, and in Brooklyn, New York, and another 25 hotels are scheduled to have renovations completed by the end of the year. A total of 108 hotels are in the pipeline.

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