Contrary to what skeptics like me may think, decisions about what goes into a hotel room aren’t made in a vacuum by some executive who has never stayed in an outpost of his brand’s midrange chain. At least not entirely. The decisions are the result of research. Research into what you, the traveler, want, need and respond to in your short-term home away from home.

And some of the research is quite democratic. Marriott, for example, tests new shower heads in the company gym. It sends pillows and remote controls home with employees to try out. And that ubiquitous white duvet? There’s a reason for it.

Tags: marriott