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Marriott is removing desks from hotel rooms in a strange bid to please millennials

Frequent travellers are voicing their disdain at Marriott Hotels for a room redesign with a ridiculous twist. As numerous guests have pointed out this year, Marriott has been removing desks from many of its hotel rooms.

The design flaw was recently addressed by Yahoo Sports columnist Dan Wetzel, a person who (by his own account) spends a fair amount of time staying and working in Marriott Hotels. Further online research by Wetzel found that there were pages of Internet forums devoted to the trend.

Like so many brands before it, Marriott is reportedly making these awkward changes in a bid to appeal to Millennials. Bill Marriott, chairman of the hotel chain, claimed that younger guests have changed the “whole dynamic” of the hospitality business, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal last year. Marriott insisted that Millennials want a hotel that has the feel of a “Silicon Valley startup,” whatever that means. After all, don’t people in Silicon Valley work— using desks?

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A missing desk may not put off vacationers and tourists, but business travellers who use their rooms to work (and rarely get to do much else) can’t make do without them. Instead of a desk, Wetzel — who was staying at Charlotte Mariott City Center — found a side table positioned next to the couch and his bed.

The room redesigns are currently being touted on the Marriott website, reports Slate. The company, however, doesn’t delve into the motivation behind the makeover (or make-under depending on your point of view). One particular image of a bed and sidetable carries the heading: “We worked with top designers to transform the guest room.”

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That doesn’t seem to be the widely held belief online, where disgruntled guests have created a forum thread entitled, “The Idiots who Design Marriott Rooms.” Another urges users to list all the Marriott hotels and brand offshoots that don’t presently offer desks, in what seems to be a growing trend.

According to Wetzel, Marriott has misunderstood its target demographic. He claims that it’s been short-changed by designers who have sold it the myth that Millennials are “antisocial losers.” He signs off his blog post with a solemn request to his beloved hotel chain, “Save Our Desks.”