Marriott International launches home rental initiative

American multinational hospitality company, Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR), has announced the launch of Homes & Villas by Marriott International, a home rental initiative offering 2,000 premium and luxury homes located in over 100 destinations throughout the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America.

‘The launch of Homes & Villas by Marriott International reflects our ongoing commitment to innovation as consumer travel needs evolve,’ said Stephanie Linnartz, global chief commercial officer, Marriott International. ‘What started out as a pilot a year ago is now a global offering, providing our guests with the space and amenities of a home backed by a trusted travel company, and the very best in loyalty benefits.’

Marriott’s expansion into home rentals has been developed as a result of the 2018 pilot under the brand extension Tribute Portfolio Homes. Of the guests who booked a home during the pilot, which was only available in select European cities, nearly 90 percent were members of Marriott Bonvoy, the group’s customer rewards programme, and over three-quarters were traveling for leisure with family and friends. During the pilot, the average guest stay was more than triple the typical hotel stay. Marriott says that these insights, along with its commitment to providing travellers with unique and different accommodations including spacious homes with one or more bedrooms, large kitchens, in-unit laundry and more, played an important role in guiding the selection of luxury and premium homes, as well as the key leisure markets available at launch that complement the core offerings of Marriott’s hotel portfolio.

The introduction of Homes & Villas by Marriott International adds nearly 40 new leisure destinations for Marriott Bonvoy members to earn and redeem points, including Sorrento, Italy and the Amalfi Coast, Italy; North Lake Tahoe, California; and St. Barts in the Caribbean. This curated selection of homes aims to connect travellers to thousands of rental properties around the world.

‘Our approach to home rentals allows us to curate an incredible collection of homes that deliver an elevated travel experience,’ said Jennifer Hsieh, vice president, Homes & Villas by Marriott International. ‘By working with a select group of professional management companies that understand and operate in this dynamic landscape, we are able to focus on what we do best – selecting a breadth of homes in inspiring destinations, setting standards for responsive service and designing a seamless booking experience that helps our guests navigate an increasingly complex and uncertain set of home rental choices.’

Marriott says that starting next week, travellers can search and book homes on the Homes & Villas by Marriott International site –

World’s tallest hotel opens in Dubai

In its bid to constantly outdo itself, Dubai is about to open the world’s tallest hotel, replacing the previous world’s tallest hotel that is situated in…Dubai!

At 1,164 feet tall, the newly opened JW Marriott Marquis has torn the ‘Biggest Bed & Breakfast’ record from the – frankly diminutive – Rose Tower Dubai, which sits at a stunted 1,093 feet tall.

Staff at the Guinness Book of World Records will have had to carry out a hasty rewrite to the tome’s pages concerning excessive hostelries, as the new Marriott’s 72 floors – spread over 355 metres – trample all before them. And not content with building just one elongated edifice, and with an admirable disregard for history, the hotel’s designers opted for a twin-tower format.

Only one tower will be open initially, with the second expected to open by 2014, but even as it pines for its partner the current edifice has enough available space to pack in 804 rooms of various shapes, sizes and expense, 9 restaurants, 5 bars, 2 ballrooms a spa, and a health club. It also has the capacity to host conventions with up to 1,000 delegates.

Marriott International president and CEO, Arne Sorenson, was quoted in the Daily Mail, saying, ‘Dubai is an important destination for Marriott International as one of the world’s most exciting cities offering world-class facilities and infrastructure, central location in the region and future growth potential. Our expanding collection of world-class JW Marriott hotels offers accomplished travellers a one-of-a-kind luxury experience. The investment in this unique and visually stunning hotel is testament to the continued opportunities that lie ahead for the brand and company.’

Travellers with a head for heights will be keen to know that the Emirates Group-owned hotel will have room prices commencing from around GBP215.


Leeds Marriott Hotel Announces New Meeting Rooms

Leeds Marriott Hotel, a Marriott brand property in Leeds, UK, will soon be opening its refurbished meeting spaces for its corporate clientele and private social gatherings.

The hotel has already completed a £600,000 transformation of its bar and restaurant, and will soon be transforming two of its meeting rooms. The hotel is adding a new, large meeting room to its 326 square metre Thomas Ambler Suite. The new Trevelyan Suite will be equipped with facilities for around 100 delegates attending conferences or events. Customers can also book the new suite of rooms to host weddings and other less formal occasions.

The hotel is currently offering a total of 13 meeting rooms, covering an area of 702 square meters of total event space.

Located in Leeds city centre, the Leeds Marriott is close to the train station, the Victoria Quarter, the Royal Armouries Museum, and a number of local eateries.

The hotel is offering around 244 guest rooms with Wi-Fi Internet access, 32-inch LCD TV screens, a bar and an individual climate control. The hotel amenities include The Leisure Club, a rest and relaxation arena featuring an indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room and a fitness centre. The neighbouring Russell Eaton Lifestyle Salon and Spa caters to the hotel guest’s spa requirements, and offers discounted prices for its range of Aveda treatments.

Currently, the hotel is offering accommodation, complimentary Internet access, executive lounge access, and a free gift, for its guests staying a Thursday night, for rates commencing from £122 per person.

CTR event launched in Shanghai

The inaugural China Travel Retail (CTR) event was launched at the Marriott City Centre Hotel in Shanghai.

The first day of the event, which also hosted an exhibition, attracted about 180 delegates, and was intended to provide an insight into how the Shanghai Hongqiao airport is responding to demand for an improved travel-retail requirement from passengers.

The event was opened with a presentation from Shanghai Hong Kong Airport Management executive vice-general manager, Michael Yuan. He said that the 17,000sq m of commercial space at Hongqiao airport has to cater to the needs of about 33 million passengers a year. About 90 percent of the passengers are domestic travellers and 10 percent are international travellers.

Yuan said, ‘We have just 17,000sq m for commercial purposes so how can we maximise commercial opportunity and meet needs of passengers? We can’t devote the whole area to first-class brands as need to consider food and beverage. The rapid development of other airports in Shanghai, rivals from downtown retail and insufficient commercial space to satisfy our requirements are all challenges we must overcome. The existing retail portfolio, management systems and communication platform must all be adjusted. We have limited space so needed to plan carefully, but have made a great breakthrough among our piers in being the first to introduce Armani and Hermes stores in Chinese travel-retail.’

Hainan Duty Free Goods vice-chairman and general manager, Wang Yong Fan, said that the developing duty-free policy for travellers would do a lot of good for domestic businesses.


Ctrip Partners with Marriott International International, a China-based travel service provider of hotel accommodation, airline tickets and packaged tours in China, is to partner with global hotel conglomerate, Marriott International, to offer the hotel company’s products to Chinese travellers.

The new partnership between the two companies will be offering Chinese travellers a range of hotel accommodation and reward opportunities at around 3,600 participating hotels worldwide, which are operated by Marriott.

Members of the Marriott Rewards loyalty programme may now earn Ctrip reward points when booking stays at Marriott International branded hotels across the world. Both companies are also intending to offer Double Ctrip Points to Marriott Rewards and Ctrip members.

Simon Cooper, the company president and managing director of Marriott International, Asia Pacific, said, ‘This industry-first partnership brings together the leading hotel loyalty programme and the leading travel agency in China to provide the best possible customer service and guest experience to Marriott Rewards members and Ctrip users in China. It reflects our commitment to meeting the needs of Chinese guests and partnering with exceptional Chinese companies such as Ctrip.’

Fan Min, the company president and chief executive officer for Ctrip, said, ‘Ctrip has always been devoted to creating more value for its customers. The partnership between Ctrip and Marriott is an outstanding example of cooperation between an online travel company and the hotel industry. It’s mutually beneficial for Marriott, Ctrip and our customers. As a result of this expanded partnership, Ctrip customers and Marriott Rewards members can enjoy even more rewards and benefits.’


Marriott Opens Its First Hotel in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan has welcomed its first Marriott hotel with the opening of the 243-room, JW Marriott Absheron Baku, in Baku, the country’s capital city.

Marriott International will be operating the hotel, which overlooks the Caspian Sea, under a management agreement with Yeni Absheron Oteli LLC.

Amy McPherson, president and managing director for Marriott International in Europe, said, ‘We are thrilled to grow our luxury JW Marriott portfolio in Europe and to open world-class hotels such as the JW Marriott Absheron Baku.

A dynamic and cosmopolitan city, Baku is a destination on the rise, experiencing impressive growth and a cultural rebirth. With its beautiful natural surroundings, fascinating history and vibrant nightlife, Baku is the perfect location to showcase our JW Marriott brand in Eastern Europe. Baku is fast becoming a new European and International hotspot and we see great opportunity to expand our portfolio here.’

The hotel is offering 243 guestrooms, including 15 Executive Studios and a Presidential Suite, which is claimed to have a luxurious but contemporary ambience. The hotel also has a business centre and 3,200 square meters of flexible meeting space for all kinds of corporate events, a relaxing spa with views of the sea, a 24-hour fitness centre and a rooftop indoor pool, as well as four dining options.

Azerbaijan is located at the border of Eastern Europe and Western Asia and Baku alone has a population of 1.9 million people. The new JW Marriott Absheron Baku is located a 25 minutes drive from Heydar Aliyev International Airport.


New Courtyard by Marriott Hotel to Open in Romania in 2014

Courtyard by Marriott, a Marriott International brand of hotels, has announced plans to open a new hotel in Bucharest, Romania.

The brand is currently continuing its expansion in Eastern Europe, with its plans to open the new hotel in Bucharest, following on from the opening of its other new property in the city, the JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel.

The 147-room Courtyard by Marriott Bucharest will be operated by the brand under a management agreement with Gica Popescu Hotels SRL, and it will be opening in early 2014.

Bucharest is Romania’s largest city and its capital, and it is also a commercial and industrial centre for the rest of the country. The city is connected to other European destinations through two international airports and a railway network that extends across Europe.

Amy McPherson, the president and managing director for Marriott International in Europe, said, ‘We are excited to be adding the Courtyard Bucharest to our portfolio in Eastern Europe. We continue to see tremendous opportunity for expansion throughout Eastern Europe, particularly with our Courtyard by Marriott brand. As an essential part of our growth strategy and with the recent introduction of our Courtyard prototype in Europe, we are excited to continue to grow the brand, now 47 hotels strong across Europe.’

The Courtyard Bucharest, located in Bucharest city centre, will offer a contemporary lobby with flexible seating, an interactive GoBoard screen featuring local information and weather, and a 24-hour outlet for snacks, as well as an all-day restaurant, flexible meeting spaces, and a fitness centre.

New JW Marriott Mexico City Santa Fe Opens in Mexico City

JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, a hotel company and a part of Marriott International, has announced its newest hotel in Mexico City, Mexico.

The new 221-room, JW Marriott Mexico City Santa Fe, is the brand’s second hotel to open in the City.

Rob Steigerwald, the chief operations officer for the Southern Americas at Marriott International, said, ‘Mexico remains one of the most vibrant countries for new development in all of Latin America. We are thrilled to partner with Grupo Diestra on this project, and reveal our second world class JW Marriott luxury brand hotel to Mexico City. This beautiful hotel brings the highest levels of accommodations and service to Mexico and is a great addition to the brand’s growing global portfolio.’

The JW Marriott brand has a remit to offer lavish properties in gateway cities and resort locations.

The JW Marriott Mexico City Santa Fe is offering two restaurants for dining and entertainment, in addition to a lobby bar, 24-hour room service and an executive lounge. The leisure amenities include a fitness centre and a, soon-to-open, Oriental Wellness Spa, which includes five treatment rooms, saunas, vapour rooms, Jacuzzis and a meditation area. The hotel also has around 13,100 square feet of flexible meeting space available for conducting corporate and social events.

Mitzi Gaskins, the vice president and global brand manager for the company, said, ‘We are confident that this unique and visually stunning hotel will become a landmark in Mexico City attracting travellers and groups from all over the world.’

Marriott International Opens Sustainable Property, Courtyard Scottsdale Salt River Hotel in US

Marriott International, a US-based hotel company, has opened The Courtyard Scottsdale Salt River in Arizona, US, as part of its LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Volume Programme.

The hotel has formed a partnership with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and is located on US tribal land in Scottsdale.

Eric Jacobs, the company chief development officer, North American Lodging, said, ‘This partnership is a symbol of Marriott’s commitment to working with diverse business partners. Our business thrives on partnerships with organisations that share similar philosophies and values. We believe that we have found a great partner in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. It’s a great example of Marriott’s diverse ownership program, which currently has nearly 600 diverse-owned hotels.’

The hotel is offering 153 guestrooms; complimentary Wi-Fi; The Bistro restaurant which is open for breakfast and dinner; an onsite fitness room and swimming pool; and around 6,000 square feet of meeting space, including a ballroom; and the Refreshing Business lobby. As a LEED compliant property, the hotel features several energy and water efficiency and recycling initiatives.

Diane Enos, the president of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, said, ‘We are pleased to welcome Marriott to our community. The hotel is just the right addition to our 101 Corridor development and expansion. This is another important ‘first’ for our Community and is the newest addition to our emerging Talking Stick Cultural and Entertainment Destination. We look forward to a long and prosperous partnership.’

Marriott Hotels in UK Celebrates Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Marriott International hotels in the UK will be celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and claims to be highlighting the Best of Britain with entertaining attractions for guests.

Marriott hotels will be celebrating Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on June 4, 2012, by offering a complimentary Corgi cocktail at its hotel bars to anyone whose name is Elizabeth or that was born in 1952.

From June 1, 2012, all hotel bar staff at Marriott UK properties will be offering the signature cocktail, The Corgi, while wearing Union Jack waistcoats and ties. The Corgi is priced at £7.50, and will be available at hotel bars including Gillray’s at the London Marriott County Hall, the sea-view Conservatory at the Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott, the Chase Bar at the York Marriott Hotel in North Yorkshire, and at several other venues.

Special, limited-edition UK flag mini Pommery POP champagne bottles are also being offered at all hotels for £16 each, during the celebrations.

There are currently 58 Marriott International hotels across the UK, a total that includes Renaissance and Marriott brand hotels.

The company has reported that weekend rates, including breakfast, start from £65 per room, per night in May and June 2012. The rates based on two people sharing a room including breakfast at Leeds commence from £75; at Birmingham from £92; at Portsmouth from £96; at Edinburgh from £99; and at Swansea from £105

The UK is celebrating the Queens Jubilee from June 2 to 5, 2012, with Monday and Tuesday declared as Bank Holidays.