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Render of high-rise building

Hotel opening // Marriott opens duel-branded hotel in Yinchaun, China

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel opening // Marriott opens duel-branded hotel in Yinchaun, China

The building that shelters the duel-branded JW Marriott and Courtyard by Marriott hotel has been described as a new elegant landmark in Northwest China…

Render of high-rise building

Marriott International, Inc. has announced the opening of its dual-branded hotel, JW Marriott Hotel Yinchuan and Courtyard by Marriott Yinchuan in Northwest China, recognised as an oasis in China’s hinterland, a historical and distinctive destination surrounded by deserts and the Helan Mountains.

Invested and established by Ningxia Genyuan Real Estate Development Co., Ltd., the dual-branded hotel is an architectural masterpiece depicting a grand sailing ship boasting a total of 513 rooms. The property will deliver purposeful and memorable service to guests, from the warm luxury experience signature to the JW Marriott brand to the innovative and passionate offerings from Courtyard by Marriott.

Located in the cultural center of Yinchuan, JW Marriott Hotel Yinchuan and Courtyard by Marriott Yinchuan are adjacent to Yinchuan International Convention and Exhibition Center, Ningxia Museum and Ningxia Grand Theatre.

We are excited to welcome JW Marriott Hotel Yinchuan and Courtyard by Marriott Yinchuan to our expanding portfolio in the northwest of China. The opening of this dual-branded hotel demonstrates the growing demand for travel as more travelers seek to discover new and emerging cities all across China,” said Henry Lee, President, Greater China, Marriott International. “This milestone opening signals a new chapter in the dynamic hospitality industry of Yinchuan, and we look forward to bringing our signature offerings to our guests through thoughtfully-curated experiences, leaving them with unforgettable memories from our brands.”

JW Marriott Hotel Yinchuan offers 247 guestrooms and 32 suites featuring floor-to-ceiling windows with dramatic views of Yinchuan skyline. All rooms are thoughtfully decorated, equipped with the latest in-room technology and modern amenities, including a 55-inch LCD TV and capsule coffee machine. Embracing a sense of modern luxury, JW Marriott Hotel Yinchuan promises a haven designed to allow guests to focus on feeling whole – present in mind, nourished in body, and revitalised in soul.

A luxe dining set up inside residence

Image credit: Marriott International

JW Marriott Hotel Yinchuan features signature offerings centred on encouraging guests to celebrate being in the present, foster connections and revitalise the mind. JW Garden, a farm-to-table program, ensures sustainable sourcing of fresh herbs and vegetables for guests. Guests who want to maintain their wellness routines during their stay will enjoy the 24-hour Fitness Centre, which is complete with an indoor heated pool and is flooded with natural sunlight.

An indoor pool

Image credit: Marriott International

Designed to meet the diverse needs of business events, conferences and banquets, JW Marriott Hotel Yinchuan is able to accommodate large-scale event with the pillar-free JW Grand Ballroom. Covering a total area of 1,400 sqm and equipped with a 90 sqm LED screen, the ballroom can accommodate 1,300 guests and be divided into four independent areas. For more intimate events, the 500 sqm JW Ballroom is equipped with a 50 sqm LED screen, and can be repurposed as three independent multifunctional ballrooms. In addition, 10 multi-functional Meeting Rooms of varying sizes will meet the diverse needs of guests.

Courtyard by Marriott Yinchuan features 234 stylish and contemporary guestrooms that cater to passion-driven guests looking to pursue their personal and professional ambitions whilst on the road. Showcasing modern design and decor, as well as a vivacious and inspiring ambience, all guestrooms are equipped with flexible work areas, high-speed Internet, and high-definition televisions for discerning business travellers.

Main image credit: Marriott International

Luxury outdoor terrace

The Luxury Collection debuts in Abu Dhabi

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Luxury Collection debuts in Abu Dhabi

Luxury in the desert, Al Wathba, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa’s Arabian-style resort celebrates Emirati culture through design, cuisine and memorable desert experiences…

The Luxury Collection, part of Marriott International, has welcomed Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa to its unique ensemble of iconic hotels, marking the debut of the portfolio in the UAE capital.

Luxury outdoor terrace

Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa is located deep within the expansive landscape of Abu Dhabi. With a design reminiscent of a historic desert village, it is an intimate retreat suffused with natural beauty, unique tranquillity, and rare experiences.

Pool overlooking the desert

Image credit: Marriott International

“We are delighted to welcome Al Wathba, Desert Resort & Spa to our ensemble of hotels that define the destination and offer our global explorers an authentic desert experience alongside warm Arabian hospitality,” said Guido De Wilde, Chief Operating Officer, Middle East, Marriott International. “Abu Dhabi’s legacy as an international cultural destination with a rich history and heritage, together with the diversity of its dramatic landscapes, offers a unique opportunity for us to guide our guests on transformative journeys that touch their spirits and enrich their lives.”

Inspired by native architecture and the destination’s rich history, the resort’s 103 guestrooms and villas feature traditional Arabesque flourishes, mashrabiya detailing, and Bedouin accessories. Understated interiors and neutral tones sit in harmony with the desert landscape that wraps around this extraordinary hideaway. The villas come with spacious indulgence, private plunge pools and a patio that boasts unlimited views of the surrounding Arabian Desert.

Luxury Arabian-style suite

Image credit: Marriott International

Six dining venues and bars lend themselves to a range of unique epicurean experiences. Bait Al Hanine offers a generous menu, including a wide selection of Lebanese classics, for all-day dining. Al Mabeet features authentic Emirati cuisine in an understated desert setting. Hayaakom, a Bedouin inspired lounge serves afternoon tea and sandwiches. Terra Secca is a trattoria-style, classic Italian restaurant that offers guests a theatrical view of the kitchen and chefs. Al Mesayan, an intimate rooftop bar serves as an ideal spot for stargazing or dune watching, while Panache offers a relaxed pool respite.

Arabian style F&B area

Image credit: Marriott International

Nestled within a picturesque garden, the hotel’s spa is seen as the pinnacle of the entire hotel experience. Guests at Al Wathba can enjoy a range of health and wellness rituals in a contemporary setting, whilst harnessing age-old techniques. With 11 treatment rooms, the spa also boasts relaxation areas including a healing crystal salt sauna, traditional Turkish hammam, unique cryo experience, an open-air yoga pavilion, invigorating ice shower as well as steam rooms, plunge pools, and snow caves.

Luxury pool with palm trees in the desert

Image credit: Marriott International

Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa joins The Luxury Collection brand’s rapidly growing portfolio in the UAE which includes iconic hotels such as Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai, Grosvenor House, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Dubai and Ajman Saray, a Luxury Collection Resort, Ajman.

Main image credit: Marriott International

Access all areas: inside a minimalist’s dream – The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Access all areas: inside a minimalist’s dream – The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko

The new luxury hotel offers an unparalleled vantage point in mountain region of Nikko, where a rich, untouched natural environment entwines with centuries-old traditions. Hotel Designs explores inside the minimalist hotel…

The Ritz Carlton, Nikko is  set amidst a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and  introduces a new level of luxury to the destination. Ideally located in the Northern Kanto region of Japan, The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko is set two and a half hours north of Tokyo, accessible by rail or car, and is a true oasis promising access to a breadth of outdoor activities and cultural experiences. It features many natural treasures including the Kegon Falls and an array of famous Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. Nikko, and the surrounding area, has long been known as a holy place and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the cultural, religious, and architectural significance of its richly decorated shrines and temples. Perched along Lake Chuzenji and Mount Nantai, guests can easily access prominent scenic attractions, such as Nikko National Park, where the hotel is located, as well as the UNESCO World Heritage designated area.

“Following much anticipation surrounding its debut, we are thrilled to finally open the doors to The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko and to continue the growth of the luxury segment in Japan,” said Rajeev Menon, President Asia Pacific (excluding Greater China), Marriott International. “This marks an extremely monumental period for our brand and the entire company as we set the bar in luxury travel, embracing the new normal, while consistently instilling confidence in travel amongst all of our guests.”

Image credit: Ritz Carlton/Marriott Hotels

Taking cues from its picturesque surroundings, the hotel articulates graceful Japanese design through a modern lens to bring the natural beauty of Nikko indoors. Earthy materials such as woods and stones permeate the property and are enhanced by streaming natural light. The hotel’s 94 spacious guest rooms and suites all feature a private balcony that flows seamlessly with an engawa lounge area, offering an expanded space for guests to take in the striking scenery surrounding the hotel.

Image credit: Ritz Carlton/Marriott Hotels

“We are thrilled to be able to offer an elevated level of luxury and the first of its kind to be located in the sublime mountain region of Nikko,” said Jennie Toh, Vice President, Brand, Asia Pacific, Marriott International. “Our Ladies and Gentlemen at The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko are looking forward to welcoming guests and providing enriching, authentic experiences that truly embrace the local culture and destination.”

Though nature takes centre stage at The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko, Japanese tradition and craftsmanship guide the property’s four distinct dining experiences.

A minimalist bar

Image credit: Ritz Carlton/Marriott Hotels

The Japanese Restaurant offers all-day dining and showcases the vibrant elements of Japanese cuisine; Lakehouse uses fresh, local ingredients to create imaginative Western dishes in a tranquil setting; The Bar, is a sophisticated haven of relaxation where local ingredients are highlighted in original cocktails celebrating the culture, nature and spirituality of the ancient city; and The Lobby Lounge is the ideal place to unwind, where visitors can enjoy light bites and Afternoon Tea overlooking a picturesque garden. Ingredients from local purveyors find their way onto plates and into glasses, with every dish and drink a reflection of the culture’s appreciation for beauty and design. This acknowledgement is further showcased by exclusively crafted pottery by the well-established Mashiko pottery artists, GENDO, or by traditional wood carving motifs created by the first female wood carving artists in the 400-year history of the shrines and temples.

Stylish restaurants with nod to natural wood and materials in design

Image credit: Ritz Carlton/Marriott Hotels

An urban sanctuary of wellness, the Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko showcases treatments inspired by the abundance of natural revitalising elements and the rich heritage of the Nikko region within four specialised treatment rooms. The hotel is the first Ritz-Carlton property to feature an authentic hot-springs experience in the Japanese onsen tradition.

A pool looking out to nature at night

Image credit: Ritz Carlton/Marriott Hotels

The Ritz-Carlton brand, part of Marriott International that has just opened its 800th property in the Asia Pacific region, currently operates more than 100 hotels in 30 countries and territories around the world.

Main image credit: Ritz Carlton/Marriott Hotels

Renovation revealed: Marriott Cancun collection reopens

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Renovation revealed: Marriott Cancun collection reopens

Following a recently completed interior design renovation project, The Marriott Cancun Collection (JW Marriott Cancun and Marriott Cancun) is reopening calming spaces to cater to modern travellers’ demands in the post-pandemic climate. Editor Hamish Kilburn gets a closer look inside…

Only last week, I positioned Mexico’s region of Riviera Nayarit under our editorial spotlight to focus in on the hotel development projects that will soon be completed, and how the senstive renovation of its landscape will enhance the its appeal among modern luxury travellers. 

On the completely other side of Mexico, 2,427 km east of Riviera Nayarit, you will find Cancun, a destination famous for its white sand beaches, near-perfect weather, and bright blue waters. Among of the assemblage of hotels in the city are the sister resorts Marriott Cancun and JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa, both of which have undergone renovations recently to their public areas, guestrooms and suites and are welcoming guests back into the refreshed spaces in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

Together known as Marriott Cancun Collection, the resorts have been given the green light to open their doors as a part of Quintana Roo’s phased re-opening strategy. JW Marriott Cancun opened June 8 and is already hosting guests, and Marriott Cancun Resort is trailing right behind with an expected opening date of July 1.

Large, spacious F&B area

Image credit: Marriott Hotels

Having debuted the trendy, Tulum-inspired SacBé Beach Shack last summer and its new lobby in January, Marriott Cancun Resort’s renovations, paired with JW Marriott Cancun’s extensive $40 million upgrade to all 447 ocean-facing guestrooms, set the stage for a roaring first quarter.

New renovated suites shelter stlish array of furniture and clean wooden floors

“There’s no greater feeling than welcoming our guests back with refreshed, inviting spaces that lay the foundation for an exceptional vacation experience,” said Vice President and General Manager Christopher Calabrese. “We continuously strive to elevate our offerings, and that started with JW Marriott Cancun’s design-forward room renovation. When taken in combination with Marriott Cancun’s new lobby, the final touch of an earlier renovation, it feels like two virtually new hotels.”

Image credit: Marriott Hotels

Dubbed ‘The Great Room,’ Marriott Cancun’s airy entryway complements the chic design of the resort’s 450 guestrooms. The colour palette includes marbleised beige and cream accented by shades of indigo and turquoise that are inspired by Mexico’s natural beauty. The lofty space features clean, crisp lines, modern furniture of varying textures and cream shades, along with the resort’s signature paneled windows that peer out to the palm-lined grounds and the ocean beyond.

Also in the pipeline for 2020 is Hana, a Polynesian restaurant set to replace Argentinian eatery, La Capilla. Hana, a play on the Hawaiian word for family, will feature intricate wood detailing on the ceiling and distressed brick accents, along with pops of yellow. The contemporary furniture, wall planters and Polynesian-inspired images are intended to transport guests to the most exotic corner of the world, while SacBé Beach Shack is influenced by Tulum’s bohemian atmosphere. The new beach club offers a fusion of local flavours and traditional Mexican cuisine. Here, local street food is served to guests on swinging bar stools set beneath driftwood rods and adjacent to macramé hammocks, hand-painted art and dine-in-the-sand tables.

Low tables in stylish new renovated bar/restaurant

Image credit: Marriott Hotels

Next door, JW Marriott Cancun’s stylish room interiors pay homage to the intricate textiles found in ancient Mayan garments. Meanwhile, the room’s aerial-view photographs are indicative of the region’s famous cenotes, or natural sink holes. Meticulously carved wood accents, architectural light fixtures, herringbone-patterned floors, luxe rainfall showers and free-standing soaking tubs with complimentary lavender bath salts are now standard in all guest rooms. The property also remodelled its exclusive Club 91 lounge with navy blue and olive-hued furniture in combination with coral reef ceiling décor, providing guests a glimpse into what lies beyond the hotel’s shores.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. This advice is being kept under constant review.

Main image credit: Marriott Hotels

Inside JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa

Hotel Designs has gained virtual access inside JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa, which is expected to open in May as the brand’s second hotel to arrive in Orlando… 

Ideally situated on the doorstep Walt Disney World Florida, JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa has been appropriately designed with warm interiors that are suitable and accessible to all.

The resort’s calm, inviting social spaces and amenities will include a Spa by JW, resort pool with splash pad, specialty restaurants, as well as a rooftop terrace boasting nightly views of theme park firework displays.

Render of outside terrace

Image credit: Marriott International

Inspired by its natural surroundings, the expansive 516-key JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa has been thoughtfully designed to promote a sense of wellbeing and relaxation. The sophisticated décor includes indigenous woods, wicker, reeds and stone features from the inviting lobby to the airy guestrooms and suites.

“We are truly delighted to continue to expand our JW Marriott portfolio in Orlando, Florida,” said Mitzi Gaskins, Vice President & Global Brand Leader, JW Marriott when the hotel’s opening date was announced. “The new JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa will bring a modern, luxurious and wellness-focused setting to our guests in Orlando, inviting them on an enriching journey of relaxation with experiences crafted with their holistic well-being in mind.”

Render of modern, light guestroom

Image credit: Marriott International

The guestrooms and suites feature lofted beds for an array of sleeping arrangements, spa-like bathrooms, and larger living areas, Family Suites are designed specially to make stays more comfortable and convenient for multi-generational families traveling with young children or any guests looking to come together and foster a true connection.

When the hotel opens, JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa will provide guests with warm, uplifting service and experiences designed to deepen their journeys. The new resort is said to offer a luxury escape for travellers who come to feel present in mind, nourished in body and revitalised.

Main image credit: Marriott International

Aloft Hotels arrives in Bali with new ‘future-proof design’

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Aloft Hotels arrives in Bali with new ‘future-proof design’

Aloft Hotels’ First property on the Island of Bali introduces the brand’s new ‘future-proof design formula’…

Aloft Hotels, Marriott International’s hotel brand for music enthusiasts and tech-savvy travellers, has announced the opening of Aloft Bali Seminyak.

Located in the heart of vibrant Seminyak, within walking distance to the beachm, the urban-inspired hotel features interactive social spaces and modern style, along with a fresh new social scene to Bali as the first Aloft hotel to open on the island.

“We are excited to be unveiling the Aloft Hotels brand in Bali,” said Mike Fulkerson, Vice President, Brand & Marketing, Asia-Pacific, Marriott International. “The new Aloft Bali Seminyak is set to own the stage as the hottest gathering hub for travellers visiting the well-known social scene of Seminyak. From its bold design to its live music programming, locals and guests alike can experience the next generation of hotels that will enhance their stay while vacationing on island paradise.”

Aloft Bali Seminyak embodies the brand’s new tech-forward design philosophy with a lively, industrial-inspired aesthetic intermixed with distinct local touches that complement the free-flowing open spaces. The hotel is home to 80 modern and stylish guestrooms, all of which have been designed with the brand’s signature artful and innovative loft layout in mind. They feature airy nine-foot-ceilings, Aloft’s ultra-comfortable beds and contemporary décor with Balinese accents. In addition, the hotel features eight guestrooms with direct access to a lap pool, complete with stunning views of a tropical hanging garden.

render of luxury guestroom

Image credit: Aloft hotels/Marriott International

The hotel features a variety of dining and social spaces including its main attraction: The Kahuna rooftop restaurant, which serves up a fusion of eclectic fare with a playful twist on international and local cuisine complemented by mesmerising sea views as a backdrop.

The open and expressive lobby is adjacent to Re:mix lounge that provides locals and travellers a space to mix and mingle. The brand’s signature W XYZ bar offers signature cocktails and light bites for guests to enjoy over live music as part of the brand’s iconic Live At Aloft Hotels music series which offers emerging local artists a platform to showcase their musical talent.

Business travellers can make use of the two multi-functional, tech-forward meeting spaces equipped with fast and free Wi-Fi, which can also be transformed into an intimate event venue accommodating up to 66 people.

Aloft currently operates 176 lifestyle hotels globally. There are 132 Aloft hotels in the signed pipeline expected to open in North America, Caribbean & Latin America, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Asia Pacific.

Main image credit: Marriott International/Aloft Hotels

Marriott debuts multi-purpose-built property in South Africa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Marriott debuts multi-purpose-built property in South Africa

Marriott International grows its footprint in South Africa with the opening of Johannesburg Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch, the chain’s first multi-purpose-built hotel in the country… 

Marriott International has announced the opening of Johannesburg Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch, which marks the first purpose-built Marriott Hotel in the country.

Owned and developed by the Amdec Group, the hotel and apartments are situated in the bustling Melrose Arch Precinct and provide a premium destination for business travelers and a fully serviced extended stay destination.

“We are thrilled to open Johannesburg Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch and Marriott Executive Apartments Johannesburg Melrose Arch, further strengthening our relationship with the Amdec Group in South Africa,” said Sandra Schulze–Potgieter, Vice President Premium & Select Brands, Marriott International Middle East and Africa. “The openings are part of Marriott International’s commitment to expand our footprint in Africa and deepen our brand portfolio in South Africa. The property is a strong representation of two brands which will deliver tailored services, sophisticated spaces and enriching experiences.”

Johannesburg Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch is the first Marriott Hotel in South Africa to showcase the brand’s new design touchpoints. The property features 306 guest rooms, including 10 Junior Suites. Each of the spacious rooms are thoughtfully designed with a balance of tailored utility and contemporary style for the traveler who believes that form is just as important as function. Local accents add a sense of place to the sleek aesthetic, while open workspaces allow for flexibility to connect anytime.

The hotel is home to spaces that spark brilliance and seamlessly blend work and play with state-of-the-art business facilities, such as the Greatroom – a contemporary space located in the hotel lobby designed for socialising, relaxing and working. Guests can enjoy an elevated experience through the Mobile Guest Services, delivered with the warm and professional service for which the brand is globally renowned.

The F&B areas include Archer Bar and Eatery – a charismatic social space, part bar and part coffee hangout, serving local craft beers, specialty coffee and creative mixology, and Keystone Bistro – a stylish restaurant serving international cuisine with a South African flair. In addition, the hotel features seven meeting rooms, a ballroom, pre-function space and a 24-hour fitness centre, complete with outdoor heated swimming pool and pool bar.

On the upper floors of the new build, Marriott Executive Apartments Johannesburg Melrose Arch features 84 fully sized and equipped apartments, ranging from one-, two- and three-bedroom units, for travellers seeking a trusted, longer stay.

Main image credit: Marriott International

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Sensitively lighting the bathroom

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Sensitively lighting the bathroom

The lighting experts at Vaughan talk us through how the brand successfully lit the bathrooms in prestige projects such as Gleneagles, The Ned and St. Ermins…

Lighting brand Vaughan was one of the first companies to provide bathroom lighting that was both functional and refined when they began designing lights for this purpose more than 15 years ago.

Although bathroom lights need to be equipped with an IP44 rating, the company recognise that clients require a product that kept in line with their visual aesthetic.

Throughout the past 15 years, Vaughan’s bathroom lights have been featured in numerous hotel projects – from the Soho House Group to Firmdale Hotels, as well as stand-alone projects including Claridge’s and Grantley Hall. In the past year alone, Vaughan have provided lighting for more than 50 hotels across the United Kingdom and Europe. And here are just a a handful of them.

Nestled in the centre of London, the Ned is architecturally more than 100 years old – and was originally known as the Midland Bank building. Now renowned for being a hotel, the Ned is the shared project of Nick Jones, founder of Soho House & Co., and Andrew Zobler, CEO of New York’s Sydell Group. Thanks in part to its longstanding relationship with the Soho House Group, Vaughan supplied the Ned with the Sudbury Wall Light for a number of their bathrooms.

Made from solid cast brass, decorated with a scalloped edge and given an antique brass finish, it is one of Vaughan’s early designs – one which is more traditional in style yet still stands the test of time. Featuring a distinctive, ribbed, scroll-shaped arm, and beaded detailing, it showcases the variety of texture that is made possible thanks to the lost wax casting process.  Placed on each side of the whimsical oval-shaped mirror, the Sudbury Wall Light subtly complements the brass accents that Jones has implemented – from the door handle, to the bathroom taps, and the towel rack too.

Located in Perthshire, Scotland, Gleneagles formally opened its doors in 1924. Described as “a Riviera in the Highlands”, it was initially conceived thanks to the vision of Donald Matheson, General Manager of the Caledonian Rail Company, whose railway line ran through its picturesque terrain.

Following a refurbishment from 2015 – 2017, Hotel Designs reviewed the hotel, and noticed  Vaughan’s Seaton Storm Wall Lights feature in a number of suites.

Based on a traditional ‘hurricane lamp’ that was originally designed for candles, it comes with an elegant glass shade and is pictured here with an antique brass finish.  A delicate combination of hot forged brass and glass, the Seaton is a simple design, with minimal decoration, yet is executed with precision and care.  Similar to the bathroom interior at the Ned, the Seaton Wall Lights continue the theme of brass, and neatly unite themselves to the taps, mirrors, and drawer handles to create a cohesive room set.

The bathroom at St. Ermin’s offers a departure from the brass theme previously discussed, in a decidedly more contemporary interior with pink wallpaper, mother-of-pearl mirrors and sleek, black marble. Situated just around the corner from St. James’s Park in London, St. Ermin’s is an independent hotel yet is also part of Marriott International’s ‘Autograph Collection’.

Image caption: Vaughan’s Norfolk Wall Light can be found in the bathrooms at St. Ermins Hotel

For this bathroom, Vaughan provided the Norfolk Wall Light in a sleek chrome finish. Placed either side of each mirror, the wall lights are topped with a square fabric shade which softly diffuses the light.  Like the Seaton Wall Light, the Norfolk is a simple design and form – featuring a rectangular backplate, square candleholder and angular arm.  When combined with the oval sinks, cylindrical worktop legs, and rectangular mirrors, it creates a satisfying, playful interior – one that is predominantly focused on the relationship between different geometric shapes.  Made with a base metal of hot forged brass, the Norfolk is available in a number of finishes – from the chrome one pictured here to antique brass and nickel too.

Variety, as well as quality, are two central components to Vaughan. Product design is meticulously developed and lead by Lucy and Michael Vaughan, co-founders of the company, and their shared background as antique dealers is without a doubt an underlying influence in their creative process. “Our creative process is very much cyclical, updating and reflecting on products we’ve already made and antiques, which we have seen throughout our time as dealers,” said Lucy Vaughan.

For Vaughan, bathroom lighting is no exception – with a variety of styles, finishes, metals and shapes available to both retail and the trade, and a clear alignment with the brand’s existing lines. Ranging from the more subdued Beverley Wall Light to the more ornate, glass-art beauty of the Morillon Wall Light, Vaughan offers a wide selection of bathroom lighting to choose from, while remaining committed to their pursuit of quality and craftsmanship.

Vaughan is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image caption: Bathroom lighting by Vaughan inside The Ned

The St Regis San Francisco completes renovation

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The St Regis San Francisco completes renovation

The luxury hotel in San Francisco’s new guestrooms, meeting and event space were designed in collaboration with Chapi Chapo Design to evoke renewed vibrancy… 

Toronto-based studio Chapi Chapo Design has completed a project to renovate the guestrooms and meeting spaces inside The St. Regis San Francisco.

Namesake of the famed St. Regis Hotel in New York City, founded by John Jacob Astor in 1904 and synonymous worldwide with design excellence, European-style elegance and personalised “anticipatory service,” The St. Regis San Francisco introduced a new dimension of luxury and gracious living to San Francisco, personified by the signature St. Regis butler service, when it opened in 2005.  The hotel remains the crowning jewel of the Yerba Buena cultural corridor, steps from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Contemporary Jewish Museum and the Yerba Buena Centre for the Arts and proximate to Union Square, the financial district and the Moscone Convention Centre. 

“This has been a wonderful opportunity for us to return to The St. Regis San Francisco,” said Boris Mathias, co-CEO of Chapi Chapo Design. “Our goal was to honour St. Regis’ distinctive heritage while refreshing the property with a design that captures San Francisco’s innovative spirit, rich history and natural beauty, and to create ultra-luxe guest rooms and event spaces that anticipate the needs of today’s discerning traveller.” 

luxe suite open up to striking vistas of the city

Image credit: Marriott International/St Regis

The St. Regis San Francisco’s 260 rooms and suites were refitted with customised furniture, exclusive to the hotel. New room seating includes chairs and ottomans designed both for lounging and working.  Headboards picoted with rich leather paneling, suggestive of a luxury sports car interior, also serve as homes for the connections that power the rooms’ sophisticated technological upgrades.  San Francisco’s iconic hills and valleys are subtly referenced in wall covering that features the soft curves of a Richard Serra-inspired sculpture. Viewed through layered smoked desk glass, California’s glorious panoramas, as captured by legendary landscape photographer Ansel Adams, evoke the dreamy intrigue of a Dashiell Hammett novel. 

Continuing the theme of wedding historic milestones to contemporary sensibility, the California Gold Rush of 1849 that put San Francisco on the map is referenced by a colour palette of silver, copper and iron, adding an alluring luster to the rooms’ ambience but setting off distinctive custom 3D computer graphic applications created by Christo Saba. The artwork pays homage to the innovative spirit of San Francisco with subtle visualisations of past luminaries and today’s tech industry giants.

Image credit: Marriott International/St Regis

The redesign also focused on enhancing The St. Regis San Francisco’s 15,000 square feet of meeting and event spaces, creating refined, comfortable and innovative areas designed to facilitate conversation and collaboration.  Continuing to balance tradition and contemporaneity, the new custom carpet in the ballroom features a modern, earthy abstract pattern with unexpected bursts of color that ideally complements the room’s magnificent existing chandelier.

And with a subtle touch of whimsey that acknowledges the city’s storied geological uncertainty, Chapi Chapo Design fitted the hotel’s meeting spaces with tectonic-plate themed custom-designed carpet.  

Main image credit: Marriott International/St Regis

Renaissance Hotels debuts in New York

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Renaissance Hotels debuts in New York

The 39-floor luxury hotel, Renaissance New York Chelsea Hotel, has opened as plans for the brand to open another hotel in the city move forward…

Renaissance New York Chelsea Hotel has officially opened its doors to become one of the tallest properties in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.

Rising an impressive 39 floors at 430 feet high, the brand’s first hotel in Chelsea is crowned with one of the highest rooftop pools in the city, offering unparalleled 360-degree views.

Located on the former site of the iconic Antiques Garage flea market, the hotel pays homage to the site’s history and the area’s charming antique shops with a theatrical design concept by architecture and interior design firm Stonehill Taylor. Drawing inspiration from the surrounding neighbourhood, spaces within the hotel aim to surprise and delight guests with unexpected moments, each thoughtfully designed to tell a story.

“Renaissance New York Chelsea Hotel encourages guests to discover this iconic location with a sense of reimagined curiosity,” said George Fleck, vice president of global brand marketing and management, Renaissance Hotels. “This new hotel, coupled with our significant growth and renovation strategy in North America, further reinforces our brand’s global commitment to ensuring that guests experience the DNA of the neighbourhood through our dramatic design and engaging guest experiences – ultimately leaving with a new appreciation of the destination.”

Colourful artwork in the suite

Image credit: Marriott Hotels/Renaissance Hotels

Underscoring Renaissance Hotels’ unexpected design aesthetic, Stonehill Taylor created an escape that plays on the contrasting dichotomy of the hotel’s industrial, antique and floral market surroundings to create the illusion of walking through a secret garden. The hotel’s top-floor exterior features a sleek, modern glass facade, while the entrance embodies the look and feel of an English manor. Behind a stone-walled arcade entry lays a private, open-air courtyard studded with lush foliage and seating for guests to lounge.

Penthouse bedroom overlooking skyline of New York

Image credit: Marriott Hotels/Renaissance Hotels

Tapped to curate the hotel’s collection of artwork, art consultant Indiewalls led a massive two-story installation of antique knobs, locks and keys created by local artist Laura Morrison that takes center stage as the backdrop to the lobby staircase. As guests pass through the space, they are encouraged to touch and interact with these whimsical wares. Indiewalls also oversaw mixed media artist Liam Alexander’s creation of various video art moments throughout the hotel, reflecting inspiration from the flower district and flea market concepts in the surrounding locale, eliciting the feeling of a “living painting.” Trellage-Ferrill Studio fabricated custom pieces like a collection of upside-down bird cages, as well as a large pendant at the elevator lobby inspired by a bird’s nest to pique the curiosity of travelers. Inside the elevator cabs, leather tiles made from vintage belts coat the walls, adding intrigue of the hotel’s overall design.

Earth tones dominate the color palette of the 341 guest rooms and suites. Interiors are outfitted with wood-panelled printed wallcoverings and unexpected playful touches include gnome desk lamps and rabbit coat hooks. Guest bathrooms evoke a quaint garden shed with concrete sinks, porcelain tiles and mirrors etched with silhouettes of wildflowers. Suites on the fourth and 36th floors are distinguished by their 14-foot high ceilings. A focal point of each suite is a floor-to-ceiling framed wallcovering art installation of a magnified peacock feather, as well as an oversized mural of a woman’s silhouette comprised of fuchsia roses by artist Sara Byrne.

The hotel is the latest property to debut under the brand’s growing North American portfolio which includes recently opened hotels in Philadelphia, Toledo, Reno, Dallas and Newport Beach, as well as renovated properties in Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Palm Desert, among others. Additionally, the brand is set to grow its New York City footprint two-fold over the next two years with highly anticipated openings in both Flushing and Harlem.

Main image credit: Marriott/Renaissance Hotels

Sensitively renovating a luxury jewel in Malta

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sensitively renovating a luxury jewel in Malta

Design firm RPW Design has completed the extensive renovation inside Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa, inspired by Maltese craft and culture…

Opening its doors this month after an extensive renovation led by RPW Design is Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa.

The refreshed interiors of the hotel’s public spaces, restaurants, bars and 301 guestrooms blend modernised elements of traditional Maltese craft with the heritage of the hotel’s local area of Balluta Bay. 

In order to create a local, authentic and sophisticated aesthetic, the design firm carefully studied the culture and architecture of Malta and the history of Balluta Bay to take inspiration from natural materials and shapes.

“The hotel is situated in amazing location which has inspired our design throughout.” – Alessandro Tessari, Interior Architect at RPW Design.

The design highlights elements of traditional Maltese craft in a modern way. Within the curtains and carpets throughout the corridors and bedrooms, there are subtle references to lace; artworks created from locally made cement tiles decorate the interiors and hand-blown glass is incorporated into the light fittings.

With five diverse restaurants and three bars, functionality was at the forefront of the design process. The designers carefully considered the different spaces and how these will be used to create spaces that are adaptable to the modern traveller who may have a business meeting in the morning, but wants to enjoy a relaxed drink in the evening. The result is an elegant aesthetic that is both intuitive for guests and functional for operations, underpinning the exceptional service that the Malta Marriott team deliver. 

“We have been delighted to work on this exciting design project,” said Alessandro Tessari, Interior Architect at RPW Design. “The hotel is situated in amazing location which has inspired our design throughout. It has been a pleasure to showcase the history and heritage of Malta through our eyes for all the guests to enjoy. We are excited to see how the hotel develops as it embarks in a new era as a Marriott hotel.”

Guests enter the hotel and step inside The Great Room and the original Villa Garden, where the hotel is now situated, was the main source of inspiration for this space. Organic features and natural elements are used throughout the property. Furnishings with elegant textures mixed with traditional materials such as cane, wood and raffia are featured. Traditional Maltese with decorative glasswork including a large-scale lighting feature in the reception adds colour and vibrancy to the space. The use of soft curves subtly encourages guests to move through the expansive space. 

“Inspired by the heritage of Balluta Bay, we have woven the traditional crafts of Malta throughout the design.” – RPW Design partner, Elizabeth Lane.

The Atrio features luscious wooden elements, warm tones and rich textures throughout, creating calm and casual environment by day, and a relaxed, intimate setting in the evening. The space showcases expert joinery through the stunning bespoke wine display and crafted wooden bar. The use of varied furniture again allows guests to clearly distinguish between the spaces. 

“It has been a privilege and really exciting working with the team on the renovation and rebranding of the hotel,” added RPW Design partner, Elizabeth Lane. “Inspired by the heritage of Balluta Bay, we have woven the traditional crafts of Malta throughout the design in a contemporary way thereby giving the hotel a real sense of place while looking to the future. It will be an ideal destination for business or leisure or a combination of both.”

As for the guestrooms, the design team exchanged the bright yellow walls and terracotta furnishings for a palette of soft greys and browns that reflect the local architecture. The studio also introduced accents of vibrant colours inspired by the colourful balconies and doors found on traditional Maltese buildings and soft blues that reflect the shades of the sea. 

Light and bright image of room with wooden floor and white bed.

Image credit: Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa

Within the new executive suites, a timber slatted wall partition adds a new layer that is inspired by traditional balcony shutters. The partition creates an interesting effect which ensures natural light and air can travel across the lounge and bedroom areas whilst maintaining privacy for the guests. 

Located on the seafront, separate from the main hotel, The Villa has been designed in continuity with the hotel but the overall design is more traditional, as this is one of the few villas left in Balluta Bay.  Since the hotel was built in the original villa gardens, RPW decided to incorporate flora as the main feature to showcase the outlet’s fine dining experience.

The Marketplace, situated on the second floor, is Malta Marriott’s main restaurant. The designers have created a large open space that is flooded with light. The studio has continued to use slatted timber detailing that can be seen throughout the hotel, as well as soft upholstery, decorative tiles, marble detailing and colourful accessories to create a harmonious atmosphere. The design allows the space to be seamlessly adapted from a daily breakfast venue into a lavish evening restaurant, perfect for special occasions throughout the year.

The M Club Lounge offers spectacular views and the ideal space to work or relax. A versatile range of furniture meets the ever-changing needs of travellers. Soft lounge chairs and sofas create an intimate setting for leisure guests, whilst a large communal table with integrated work space is the perfect spot for business travellers to work. 

Image of rooftop overlooking Malta

Image credit: Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa

Overall, the hotel’s latest renovation has not only given life into the hotel, but has also enriched the surrounding area with RPW Design’s sensitively accurate approach. The design firm, which first showcased its ability to transform the Marriott brand back in 2016 with the completion of London Marriott Hotel County Hall’s complete renovation, has done it again with the completion of Malta’s Marriott to prove that this hotel brand is not reserved to the colour scheme of maroon reds and dark greens.

Main image credit: Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa

close up of wall partition in the restaurant

How twenty2degrees redesigned Budapest Marriott Hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
How twenty2degrees redesigned Budapest Marriott Hotel

Hotel Designs follows twenty2degrees, which has just completed a two-phase refurbishment of Budapest Marriott Hotel…

Whenever a project completes from The Brit List 2019 accredited design firm twenty2desgrees, you know that its design is going to do three things: 1) stand out from the crowd, 2) be full of personality and 3) have meaning. The team’s latest project, Budapest Marriott Hotel, is no exception of that unwritten, yet widely known, rule.

close up of wall partition in the restaurant

Phase one of the renovation began with the brand’s signature ‘greatroom’ concept, which harmonises reception, lobby lounge, bar and restaurant in a single open space, followed by the hotel’s function and meeting rooms. The result not only aligns with brand expectations but, thanks to the designers’ introduction of local context and artistic provenance, feels absolutely at home in this historic and creative city.

Large contemporary partition in lobby/f&B area

Image credit: Marriott International/twenty2degrees

Tucked along the banks of the Danube River, the hotel overlooks some of the capital’s most iconic landmarks including the Chain Bridge and Buda Castle. The 50-year old building belongs to the Brutalist mid-twentieth style of architecture, and the designers pay homage to the concrete façade with a new stone sculptural relief in the lobby. Beyond this, however, the interiors are now modern and tactile with numerous residential-style details to ensure guests feel at their ease from the moment they arrive. The firm, headed up by Nicolas Stoupas and Joseph Stella, has also introduced Marriott’s first ‘disruptive bar’ – a free-standing island bar in the lounge designed to evolve through the day, from morning coffee and pastry service, to cocktails and snacks in the evening.

Large and comfortable lobby/lounge area

Image credit: Marriott International/twenty2degrees

“While addressing all the ‘Marriott Modern’ touchpoints, we felt it was important to also capture the rich essence of Budapest, a vibrant European city with a tremendous amount of history and a vast number of creative individuals, both past and present, from whom to draw inspiration,” explained Stella, Creative Director of twenty2degrees. “Whenever we begin a new project, we first look to the brief in order to form the bare bones of the design. Then we explore the locality in order to added layered design elements”.

The work of Hungary’s renowned Bauhaus designer, Marcel Breuer, and artist, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, was the inspiration for the specially designed carpets and the refined-yet-elaborate decorative screens throughout the Greatroom. Integrated as an artistic and architectural element, they also serve to zone the space without shutting off any areas. These areas include: The Individual Zone for guests to relax, read, work and enjoy a coffee or a light snack, The Social Zone that is centred on the Liz and Chain Bar, and The Guest Service Zone where customers check in. Zones are defined by varying colour palettes as well as by different seating, tables and lighting options. The multi-functional, open plan scheme is designed to reflect our modern lifestyle where the opposing demands for privacy and human connection, work and socialising need to be met within a flexible space.

large island in the middle of modern F&B area

Image credit: Marriott International/twenty2degrees

Together with cubist shapes and Bauhaus curves, twenty2degrees’ celebration of the local is continued through a collaboration with contemporary local artists, Janos Huszti, Petyka, and Stefan Osnowski. Their pieces, as well as a collection of traditional paintings and prints and integrated artworks compliment the colour scheme and provide an impressive gallery feel to some of the areas.

The meeting and banqueting spaces boast stunning views of the city. Together they represent 17,000 square feet of versatile space that includes Grand Budapest Ballroom, Ballroom Terrace, and a number of flexible meeting rooms. The redesigned spaces display similar aesthetic values to the Greatroom, echoing Bauhaus principles, favouring functionality over ornamentation and asymmetry over symmetry. They too are modern and tactile, combining cubist inspired forms with a contemporary design style.

Main image credit: Marriott International/twenty2degrees

EDITION to open three new hotels in 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
EDITION to open three new hotels in 2020

The luxury hotel brand EDITION Hotels has announced that it will open properties in Japan, Iceland and Dubai this year… 

Following the announcement of Marriott International’s strategy to open 30 new luxury hotels in 2020, EDITION Hotels has shared that it will open three new properties across three continents this year.

With the completion of new EDITION properties in Japan, Iceland and Dubai, the brand is expected to reach 13 properties worldwide. In addition, Marriott International has a further 15 hotels in EDITION’s signed development pipeline which, upon opening in coming years, should more than double the brand’s footprint.

“All of the EDITION hotels are unique, original and one of a kind, embedded with a sense of time and place,” Ian Schrager.

The brainchild of famed designer and hotel visionary Ian Schrager, EDTION Hotels continues to expand its home-from-home luxury interior scheme in major travel hotspots around the world. “All of the EDITION hotels are unique, original and one of a kind, embedded with a sense of time and place,” Schrager commented.

With two existing properties in the Asia Pacific region, the brand expects to open its first property in Japan – The Tokyo EDITION Toranomon. EDITION expects to expand its footprint in the Middle East with the opening of The Dubai EDITION, the second hotel in the UAE following last year’s launch of The Abu Dhabi EDITION. Europe is also expected to see its fourth EDITION property with the launch of The Reykjavik EDITION in Iceland.

Render of the exterior of The EDITION Reykjavik

Image caption/credit: Render of The EDITION Reykjavik | EDITION Hotels/Marriott International

Each new opening will further entrench EDITION Hotels’ position as a global leader in the luxury lifestyle hotel market. Working with eminent global designers to create distinctive properties, each EDITION Hotel is uniquely tailored to its destination. Displaying the best of dining and entertainment, services and amenities “all under one roof,” each EDITION property is completely unique, reflecting the best of the cultural and social milieu of its location and of the time.

EDITION Hotels’ commitment to uncompromising quality, true originality and impeccable modern service continues to define the luxury boutique hotel category. The brand’s rapid international expansion is set to continue with further openings slated throughout 2021 across multiple continents.

Main image credit: EDITION Hotels/Marriott International 

render of open-planned lobby/lounge area in hotel overlooking the pool and the sea

Most anticipated hotel openings in 2020 (Q1 & Q2)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Most anticipated hotel openings in 2020 (Q1 & Q2)

Kickstarting 2020, Hotel Designs takes a glance at some of the most significant hotel projects that are expected to complete in the next 12 months (edited by Hamish Kilburn)…

If 2019 was anything to go by, then the next 12 months on the international hotel design and hospitality scene is going to be a jam-packed series of hotel openings in all corners of the globe. But with the industry churning out all kinds of hotels, it can be a challenge identifying the projects that will make the biggest impact.

render of open-planned lobby/lounge area in hotel overlooking the pool and the sea

In order to cut through the noise, the editorial team has sifted through the lists of projects on the boards in order to determine which among them are the most significant hotel projects that are slated to complete and open in 2020.

We start our series by putting the spotlight on the hotels forecasted to opening in Q1 and Q2.

Fusion Suites Vung Tau (Q1)

Render of rooftop pool and dynamic angular roof

Fusion’s latest hotel, Fusion Suites Vung Tau, is set to open in January in southern Vietnam’s popular coastal playground. The new 21-storey property features 171 well-appointed suites and apartments, a multitude of dining options, a spa, yoga studio, and a rooftop infinity pool. The property offers views of the ocean, and complements the setting with playful interiors dressed in sea green, ocean blue, and a wide range of ocean-inspired hues in between. The same sense of whimsy informs the building’s complex facade with pastel-coloured glass panels that zig-zag upwards. For dining options the hotel has the Fresh restaurant (open all-day), a rooftop bar, and market stalls in the lobby. The property’s 12 treatment room spa is inspired by the sea and features signature therapies based around salt. Conveniently located in the heart of Vung Tau, the hotel is just a short trip by boat or road from Ho Chi Minh City.

Mama Shelter Paris West (Q1)

Light room with living coral coloured decor

Image credit: Mama Shelter

Following a successful soft opening, Mama Shelter’s second hotel in Paris, located in the eclectic 15th arrondissement, will officially open in January 2020. With cutting-edge design elements by up and coming French designer Dion & Arles, featuring the playful design and vibrant colour palettes – guests can unwind in front of the open fire in the all-day restaurant or dine al fresco on the terrace, complete with its very own half-size basketball court. This will be Mama Shelter’s 12th property.

Hotel Brooklyn, Manchester (Q1)

Designed by Squid Inc – the team behind renowned Hotel Gotham – the long-awaited Hotel Brooklyn is scheduled to open in February 2020. The 189-key hotel is inspired by the New York Borough and chosen for its resonating similarities to Manchester, in terms of its buzzing industrial growth, as well as its strength of identity and culture.

Riggs Washington D.C.

Image credit: Lore Group/Riggs Washington DC

The long-awaited brainchild of The Brit List 2019 judge Jacu Strauss, Riggs Washington D.C. is expected to open its illustrious doors in February 2020. The famed designer has invoked the spirit of the building’s former bank while preserving and restoring much of the property’s original design features to reimagine the storied building for the modern traveller. The 181-room property features playful nods to the building’s rich past, drawing on the parallels between the activities that take place in banks and at hotels to offer something personal and serendipitous around every corner.

Atocha Hotel Madrid – Tapestry Collection by Hilton (Q1)

Render of gold and modern guest room with gold headboard and light grey bedding

Image credit: Tapestry Collection/Hilton Hotels

Tapestry Collection by Hilton is making its debut in EMEA and will soon land in two of the most iconic European cities.

Atocha Hotel Madrid will be the first hotel to join Hilton’s Tapestry Collection in Europe. It is located in the buzzing heart of Madrid, within walking distance from popular tourist attractions such as the Museo Reina Sofia and the El Reitro Park.

Crowne Plaza Sydney Darling Harbour (Q1)

Render of infinity pool over the edge of the building, overlooking the skyline of Sydney

Image credit: IHG/Crowne Plaza

The new build hotel features 152 modern guest rooms and suites suspended in a prime position just a short stroll to the CBD’s commercial & transport hub, the lively Darling Harbour precinct and the International Convention Centre. The new hotel will feature a heated outdoor plunge pool with vista across Sydney’s skyscraper as well as three restaurants & bars.

W Ibiza (Q2)

Render of a colourful exterior of the hotel

Image credit: W Ibiza/Baranowitz + Kronenberg

Conceived and designed by BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERGW Ibiza is slated to open in April ahead of the 2020 Summer season. Located off the beaten track, the 167-key hotel will strike a pose on the palm-fringed beachfront of Santa Eulalia. As the only global brand on the island, the design brief was to marry the parallel realities of Ibiza with a magnetic pull that turns up the sass.

By opening up the public spaces to become a flexible social hub, the hotel becomes a place that nurtures human connections, and through the use of subtle levels creates touchable distance between each functional area. “The idea is that the energy descends into the unconventional pool area,” Alon Baranowitz told Hotel Designs in an exclusive interview. “As you move up levels, the lobby/lounge area becomes more reclined, but the open architecture scheme allows for a clever connection between all spaces.”

The hotel will open as part of Marriott International’s goal to add more than 30 new luxury hotels to its extensive worldwide portfolio in 2020.

The Emerald House Lisbon, Curio Collection by Hilton (Q2)

Render of 70s inspired furniture in bar and restaurant with modern touches

Image credit: Hilton Hotels

One of the world’s most historic cities, known for its one-of-a-kind beauty and unique dining, will soon welcome The Emerald House Lisbon, Curio Collection by Hilton. The hotel will be located a few streets away from the historical districts of Chiado and Baixa, famous for their impressive plazas, vibrant restaurants and boutique shops, making it ideal for curious travellers seeking unexpected and authentic experiences.

Rosewood São Paulo (Q2)

Render of building that is blended into trees

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts will launch its first South American property situated in the centre of São Paulo, featuring 151 guestrooms and 114 owners’ suites, two restaurants, including one located on a veranda overlooking hotel gardens and complemented by a bar and a caviar lounge. Recreational facilities will include two swimming pools with one rooftop pool and the other set amongst the landscaped grounds and a large spa and a fitness area. Hotel guests will also be able to access an adjoining music studio, screening room and luxury retail stores within the development. Rosewood Hotels and Resorts are collaborating on this project with leading international figures such as the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel and designer Philippe Starck, to create a one-of-a-kind building.

The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon (Q2)

Render of rooftop garden in restaurant area in hotel

Image credit: EDITION Hotels

Set to be the first EDITION Hotel in Japan, the Tokyo EDITION Toranomon is slated to rise as part of the redevelopment of the former Pastoral Building, a mixed-use project comprising offices, residences and a medical centre. The 205-key hotel has been created in partnership with the globally renowned architect and designer Kengo Kuma, who designed the Tokyo 2020 National Olympic Stadium. It is expected to offer easy access to some of Tokyo’s most iconic sites, including the Tokyo Tower and Tsukiji fish market. Within walking distance to the buzzing nightlife and restaurants of Roppongi, The Tokyo EDITION Toranomon will further raise the bar in entertainment and gastronomy for the area.

voco Edinburgh (Q2)

Not only a capital city, Edinburgh is also the leading festival city in the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With a plethora of world-class attractions, sightseeing in Edinburgh is effortless, with visitors able to experience different centuries of history from street to street. IHG’s new voco brand is to open in Edinburgh on Torphichen Street, close to Edinburgh International Conference Centre. The hotel will feature all the usual comforts afforded by voco® properties, such as an indoor pool, eco-friendly bedding, a health club, and on-site bar.

The Pig at Harlyn Bay, Cornwall (Q2)

Establishing shot of the heritage property

Image credit: THE PIG

The Pig brand is going from strength to strength. Following its latest opening in Bridge, Kent, The Pig brand is heading west coast of cornwall. Inside a stunning Grade II-listed building, Harlan House, THE PIG-at Harlyn Bay is positioned near Padstow in Cornwall. Expected to open in June 2020, the hotel is just a short stroll from Harlyn beach, Constantine Bay beaches, Trevose Golf Club, and is also only a 10-minute drive to the sea-side honeypot of Padstow.

Ikos Andalusia (Q2)

Render of lobby area

Image credit: Ikos Resorts

Marking the brand’s arrival into Spain – and the first property outside Greece – Ikos Andalusia is slated to open in May 2020. The stylish resort is set amongst olive trees and has both modern features and local touches, such as traditional Moorish windcatchers perched atop its seven buildings. Individually commissioned pieces of art and colourful hand-painted tiles will be on display throughout the restaurants and guest rooms. A Cherry Blossom tree at Anaya restaurant, encircled by seating for guests to enjoy Asian dishes in an al-fresco setting, will be a particularly stand-out feature.

Six bars will be located around the resort’s lush gardens and pools serving cocktails prepared by award-winning Ikos mixologists, using branded international and local spirits.

The resort will boast eight outdoor and indoor pools, including kids’ pools, spa pools and adults-only pools, plus a number of private pools. Each of the outdoor pools will feature a cascading design overlooking the beach and Mediterranean Sea.

Banyan Tree Krabi (Q2)

Render of restaurant under roof on stilts overlooking lush jungle

Image credit: Banyan Tree Holdings

Singapore-based Banyan Tree Holdings Ltd, one of Asia’s foremost luxury hotel groups, has announced plans to open a new resort in Krabi in the second quarter of 2020. Currently under development in a serene location on Tubkaek Beach, Banyan Tree Krabi fronts powdery white sands and the shallow-shelved coast of the Andaman Sea. The new Thai resort will offer 72 pool suites and villas, among them seven two-bedroom options and one three-bedroom villa. Facilities include all-day dining, a ballroom, a wedding chapel, a beach club, a kids’ club, and a fitness center. In keeping with Banyan Tree’s holistic branding, the resort will also host a rainforest-themed spa.

Main image credit: W Ibiza

make-shift picnic with red cushions on the beach overlook undisturbed ocean

The Luxury Collection arrives in the Seychelles

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Luxury Collection arrives in the Seychelles

North Island in the Seychelles joins The Luxury Collection as the portfolio’s first private island destination…

Following Marriott International’s ambitious plans to unveil more than 30 new luxury hotels in 2019, The Luxury Collection has announced the arrival of North Island, Seychelles into its portfolio of world-renowned hotels and resorts. With just 11 villas, Africa’s most exclusive private island is located 30 kilometres from the mainland and is accessible by a scenic helicopter flight or an hour boat ride, giving guests an immediate sense of escapism.

make-shift picnic with red cushions on the beach overlook undisturbed ocean

Following its history as a coconut plantation, the granitic island is now a sanctuary for endangered species; luminous beaches and clear blue seas welcome nesting sea turtles, and the Palm forests are home to giant Aldabra tortoises and rare Seychelles white-eye birds.

The island has been expertly designed and with pioneering conservation programs, offers the highest standards of hospitality, earning them status as an award-winning sustainable travel destination. With a mission to demonstrate that luxury with a conscience can co-exist, sustainability lies at the heart of North Island’s philosophy and will be further embraced and supported with The Luxury Collection. The operational responsibility of the resort will remain with ASMALLWORLD, the world’s leading travel & lifestyle community.

“North Island has always skilfully combined a sustainable and environmentally conscious management philosophy with the ambition to provide a truly immersive, barefoot-luxury experience,” said CEO of ASMALLWORLD, Jan Luescher. “Whilst maintaining our identity and ethos, our work with The Luxury Collection will allow us to maximise our awareness in our continued efforts in pioneering sustainable luxury travel.”

Eleven private guest and family villas line the island; each villa has been created using local materials harvested during the island’s rehabilitation process, expertly balancing luxury and simplicity. An haute-couture Robinson Crusoe aesthetic has been applied through interiors celebrating the sheer indulgence of volume and space.

“We’re delighted to be expanding our footprint of captivating destinations with storied pasts and protected futures.” – Global Brand Leader at The Luxury Collection, Anthony Ingham.

“North Island is one of the most rare and luxurious destinations in the world, making it a natural fit for The Luxury Collection and our global explorers who seek authentic experiences and connections to both pristine nature and elevated personalisation,” added Global Brand Leader at The Luxury Collection, Anthony Ingham. “This is the first private island within The Luxury Collection portfolio, and we’re delighted to be expanding our footprint of captivating destinations with storied pasts and protected futures.”

The island not only offers a calming refuge from the modern world, but also an invigorating, refreshing getaway connected to the island’s natural beauty. Aquatic explorers can take part in snorkeling, diving, fishing, sunset cruises, kayaking, paddle boarding and surfing. Bespoke guided excursions for those looking to explore the granite peaks or coral reefs are also available. Whilst on land, forest trails can be explored by foot, bicycle or private buggy, or guests can simply relax on one of the island’s four pristine beaches located at each end of the compass. The island is also the ultimate playground for families and children, with a Beach Buddy program tailormade to interests and hobbies. Parents are invited to take part, or can find their own relaxation whilst children remain supervised.

The North Island Spa is dwarfed by giant granite peaks, enjoys an open sea breeze and overlooks turquoise waters. Guests are invited to the spa on arrival where they are immediately immersed in ‘island life’ with each tailor-made treatment starting with a ‘barefoot ritual’. A private consultation to create a bespoke spa experience is then formulated as part of a holistic journey of visual and textural contrasts, arousing the senses and rejuvenating mind, body and soul.

Main image credit: Marriott International/The Luxury Collection

Render of large hotel with pool on upper level and people eating below

Marriott International to open 30 luxury hotels in 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Marriott International to open 30 luxury hotels in 2020

Marriott International’s 2020 strategy will see the unveil of luxury hotels in design and travel hotspots, including Tokyo, Mexico City, Reykjavik and Melbourne…

Matching the group’s 2019 aims, Marriott International has announced its projection to open more than 30 luxury properties in 2020. The hotel group’s 30 new openings will evolve from the more than 185 luxury properties, targetting 15 new countries and territories, in its signed development pipeline.

Render of large hotel with pool on upper level and people eating below

With the world-renowned hospitality hallmarks of The Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, W Hotels, The Luxury Collection, EDITION, JW Marriott and Bvlgari, Marriott International uses the global perspective gained from its boundless network of more than 420 landmark hotels and resorts in nearly 65 countries and territories to provide an unmatched variety of luxury experiences.

“Our plan to open more than 30 luxury properties in 2020 – an average of about three exciting new hotels per month – speaks to the remarkable momentum that brands such as St. Regis, The Ritz-Carlton and Edition have with affluent travelers, our Marriott Bonvoy members and hotel developers around the world,” said Tony Capuano, EVP and Global Chief Development Officer, Marriott International. “Each year, our luxury portfolio continues to grow in both quality and quantity in strategic destinations around the world.”

The Ritz-Carlton 

The iconic luxury brand recently celebrated the opening of its 100th property with the debut of The Ritz-Carlton, Perth and expanded the Ritz-Carlton Reserve portfolio to four exceptional properties with the opening of Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Los Cabos, Mexico.

In the coming year, the brand is expected to bring its legendary service to Morocco for the first time, with the planned opening of The Ritz-Carlton Rabat, Dar es Salam in the country’s dynamic capital. The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko is slated to expand the brand’s footprint in Japan, while a highly anticipated property in Mexico City is expected to give guests a unique way to experience the Mexican capital. Overlooking Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale, Arizona, The Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley is slated to grow the brand’s resort portfolio, while the brand also anticipates an opening in Nanjing, China, expects to see the completion of a major renovation of The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, and continues to work towards the inaugural voyage of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection expected in June 2020.

St. Regis

Offering modern glamour and sophisticated design, the St. Regis brand recently grew its footprint in Europe with the opening of The St. Regis Venice, boasting a magnificent outdoor garden and one of the most coveted locations along the city’s famed Grand Canal. Currently offering 45 hotels in more than 20 countries and territories, the brand in the year ahead expects to introduce St. Regis to Cairo, a destination that has long allured travelers with its enthralling history, and which is quickly reclaiming its place as a global hot spot.

Additionally, St. Regis expects to expand its resort portfolio with the anticipated opening of The St. Regis Kanai Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico. The St. Regis Dubai, The Palm is also slated to open in 2020, bringing highly bespoke service and beloved signature rituals to the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates.

Lux Rebel W Hotels

This year, W Hotels brought its boundary-breaking approach, bold design and innovative programming to destinations including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Ibiza and Aspen, the brand’s first alpine destination in the United States.

Multi-million-dollar renovations by owners are underway or completed at more than half the brand’s properties in North America, including W Washington D. C. and W San Francisco.

In addition, the company recently announced plans to transform W New York – Union Square into a cutting-edge W Hotels showcase, advancing a larger strategy to redefine and reinvigorate the W portfolio in North America. Also underway is the exciting addition of W Nashville to the brand’s growing portfolio. The brand continues to trailblaze its way around the globe with 2020 expected openings in Philadelphia, Toronto, Chengdu, and Melbourne. Offering the insider track wherever the iconic W sign lands, the brand is also slated to debut in Italy with the planned openings of W Milan and W Rome, giving locals and visitors alike a distinctly W take on “la dolce vita.”

EDITION

In 2019, the EDITION brand made global news with the debuts of The Times Square EDITION in New York and The West Hollywood EDITION in Los Angeles, proving sustained high demand for its curated mix of modern design and service. Created through a collaboration between boutique hotel creator and innovator Ian Schrager and Marriott International, the lifestyle brand is slated to bring its distinct point of view to the in-demand destination of Reykjavik in 2020. Additionally, with 10 hotels in six countries and territories, the rapidly growing EDITION brand is expected to bring its sophisticated style to the global hotspots of Tokyo and Dubai.

Image credit: Matild Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Budapest

The Luxury Collection

With a rapidly growing ensemble of 114 hotels in more than 30 countries and territories around the world, The Luxury Collection takes guests on journeys to the world’s most captivating places. In 2019, the brand celebrated the opening of North Island, Seychelles, the portfolio’s first private island destination, and welcomed properties in Cyprus, Nanning, Buckinghamshire, Kolkata and Çeşme. Looking to the year ahead, The Luxury Collection anticipates openings in coveted locations spanning the globe, including Nashville and Budapest, Hungary, as well as Hobart, Australia – a destination that signals the future of luxury travel.

JW Marriott

JW Marriott offers warm and intentional luxury experiences at nearly 90 properties around the world, including the recent, highly anticipated debut of JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa. Inspired by the principles of mindfulness, JW Marriott is a haven designed to let guests focus on feeling whole – present in mind, nourished in body and revitalized in spirit. Expected to reach more than 115 hotels by 2022, the year 2020 is slated to be a period of rapid growth for the brand, with planned U.S. openings in Savannah, Orlando and Anaheim, in addition to global destinations ranging from Istanbul and Danang, Vietnam, to Nara, Japan, Muscat, Oman and Monterrey, Mexico.

“Celebrating the distinct nature and individuality of our luxury brands, Marriott International offers a diverse variety of nuanced brand experiences that speak to the needs of the modern luxury traveler,” said Tina Edmundson, Global Brand Officer and Luxury Portfolio Leader, Marriott International. “Across our luxury brands portfolio, we will continue to incubate innovation and apply fresh thinking, both at the brand level and across our individual hotels, as we seek to be future forward, push boundaries, and continue to raise the bar by creating new, unexpected, and enriching guest experiences.”

Marriott International encompasses a portfolio of more than 7,200 properties under 30 leading brands spanning 134 countries and territories.

Main image credit: W Nashville 

W Hotels Arrives In Abu Dhabi

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
W Hotels Arrives In Abu Dhabi

Rev up your engines, W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island is the only hotel in the world to be located on a Grand Prix racetrack…

Buckle up… W Hotels Worldwide has announced the highly anticipated debut of the W brand in the UAE capital with the opening of W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island. Located in the heart of Abu Dhabi’s bustling entertainment epicentre, the hotel is the brand’s second W Hotel to open this year in the United Arab Emirates after W Dubai – The Palm, and has the bragging rights to be the only hotel in the world located atop a Grand Prix racetrack.

W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island is surrounded by iconic landmarks, located just 15-minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport at the doorstep of the famed Yas Marina Circuit and Yas Marina. The hotel is also in close proximity to Ferrari World, Warner Brothers Studios and Abu Dhabi’s biggest shopping center, the Yas Mall. W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island is set to provide front row seats to the glitz and glamour of the vibrant metropolis, be it on or off the track.

YAS Island's iconic building and racetrack

Image credit: W Hotels

“W Hotels seeks dynamic destinations that are multi-dimensional and ever-evolving, and Abu Dhabi, with its cultural DNA that honors a millennium of tradition while boldly embracing what’s new and next, is an ideal fit for the brand,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “The arrival of W in Abu Dhabi marks a new chapter for both the brand and the capital. While paying tribute to the essence and spirit of the city, the hotel creates a modern, energetic and stylish escape unlike anything else.”

“The design draws inspiration from traditional and artistic surroundings complementing the natural landscape of the Emirate.”

W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island reveals the best of the destination’s history, heritage and culture while infusing elements of its modern future. From the barren desert to the burgeoning concrete metropolis, Abu Dhabi boasts one of the most unique and diverse landscapes, all celebrated by the hotel’s tone-setting vibe. The design draws inspiration from traditional and artistic surroundings complementing the natural landscape of the Emirate. All architectural elements are influenced by symmetry, intricate detail, parallel beams and optical illusions, creating silhouettes and shades inspired by the region’s natural lakes, wetlands, salt flats and fossilized sands and dunes – the hidden natural gems of the UAE.

Guests are greeted by Bedouin-inspired tents, large columns and seating inspired by local mangroves. Custom-designed Welcome Desks mimic the form of oil droplets and jewel tone furnishings, depicting the colors of liquid gold, a distinctive historic trade in Abu Dhabi. Show-stopping Whatever/Whenever desks are canoe-shaped, a visual reference to the Abu Dhabi waterways and once the mode of movement across the city.

The hotel’s vibrant 499 guestrooms and suites offer plush amenities and floor-to-ceiling windows with spectacular views of the Grand Prix racetrack or the Yas Marina. The EWOW Suite (the brand’s over-the-top take on the traditional Presidential Suite), boasts 409 square meters (about 1,342 square feet) of ultimate luxury spread over two floors. Guests can soak it up in the suite’s private lap pool, sauna and enjoy jaw-dropping, 180-degree views of Yas Island.

Image credit: W Hotels

The W brand’s iconic poolside experience features the stunning scenery of the Yas Marina Circuit as guests swim, sun and enjoy signature beverages while listening to live DJ performances. WET is sure to become the hottest place to cool off, take a dip and make a splash in the city. W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island will embody the brand’s signature work hard, play hard philosophy, with FUEL-focused activities (fitness and wellness programming) including weekly workouts, healthy cuisine and amazing adventures.

Main image credit: W Hotels

The Luxury Collection announces opening of eighth hotel in China

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Luxury Collection announces opening of eighth hotel in China

With a design narrative that celebrates Chinese culture, the 290-key Na Lotus Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, has opened… 

Following Marriott International’s plans to open more than 30 luxury hotels in 2019, the hotel group, which has recently debuted the W Hotels brand in Oman, has announced the opening of Na Lotus Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Nanning. Strategically located in the business district of the Guangxi Province, the opening marks the global brand’s eighth property in China.

The contemporary setting merges the rich heritage of the Zhuang Minority Group and showcases their history through beautiful décor, evocative catering and magnificent surroundings.

“The hotel’s interiors echo strong elements of the Zhuang culture.”

“We are excited to introduce Nanning to our Global Explorers, allowing them to discover the destination, also known as the Green City and it’s abundance of lush foliage,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection. “As a culturally rich ethnic minority area in Guangxi Province, the destination is a perfect gateway for travellers to experience through the lens of The Luxury Collection.”

Each of the 290 guestrooms, including 26 suites, takes inspiration from the lotus flower, and feature floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic views of the city as well as the Yong River and Qingxiu mountain. The hotel’s interiors echo strong elements of the Zhuang culture such as farmlands, symbolizing happiness and prosperity. Na Lotus Hotel also features a 1,100 square metre Ballroom, state-of-the-art fitness centre, and an indoor pool overlooking the skyline.

Indigenous and international cuisines are celebrated at Na Lotus Hotel’s four signature dining venues, including Na Lian, a Chinese restaurant offering a journey of flavors with an emphasis on fresh Guangxi and Cantonese cuisines. Sky Lounge is a popular social hub serves exclusive cocktails, wines and spirits accompanied by distinctive sweet treats. Elsewhere, The Clouds features an all-day dining experience showcasing international delights, while Yun Yue, a Thai and Vietnamese fusion restaurant,  focuses on signature seafood and meat dishes prepared with local and seasonal produce.

Image credit: Marriott International

“As the first Marriott International luxury hotel in Guangxi Province Na Lotus hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel invites the guests to explore the charm of Nanning,” said Henry Lee, Chief Operations Officer and Managing Director, Greater China, Marriott International. “Na Lotus Hotel is a rare gem of the Zhuang Minority, and we are thrilled to uncover this hidden treasure for our global travelers who are sure to develop a deep connection with this fascinating destination.”

The opening of the hotel follows the hotel group unveiling its three year plan in March of this year. The strategy included adding 1,700 hotels, which would result in between 275,000 and 295,000 more rooms by 2021, supported by the strength of its record 478,000-room pipeline, including roughly 214,000 rooms that were already under construction when the press release was published.

Main image credit: Marriott International

Modern, fresh and vibrant interiors of a guest room

W Hotels Debuts in Oman

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
W Hotels Debuts in Oman

The “lavish playground” of W Muscat is set to shake up the coastal haven with bold design, eclectic programming and Oman’s First Siddharta Lounge By Buddha-Bar…

W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International Inc., has announced the opening of W Muscat, the brand’s newest beachfront W Escape and the second to open in the Middle East this year. Set against the backdrop of the rugged Al Hajar Mountains, which form a stark contrast to the historic capital city’s lively waterfront, W Muscat sits at the intersection of the bustling Shatti Al Qurum area.

Modern, fresh and vibrant interiors of a guest room

The hotel opens as part of Marriott International’s plans add more than 30 luxury hotels to its portfolio this year, furthering the company’s global perspective on luxury travel with its ensemble of eight distinct luxury brands.

“Muscat is a fascinating and exciting city. Its cultural DNA honors millennia of tradition while looking to what’s new and next – an ideal match for the W brand,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “The arrival of W in Muscat marks a new chapter for both the brand and this buzzing metropolis. The hotel reinterprets Omani design and cultural traditions to create a modern, energetic and stylish Escape unlike anything the sultanate has seen before.”

“Its striking design is inspired by the diverse and vibrant natural locale – from the rugged mountain range to the vast Omani desert, the sparkling bay to the azure waters of the Arabian Sea.”

The architectural narrative of W Muscat immerses guests in the concept of exploration and the illustrious storytelling tradition of the nomadic Bedouin traveller. Its striking design is inspired by the diverse and vibrant natural locale – from the rugged mountain range to the vast Omani desert, the sparkling bay to the azure waters of the Arabian Sea. Colorful hints of Muscat’s vibrant culture are interspersed throughout the spaces to evoke the mystery and adventure of the city’s rich heritage and storied past. W Muscat is a bold remix of traditional charm, natural beauty and the disruptive W DNA.

Bold design with Arabian themed interiors in the lobby lounge

Image credit: W Hotels

Welcoming guests upon arrival is a striking, nine-ton frankincense tree sculpture designed by renowned artist Pongsatat Uaiklang that pays tribute to Omani culture. Standing at an impressive 10 meters tall, the piece is made of solid stainless steel, welded from 28 winding pieces. In traditional Omani culture, frankincense was used to bless and welcome weary travelers after their long journeys. In that same tradition, guests are then ushered into the inviting Living Room (W’s signature take on the lobby) where they can relax and unwind in an Arabic Majlis, beneath an oversized installation of the Omani Kummas, chic headgears that are unmistakable marks of the Omani attire. Whether looking for a re-energizing iced tea or a cocktail, The Living Room is the perfect venue to see and be seen.

“Asymmetrical corridors across the floors depict an artistic theme of ‘every girl has a story’ through locally commissioned holographic artworks.”

All of the 279 guestrooms and suites at W Muscat provide uninterrupted views of the glistening blue water, with their design drawing inspiration from the ocean as well as the asymmetrical lines of the nearby mountains, caves and desert. These are contrasted with art deco detailing, reminiscent of traditional Omani charm. Asymmetrical corridors across the floors depict an artistic theme of ‘every girl has a story’ through locally commissioned holographic artworks depicting a female perspective of power, love, peace and beauty. Designed for an extra spacious and edgy stay is the EWOW suite (the brand’s take on the traditional Presidential Suite) which features subtle Arabic characteristics with a distinctive W edge. The corner Majlis seating showcases a Zanzibar-inspired print, a nod to the Omani Kumma or headgear, set against an inviting coffee table in celebration of Arabic coffee or Qahwa. The ceiling features tilted white paneling, evoking the intimacy of relaxing inside a tent. A saddle-like leather chair, bold mustard yellow stool, and faux fur wall are inspired by horse or camelback travel. Stacked luggage trunks comprise the MIXBAR (the W spin on the minibar) while a trunk closet lined with exotic silk links back to the narrative of the nomad.

An 1800 sqm beachfront pool offers unparalleled views of the Gulf of Oman and forms part of the W brand’s iconic WET experience. Here, guests can swim, soak up the sun and enjoy signature beverages while listening to live DJ performances. WET is the hottest place to cool off, take a dip, make a splash, and get your glow on. W Muscat will be hosting a FUEL Weekend in October – the W brand’s signature fitness and wellness retreat – where WET will take center stage. FUEL guests can expect next level, energy-soaked celebrity workouts, killer parties and delicious beverage and food offerings all celebrating the brand’s DETOX. RETOX. REPEAT. philosophy.

Elsewhere, the Escape’s AWAY® Spa offers 10 treatment rooms, a steam room, a hammam and a couples’ treatment room. The design is inspired by the ancient ritual of stargazing where guests are enveloped under a bejeweled night sky with the intimacy of cave-like comfort.

The highly anticipated Siddharta Lounge By Buddha-Bar makes an Oman debut at W Muscat, bringing its signature flair for culinary prowess and inventive mixology to the rooftop restaurant and lounge. Overlooking the sweeping coastline of Shatti Al Qurum, the space interlocks both indoor and outdoor venues and celebrates the story of Bedouin travellers through innovative design and artistic representation. Ocean vistas are framed by an extraordinary rooftop infinity pool that invites guests to literally dive into the action and order a cocktail at the swim up bar. Siddharta Lounge By Buddha-Bar transforms from a daytime respite for lounging and relaxing amongst gorgeous views to a scene-setting hotspot when the sun goes down and the music turns up.

Trailblazing its way around the globe, with more than 50 hotels, W is defying expectations and breaking the norms of traditional luxury wherever the iconic W sign lands. With a mission to fuel guests’ lust for life, W ignites an obsessive desire to soak it in, live it up and hit repeat. The brand’s provocative design, iconic Whatever/Whenever service and buzzing Living Rooms create an experience that is often copied but never matched.

Main image credit: W Hotels

“Alexa, send up my coffee”: It’s here, it’s real and you need to take it seriously

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
“Alexa, send up my coffee”: It’s here, it’s real and you need to take it seriously

Amazon’s Alexa took up the job of hotel concierge with Marriott in mid-2018. It’s done well and is now ready for consideration by your property. STAAH writes…

At first, everyone felt it would be a bit much to expect guests to use Alexa to call housekeeping. But with 65 per cent of 25 – 49-year-olds using voice search at least once a day and 55 per cent of the households expected to own a smart speaker device by 2022, voice is become part of consumer routine. Even when they travel, it seems.

What is Alexa for Hospitality?

For guests staying at Marriott, many rooms have had a minimum occupancy of two since June 2018 when the hotel chain adopted to put Amazon Echo inside to enhance guest experience.

Amazon for Hospitality offers hotels and vacation rentals the opportunity to set up customised versions of Echo products that work like a digital concierge right in your room. These Echos are specialised to answer questions about your reservations, facilities such as pool or spa hours and local amenities. You can order room service or housekeeping too. Basically, anything that might lead you to dial for help on that in-room phone sounds like it will be a job that Alexa can tackle instead.

Guests can benefit from Alexa’s growing skill set. And if they have their own Amazon account they’d like to use during their stay, soon they can actually log in to the device to make the experience more customised.

Having done a good job at impressing guests at the Marriott, Alexa for Hospitality was invited into hotel chains such as Westin, Regis Hotels & Resorts, Autograph Collection Hotels or Aloft hotels.

How it works?

Alexa is powered by the Internet of Things (IoT), using machine learning to deliver an experience that is personalised. In hospitality, this means a seamless integration to a hotel’s back-office systems, housekeeping, the concierge and front desk.

The Alexa for Hospitality system isn’t just the Echo devices in the room, however – it’s a suite of tools for configuring the Echo devices, available via a dashboard where hotels can update their information, enable skills, adjust settings and track usage. Hoteliers can also measure guest engagement through Alexa’s reporting and analytics platform.

The system is easy to install and activate. The device is muted and activates only when a guest’s check-in and activates it for use. It automatically disconnects after every checkout. Alexa for Hospitality is customisable and with its real-time reporting enables you to take actions that will leave your guest happy.

What’s the future?

The concept of smart speakers in hotel rooms is still in its infancy, but early adopters are gaining when it comes to the best measure of a hotel’s success – guest experience.

Alexa for Hospitality is now being trialled by vacation rentals such as Properly. It’s ready for the next phase in its growth, and founded on technology (voice search) that will be the next big thing in the world of internet. Are you ready for it?

STAAH is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image caption/credit: Alexa for Hospitality/Amazon

EDITOR CHECKS IN: Making debuts in international hotel design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
EDITOR CHECKS IN: Making debuts in international hotel design

Editor Hamish Kilburn has noticed an influx in hotel groups debuting lifestyle brands in far-flung destinations around the world…  

Whenever I disembark a long-haul flight I appreciate further just how small the world really is; it’s tiny in fact. The realisation that you can travel from one side of the planet to the other in less than 24 hours is remarkble, and it seems I am not alone.

Today, more and more travellers – young and old and of all abilities – are willing to go further in their search for adventure to learn and master the true art of luxury travel, which is in my opinion to capture one-off experiences that are totally unmatched.

This month the floodgates on the editorial were kept deliberately open so that we can share with our readers the sheer scale of hotel development that is happening worldwide, in real time. We’ve therefore made it our mission to cover as much news from Hotel Groups as possible. Hotel Indigo has made its debut in Qatar, Canopy by Hilton has made the leap into Africa, Hard Rock Hotels has made an aptly loud entrance on London’s stage and most recently, AC by Marriott has arrived in Jamaica. Our industry has proved this month alone, if nothing else, that it has anything but peaked, as our On The Boards page with no-doubt confirm.

Instead of another long-haul flight, I’ve taken five days out of the office , ahead of both Meet Up North and Hotel Summit and I have used my time wisely to travel to the quaint and colourful Greek island of Spetses. Arriving on an island where cars are forbidden – and with no ‘just opened’ luxury hotel in sight –  simply the sound of naturally breaking waves has inspired me to put pen to paper, after deliberately leaving my laptop at home. Sat on a rock that’s overhanging the water’s edge, I am slowly but surely reconnecting with nature, all the time reminding myself the human importance of using natural and sustainable materials within design and architecture. One company that has predicted a rise in human touch as a trend to watch evolve over the next 100 years is Hilton, which released a report this month stating that: “In a world filled with Artificial Intelligence, human contact and the personal touch will be more critical and sought after than ever.”

With hotel groups and lifestyle brands debuting in new destinations, all the while reacting to trends and forecasts in the process to provide the right experiences for their target audience, it’s an exciting time to be at the helm of the editorial content for Hotel Designs.

During July, Hotel Designs will be putting Soft Furnishings and Fabrics under the spotlight. If you would like to contribute to these topics, please do not hesitate to email me.

Editor, Hotel Designs

MINIVIEW: AC Hotels by Marriott arrives in Jamaica

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MINIVIEW: AC Hotels by Marriott arrives in Jamaica

The design-led European lifestyle brand, AC Hotels by Marriott, makes its debut in the heart of Kingston, Jamaica…

AC Hotels by Marriott, which boasts nearly 150 design-led hotels in 19 countries and territories, has announced the opening of AC Hotel Kingston, Jamaica, bringing the brand’s forward-thinking design approach to the island.

Born from the signature vision of renowned hotelier Antonio Catalan, the brand was founded in 1998 in Spain, and brought into the Marriott International portfolio in 2011, launching AC Hotels by Marriott globally in locations including France, Denmark, the United States, Latin America, Puerto Rico and now Jamaica.

Embracing the AC brand’s focus on purposeful design, the AC Hotel Kingston, Jamaica features 219 rooms to provide guests with thoughtfully-designed moments of beauty and experiences that elevate their stay and help them focus on what is important to them. The result is sophisticated yet unpretentious style and innovative food and beverage programming with locally-inspired experiences for both international travelers and locals.

Guests will have access to a spacious 24-hour fitness centre; an outdoor pool; the brand’s signature AC Kitchen which provides a daily European-inspired breakfast buffet infused with a taste of Jamaica; and the AC Lounge, which offers a chic, open and comfortable ambiance, ideal for co-working and socializing.

“We are delighted to welcome our first AC Hotel to Jamaica, offering travelers a modern aesthetic and intuitive service, as well as an opportunity to slow down and uncover the beauty in the essential while visiting the destination,” said Toni Stoeckl, Vice President, Distinctive Select Brands for Marriott International, and Global Brand Leader, AC Hotels by Marriott.

This new addition to the city is expected to have positive implications for the country’s tourism sector. In a recent walk-through of the hotel, Minister of Tourism for Jamaica, Edmund Bartlett said: “The debut of a brand like AC Hotels in Kingston will solidify the city’s status as a strong city tourism destination.”

Image credit: Marriott Hotels

AC Hotel Kingston Jamaica adds a modern touch not only to the Kingston skyline but to the wider Caribbean region, joining AC Hotel by Marriott San Juan Condado as the brand’s second hotel in the region. The hotel design includes elegant, clean lines that are signature features of the brand, along with thoughtful touches that harmoniously reflect Jamaica’s vibrant flair. Throughout the hotel, guests will find an impressive collection of art, each crafted by Jamaican artists, and one-of-a-kind furnishings that have also been locally made.

The hotel is equipped with more than 18,000 square feet of cutting-edge meeting and banquet facilities, making this the largest meeting space in the city. Whether hosting a small meeting, or a group of up to 600 people, the hotel is ready to cater to groups of various sizes.

“My family and I are determined to play our part in building the economy in the Caribbean. This is a monumental occasion as we venture beyond the beach to establish our first AC Hotel by Marriott,” said Adam Stewart, CD. Deputy Chairman of the Sandals Resorts International and ATL Group of Companies. “We are excited to work with a global company like Marriott International, while retaining the local Jamaican touch for guests visiting the city.”

The Stewart family, who own the AC Hotel Kingston Jamaica, selected Koen Hietbrink to oversee the hotel’s operations as General Manager. In addition to his fourteen years of leadership experience with the Marriott brand, Koen has led the openings of numerous Marriott properties in the Caribbean.

Main image credit: Marriott Hotels

Checking in to Moxy Chelsea, New York

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Checking in to Moxy Chelsea, New York

Tucked into the hustle and bustle of Manhattan’s historic Flower District, Moxy Chelsea is an urban design jungle. Journalist Hannah Kaplan checks in to check it out… 

There is nothing quite like the pulse of New York – its heart beat can be felt from miles away. The thump of excitement and possibilities draw the worldly and well-travelled from near and far in search of great opportunities and the prospect of their dreams becoming reality.

The steady stream of humanity to Manhattan brings with it an expectation of all things beautiful. Manhattan’s Chelsea is not only the entry point for floral beauty, but is now home to the 35-floor oasis that shelters Moxy Chelsea.

“It’s often true that many of New York’s best kept secrets are hidden in pockets sometimes so small one could easily walk right by.”

Part of the Marriott International group and designed by the studio Rockwell Group – and developed by Lightstone – this chic new spot opened its doors three months ago and dares its guests to aspire to all things beautiful in a refreshingly modern environment.

It’s often true that many of New York’s best kept secrets are hidden in pockets sometimes so small one could easily walk right by. However, this is one you won’t want to miss. Tightly nuzzled between dozens of flower shops, guests and locals alike enter through the Putnam & Putnam flower shop designed by Yabu Pushelberg. This charming first visual functions as a sort of a botanical library and homage to the Putnam & Putnam flower shop.

If the astonishing arrangement of freshly cut flowers first draws you through the front door, it’s the palpable smell of Moxy’s signature scent that keeps one floating through the interior space. The rose-like aroma creates a unique ambiance that wafts through the lobby and second floor, drawing guests upwards and on.

The lobby entrance where guests check in is very simple and inviting. There are two floating front desk pods that suspend from the ceiling – a subtle effect that creates more space, while simultaneously drawing your gaze up to the electronic display on the ceiling. The attempt here is to play with one’s senses, to have guests stop, pause and merge into the building’s sensory pulse. The digital ceiling boards were designed with a young millennial perspective in mind, with written messages like “You should Instagram This” flashing across the screen. You can even hashtag the #MoxyChelsea and have your image pop up in the lobby area.

Simple and clean check in area with the words 'meet' and 'greet' hanging on the walls in neon lights

Image caption/credit: Minimalist lobby area at the hotel | Moxy Hotels/Marriott International/Michael Kleinberg

The architectural design of the building is very much influenced by its surrounding flower district, but equally important are the playful touches of modernism and hints of Italian romance scattered throughout. The theme trickles out as far as the street-styled Italian Feroce Café and the Feroce Restaurant – both are an extension of the hotel and serve as a sort of love letter to Italy – an important tribute from Italian chef Francesco Panella.

This ode to Italy continues as guests migrate from the lobby area up a set of charming concrete stairs to the second-floor lounge. The floor’s dimly lit ambiance is matched by the sparse yet modern décor and creates a space that begs to be explored.

There are small spots for the solo traveler who need a space to work and cozy corners for groups who need a small couch and a table to place cocktails between whispered conversations. On the wall above, guests can gaze up at the incredible 20-foot-high life-like green wall, reinforcing the idea of an urban jungle – bringing the outside in.

Towards the back there are even private spaces available to rent for events, dinners, or just to lounge in. The idea is to bring guests out of their rooms – socialise, eat, have a drink – and to make sure the multitasking lifestyle is a communal and immersive experience for all.

Subdued meeting studios

Image credit: Moxy Hotels/Marriott International/Michael Kleinberg

For the guests who want to continue their socialising, The Fleur Room is the next destination. Located on the 35th floor, the intimate rooftop bar is open to hotel guests and locals alike, but for the latter you’ll need to make sure your name is on the list. The alluring glow of light and color birth a heightened space of intimacy and mystery. The sofa material is embedded with a floral design and the bronzed furniture surfaces are smooth and polished. Sink back into the comfortable couches and let your eyes settle on an incredible view of one of New York’s most recognisable charms – the Empire State building.

Dark-lit, open-planned room with lavish bar

Image caption/credit: The Fleur Room | Moxy Hotels/ Marriott International/Michael Kleinberg

As one drifts through the lush lounge space, a set of elevator doors appears midway through. Each elevator bank was strategically positioned to run through the center of the building, giving all bedrooms access to large windows and a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline.

The guestrooms are approximately 200-square-feet but equipped with floor to ceiling length windows that compensate for a new trend in hotel rooms – small and efficient living spaces. And for what it may lack in size, it makes up for in appearance. The urban sleekness of the room supports the space efficiency of modern travel. Clothes can be placed on the hooks that run alongside the wall, which conveniently are located next to collapsible furniture (e.g. a small table and chair) hung vertically on the wall to use at one’s leisure – a contemporary take on “glamping,” if you will.

Image credit: Moxy Hotels/ Marriott International/Michael Kleinberg

The compact tiled bathrooms offer quirky sets of phrases like “GET WILD,” giving the room a playful feel and reminding visitors that the pulse of New York City awaits them outside. And to remind guests of the ever-present and rejuvenating floral theme, each sink knob resembles a steel garden hose frame.

The bold and modern design of the Moxy has created a space that endeavors to reform the way we perceive the hospitality industry as a whole — in this case, through the small and efficient styled rooms offset by the thematic design that encourages guests to get out of their rooms. It is also the romantic sense of Italian Café life and the simple love of flowers that Putman and Putnam won’t let us forget; The Moxy Chelsea reminds us that beauty and efficiency can co-exist and serve as portal for everything in New York.

Main image credit: Moxy Hotels/Marriott International/Michael Kleinberg

Hilton’s brand portfolio overtakes Marriott’s as “world’s most valuable”

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hilton’s brand portfolio overtakes Marriott’s as “world’s most valuable”

Despite announcing earlier this year to open 30 new luxury hotels, Marriott’s portfolio drops to second place as the value of its brands in the Brand Finance Hotels 50 ranking decreases by 30 per cent, giving way to Hilton…

As luxury brands scramble over one another in the battle for being the best, there has been a change in the tables. Reporting a 17 per cent growth, Hilton now becomes the world’s most valuable brands in the Brand Finance Hotels 50 ranking.

The hotel group, which owns brands such as Homewood Suites, Double Tree, and Hampton, has extended its lead as the world’s most valuable hotel brand and, according to Brand Finance, has overtaken Marriott’s. Hilton’s brand value growth (up 17 per cent to US$7.4 billion) was largely driven by strong revenue increase over the last year, cementing the brand’s leadership position in the industry.

Meanwhile, Marriott suffered a reduction in brand value (down eight per cent to US$5.0 billion) and its brand strength dropped from AAA- to AA+. Marriott has faced several challenges in the North American market from hacking scandals to persistent problems with its loyalty schemes. At the same time, the combined value of Marriott’s brands within the Brand Finance Hotels 50 ranking decreased by 30 per cent, giving way to Hilton’s brand portfolio to claim the title of the world’s most valuable.

“Hilton’s strategic approach to brand growth has allowed it to extend its lead as the world’s most valuable hotel brand,” said Savio D’Souza, Valuation Director at Brand Finance. “At the same time, endorsement from the flagship brand has rendered benefits across the portfolio as Homewood Suites, Double Tree, and Hampton have seen their brand values sore. In its centennial year, Hilton is well-positioned for another hundred years of success.”

“Hilton’s brand value in the top 50 ranking is concentrated across six brands.”

Hilton Worldwide Holdings achieved overall brand value growth of 41 per cent. Hilton’s brand value in the top 50 ranking is concentrated across six brands, up from five in 2018, all strongly leveraging the valuable Hilton brand name and each recording solid growth this year. Hilton has continually committed to its relentless expansion programme and with thousands of new rooms and hotels in the pipeline, the company shows no signs of slowing down in the coming year.

Marriott has not fared so well, with four of its brands dropping out of the Brand Finance Hotel 50 ranking this year. With one new entrant, Marriott now has twelve brands in the ranking, many of which have nevertheless decreased in value. Marriott’s recent announcement of entering the home-rental market however, is a promising move to take back market share from Airbnb and could contribute to an uplift in brand value in the coming year.

The Hilton and Marriott portfolios remain well ahead of third-ranked Wyndham, which also suffered a drop of eight per cent in brand value to US$7.3 billion.

The three hotel brands to grow the fastest in value this year all come from Hilton’s portfolio, and each contributed to its overall growth. Its impressive performance was led by Homewood Suites (brand value up 99 per cent to US$0.8 billion), followed closely by Double Tree (up 79 per cent to US$2.1 billion) and Hampton (up 78 per cent to US$3.2 billion). This growth allowed the latter two brands to reshape the ranking’s top 10, with Double Tree jumping from 17th to 7th and Hampton rising from 10th to 5th place over the past year.

Aside from calculating overall brand value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. Alongside revenue forecasts, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value.

“Mercure has claimed the title of the world’s strongest hotel brand.”

According to these criteria and scoring high in Brand Finance market research, Mercure has claimed the title of the world’s strongest hotel brand, significantly improving its Brand Strength Index (BSI) score from 75.7 to 86.2 out of 100 and recording a brand rating upgrade from AA+ to AAA. Mercure is also the most valuable brand in Accor’s portfolio, with nearly 800 hotels. The brand has continued to make several acquisitions through its scheme of franchise growth.

Alongside analysing the world’s biggest hotel brands, Brand Finance also ranks the top 10 most valuable brands in the wider leisure and tourism industry.

Royal Caribbean International has narrowly retained its position as the world’s most valuable leisure and tourism brand, with its brand value remaining steady at US$3.8 billion. The brand reported strong financial results in 2018, and with demand high in the cruise industry, Royal Caribbean are on course for future growth.

Meanwhile, second-ranked TUI (brand value up four per cent to US$3.7 billion) substantially closed the gap to the ranking’s leader, only just falling short of overtaking Royal Caribbean.

The fast-growing China International Travel (up 70 per cent to US$3.7 billion) has come third this year, up from 5th in 2018. China International saw a significant increase in its valuation due to a surge in forecast revenue in coming years as the Chinese tourism market continues to develop with unprecedented speed and scale.

The fastest-growing brand in the ranking also comes from China. Happy Valley almost doubled its brand value in a single year (up 97 per cent to US$2.0 billion).

The brand portfolio analysis is based on the Brand Finance Hotels 50 ranking and does not take into account less valuable brands which have not been included in the ranking.

Brand value is understood as the net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market. Brand Strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors.

Additional insights, more information about the methodology, as well as definitions of key terms are available in the Brand Finance Hotels 50 2019 report.

Main image credit: Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

PREVIEW: Creating flexible spaces inside Seattle Redmond Marriott

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PREVIEW: Creating flexible spaces inside Seattle Redmond Marriott

Paradigm Design Group has unveiled flexible designs for one of its latest hospitality projects, the Seattle Redmond Marriott…

Construction began in Q1 of this year to complete the Seattle Redmond Marriott, which is slated to open in Q4 of this year.

Responsible for the interior design/renovation of the hotel’s public spaces, including the MClub, lobby, great room and bar, as well as selecting new finishes for the pre-function/meeting space, was Paradigm Design Group.

The firm approached the project with the goal to cohesively integrate the hotel’s culture and surroundings into the overall design.

Achieving a modern, North West interior, Paradigm Design Group implemented clean lines, light wood, and modern lighting. The design even subtly nods to the Wild Salmon that are plentiful in the adjacent rivers, as well as the beautiful parks and forests in the area.

Located just minutes away from the Microsoft Main Campus, Paradigm Design Group was inspired to bring modern technology into the hotel’s design. The firm will implement a high-tech component to the Seattle Redmond Marriott, introducing modern Tech Pod chairs and various communal tables suitable for guest interaction, both social and work.

Rendering of the Wet Deck, one of the hotel's two pools

W Hotels announces second arrival in Bali

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W Hotels announces second arrival in Bali

W Bali – Ubud is set to bring a new level of W’s bold design to the cultural heart of Bali…

W Hotels Worldwide has announced the signing of W Bali – Ubud, the brand’s newest W Escape, which is being developed in partnership with Indonesia’s Ruang Teknik Group.

The expansion into Ubud marks the second W Hotel in Indonesia, following the opening of W Bali – Seminyak in 2010.

Rendering of the Wet Deck, one of the hotel's two pools

Positioned on a hilltop, deliberately oriented toward the morning sun rising in the east, and southwards over stunning, unobstructed views of the Tanggayuda Valley, W Bali – Ubud is expected to reinvent the dreamy Ubud experience with eclectic, surprising art and design set amongst a versatile vibe that is at once laid back and social.

“Ubud is a hidden destination like no other, where legends and nature intertwine with everyday life to create a magical sense of adventure,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “W Bali – Ubud is an exciting next step for us. We are applying a unique, vibrant sensibility to this hotel, one that has not been seen before on the island. W Bali – Ubud will combine the brand’s boundary-breaking approach to design with the rich cultural, spiritual and artistic influences of Ubud to show off the best of this incredible locale and all we’ve learned in the decade since W debuted in Indonesia.”

The hotel’s design will redefine modern luxury in the destination, taking inspiration from social, historical and physical insights and embedding elements of each into the rooms and public spaces. Upon entering the hotel, guests will be immersed in modern interpretations of traditional Balinese art styles with works from local artists, that lead to breath-taking lounges perfect for soaking in spectacular jungle sunsets as sounds of cool beats drift through the air. The hotel will offer 100 inspired guestrooms, including 10 villas with private swimming pools and an EWOW suite (the brand’s take on the traditional Presidential Suite).

As the brand’s newest W Escape, W Bali – Ubud will bring a bold new take on international cuisine with a Balinese twist to multiple on-site bars and restaurants. Traditional Asian flavors intertwine with international influences at the stylish all-day dining restaurant Morinda. Meanwhile, Synn, a specialty restaurant featuring the finest of Balinese and world cuisines will be an underground sensation, literally. The new restaurant is partially underground, opening towards a jungle cliff.

“Bali’s hotel market continues to see strong growth and it remains a major destination in Marriott International’s footprint,” said Paul Foskey, Chief Development Officer, Asia Pacific, Marriott International. “We look forward to partnering with Ruang Teknik Group in introducing W Bali Ubud, the second W-branded hotel in this market.”

W Bali – Ubud is slated to join the brand’s robust portfolio of more than 50 hotels around the globe, including the recently opened W Dubai – The Palm (February 2019), as well as the soon-to-open W Aspen, W Ibiza and W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island following Marriott announcing that it will add 30 new luxury hotels to its thriving portfolio this year.

Main image credit: Marriott International/W Hotels

The Luxury Collection debuts in Armenia

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The Alexander, a Luxury Collection Hotel becomes the first international luxury hotel in Armenia…

Following plans to open 30 new luxury hotels this year, Marriott International has annoucned the opening of The Alexander, a Luxury Collection Hotel. Owned by Tsupani CJSC., the hotel proudly brings The Luxury Collection’s rare, indigenous and captivating experiences to the capital of Armenia – one of the world’s oldest cities and a noted historical intersection between the East and West. As the country’s first internationally-branded luxury hotel, The Alexander joins a portfolio of more than 100 Luxury Collection hotels around the world. The brand’s new footprint in Yerevan also further cements the hotel group’s strategy to meet the growing demand for experiential luxury in emerging markets.

“Armenia is a destination with a deeply rooted history and rich culture, which has until now remained a mostly unchartered destination for our Global Travelers” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection. “The Alexander will allow our guests to connect with the fascinating capital city of Yerevan, marked by grand Soviet-era architecture and historic landmarks such as the Matenadaran library, and truly engage in the authentic traditions of Armenia.”

“Led by Alexander James Interior Design, the decor draws upon intricate Armenian motifs, alongside contemporary flourishes.”

Set in an enviable location in the heart of Armenia’s capital, The Alexander is mere moments away from the city’s famous Republic Square, and is a brief stroll to numerous landmarks and cultural sights. The striking hotel reflects the city’s distinctive architecture, cleverly incorporating an 18th century façade at its entrance to hint at the indigenous charms found within. Led by Alexander James Interior Design, the decor draws upon intricate Armenian motifs, alongside contemporary flourishes that bring to life the history and modernity of the destination within the property’s opulent public spaces.

Roof top restaurant

Image credit: Matthew Shaw.

“Shaped by rich traditions, coveted treasures and a storied history, the city of Yerevan truly encapsulates the spirit of The Luxury Collection,” said Jenni Benzaquen, Vice President of Luxury Brands, Europe at Marriott International. “The Alexander will provide sophisticated, independently-minded global explorers and locals alike with an unparalleled level of luxury in this fascinating destination. The unique destination experiences offered by The Luxury Collection, combined with Armenian hospitality, is also the perfect way to introduce our luxury portfolio to the region.”

The Alexander offers 114 guestrooms and suites, many of which include private balconies. The magnificent Presidential Suite is celebrated as a standout highlight of the property, occupying an entire floor and spanning over 1,700 square feet. An equally alluring feature is the Alexander Spa by Anne Semonin, providing guests with an inviting haven of wellness experiences and personalized treatments designed to relax, heal and rejuvenate. The hotel also features a state-of-the-art fitness centre, a full-service beauty salon, and the city’s first indoor pool, which boasts breath-taking vistas of the snow-capped peak of Mount Ararat.

Main image credit: Matthew Shaw/Marriott International

Marriott International announces three-year growth plan

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The hotel giant Marriott International’s growth plans include the openings more than 1,700 hotels around the world… 

Marriott International has presented the company’s three-year growth plan, which includes opening more than 1,700 hotels around the world, at its meeting with institutional investors and security analysts at the New York Marriott Marquis.

The hotel giant has outlined its plan to add between 275,000 and 295,000 rooms by 2021, supported by the strength of its record 478,000-room pipeline, including roughly 214,000 rooms already under construction. The company disclosed that its new room openings during this period could contribute $400 million in fee revenue in 2021 and $700 million annually when stabilised. The company’s three-year growth plan assumes, but does not forecast, comparable hotel revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth of one and three per cent, compounded annually.

“Starwood has made us a more formidable competitor, providing a more valuable loyalty program, brands with strong appeal to loyalty members and owners, talented associates, terrific locations, particularly in the fast-growing Asia Pacific region, significant cost synergies and meaningful scale,” said Arne Sorenson, Marriott International president and chief executive officer. “We launched our newly branded loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy, just last month. The program reached 125 million members as of year-end 2018 adding roughly 50,000 members per day.”

Given the assumptions for its three-year plan, the company could produce the following results:

  • Diluted earnings per share of $7.65 to $8.50 by 2021, a compound growth rate of 11 to 15 per cent over 2018 adjusted results;
  • Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (adjusted EBITDA) increasing by six to nine per cent compounded, with net income increasing by five to eight per cent compounded, each compared to adjusted results in 2018;
  • Cash available for shareholders could total $9.5 to $11 billion for the three years (2019 through 2021);
  • Shareholders could see $1.9 to $2 billion in dividends, assuming a continued 30 percent payout ratio, and $7.6 to $9 billion in share repurchases over the three-year period.

Marriott’s growing pipeline of new hotels is fueled by the strong profitability of its hotels, the broad selection of powerful brands available for development, its rich loyalty program, lower costs from the company’s meaningful scale, and the strong confidence of its owners and franchisees. The company disclosed that 70 per cent of its portfolio of open and signed pipeline projects is held by owners with multiple Marriott properties, and roughly one-third is held by owners with ten or more Marriott branded hotels. Marriott’s development pipeline reflects an increasing number of legacy-Starwood branded hotels. Since the merger date, the pipeline of legacy-Starwood brands has increased nearly 25 per cent to represent nearly one-third of the legacy-Starwood portfolio’s system size.

“In 2018, Marriott launched a new Sheraton brand strategy, guestroom prototype and design approach.”

The company will also discuss its success improving the Sheraton brand. With more than 155,000 rooms, Sheraton is the company’s most geographically diverse brand and the company’s third largest brand globally measured in both rooms and fees. The brand contributes significantly to Marriott’s overall scale and effectively reduces costs for all the hotels in Marriott’s worldwide system. More than one-quarter of Sheratons are already under renovation or committed to a renovation. In 2018, Marriott launched a new Sheraton brand strategy, guestroom prototype and design approach, and just a week ago, unveiled the new Sheraton logo, signaling change to owners, operators, guests and Sheraton associates. Since the acquisition, Sheraton’s RevPAR index has improved to over 100.

“Our new three-year plan, with Starwood fully integrated, demonstrates how our fee-based, asset-light business model generates even stronger and more sustainable cash flows. This allows us to invest profitably in our core business at high rates of return and also return significant amounts of capital to shareholders,” said Leeny Oberg, Marriott International’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. “Our proven business model combined with opportunities to leverage our significant scale from the Starwood acquisition uniquely position us for additional shareholder value creation.”

Main image credit: Marriott International

Autograph Collection Hotels to grow by 25% in Europe in 2019

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Autograph Collection Hotels to grow by 25% in Europe in 2019

Autograph Collection Hotels set to grow in europe by more than 25% this year, debuting in 10 new destinations…

Autograph Collection Hotels, Marriott International’s diverse and dynamic portfolio, has announced plans to welcome 12 one-of-a-kind hotels to its European portfolio this year, each hand-selected for their distinct perspective on design and hospitality.

Hotels set to debut as part of Autograph Collection Hotels this year, include: Aegon, Mykonos, a stunning beach resort complete with harmonious spa and private beach club; Hotel Universo, a sixteenth-century palace in the medieval walled city of Lucca near Florence; Schloss Lieser, a fairy-tale castle in Germany’s Moselle region, an idyllic landscape famed for its wine-growing; Academia of Athens in Greece, with design inspired by Greek Philosopher Plato; and The Shelbourne, the enduringly iconic hotel that’s been at the heart of Dublin society since opening in 1824. Each hotel truly is a product of passion and a personal realisation of its individual founder’s vision, making each one singular and special: Exactly Like Nothing Else.

Launched in 2010, the hotel brand has become a pioneer in the independent hotel space and has rapidly grown from five hotels to more than 160 in nine years. Continuing to grow around the globe, Autograph Collection’s global pipeline comprises nearly 100 properties.

Image credit: Academia of Athens, Autograph Collection_Suite

“With the depth and diversity of Autograph Collection Hotels, we have the unique opportunity to create one-of-a-kind, memorable experiences for travellers,” said John Licence, VP Premium & Select Brands Europe, Marriott International. “The brand’s significant growth momentum throughout Europe solidifies it as an established leader in the independent hotel space, and we are thrilled to welcome 12 exceptional hotels to our European portfolio in 2019.”

At a time when Booking.com revealed that 53 per cent of global travellers plan to take more weekend trips in 2019, Autograph Collection Hotels is offering travellers rich immersive moments that leave a lasting imprint, with five restored architectural gems slated to join Autograph Collection Hotels in Europe this year.

Exemplified by the latest addition to Autograph Collection’s portfolio of London hotels, The Dixon – just opened in January – was originally designed as a Magistrates’ Court and police station in 1905 by John Dixon Butler. The building has undergone extensive restoration to restore its original features, including its spectacular grand courthouse. A stunning interior design concept showcases the hotel’s passion for art with curated artworks set against a backdrop of contemporary and heritage design.

Situated in the Moselle region of Germany, Schloss Lieser resides in a breath-taking castle originally built in 1885. Linked to pivotal moments in both German and Dutch history, previous owners include Clemens Freiherr von Schorlemer-Lieser, a wealthy politician who was related to the Dutch Royal Family. Over the centuries, politicians regularly gathered at the castle to discuss the future of Germany. In 2007, the castle was transformed into the independent, boutique hotel it is now.

Championing Individuality through Distinct Perspectives on Design

Autograph Collection hotels advocate for the original and individual through unique perspectives on design, enabling travellers to make a serious travel statement, even on the shortest of getaways. Academia of Athens, set to become Autograph Collection’s third property in Greece when it opens later this year, is inspired by its namesake, historical landmarks and the vibrant culture of the contemporary city. Global design and architectural firm HOK juxtaposes the heritage of the city of Athens with a bold and modern exterior. Inside there are visual cues from ancient Greek scholar Plato’s Three Orders; Science, Philosophy and Arts, with each principle brought to life throughout various spaces within the hotel.

“Ten of the 12 planned openings in 2019 will mark the brand’s debut in new cities and resort destinations.”

Autograph Collection Hotels Expected to Debut in 10 New European Destinations This Year

Autograph Collection Hotels is set to continue adding to its existing roster of 47 properties across 17 countries in Europe, with new destinations that provide one-of-a-kind hotel stays for even the most discerning global traveller. Ten of the 12 planned openings in 2019 will mark the brand’s debut in new cities and resort destinations, offering more choice and trip inspiration than ever before. New destinations include Lieser, Germany; Athens and Mykonos, Greece; Lucca, Italy; Montreux, Switzerland; Paris and Reims, France; and Seville, Spain.

The planned opening of Sapphire House late in 2019 in the vibrant city of Antwerp will mark Marriott International’s first hotel in the city. Expected to provide travellers with insight into the city’s traditions and fascinating past in gem-trading, Sapphire House will invite guests to discover the quirks of this inconspicuous destination. Occupying the site of the city’s original Royal Exchange, known as Den Grooten Robijn (The Great Ruby), Sapphire House will be a stunning addition to Antwerp’s boutique hotel scene.

Autograph Collection Hotels Leave a Lasting Impression with ‘The Mark’

Ensuring every stay is unique, Autograph Collection Hotels’ handpicked portfolio of properties each offer their own unique ‘Mark’ – a signature moment within the hotel that is bespoke for each property and enhances the guest experience. No two hotels share the same story and therefore none share the same Mark.

Scheduled to join the brand in autumn 2019, Hotel Querencia de Seville, in the Old Town of Seville will perfectly represent the Mark concept. The hotel’s unique offering of music, arts, crafts, creative gatherings and artisanal workshops will bring a flare of Spanish craftmanship and everyday life to visitors, guaranteeing guests a genuine cultural experience.

The anticipated spring opening of La Caserne Chanzy in the heart of Reims will provide guests with an immersive environment to explore the gastronomy of Reims. A restored firehouse will be transformed into a new restaurant – La Grande Georgette – offering reinvented local gastronomy, signature dishes and cocktails using evocative smoke, and even a food truck fashioned from an old fire engine.

Main image credit: Aegon, Mykonos, an Autograph Collection Hotel 

MEET UP LONDON: 3 weeks to go

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Calling all designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers: Meet Up London takes place on March 28 at Minotti London… 

Designers, architects and hoteliers can purchase tickets here.
Suppliers can purchase tickets here.

There are just three weeks to go until the industry will gather together for Hotel Designs’ Q1 networking event, Meet Up London.

Taking place on March 28 at Minotti London, the evening event is designed to bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers.

Meet Up London will be attended by more than 200 hospitality professionals. As well as providing the perfect networking stage for professionals who are working on the hotel design scene, the event will also pay special attention to young designers as it will unveil Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30 (the shortlist can be accessed here).

The latest names to the guest list include designers, directors and 30 Under 30 shortlisted finalists from the likes of B3 Designers, Yasmine Mahmoudieh Design Studio, Scott Brownrigg and M Studio.

They will join designers and directors from leading studios such as Richmond InternationalHBA LondonGenslerJestico + WhilesGoddard LittlefairProject Orange and WATG who are among the names that are also confirmed to attend.

Agenda for Meet Up London: 

 

How to attend Meet Up London 

If you are an interior designer, architect, operator or hotelier and would like to attend Meet Up London, click here to book your place.

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to attend the event, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or on z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

For more information about becoming a Hotel Designs Meet Up sponsor, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or email z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk.

Marriott to add more than 30 luxury hotels internationally in 2019

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Hotel giant Marriott International plans to add hotels across its eight luxury brands…

Marriott International has announced that it is projecting to open more than 30 luxury properties in 2019, furthering the company’s global perspective on luxury travel with its ensemble of eight distinct luxury brands. Through the world-renowned hospitality hallmarks of The Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, St. Regis, W, The Luxury Collection, EDITION, JW Marriott and Bulgari, Marriott International continues to push boundaries, creating new guest experiences which meet the needs of the evolving luxury traveller.

With hotels in more than 60 countries and territories, the hotel giant is poised to expand its luxury footprint with more than 200 properties in the development pipeline, representing 20 new countries for the company’s luxury portfolio, from Sri Lanka to Bermuda and Morocco to Kenya.

“Our eight unique luxury brands provide distinct experiences that appeal to different types of luxury travelers, no matter if your priority is residing at the best address in town, completely immersing yourself in your destination, or prioritizing your wellbeing,” said Tina Edmundson, Global Brand Officer and Luxury Portfolio Leader, Marriott International. “From the world’s most iconic destinations to the ultimate undiscovered gems, we are focused on elevating travel with highly contextualized, nuanced brand experiences that signal the future of luxury by allowing our guests to indulge their passions while sparking personal growth.”

A global luxury study, conducted in partnership with creative agency Team One, revealed that luxury travellers of today are travelling not just to discover the world, but also to discover something about themselves. Edmundson continued: “When it comes to experiences, people today are seeking more meaning and personal significance rather than just the opportunity to indulge. Travellers have become active participants in the trips they are taking – they are more engaged and vested than ever before. Ultimately, global luxurians are becoming ‘creators’ in every aspect of their travel experience and for this group, travel is no longer a departure from reality, it is the reality.” With a rapidly growing global footprint and eight distinct luxury brands, Marriott International is uniquely positioned to deliver on these new expectations, inviting globally-minded travelers to look at the world through a new lens. “For our guests, we strive to go beyond offering moments of delight, to creating experiences that will profoundly inspire and transform,” said Edmundson.

Ritz-Carlton to set a new standard of luxury 

Known for its legendary service and refined design, The Ritz-Carlton will continue to set the standard for luxury. With six openings anticipated in the year ahead, the iconic luxury brand also expects to celebrate the opening of its 100th property. The brand is expected to make its return to Australia with the debut of The Ritz-Carlton, Perthand is slated to grow in China with the opening of The Ritz-Carlton, Xi’an. Showcasing the beauty of the Moroccan landscape and culture, The Ritz-Carlton Rabat, Dar es Salam is set to offer an oasis in the country’s vibrant capital, while The Ritz-Carlton, Mexico City will invite guests to experience the city through a new perspective. With a mission to inspire travel and create memories for its guests, the brand also expects to see the completion of a major renovation of The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park and to continue to work towards the inaugural voyage of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection in February 2020.

St. Regis anticipates grand debuts in global hotspots

Currently offering more than 40 hotels in 20 countries and territories, St. Regis recently celebrated the renovation of The St. Regis Rome along with the opening of The St. Regis Zhuhai, China’s premier tourist destination on the Pearl River Delta. In the coming year, St. Regis is planning to debut the André Fu-designed St. Regis Hong Kongwhere the award-winning designer will blend the brand’s timeless elegance with silhouettes representative of the city’s architectural and cultural diversity. The brand is also set to expand its footprint in Europe with The St. Regis Venice, which is ideally situated on the Grand Canal and offers a central location from which to explore the historic city. Finally, St. Regis is also expecting to bring its modern glamour and bespoke service to Cairo, a destination that has captivated travelers for generations and one which is quickly reclaiming its place as a hot spot for the global explorer.

W Rewrites the rules

Trailblazing its way around the globe, W broke the norms of traditional luxury in destinations including Brisbane, Amman and Costa Rica in 2018. The luxury rebel also rewrote the music festival rules, taking the festival experience off the field and onto fabulous hotel grounds with the global launch of WAKE UP CALL. Bringing people closer to the music than ever before, the brand’s signature music festival series made stops at W Hollywood, W Barcelona and W Bali. This year, the brand will live out its mission to fuel guests’ lust for life with eight hotels projected to open, ranging from Aspen and Ibiza to Muscat and Melbourne. W skillfully balances the power of a global brand with the relevance and personality of a local insider and continues to revitalize its global portfolio with multi-million-dollar renovations planned or underway at more than half its properties in North America, including W Washington D.C. and W San Francisco.

EDITION continues growth in iconic destinations

In 2018 the EDITION brand doubled its footprint, growing from four properties to eight with openings in Shanghai, Bodrum, Barcelona and Abu Dhabi. The in-demand lifestyle brand was created through a collaboration between boutique hotel creator and innovator Ian Schrager and Marriott International, which offers sophisticated design, a curated taste of the destination and modern service. Next up, the brand expects to redefine luxury with its recent opening in New York City’s Times Square and will bring its distinct perspective to West Hollywood with a scheduled opening in Q2 2019.

The Luxury Collection brings authentic charm to new destinations

Offering the promise of unique, authentic experiences, The Luxury Collection is a rapidly growing ensemble of 110 hotels in more than 30 countries and territories around the world. In 2018, the brand made its debut in Savannah with the opening of Perry Lane, expanded its footprint in Paris through Hôtel de Berri and brought distinct resort design to Los Cabos with Solaz, among other exciting debuts. With each hotel serving as a portal to the destination’s indigenous charms and treasures, The Luxury Collection anticipates debuting nine properties this year in coveted locations such as Okinawa, Cesme, Buckinghamshire, and Budapest.

JW Marriott Inspires the Passions 

JW Marriott offers differentiated luxury experiences at 84 hotels and resorts in nearly 30 countries and territories, including the recent opening of JW Marriott Nashville. Inspired by its legendary namesake, JW Marriott is committed to curating uplifting experiences for guests, delivering experiences and environments that help guests be fully present and bringing people together to celebrate life’s most meaningful moments. This year, JW Marriott anticipates continuing to bring its distinct style of warm service to established and emerging destinations with planned openings from the Maldives and Shanghai to Savannah, GA.

Marriott International currently encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,900 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 130 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world.

Main image credit: EDITION/Marriott International

Moxy NYC Chelsea opens an urban design jungle

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Refined yet playful, hand-crafted yet modern, the 349-key Moxy Chelsea reimagines the urban jungle, blending botanically-inspired design with Italian romance…

Rising 35 stories high into the New York City skyline, Moxy NYC Chelsea, the micro-room, macro-amenity hotel, developed by Lightstone and part of Marriott International’s experiential Moxy Hotels brand, has officially opened. Inspired by the surrounding Flower District, the hotel blends a botanically-influenced design with Italian romance and a touch of playful wit – perfectly timed to welcome guests on Valentine’s Day.

Creating an environment that appeals to both today’s modern traveller and locals, Moxy Chelsea was developed with a collection of public spaces designed to meet the community’s dining, drinking, and co-working needs—while providing guests access to New York City at a neighbourhood level. The 349-room hotel marks the second collaboration between Yabu Pushelberg, Rockwell Group, and architects Stonehill Taylor, the designers behind Moxy Times Square and three of the industry’s most admired firms.

The newly-constructed building’s architecture riffs off the neighborhood’s retro-industrial style and feels harmonious with its location, in the heart of the Chelsea Flower Market. The hotel blends into the lush flower shops that surround it, with a soaring three-story glass atrium revealing the vertical gardens within. Guests enter through the overgrown Putnam & Putnam Flower Shop, designed by Yabu Pushelberg, which is envisioned as a “botanical library,” with planter boxes suspended from the 15-foot wall, reachable by a wheeled ladder. The shop is run by husbands Darroch and Michael Putnam, whose couture approach to floral arrangements over the years has made them a staple at celebrity weddings, including the recent nuptials of Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk.

Image credit: Michael Kleinberg/Moxy Chelsea/Marriott International

The guestrooms are drenched in sunlight and feature floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows. For the design, Yabu Pushelberg replicates the clever functionality they created for Moxy Times Square, leavened with wit and humanised with a sense of craft. In all three room types — King, Double/Double and Quad Bunk — the furniture, which includes a writing desk and chair/luggage rack, can be folded up and hung up on Moxy’s signature peg wall when not in use. Other space-saving gambits include under-bed storage and a lava-stone sink and vanity area placed outside the bathroom. Tiles in the shower stalls are printed with cheeky phrases like “SOME REGRETS” and “WILD THING,” while a bulldog-shaped beer bottle opener hangs on the door. Additional bedroom features nod to the Flower District, like reading lamps that resemble garden lanterns and faucets that recall hose reels. Unique to Moxy Chelsea is the over-the-top MONDO Suite, an entertainment suite located on the 32nd floor. With soaring, double-height 18-foot ceilings and a wall of industrial-style windows looking out onto the Empire State Building, the room is equipped for entertaining and socialising. The suite can be combined with one or two adjoining king rooms to create a place to party and sleep.

The lobby atmosphere is enlivened by a design that reflects Moxy’s trademark cheekiness, such as classically sculpted figurines making unexpected poses, like twerking, taking selfies, and wearing sunglasses. A life-size, toga-clad Roman statue rests on a column, one arm extended so it can hold a guest’s phone and pose with them for a selfie. Throughout the lobby, ample seating options invite co-working and socializing, including modular meeting studios that morph seamlessly from daytime workplace to evening social space.

Decadent rooftop bar

Image caption: The Fleur Room – credit: Michael Kleinberg/Moxy Chelsea/Marriott International

TAO Group and Rockwell also collaborated on The Fleur Room, Moxy Chelsea’s rooftop lounge, topping off the hotel on the 35th floor with panoramic 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline, from the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State building. The design features a copper-clad bar, glass chandeliers that resemble giant water droplets, and a massive disco ball salvaged from the notorious 1980s L.A. nightclub Vertigo. The real showstopper: The lounge’s glass walls descend at the touch of a button, transforming the space into an alfresco sky veranda.

“We’ve all read about how the modern traveller wants to satisfy their curiosity with unique experiences and personalised, insider access,” says Mitchell Hochberg, President of Lightstone. “Nobody really expects that at the Moxy price point. With Moxy Times Square, we proved we could flip the script; and with Moxy Chelsea, we’re taking it to the next level: We’ve doubled down on that formula—affordable rates, rooms with character, distinctive public spaces—and made it even more personal, more local, more genuinely New York.”

“With the opening of Moxy Chelsea, the Moxy Hotels brand continues to boldly reinvent the hospitality scene,” says Toni Stoeckl, Global Brand Leader, Moxy Hotels, and Vice President, Distinctive Select Service Brands, Marriott International. “When you walk into a Moxy, you know you’re getting a killer bar experience with fun, playful programming; an in-the-know Crew; stylish and functional bedrooms; and experiential moments you’ll want to share with friends during your trip. Moxy Chelsea offers all of that, with a distinctly bold, New York twist.”

The Moxy brand now has 30-plus experiential hotels open across North America, Europe and Asia. Moxy is expected to open 20-plus more hotels in 2019*, in destinations including Paris, Nashville and Boston.

*subject to change depending on hospitality landscape and market conditions

Main image credit: Michael Kleinberg/Moxy Chelsea/Marriott International

Marriott International teams up with Manchester United

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The hotel giant Marriott International partners with Manchester United to offer its members a range of one-off experiences…

Marriott International and Manchester United has announced a multi-year marketing partnership, giving the 120 million members of the Marriott Bonvoy travel programme exclusive opportunities for once-in-a-lifetime Manchester United football experiences – including the chance to become the club’s Stadium Announcer or Kit Manager for the day.

The new partnership launches today with a film that features players from the Manchester United first team and team management, bringing these magical moments to life.

“Marriott International is the leader in its field and we’re excited to be partnering with them as Marriott launches its new travel programme, Marriott Bonvoy,” said Manchester United, Group Managing Director, Richard Arnold.” Together we look forward to creating some unforgettable moments for Marriott Bonvoy members, inspired by the thrill and excitement that only Manchester United can create for fans around the world.”

With the Marriott Bonvoy travel programme, members have access to its extraordinary portfolio of global brands and properties in 130 countries and territories, as well as unmatched memberbenefits and exclusive Marriott Bonvoy Moments’ experiences.

“We are thrilled to offer compelling benefits to Marriott Bonvoy members, now expanded to include unique Manchester United experiences,” commented Marriott International’s Global Marketing Officer, Karin Timpone. “This marketing partnership enables our members to access special VIP game experiences by using the points they’ve accumulated during hotel stays for unprecedented, exclusive experiences.”

Marriott Bonvoy Moments enables members to redeem points to purchase any of 8,000 lifestyle, entertainment, sport, culinary and more experiences globally. Exclusive Manchester United Moments that members can bid points for include:

‘Stadium Announcer’ Experience – Marriott Bonvoy members will have the chance to go behind the scenes at the iconic ‘Theatre of Dreams,’ shadowing the stadium announcer with their pre-match preparations. Prior to the game, the member and a guest will soak up the atmosphere pitch side, before enjoying VIP hospitality, including match tickets and a meet and greet with a former player.

Welcome the Team on arrival at Old Trafford – Members and their guest arriving at Old Trafford on matchday will head pitch side to meet a Manchester United legend before making their way to the player’s tunnel to be in prime position to welcome the team as they step off the coach and head into the dressing room to prepare for the game.

‘Kit Manager’ Experience – Members will be able to add a final finesse to the home dressing room at Old Trafford pre-game as they shadow the first team Kit Manager. The member and a guest will help prepare the match kit ahead of the players’ arrival before heading pitchside to be met by a Manchester United Legend. After the hard work is done, the member will be able to sit back and relax whilst enjoying pre and post-match VIP hospitality.

Top five stories of the week: hellish hacks, Sleep Set success and redefining luxury with art

Hamish Kilburn

With Sleep + Eat’s Sleep Sets declared as another successful installation following it taking shelter under a new home and Marriott Starwood suffering from a terrible hacking incident, this week has been a mix of highs and lows. Here are the top stories of the week, as selected by the editorial team at Hotel Designs…

As we close November, we can reflect on a sensational month of understanding art and photography in international hotel design. With our Spotlight On feature of the month catapulting this topic into the fabrics of our writing, we have learned how art and photography has the power to completely define a hotel’s sense of place. While THE Park Hotels has enjoyed positive coverage around its vibrant collection of art-infused hotels, Marriott Starwood on the other hand has endured negative press around the security of its data. Here are the top five stories of the week:

1) Half a billion people could be affected by major Marriott Starwood hack

The hotel chain, Marriott Starwood, faces backlash as half and billion people’s data is feared to have been compromised. In a statement today, the hotel brand said that there have been unauthorised access to the database, which contains information such as encrypted payment card numbers made on or before September 10 of this year.

2) Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa unveils $20 million renovation

Designed by boutique multi-disciplinary design practice, Topo Design Studio, the newly transformed Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa now exhibits beautiful Maldivian architecture with a contemporary twist, reflecting the five-star experience guaranteed at the property.

3) Sleep Sets 2018: Behind the keyhole

Four international leading design houses were set the challenge to collaborate with four separate companies for this year’s Sleep Sets at SLEEP + EAT. Hamish Kilburn investigated how each designer turned vision into reality.

4) Creative Director of HBA London confirmed as headline speaker of Interior Design & Architecture Summit

Following her crowd-pleasing Sleep Set that was exhibited at SLEEP + EAT – and being highly commended at The Brit List 2018 in the Interior Designer of the Year category – Constantina Tsoutsikou, the creative Director of HBA London has been confirmed as the headline speaker of IDAS 2019.

5) Redefining luxury hotels in India with clever injection of design and art

Following THE Park Hotels celebrating 50 years of being unlike any other Indian hotel group, Priya Paul sat down with editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn to discuss the role of art in the hotel brand.

Large modern guestroom

W Hotels debuts in Malaysia

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The hotel brand has brought its vibrant style to Malaysia with the opening of the 150-key W Kuala Lumper… 

In the shadow of the iconic buildings, the Petronas Towers, W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International, Inc., has announced the opening of W Kuala Lumpur, marking the iconic brand’s first-ever hotel in Malaysia. Owned by Tropicana Corporation Berhad, W Kuala Lumpur opens its doors in the heart of the capital, steps from the world-famous Petronas Twin Towers. Through bold, innovative design, W Kuala Lumpur immerses guests in the city’s wildly lush greenery, globally renowned cuisine, centuries-old history and growing appetite for playful luxury.

Known locally as the Southeast Asian jungle city, the new modern luxury hotel is nestled between the Klang and Gombak Rivers. Kuala Lumpur itself boasts a sunny tropical climate, flourishing jungle, soaring buildings and traditional Malaysian architecture – a meeting of old and new, nature and humankind, on every street. Even within the city centre, nature is juxtaposed against architecture with towering skyscrapers emerging from the canopy of green. Beyond the city’s juxtapositions, Kuala Lumpur is home to a multicultural mix of world-class cuisine and creativity, the perfect spot for the brand’s debut in Malaysia.

“W Kuala Lumpur welcomes guests to the jungle.”

“Kuala Lumpur is one of the most modern cities in Asia. Skyrocketing from its humble heritage as a mining town to a skyline punctuated by skyscrapers, it’s clear that, like W, the city has a passion for embracing what’s new and next in the world – a natural fit for the W Hotels brand,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “We are blown away by how the city is moving towards the future while still maintaining its traditional and cultural roots. It’s a precise balancing act that we have brought to the intricate, vibrant design of W Kuala Lumpur to show guests from across the globe all the magic this city has to offer.”

Exterior render of the hotel

Image credit: Marriott International Hotel

W Kuala Lumpur welcomes guests to the jungle and combines an inexhaustible mix of old and new colours, aromas and sounds that blend effortlessly together in a cultural festival for the senses. A distinct design feature at W Kuala Lumpur is the pixel – or dot. It is cleverly integrated throughout the hotel and is used to create a bigger picture inspired by a broader multicultural Malaysia made up of many ethnicities. Upon arrival, guests are welcomed by larger-than-life traditional batik motifs, a nod to ancient artwork of the region, blended with sleek metal accents. The city’s abundant plant life is pulled into the space via bamboo-inspired chandeliers set against an ever-changing wall of lights, a representation of the new technology that is enhancing the cityscape. At the Welcome area, guests check in among modern nods to the jungle. Streaming LED lights hang from above, playfully mimicking waterfalls, spotlights alternate along the floor like a flowing river while the ceiling patterns depict an artistic interpretation of Kuala Lumpur’s topography, and chandeliers show off the shapes of spinning Malay toys known throughout the country.

Extending from the Living Room, the hotel’s grand staircase plays with light and space in a towering geometric cascade of steel-mirrored panels. Reflecting the vibrant colours and native designs found throughout the room and floors above, the staircase shifts each guests’ view of both colour and spacial dynamics as they move through the creatively extroverted mirroring.

W Kuala Lumpur features 150 stylish guest rooms and suites, including two WOW suites and the lavish Extreme WOW Suite (the brand’s take on the traditional presidential suite). With a living space of over 520 square metres, the Extreme WOW Suite brings a new level of eclectic luxury to the city. All W Kuala Lumpur rooms and suites embody both the traditional and modern elements of the Jungle City, teaming W essentials like signature W beds with traditional accents like indigenous “Wau” tassels commonly featured on Malaysian kites and pixelated versions of batik designs.

Main image credit: Marriott International Hotel

 

Luxury Bay Suite

London-based interior designer unveils ‘suite dreams’ in Malta

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Malta continues to be a hotel design hot spot as London-based designer unveils 29 luxury suites in Malta’s The Westin Dragonara Resort

With the arrival of a Hard Rock Hotel slated to open in 2020 and Zaha Hadid Architects winning planning permission to build the 31-storey Murcury House, Malta in the Mediterranean is fast becoming a hotel design hub. Ahead of these grand plans becoming a reality, the most recent hotel renovation is that of the suites of a hotel that first opened its doors in the late ’90s.

Conceptualised by London-based interior designer, Lynne Hunt, the 29 Luxury Bay Suites offer a light and airy design that promotes relaxation, renewal and spectacular views. Taking inspiration from the extraordinary location and the hotel’s passion for wellbeing, all design details champion the natural surroundings, featuring soft hues of Maltese limestone and the turquoise tones of the Mediterranean Sea.

Working with Westin and Marriott, Huny embraced the design ethos of a Westin resort with a biophilia approach to its interiors and design reference. “Our inspiration is the limestone rock of Malta along with the beautiful surrounding Mediterranean Sea,” Hunt explained.

The centrepiece of the Master Bedroom is the award-winning Westin Heavenly® Bed, tilted at an angle to face the window. Guests are invited to relax under the soft mood lighting and recharge with the soundtrack of the soothing ocean that drifts from the connecting terrace.

Image credit: The Westin Dragonara Resort

Overlooking the bedroom and sea beyond is the spacious and elegant ensuite, built with a free-standing bath and walk-in rainfall shower. As well as featuring an open-plan ensuite bathroom, an additional guest bathroom features in the suite, complete with a range of premium White Tea Heavenly Bath toiletries.

“The refurbished Luxury Bay Suites are an extraordinary addition to The Westin Dragonara Resort. The hotel overlooks the tranquil Mediterranean and these new suites really make the most of this unique vista,” said Michael Camilleri Kamsky, General Manager of The Westin Dragonara Resort. “Every element of the suites has been considered to help guests relax and re-energise, from the spacious design, to the unique food and beverage offering. We look forward to welcoming guests to experience the Luxury Bay Suites first hand.”

Other images of the Luxury Bay suites: 

The open plan living and dining space comes complete with a functional double sofa bed, seating area and kitchenette. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors lead out onto a private and secluded terrace, perfect for al fresco socialising and relaxing. Three of the suites offer two bedrooms, accommodating larger families or accompanying guests.

First opened in 1997, The Westin Dragonara Resort has been at the forefront of Maltese hospitality. Its latest renovation to the 29 suites reference Maltese culture in a soft, sublte and approprate way, mainly through clever colour schemes and Mediterranean-inspired art.

 

Golf course and exterior of hotel

Architecture inspired by nature: Lisbon’s Praia D’el Rey reveals new ocean-facing guestrooms

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Architecture firm Philosophy of Space Rita Gabriel led the €1m renovation to the Praia D’el Rey Marriott Golf & Beach Resort…

Inspired by nature and natural light, architect Rita Gabriel from the renowned Lisbon-based Philosophy of Space practice has recently completed a €1m renovation to the Praia D’El Rey.

Positioned on pristine shores of Portugal’s Silver Coast to boast unmatched vistas of breaking North Atlantic waves, the hotel’s movement very much revolves around its golf facilities. Gabriel based her guestroom concept around natural woods, gold-coloured metals and complementary lighting, with the blue of the ocean reflected in small detailing.

The new ocean-front guestrooms and ocean premium accommodation now feature a now prevailing colours of blue, matte gold and light grey, reflecting Gabriel’s concept. “We wanted to bring nature and light into the rooms, thus softening their environment and making them more pleasurable and welcoming, and we used clear natural woods, light fabrics and gilded metals to achieve this concept,” said Gabriel. “The blue of the sea is present in small details, and the combination of everything has helped to bathe each of the rooms in a new light.”

The guestroom renovation follows swiftly on the heels of the upgrade of restaurant facilities at the luxury Lisbon resort, and the launch of the resort’s Cynthia Dye-designed golf course, which opened last summer and is already predicted to be the new number one course in Portugal.

 

Marriot Sihanoukville

Marriott announces new five-star hotel in Cambodia

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388-room hotel will feature all-day dining, rooftop bar, spa, ballroom and more

Marriott International is lining up a new luxury hotel in Sihanoukville, in the south west of Cambodia.

The Le Meridien will boast 388 rooms, along with an all-day dining/open kitchen concept restaurant, along with a speciality restaurant and a rooftop bar with views of the ocean. Guests will also be able to enjoy a fitness centre, wellness spa, and an ocean-front beach club with infinity pools, restaurant and bar. Meanwhile, meeting rooms and a ballroom accommodating 400 will cater for corporate visitors.

A MEGA HOTEL & LUXURY RESIDENCE COMPLEX

Cambodian real estate firm Grand Lion Group has been signed by Marriott to manage and operate the hotel, which forms part of the $200 million Gold Coast at Shihanoukville, a mega hotel and luxury residence complex called the Lyon D’Or. Some 58 stories high, all 888 units of this tower will enjoy panoramic sea views of the Gulf of Thailand, plus a rooftop infinity pool, sky lounge, fitness centre, spa, recreation and multi-purpose rooms. Residents and their guests will also enjoy the facilities and services at Le Meridien.

TANDEM ARCHITECTS 2001 & JKY CONCEPT

The project will be designed by the award-winning Bangkok-based Tandem Architects 2001 and interior design firm JKY Concept. In addition, a collaboration with a world-renowned Italian luxury interior furnishings house is being lined up.

The opening date is scheduled for January 2022, with , following the opening of Courtyard by Marriott Siem Reap Resort in January this year – the group’s first hotel in Cambodia.

“With the increasing growth in visitation to Cambodia, the time is ripe for us to introduce a global hospitality brand in Sihanoukville,” said the Grand Lion Group’s chairman and CEO Lundy Nath. “The region’s unspoilt beaches, pristine waters and laid-back ambience will appeal to international visitors in search of a relaxing coastal getaway.

“Gold Coast at Sihanoukville will complement the Courtyard by Marriott Siem Reap and the nearby Angkor Archaeological Park by providing an extended stay for guests to explore another dimension of Cambodia. This mega project aims to be among the first to open a new chapter in luxury beach destination experiences in Sihanoukville.”

Marriott set to debut dozens of luxury hotels in 2018

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Marriott International has announced the company is set to open nearly 40 luxury hotels in 2018 as the company continues to cater to a new affluent traveler, offering an unmatched variety of transformative travel experiences.

Providing globetrotters with a truly global perspective and an unparalleled portfolio of eight distinct luxury brands, Marriott International Luxury Brands include world-renowned hospitality hallmarks The Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, St. Regis, W Hotels, The Luxury Collection, EDITION and JW Marriott. With an unrivaled network of landmark hotels and resorts in 60 countries today, Marriott International is set to expand its luxury footprint yet further with 200 hotels in the development pipeline, representing 25 new countries, from Iceland and Nepal to Cuba and the Philippines.

“From former palaces in Venice and Vienna, to skyscrapers in Hong Kong and Dubai, to intimate, remote escapes in the Maldives and Mexico, the breadth of our portfolio is incomparable and allows us to surpass the expectations of our guests around the globe,” said Tina Edmundson, Global Brand Officer, Marriott International. “We see luxury as a launch pad for self-actualization, with bucket lists evolving from where you want to go to who you can be. With data showing a global shift in perception around luxury, we are uniquely positioned to provide personalized and truly differentiated experiences that resonate with this next-generation jetsetter.”

Personalised Fulfillment is the Future of LuxuryA global luxury study conducted in partnership with Skift, the largest travel industry intelligence platform, revealed that the number one priority for luxury travelers is centered around transformative travel and authentic experiences that provide a new perspective on the world. Edmundson continued: “Today’s global luxurian defies traditional stereotypes, moving far beyond the antiquated notion of ‘time’ being the ultimate luxury. Our guests are on a journey towards personal fulfillment, seeking meaningful and purposeful travel experiences that speak to their inner, idealized selves. Whether that be creating a signature dish at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman’s Culinary Studio, prioritizing wellness by tapping into on-demand fitness with JW Marriott’s Behind the Barre program, recharging in an over-water villa at The St. Regis Maldives or exploring one of the world’s most energetic cities through a W Insider.” With a new lens on luxury and focus on the fast-evolving expectations and aspirations of the global traveler, Marriott International elevates travel with highly contextualized, nuanced brand experiences that signal the future of luxury. “Access is the new authentic, and our brands are portals to diverse cultures and one-off travel moments,” said Edmundson.

The Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis Hotels & Resorts Further Define the Luxury Landscape in 2018
The Ritz-Carlton, the legendary hospitality brand with 94 hotels in 31 countries, will continue to set the standard in luxury in 2018. Known for creating exceptional experiences, the brand recently celebrated the opening of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel de La Paix, Geneva and in 2018 is slated to debut six exciting locations, including China’s scenic Jiuzhaigou Valley. 2018 will also see renovations of key properties including The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin and The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul. With three Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties open, the debut of Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Los Cabos, will further define the brand’s ability to create an intimate, culturally immersive experience that is set apart by heartfelt care and human connection.

St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, with 42 hotels in 21 countries today, is scheduled to celebrate the renovation of The St. Regis Rome in 2018, as well as openings in destinations such as Cairo and Amman. This follows recent debuts, including The St. Regis Shanghai Jingan and The St. Regis Astana.

Luxury Rebel W Hotels Spins Explosive Global Footprint
Scheduled to reach 75 hotels by 2020, W Hotels skillfully balances the power of a global brand with the relevance and personality of a local insider. In 2017, the iconic lifestyle brand electrified the skyline with the premiere of W Shanghai – The Bund, and debuted the next generation of boundary-pushing design in the United States with W Bellevue. Defined by visionary design, edgy fashion and buzzing music programming, W Hotels sits alongside luxury, not confined by it. 2018 will be a year of unprecedented growth for the brand with 8 hotels set to open, ranging from Tel Aviv and Dubai to Brisbane and Panama City.

EDITION Set to Reach 20 Properties by 2020
With seven new properties scheduled to launch across three continents, and many more in the pipeline, 2018 will mark a pivotal moment for EDITION. Created through a ground-breaking partnership between boutique hotel creator and innovator Ian Schrager and Marriott International, the EDITION brand is slated to grow exponentially from a collection of four to eleven properties by the end of 2018. Its timeless design, uncompromising quality, true originality and impeccable modern service, further defines the boutique hotel category. Following The Sanya EDITION’s launch in December 2016, EDITION’s Asian presence is scheduled to expand with two additional properties launching in Shanghai and Bangkok in 2018. In addition, the brand’s second and third European hotels are set for launch in Bodrum and Barcelona. EDITION will launch its first outpost in the Middle East in Abu Dhabi, whilst EDITION’s plans to increase its US presence with two properties located in New York’s Times Square and West Hollywood.

With a Growing Global Portfolio, The Luxury Collection Embodies Experiential Travel
A rapidly growing ensemble of 102 hotels in more than 30 countries around the world, The Luxury Collection takes guests on journeys to the world’s most inspiring places, enriching and transforming modern global travel with authentic and indigenous experiences. From epicurean delights in the heart of iconic wine regions to city landmarks in Paris and Milan to historic masterpieces such Cristallo, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa nestled in the Italian Dolomites, the brand continues to offer global explorers hotels that define the destination. The Luxury Collection is set to debut 10 properties next year in captivating locations that span the globe, including Los Cabos, Savannah, Vail and Okinawa.

JW Marriott Expands Global Footprint and Breathes New Life into Iconic Properties
Inspired by its legendary namesake, JW Marriott is a brand committed to cultivating enriching experiences for guests seeking approachable, modern luxury. With 79 hotels and resorts today in nearly 30 countries, including the recent openings of JW Marriott properties in Vancouver, Jaipur and Phu Quoc, an island oasis off the coast of Vietnam, the brand is looking forward to yet another milestone year with openings slated for 2018 in Nashville and the Maldives. JW Marriott will also continue to reinforce and revitalize its global portfolio with multi-million dollar renovations in more than half of its properties, including JW Marriott Bangkok and Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott Hotel.

Marriott International to open 40 luxury hotels in 2018

Marriott International to open 40 luxury hotels in 2018

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Marriott International has reported that it will open almost 40 luxury hotels in 2018, catering to what it calls a new ‘affluent traveller’.

Marriott also said it will expand its luxury footprint further with 200 hotels in the development pipeline, including 25 new countries, from Iceland and Nepal to Cuba and the Philippines.

Marriott’s luxury brands include The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, W Hotels, The Luxury Collection, EDITION and JW Marriott.

“We see luxury as a launchpad for self-actualisation, with bucket lists evolving from where you want to go to who you can be,” said Tina Edmundson, global brand officer.

“With data showing a global shift in perception around luxury, we are uniquely positioned to provide personalized and truly differentiated experiences that resonate with this net-generation jet-setter,” she added.

Marriott completed its acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide in September 2016, bringing its total hotel properties to more than 5,700 worldwide.

www.marriott.com

Hotel Distil Louisville (Courtesy of Boxcar PR)

Autograph’s The Distil, Moxy Hotel to join Louisville hotel scene

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Two new, yet distinctly different hotels will open in 2019 in the historic and revitalised Whiskey Row neighbourhood of downtown Louisville as part of a new development planned by a staple of the Louisville hospitality industry.

Located on Main Street, the development will feature two Marriott International branded properties– Hotel Distil, a boutique hotel that will be part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection Hotels, and a Moxy Hotel, the enterprise’s spirited and fun design-driven brand with more than 15 hotels in North America, Europe and Asia. The project, developed by White Lodging, Poe Companies and REI Real Estate Services, is also due to contain multiple bars and restaurants. The hotels will be managed by White Lodging, their 12th and 13th hotels in the Louisville market.

Hotel Distil Louisville (Courtesy of Boxcar PR)

Courtesy of Boxcar PR

Hotel Distil, an independent hotel affiliated with Autograph Collection Hotels, taps into the street’s rich bourbon history. The 205-room property joins the diverse and dynamic portfolio of more than 100 Autograph Collection Hotels around the world – all independent, one-of-a-kind hotels that champion values of vision, design and craft. It will feature more than 7,500 square feet of elegant meeting space, a new energised restaurant concept and rooftop bar with direct access to the street. The Moxy Hotel will feature a street-level restaurant and bar along with an additional rooftop terrace and event space.

Hotel Distil Louisville (Courtesy of Boxcar PR)

Courtesy of Boxcar PR

The original façade that still stands from circa 1860s will be the front of the Distil Hotel and the signature restaurant. The façade and site are remnants of a rich and storied history that still has significance today, perfectly embodies Autograph Collection Hotels’ Exactly Like Nothing Else mantra. The site was the original location and barrel house for J.T.S. Brown and Sons, whose name is still above the doorway. John Thompson Street Brown was the half-brother of George Garvin Brown, whose partnership began the company that is known today as The Brown- Forman Corporation.

The planned development marks the debut for the experiential Moxy Hotel in Louisville, boldly reinventing the lifestyle hotel experience in the Derby City.

Moxy Louisville will be thoughtfully designed with the target audience in mind – engaging, smart and free-spirited. Opening in the city known for its famous horse races, foodie mentality and southern charm, Moxy Louisville will welcome guests with locally inspired contemporary design, industrial chic style and a playful social scene. Moxy Louisville’s 110 bedrooms will be cozy and tech savvy with plush platform beds, peg walls instead of closets for ultimate flexibility, motion sensor lighting, and all the right tech for in-room entertainment including 49-inch LED TVs, abundant power and USB outlets, along with furiously fast and free Wi-Fi for ultimate connectivity.

Marriott reveals 'IoT' hotel room of the future...

Marriott reveals ‘IoT’ hotel room of the future…

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As technology continues to evolve and play an increasingly active role in our daily lives, Marriott International has teamed with two leading companies – Samsung and Legrand – to launch the hospitality industry’s first Internet of Things (‘IoT’) hotel room to inspire the ultimate hotel experience of the future.

The IoT Guestroom Lab – powered by Marriott’s Innovation Lab at the company’s corporate headquarters – explores concepts that have the potential to elevate the guest experience, create more efficient hotel room design and construction, and contribute to Marriott’s global sustainability efforts and goals. As the hospitality industry’s “smart” hotel room, the Lab allows multiple responsive IoT systems, devices and applications to communicate with one another to serve guests and optimise hotel operations.

“We know that our guests expect to personalise almost everything in their lives, and their hotel experience should be no different,” said Stephanie Linnartz, Global Chief Commercial Officer, Marriott International. “By teaming with best-in-class partners, we are leveraging mobile and voice-enabled technology to give our guests the ability to set up the room to best meets their needs – whether that is creating the ultimate relaxation environment or one that enables productivity for business travelers.”

“At Samsung, we aspire to make life easier and better for our consumers, whether they’re at home or their home away from home,” said James Stansberry, Senior Vice President and General Manager of ARTIK IoT, Samsung Electronics. “Partnering with Legrand and Marriott, we can offer users unprecedented levels of control and personalisation, thanks to our end-to-end IoT services powered by the ARTIK platform and the SmartThings Cloud. From intuitive lighting to voice-activated room controls, we’re delivering customisable, intelligent experiences that make our consumers’ lives more convenient, productive and secure.”

Developing an intuitive system is critical as Marriott seeks to continuously innovate the global guest experience across its 30 brands. The technology inside the IoT Guestroom Lab allows, for instance, a user to ask a virtual assistant for a 6:30am wake-up alarm, to start a yoga routine on a full-length mirror, request additional housekeeping services and start the shower at the desired temperature stored in their customer profile – all by voice or app.

“We’re proud to be innovating with industry leading partners to get closer to revolutionising the guest experience, along with hotel operations and even hotel construction,” said Karim Khalifa, Senior Vice President, Global Design, Marriott International. “Together with Samsung and Legrand, we are well on our way to creating the hotel room of the future.”

“At Legrand, we offer a suite of power, light and data solutions that bring power and connectivity to previously untapped locations. Legrand is partnering with Marriott to improve the guest experience in a cost effective and intuitive manner. This work further supports our Eliot Program in North America, Legrand’s global IoT program that encompasses our ambition, drives our product innovation and fosters our partnership in the IoT space,” said Ken Freeman, Senior Vice President of Demand Creation, Legrand. “Legrand’s product portfolio can elevate a property by turning everyday features into lasting highlights. We are thrilled to collaborate with Marriott and Samsung to conceptualise and deliver on the future traveler’s needs.”

Marriott is working towards a future where hotel owners would have a seamless, transparent and flexible end-to-end solution that requires minimal equipment, while customers would enjoy an integrated experience with access to their own data and information, as well as accessible voice and mobile-optimised controls. Such systems would also benefit hotel operations and improve personalised service by, for instance, allowing staff to provide services at a guest’s desired time.

Following the three-month-long IoT Guestroom Lab, Marriott, Samsung and Legrand will analyse feedback to continue innovating with IoT technology. Consumers will start to see elements of the technology in hotel rooms within the next five years.

www.marriott.com/default.mi

Moxy Tokyo

Marriott’s Moxy brand continues expansion with Tokyo opening

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Tokyo-based real estate developer Pacifica Capital has opened the Moxy Tokyo Kinshicho, the first hotel in Japan for Marriott International’s new lifestyle brand targeted at the Millennial generation.

Already off to a great start, the hotel was fully occupied on its third night of operations.

Located in the dynamic commercial district of Kinshicho, it is walking distance to Sky Tree and Asakusa, and only 8 minutes by train to Tokyo Station.

The hotel has 205 guestrooms, 24 hour food and beverage service, a complete gym and high-tech meeting rooms.

While guests can comfortably relax in their retro-style rooms, the first floor of the hotel offers plentiful space to eat, drink, talk and play table and board games.

Whitepaper: Sustainability enhancing 'competitive positioning'

Marriott unveils global sustainability, social impact plan

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From human rights protections to sustainable hotel development, Marriott International has now launched a new sustainability and social impact initiative designed to foster business growth while balancing the needs of associates, customers, owners, the environment and communities.

Under Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction, Marriott’s new Sustainability and Social Impact Platform seeks to continue the company’s 90-year commitment to the communities it serves, the planet and people worldwide.[CRF_Form id=’1′]

“As the global hospitality leader with properties and associates across 125 countries and territories, Marriott International has a global responsibility and unique opportunity to be a force for good in all aspects of our business – from helping to reduce carbon and water use to providing our associates with human trafficking awareness training,” said Ray Bennett, Chief Global Officer, Global Operations at Marriott International and Serve 360 Executive Leadership Council Co-Chair. “We recognize that how we do business is as important as the business that we do. Incorporating environmental and social initiatives, including human rights awareness training, into our business is not only the right thing to do, it has a direct impact on our profits and beyond.”

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READ MORE SUSTAINABILITY STORIES
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Guided by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, Marriott created Serve 360 to guide the company’s commitment and deliver positive results through four priority areas or “coordinates”:

– Nurture Our World – Advancing the resiliency and development of our communities.
– Sustain Responsible Operations – Reducing the company’s environmental impacts, sourcing responsibly and building and operating sustainable hotels.
– Empower Through Opportunity – Helping people prepare for jobs in the hospitality industry.
– Welcome All & Advance Human Rights – Creating a safe and welcoming world for associates and travelers alike.

Marriott’s new goals are being woven into the company across continents, from its global development organizations to its global supply chain networks. Some of the company’s commitments by 2025 include:

– Reduce water by 15%, carbon by 30%, waste by 45% and food waste by 50%
– Contribute 15 million associate volunteer hours, 25% of which will be skills-based, to capitalize on personal talents and core business skills
– Train 100% of associates to know the signs of human trafficking
– Embed human rights criteria in recruitment and sourcing policies

“Building off our 2007 Sustainability goals, Marriott is proud to issue our next generation of goals, inclusive of social and human rights targets to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges,” said Tricia Primrose, Global Chief Communications Officer at Marriott International and Serve 360 Executive Leadership Council Co-Chair. “Associates and customers want to work for and do business with a company that aligns with their values and drives positive community impact. We are proud to be part of the solution,” she added.

More details about Serve 360 can be found at marriott.com/serve360

Fairfield Lobby Main View

Fairfield by Marriott celebrates 30 years

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Fairfield by Marriott, Marriott International’s second largest brand, is celebrating its 30th anniversary year by honouring the brand’s heritage that was born at the Fairfield Farm, unveiling a new brand design and launching a global social responsibility initiative.

Fairfield by Marriott, one of the hospitality industry’s fastest-growing brands with nearly 900 locations worldwide, first took root at the Fairfield Farm – a Hume, Virginia ranch purchased by J.W. and Alice Marriott in 1951. Fairfield Farm, nestled amongst the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Rappahannock River, served as a retreat from the everyday chaos where the Marriott family perfected their art of hosting – they hosted friends, business associates, and dignitaries alike (including US presidents Eisenhower and Reagan) – and seeded the inspiration for the brand’s founding in 1987.

Fairfield by Marriott, Marriott International’s second largest brand, is celebrating its 30th anniversary year by honouring the brand’s heritage
Like its namesake, the brand was founded to provide a calm and seamless stay for all types of travelers. Soon, a legacy of trusted service and family treatment was established, along with the Fairfield 100% Guarantee service philosophy, which is proudly upheld by the brand’s more than 3,000 associates worldwide today.

To honour the brand’s heritage, while recognising its rapid global growth, Fairfield by Marriott is announcing a milestone month centered around the brand’s new design. Paying homage to the brand’s origins at the Fairfield Farm, Fairfield is introducing a new brand design. The new décor package is warm, timeless, forward-thinking, and inviting with simple nods back to the brand’s heritage.

Fairfield by Marriott, Marriott International’s second largest brand, is celebrating its 30th anniversary year by honouring the brand’s heritage

Specific elements meant to evoke feelings from the Fairfield Farm include a farmhouse table in the lobby for gathering and connecting, photography from the Fairfield Farm serving as artwork in the lobby and guest rooms, natural materials and unique textures featured throughout, and a history wall in every property showcasing the brand’s roots. The new design launches this November and will be on display in properties this autumn, like one of the brand’s newest properties, opening outside of Boston this November.

www.fairfield.marriott.com/locations

Boston Marriott Burlington Corner Studio

Boston Marriott Burlington completes multi-million dollar transformation

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Boston Marriott Burlington has announced the completion of its multi-phase transformation, adding newly imagined guestrooms to the property’s suite of contemporary upgrades.

The extensive transformation, which includes the introduction of CHOPPS American Bar and Grill (the property’s upscale modern chophouse), a new open concept Great Room and lobby area, over 14,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting and event space, and several updated guest amenities.

Boston Marriott Burlington worked with the Atlanta-based firm Design Continuum to introduce a fresh and modern esthetic to their 418 guestrooms at suites. Inspired by the tranquility of Burlington’s natural forests, the rooms offer a soothing and natural feel complete with modern finishes and fresh accents.

Botson Marriott Burlington Lobby

Great Room at Boston Marriott Burlington (PRNewsfoto/Boston Marriott Burlington)

The overall design embraces Marriott’s high standard of excellence, while building an identity for the property that marries the natural inspirations of Burlington and the geometric and architecture of nearby Boston.

Guest rooms now feature expanded entry ways complete with generous storage, fully updated bathrooms with a custom sliding barn door, as well as lounge seating and traditional desk amenities for both leisure and business travelers respectively. Additionally, all double rooms now feature two queen beds, while king bedrooms are enhanced with a twin bed-sized chaise lounge.

Enseo technology is offered complimentary in all guest rooms, which includes on-demand access to top entertainment partners including Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, Pandora, and Crackle.

Chicago welcomes its newest mega hotel, Marriott Marquis

Chicago welcomes its newest mega hotel, Marriott Marquis

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Big, tall, powerful and gleaming – the 40-floor, 1,205-room Marquis will be Chicago’s sixth-largest hotel when it opens on Sunday.

After nearly two years of construction, Marquis embraces, perhaps even flaunts, its scope: Spaces are broad, the lobby ceiling reaches 30 feet, the restaurant serving three meals a day seats 400, and natural light floods in through floor-to-ceiling windows.


In the era of boutique and lifestyle hotels, Marriott Marquis is sprawling and powerfully urban — albeit with the occasional boutique amenity, such as the ability to order room service on your phone and the art commissioned by 40 Chicago artists. Many of the pieces have QR codes for more information about the art and the artist.

Chicago welcomes its newest mega hotel, Marriott Marquis
The Chicago property marks Marriott’s seventh Marquis hotel in its portfolio. Each is located in a major city and has 1,000 or more guest rooms and at least 90,000 square feet of event space. It is the largest new hotel in the Marriott chain to open this year anywhere on the planet.

Residence Inn

Marriott dual-branded Residence Inn and SpringHill Suites Clearwater Beach now open

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Key International – a prominent real estate investment and development company specialising in hospitality – has recently opened the new Marriott dual-branded Residence Inn (140 suites) and SpringHill Suites Clearwater Beach (115 suites).

The firm has appointed LBA Hospitality – a full-scale hotel management, development and consulting firm – to oversee the properties.

Co-located at 309 Coronado Drive, both hotels feature oversized guestrooms with a coastal vibe, flexible living, working and sleeping space, stunning views of Clearwater Bay and a wide array of shared amenities.

“Thanks in part to the city’s successful Beach by Design redevelopment plan to revitalise Clearwater Beach, the destination is thriving with both leisure and business travelers, and we are thrilled to be part of this record growth,” said Shawn Gracey, Executive Vice President of Hospitality with Key International. “Having two properties at one address allows guests to choose the hotel that best suits their unique travel needs, while enjoying access to another for even more experiences.”

The fusion of these two unique Marriott brands presents a variety of added amenities. Guests will enjoy mobile check-in/check-out, a mix of suite types with in-room Smart TVs, complimentary signature daily healthy-choice breakfast, shared outdoor swimming pool with expanded deck, state-of-the-art fitness center, meeting space, 24/7 business center, guest laundry, 24-hour market and valet/covered parking. The properties are also pet-friendly and will offer the Marriott Rewards loyalty program.

Renaissance Hotel airport hotels

Renaissance debuts two design-led airport hotels

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As part of Renaissance Hotels global ‘renaissance’, the brand is reimagining the traditional airport hotel experience, with two new debuts: The newly-opened Renaissance Atlanta Airport Gateway Hotel and the newly-renovated Renaissance Los Angeles Airport Hotel.

RENAISSANCE ATLANTA AIRPORT GATEWAY HOTEL
– The new Renaissance Atlanta Airport Gateway Hotel recently opened this Spring and is designed by the acclaimed Rottet Studio.
– The property has 204 imaginatively styled guest rooms and 6,500 square feet of innovative meeting and event space.
– With seven storeys of dramatic design, integrated technology, and world-class amenities, the hotel is bringing Atlanta culture to airport guests and providing a stunning scene to experience locally inspired cuisine, emerging artists, and unexpected delights.

RENAISSANCE LOS ANGELES AIRPORT HOTEL
– Following its recent renovations led by CRA Design in Woodland Hills, the hotel offers completely new, renovated meeting spaces, a redesigned lobby and a brand new bar and restaurant.
– Mixing the personality of a boutique hotel with the urban style of LA, guests are greeted by a curated album wall and a neighborhood-inspired aesthetic that’s reflected in all aspects of the property’s refreshed design.

– The hotel’s new restaurant, Studio 12, offers up delectable California cuisine and 12 beer taps featuring local craft brews.
– For savvy travelers seeking an escape from the chaos of LAX and its large neighboring hotels, Renaissance Los Angeles Airport offers a more intimate alternative, blended with the feel of a trend-setting cosmopolitan studio.

renaissance-hotels.marriott.com

Hotel Círculo Gran Vía

Hotel Círculo Gran Vía, Autograph Collection opens in Madrid

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Autograph Collection Hotels, part of Marriott International, has welcomed its third distinctly independent property in Madrid with the opening of Hotel Círculo Gran Vía.

The magnificent neo-classical building is the former home of the Merchants and Industrialist’s Circle and has been transformed into a boutique, adults-only hotel and casino following a multi-million euro renovation. Offering 71 stylish rooms and suites, Hotel Círculo Gran Vía joins an ever-evolving ensemble of more than 110 Autograph Collection Hotels around the world that are independent, one-of-a-kind and share the brand’s values of vision, design and craft.

“We are delighted to bring new life to this iconic building in the heart of Madrid,” said John Licence, VP Premium & Select Brands Europe, Marriott International. “With its grand architecture and carefully curated design that nods to the building’s rich history, Hotel Círculo Gran Vía, Autograph Collection evokes the spirit and heritage of this captivating city and embodies our Exactly Like Nothing Else brand philosophy perfectly.”

Hotel Círculo Gran Vía is located on the world-famous Gran Vía, a lively street lined with magnificent buildings and delightfully quirky Art Nouveau and Art Deco facades. Built in the 1920s, the building was a meeting place for intellectuals of the famous Bilis Club, a literary society “without rules, directive board or address.” The property’s history prevails throughout with classical features showcasing the grandeur of the time.

The hotel’s design aesthetic is inspired by the building’s historic role as a gentleman’s club. Muted colours, textured fabrics and aged wood are artfully combined to balance the majestic with the contemporary. A photographic art exhibition entitled “Memories of Gran Via” composed of 175 historic pictures is displayed throughout the guestrooms and public areas offering a fascinating perspective on Madrid in decades past.

One of the hotel’s many highlights is Casino Gran Vía, the most famous casino in Madrid featuring traditional Baccarat, Poker and Black Jack tables as well as American Roulette. Another highlight is the stunning Royal Hall, a grand and atmospheric space dotted with sumptuous furnishings, which serves as the hotel’s living area where guests can relax, read and enjoy a drink.

Hotel Círculo Gran Vía, Autograph Collection is the brand’s third charmingly independent hotel in Madrid, joining Hotel Palacio Del Retiro and Hotel Santo Mauro.

Residence Inn London - London Bridge bedroom suite

A look behind the scenes at Residence Inn London Bridge

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Marriott International recently announced the expansion of its extended-stay brand, Residence Inn by Marriott, with the signing of two new properties in London. With additional openings in Amsterdam and Aberdeen this year, Residence Inn expects to more than double its European portfolio in 2017.

The opening of Residence Inn London – London Bridge in Q2 2017 will mark the debut of the company’s industry-leading extended-stay brand in the capital, and the opening of Residence Inn London – Kensington will follow in Q4. Both properties, owned by a controlled affiliate of Starwood Capital Group, will be operated under a franchise agreement with hotel management company and specialists in the extended-stay market, Cycas Hospitality – London’s second largest operator of serviced apartment and aparthotels.

Editor’s Opinion: The extended-stay market has definitely been on an upward trajectory in this country for a few years now, catching up with our continental cousins at a rate of knots. I have been invited to (and visited) several of these sites around the UK in the last couple of years, and I can only see this market expanding in the coming decade. With Marriott having been a major player in this sector for four decades, with its Residence Inn brand, it is certainly exciting to see their expertise being brought to these two London properties, and further afield in the near future.

Located on Long Lane in Southwark, Residence Inn London – London Bridge will offer 87 generous suites. Well-connected with good transport links, and a short walk from some of the city’s main historic attractions such as Tower Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral, it is ideally situated for leisure and business travellers alike.

Residence Inn London – Kensington will be situated on Warwick Road in Earls Court, with 307 suites. The Kensington Olympia Exhibition Centre is a 10-minute walk away, while cultural attractions such as The Victoria and Albert museum, the Science Museum, Royal Albert Hall, and the Natural History museum can be reached within 10 minutes by car. Both properties will cater to guests looking for longer stays with spacious suites and separate living, working and sleeping areas featuring upscale design and amenities.

Editor’s Opinion: Speaking to Diane Mayer, Residence Inn VP and global brand manager, during a hard-hat tour around the soon-to-open site, she tells me the brand ethos of Residence Inn – a slightly upmarket home-away-from-home – fits in perfectly with the London neighbourhoods selected to host the new developments. Becoming part of the locale is an important factor in Residence Inn properties, and the London Bridge property will be no different. Considering the length of a guest’s stay at the property, allowing them to feel part of the community is a unique selling point for the brand. There is no doubt the ‘public areas’ of this property will go a long way to achieving that goal.

The interiors have a very clean feel, with studio apartment-esque finishes and muted colour schemes, of varying greens, browns and blues. The separation of living and sleeping spaces has been well done in both the smaller and larger offerings. I have no doubt, that these two properties certainly will mark a very good debut for the brand in the UK capital.

Fully functional kitchens; grocery delivery service; fitness facilities; 24-hour markets; complimentary breakfasts and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel help guests maximise their time and thrive on long stays. Staying fit is made easier at Residence Inn properties courtesy of custom running routes that guests can access via MapMyFitness, thanks to the brand’s global partnership with Under Armour Connected Fitness.

Carlton Ervin, Chief Development Officer Europe, Marriott International said: “Residence Inn is already the global leader in the extended-stay lodging segment, and we’re excited that 2017 is set to be a pivotal year for the brand in Europe. We see these latest signings as a fantastic opportunity to grow the brand in such a strategic global destination, and we’re excited to be working with Cycas Hospitality, which has a strong history of hospitality expertise.”

Residence Inn London - London Bridge receptionJohn Wagner, Founding Partner of Cycas Hospitality said: “We are thrilled to welcome the world class Residence Inn brand to the extended-stay sector in London and to our own expanding hotel portfolio. We look forward to creating memorable moments for all our guests visiting these two new Residence Inn properties. Delivering a first-rate guest experience is in the DNA of all our Cycas Hospitality staff and we have an excellent track record to prove it.”

The two London properties will be joined by new openings in Aberdeen and Amsterdam this year, growing the European portfolio from three to seven hotels. The four additions planned for 2017 will see almost 600 rooms added to the Residence Inn portfolio, and there are a further eight properties anticipated by the end of 2019.

www.residenceinn.marriott.com

W Barcelona

Iconic W Barcelona completes multi-million euro room renovation

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W Barcelona, an iconic flagship of W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International, has unveiled a multi-million euro transformation of all 473 guest rooms and suites, along with the addition of Europe”s first W Sound Suite (a music studio and writers room, now available at four W Hotels around the world).

The award-winning in-house design team at W Hotels partnered with London-based design studio Bowler James Brindley to reimagine the hotel, inspired by the 24/7 energy and privileged location on the shores of the buzzing Barceloneta.

Combining the personality and cutting-edge style of a boutique hotel with distinct positioning, W Hotels has created an entirely new segment in the hotel industry. W hotels provides the insider access to what’s new and next, offering a unique mix of cutting-edge design and passions around design, fashion, music and fuel.

w-barcelona.com

Dominvs Group - Marriott by Courtyard, Oxford

Dominvs Group secures planning permission for Courtyard by Marriott, Oxford

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Dominvs Group has secured planning permission from Oxford County Council for a new 140-room hotel scheme at Paradise Street in central Oxford, close to the site of Oxford Castle.

Dominvs will develop and operate the hotel under the Courtyard by Marriott brand. Offering high quality guest accommodation arranged over six storeys, the hotel will replace the existing Cooper Callas building, a disused industrial site. The scheme will include food and beverage facilities accessible by both hotel guests and the local community, while its stand-out feature will be a roof garden and terrace with views of Oxford Castle.

The site had been identified by Oxford City Council for re-development within the West End Area Action Plan, as part of which the old Westgate Shopping Centre is also being overhauled and is due to re-open later this year.

Oxford City Council welcomed the proposal from Dominvs, which responds to the high volume of local tourism and creates 70 new jobs in a variety of roles. The designs for the building mirror the brickwork and fenestration in the surrounding streets, and received approval from Historic England.

Dominvs Group is experienced in developing hotel sites at landmark locations that are sensitive to their historic surroundings. This will be the group’s second development alongside Marriott with work already underway on the conversion of the former Tower Bridge Magistrates Court into a luxury 200-bedroom hotel. The hotel will be part of Autograph Collection Hotels, Marriott International’s growing portfolio of one-of-a-kind independent hotels. Additionally, the group recently secured planning permission from the City of London Corporation to develop a hotel at Ludgate Hill, in the St Paul’s Cathedral conservation area.

Current Iowa

The Current Iowa – a new Marriott Autograph Collection hotel

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Say ‘hello’ to The Current Iowa; the stylish new Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel that places an emphasis on taking an artful approach to every aspect of the guest experience.

The Current is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, and like its sibling, Hotel Blackhawk, (the #1 rated hotel in Iowa) the Current is also owned and managed by Innkeeper Hospitality Services (IHS), from St. Louis, Missouri.

Everything needed for a fun and luxurious stay awaits you at The Current. Housed in the last building completed by iconic American architect Daniel Burnham – famous for his Flat Iron building in New York City, The Current honours its local roots while reinterpreting what comfort means for the modern traveller.

The Current sources pieces from many of the Midwest’s premier and emerging artists including Ted Collier, Rob Westrich, Nancy Purington, Emily Christenson, Rowen Schussheim-Anderson and Jennifer Hayes to name a few. Further showcasing The Current’s commitment to beauty and community, the hotel also features vibrant creations from Hot Glass, an Iowa nonprofit, teaching art and life skills to underprivileged youth.

The Current is far more than just a hotel name. It embodies the buzzy energy that imbues every square foot of the building, captures the hotel’s focus on providing a contemporary and exciting guest experience, and reflects the literal movement of the nearby majestic Mississippi River. Every detail has been carefully crafted, such is evidenced by IHS hiring fashion expert designer Lori Coulter (founder of Summersalt and Lori Coulter, LLC) to help design the PA’s (personal assistants) guest service uniforms.

In the rooftop restaurant, called UP, space is reserved for lunch or meeting groups during the day and open for dinner and cocktails in a lounge-like setting with stunning views of the Mighty Mississippi. It will be the place to be and to be seen.

Guests of The Current may choose to stay in a premier room, a junior suite, a one-bedroom suite, or a two-bedroom executive suite; all are elegantly appointed with plenty of surprise amenities, and each executive suite features a kitchen as well as a washer and dryer. Always attentive to guests’ comfort, The Current offers three meeting rooms, a fitness room, a swimming pool, oversized hot tub, access to a full spa, a club room, two restaurants, and a private dining room.

The Current is slated to open July 5th, 2017. Click here for more information on IHS. . .

Plans for Luton Airport hotel take flight

Plans for Luton Airport hotel take flight

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Redefine|BDL Hotels has announced that it will manage the upcoming Courtyard by Marriott London Luton Airport hotel undertaken by Polcom Developments. The hotel is expected to open early in 2018.

The new 250-bedroom modular build hotel will be situated just 10 minutes’ walk from Luton Airport’s departure lounge, and will boast thoughtfully designed guestrooms that promote comfort and productivity, plus a bar, bistro and gym.

Polcom Developments has already begun building the hotel rooms at its factory in Gdansk, Poland and, when ready, they’ll be transported to the hotel site ready for construction.

Plans for Luton Airport hotel take flightRBH – the UK’s leading independent hotel management company – which already counts Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh and the modular-build Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh West among its portfolio of properties, will manage the hotel once complete.

Ross Morrow, RBH’s Chief Development Officer, said: “Courtyard by Marriott London Luton Airport will be the second hotel in the RBH portfolio to be built using Polcom’s innovative modular construction. With the main components of the hotel being built in a factory setting, it minimises the time spent on-site and really speeds up completion of what is set to be a fantastic hotel.

“We’re delighted to be working again with Polcom Developments on the project, following a successful start to our partnership on Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh West.”

RBH’s portfolio includes private label and branded properties, including IHG, Hilton, Accor, Marriott, Best Western and Wyndham hotels.

www.redefinebdl.com

Marriott-Starwood merger

Marriott International reveals future of brand portfolio across Middle East and Africa

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Marriott International continues to strengthen its position across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, with projected growth across 38 countries and 150,000 rooms, operational and pipeline, by 2022. The new additions will bolster Marriott International’s existing collection of 247 hotels and 54,000 rooms in 30 countries across the region.

The completion of the acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 2016 now positions Marriott International as the world’s leading hotel company. The company now offers the broadest portfolio of brands in the MEA region, combining Starwood’s leading lifestyle brands and international footprint with Marriott International’s strong presence in the luxury and select-service tiers, as well as the convention and resort segment. Each brand has been classified into luxury, premium or select categories, with the luxury brands forming a standalone group.

The recently created luxury brands group currently features six brands across the region, including JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, The Ritz-Carlton Reserve, St. Regis, W Hotels, and The Luxury Collection. A remarkable 15 new luxury brand properties with 3,500 rooms are set to open across the region between now and the end of 2018.

Further adding and strengthening to this luxury lifestyle offering, Marriott’s scheduled 2017 openings include the 200-room Bulgari Resort and Residences Dubai, 257-room Edition Abu Dhabi, 280-room W Amman Hotel in Jordan, and The St. Regis Cairo, all set to open by the fourth quarter of this year. Globally, The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis and JW Marriott brands are classified as ‘classic luxury’, while the other five brands fall under ‘distinctive luxury’.

Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director of Marriott International, Middle East & Africa, said: “The guests we see visiting our hotels today are looking for authenticity and personalization within their experiences. The unmatched breadth and depth of Marriott International’s brand portfolio uniquely positions us to cater to the increased demand of the rapidly-expanding cadre of affluent travellers.”

“With luxury travel continuing to grow across the region, we see a steep growth curve at the high-end and have a world-class, dedicated luxury structure in place to nurture and strengthen this coveted portfolio of eight diverse luxury brands. Our aim is to ensure that our award-winning brands continue to flourish while safe-guarding the uniqueness and prestige of our luxury brands as we carefully grow them across the Middle East and Africa.”

Traveling well beyond tried and true locations, to destinations from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi, and all points in between, travellers look to Marriott International for authentic experiences whether it’s business or luxury travel. The unmatched variety and regional nature of these hotels means Marriott International can offer truly differentiated offerings – from The Nile Ritz Carlton in Cairo to Marriott Hotel Al Forsan Abu Dhabi which openedin March, 2017.

Marriott has carefully defined each of its brands and their distinct offerings under luxury, premium and select to offer different experiences to guests. Premium brands including Marriott Hotels and Sheraton anchor the portfolio and provide a broad array of choices across the Middle East and Africa for business and leisure travel while evolving lifestyle brands such as Westin, Autograph Collection and Renaissance occupy the distinctive premium brand category.

New, fun, accessible experiences at Courtyard Hotels, Four Points, Protea, AC Hotels, and Aloft Hotels add to the select portfolio, ensuring Marriott International guests have whatever they want, wherever they are in the world.

“When we think about any of our brands, we start with the consumer and look at what they value,” added Kyriakidis. “With Marriott Hotels, this consumer is really looking for experiences that keep the mind balanced, sharp and inspired. And for Aloft Hotels, it’s really about urban-inspired spaces and vibrant social scenes for the next-generation traveller.”

Marriott International continues to strengthen its position across the Middle East and Africa region, with a remarkable 29 new properties set to open in 2017 with a total of 6815 rooms. The openings will see the hotel operator expand its Middle East footprint by 15 properties across the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, including the Bulgari, Renaissance, The Ritz-Carlton, Marriott Hotels, Aloft and Four Points by Sheraton brands.

The company has also announced further growth to its African pipeline with the opening of 14 new properties under the Courtyard by Marriott, JW by Marriott, Protea Hotels by Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Four Points by Sheraton, and Element brands.

At present, Marriott International is building bridges among its three loyalty programmes; Marriott Rewards, SPG and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards combined now counts for 100 Million members. On the day the acquisition closed, members were immediately able to link their accounts to have their status matched and transfer an unlimited amount of points among the programs, resulting in all members now having more access to more diversity in more destinations.

Malta Marriott

Malta Marriott Hotel and Spa to open in St Julian’s Bay

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The Malta Tourism Authority has announced that 2018 will see the launch of the Malta Marriott Hotel and Spa, following a rebrand of the current Le Méridien property.

Originally built on the grounds of a 19th century Maltese villa, the property’s unique location, just around the corner from the vibrant nightlife of St Julian’s bay offers both the tranquillity of Balluta Bay and the proximity of St Julian’s lively atmosphere.

While Le Méridien is already classified as a five-star hotel, the redevelopment will see the hotel upgraded and refurbished with additional executive suites as well as the possibility of two additional floors.

The hotel currently has 276 rooms and suites, 14 board rooms, and 1,800 square feet of meeting space. With a meeting capacity of up to 650 guests, the hotel has always been a popular choice for corporate travel and meetings and incentive groups, as well as leisure travellers.

Peter Vella, MTA’s UK and Ireland Director says “The redevelopment and rebranding of the iconic Le Méridien hotel in St Julian’s to the hugely popular Marriott concept is very exciting, bringing another five-star brand to our shores and adding to the already exceptional range of hotels that we are able to offer travellers and conference organisers in Malta.”

The existing property will close for refurbishment at the end of 2017 before opening its doors as the Malta Marriott Hotel and Spa in 2018.

Four Points by Sheraton Melbourne Docklands

Four Points by Sheraton Melbourne Docklands to open March 2017

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Four Points by Sheraton Melbourne Docklands, part of Marriott International, will open to guests on 28 March, 2017, bringing stylish design and modern comfort at an affordable price to Australia’s most cultural and creative city.

Located at 22 Pearl River Road amongst Melbourne’s rejuvenated and popular Docklands area, Four Points by Sheraton Melbourne Docklands will form part of the much anticipated Marina Tower complex – an urban development project converting 3,795 square metres of prime riverside land into a mixed use residential and commercial precinct. Located just two kilometres west of Melbourne’s Central Business District, the hotel is within easy reach of Melbourne’s iconic attractions and laneways, markets, boutiques, and exhibitions and galleries, as well as the city’s famous dining and nightlight culture, all of which are easily accessible via a free tram.

Four Points by Sheraton Melbourne Docklands will boast 273 modern and comfortable guest rooms including 16 studios, with each room offering either city or river views. The hotel will feature all the brand’s defining touches including: complimentary bottled water in all rooms, fast and free internet access throughout the property, Four Comfort Beds™ and an energising breakfast, helping guests to start and end the day right.

The hotel’s welcoming pub will serve as the perfect spot for colleagues, friends or family to enjoy the brand’s iconic Best Brews and BBQ™, where guests can enjoy a crisp local craft beer and seasonal BBQ-style appetizers. The hotel’s all-day dining restaurant will offer a healthy breakfast in the morning and an a la carte dining menu in the evening. Alternatively, guests can treat themselves to in-room dining.

Additional hotel amenities include a 25-metre outdoor heated swimming pool with a large deck area where guests can relax and enjoy a tasty snack or chilled drink poolside. A 24-hour fitness centre with a spa and steam room ensure guests can maintain their health and wellbeing whilst on the road.

With five state-of-the-art meeting and function rooms that can welcome up to 450 guests, as well as the hotel’s close proximity to Tullamarine Airport, Four Points by Sheraton Melbourne Docklands is ideal for business meetings, conferences, weddings and memorable social functions. Gatherings can also be hosted outside on the outdoor decking area, which is ideal for cocktail events.

 

Sheraton to expand with nearly 100 hotels

Sheraton to expand their reach with nearly 100 new hotels

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Sheraton Hotels and Resorts are set to expand in the coming years with nearly 100 new hotels.

One of Marriott’s most important and recognised brands, Sheraton already operates more than 400 hotels worldwide with a key count approaching 153,000, meaning that this upcoming spate of openings will substantially increase its portfolio. The brand plans to open 93 new hotels which will add an impressive 25,240 new guest suites and rooms to the brands collection.

Sheraton prides itself on offering a service of excellence to upscale business travellers and tourists, and can be found in everywhere from the world’s most cosmopolitan cities to idyllic beachfronts. This proposed expansion will see their global influence swell, with projects intended to be situated across all of the industry’s key markets. Investment by the company seems to be concentrated in the ever-growing Asia Pacific region, with Sheraton choosing to locate 64 hotels and resorts there, giving a total of 17,989 new guest rooms. Africa, Europe and North America average 8 projects each, all seemingly solid markets. The Middle East and Latin America will get 3 and 2 new openings respectively, creating more brand presence in these areas.

28 of these projected openings are set to happen this year alone, and TOPHOTELPROJECTS reports that the more than half of these 93 developments are currently under construction, which bodes well for the future openings of 23 hotels next year, 25 in 2019 and 15 from 2020 onwards. Sheraton’s vision for the future of their brand will no doubt continue along the path that has been so successful for them, and nearly a quarter of the proposed hotels and resorts to open over the next few years are already in the planning and pre-planning stages.

hotel-development.marriott.com/brands/sheraton

Moxy Excel

Moxy Hotels opens second property in UK

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Moxy Hotels, Marriott International’s experiential hotel brand, continues to make its mark on the hospitality scene with the launch of its first hotel in London, a city world-renowned for art, culture and nightlife.

Characterised by a vibrant, playful design and approachable service, Moxy London Excel offers the style and spirit of a boutique hotel at a surprisingly affordable price. Moxy London Excel joins an exciting portfolio of eight global destinations including Munich, Milan, Berlin and New Orleans.

“Moxy Hotels is on a mission to reinvent traditional hospitality with lively communal spaces and an energetic crew that helps Fun Hunting guests enjoy themselves whether at work or play,” said Vicki Poulos, global brand director, Moxy Hotels. “We are excited to debut Moxy Hotels in London – a fun, social and modern city that embodies the essence of Moxy.”

Located near the ExCeL London convention centre and London City Airport, the 164-room hotel will be a gateway to the city’s East End and a 24/7 spot for all things fun and impromptu. The Moxy experience is ‘no place like home,’ it’s better; with playful communal spaces, a buzzing bar and thoughtfully crafted offerings designed for travelers and locals who want to hang-out with their friends and meet new ones, without breaking the bank.

Welcome #ATTHEMOXY
Moxy’s fun, inclusive and youthful spirit is reflected in the combination of bold design and affordable style where communal engagement is at the centre of the experience. The interiors fuse refined and raw materials, organic and linear lines, and shared spaces. The Moxy experience kicks-off with a bright, airy and buzzing lobby. The contemporary lobby’s modern furniture invites guests to relax, pick up a book from the Moxy library, connect and catch up with friends or retreat to the gym to re-energise by punching the pink Moxy punching bag. Guests of Moxy London Excel are encouraged to take a selfie in the photo booth inspired hotel elevators, complete with props.

Living Room #ATTHEMOXY
Moxy London Excel’s Living Room is the centre of activity, giving guests fun ways to work and play hard. Sealed concrete floors, walls lined with intriguing art and fun references to local culture including artistic beer jugs displayed on the walls are complemented by ambient lighting and comfortable accents of colour. The Living Room also features abundant power and USB outlets, and furiously fast and free Wi-Fi for ultimate connectivity. A high-energy yet cosy space for gatherings, special events or cocktails, the lounge plays host to eclectic upbeat music.

Stay #ATTHEMOXY
The hotel’s 164 contemporary guest rooms, ranging from Standard to Family size, are outfitted with sound-reducing walls, 42″ LCD flat screen televisions, complimentary Wi-Fi, abundant USB ports, comfortable bedding and deep-seated armchairs in calming, neutral fabrics. Every bedroom makes a statement with a fun floor to ceiling art piece. The design is functional, flexible and uncluttered with simple, thoughtful touches including glass shelving and an open storage concept featuring a peg wall for ultimate flexibility when unpacking, in lieu of a traditional closet. Stylish bathrooms feature complimentary Muk toiletries, bright pink hair dryers, power showers and large mirrors alongside a spacious vanity area.

Meetings #ATTHEMOXY
Moxy London Excel has one flexible meeting room flooded with natural daylight.

moxy-hotels.marriott.com

Chris Stewart & Tim Walton - SVP Marriott - Courtyard Edinburgh

Marriott SVP officially opens Courtyard Edinburgh

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A senior Marriott Vice President has travelled to Edinburgh to officially open a £30 million restoration project he initiated more than five years ago, remarking that Edinburgh is a world class destination for the international hotel business.

Tim Walton, Regional Vice President, Western Europe, International Development, opened city centre hotel, Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh, which with 240 rooms is one of the largest in the capital, on February 23.

The four star Courtyard Edinburgh also represents a flagship property for Marriott International given its prime location and sensitive renovation, merging heritage and contemporary style, which was completed by Edinburgh-based property development and investment company Chris Stewart Group.

Courtyard Edinburgh extends through three adjoining Georgian townhouses and into a new building connected by glassed walkways to the rear, offering a variety of views of Calton Hill, Edinburgh’s New Town and across the Firth of Forth.

The renovation cleverly mixes efficient building and design techniques with contemporary interiors and facilities include the all-day bar and restaurant, The Lantern Room, The Stevenson Room which is a boardroom for up to 16 people, designated media pods, a 24/7 market and a fitness centre. There is also free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel as well as Courtyard by Marriott’s signature GoBoard touch-screen technology to helps guests get the most out of their stay.

It is, however, the property’s links to the past that make Courtyard Edinburgh so distinct. The hotel’s Baxter’s Place address was once home to Robert Stevenson, the famous Scottish lighthouse engineer and the grandfather of ‘Treasure Island’ author Robert Louis Stevenson. References to its heritage, carefully presented with the help of the Stevenson family and the Northern Lighthouse board, appear in the public areas and in every room, through images, technical drawings and maps.

Tim Walton, commenting on the opening, said: “It’s with immense pleasure that we are officially opening Courtyard Edinburgh after an exciting five years in the making.

“Edinburgh is a world class destination for the international hotel business and is renowned for attracting tourists from across the globe. To bring the modern aesthetic of Courtyard by Marriott to such a fantastic location in the city is superb and I believe that the hotel will be welcomed by both locals and tourists alike.

“The Chris Stewart Group has played an instrumental role in the success of the hotel’s transformation, using its extensive experience in working with heritage-rich properties to create a modern development whilst giving a nod to former resident and lighthouse engineer, Robert Stevenson.

“We are now all looking forward to welcoming business travellers, tourists and locals to enjoy this fantastic hotel.”

The hotel is owned and was developed by Edinburgh-based real estate company Chris Stewart Group, which specialises in complex urban regeneration and heritage projects, and is managed and operated by RedefineBDL Hotels, the UK’s leading independent hotel management company.

Chris Stewart of Chris Stewart Group said: “The opening of Courtyard Edinburgh signals a very exciting time in Edinburgh, as the property sector here continues to attract inward investment. Partnering with the likes of Marriott gave us a great opportunity to continue our work with complex urban regeneration and redevelopment, and turn the former Georgian home of Robert Stevenson into a modern hotel in the centre of Edinburgh.

“Our ambition was to create a modern development which brought the area back to life. We believe we have achieved this and are extremely proud of our work here at Courtyard Edinburgh.”

Williamsburg Lodge

Williamsburg Lodge joins Marriott’s Autograph Collection

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The Williamsburg Lodge, a four-star rated Forbes Travel Guide hotel and a member of the Historic Hotels of America collection, has announced that it has joined Autograph Collection Hotels, Marriott International’s distinctive portfolio of over 100 independent, one-of-a-kind hotels.

The vision behind Autograph Collection Hotels is to celebrate individuality and independence by creating an evolving ensemble of strikingly independent four and five star hotels. Each hotel is hand selected for its memorable guest experience, bold originality, rich character and uncommon details.

“We are thrilled to be joining Marriott International’s Autograph Collection Hotels portfolio,” said Florencio Ferrao, Colonial Williamsburg’s Vice President of Hospitality. “It’s a perfect fit that will allow the Williamsburg Lodge to refresh and retain its individual personality while offering more value to our guests through enhanced services and access to the worldwide Marriott Rewards network.”

Comprised of seven distinct buildings, the Williamsburg Lodge features include 323 attractively-appointed guestrooms with modern amenities and furnishings inspired by the collections of Colonial Williamsburg’s celebrated Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum; 45,000 square feet of meetings and banquet space including two large ballrooms, 28 meeting rooms and four outdoor function areas; two Southern-inspired food and beverage outlets, Sweet Tea & Barley and Traditions; and access to The Golden Horseshoe Golf Club’s award-winning three golf courses as well as The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg’s world-class services and facilities including a state-of-the-art fitness center, two outdoor pools and indoor lap pool.

Opened in 1939 to provide comfortable accommodations for travelers to the historic town, the Williamsburg Lodge is one of the first Colonial Williamsburg hotels constructed under the guidance of John D. Rockefeller Jr., the founder and first benefactor of the town’s restoration. From the original blue stone floors to the cypress accents and reproduction folk art, in every cozy nook and spacious expanse, the Lodge tells the story of its Virginia setting and the history of the town Rockefeller restored.

Noes Lobby Champagne Bar - London Marriott County Hall by RPW Design

Project Spotlight: RPW Design’s Noes Lobby at Marriott County Hall

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Led by RPW Design, one of the world’s leading hospitality interior design practices, the London Marriott Hotel County Hall recently re-opened following a multi-million pound transformation of its accommodation and public spaces. The redesigned interiors perfectly combine contemporary hotel design and luxurious functionality. As well as drawing upon the heritage of the building, and the decorative architectural components designed by the building’s original architect, Ralph Knott.

When the County Hall first opened as the headquarters of the local government in 1922, The Noes Lobby was used as the place of adjournment for Council Chamber members voting against a government proposal, whilst those who voted yes would adjourn in the Ayes Lobby. This system is still in use and reflects the voting procedures that take place in Westminster today.

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RELATED: London Marriott Hotel County Hall celebrates major redesign
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Inspired by this history, the RPW Design team especially designed the oval-shaped bar and arranged the surrounding plush furnishings to ensure the lobby would remain a vibrant hub for social meetings and gatherings. Two statement fireplaces of black Belgian marble stand on both sides, and pannelled walls in polished Indian laurel wood preserve the historical feel of the Council Chamber of County Hall. In order to create a connection between the past and present, modern fabrics and furnishings, including a ribbed glass, metal and faux leather finish of the central bar were used to stylishly update the interior whilst complementing history.

Noes Lobby Champagne Bar - London Marriott County Hall by RPW Design

The intimate space of the lobby seamlessly showcases the meticulous redesign by RPW Design, and provides the perfect combination between preserved heritage and a warm ambience through up-lighting and the restored Grade II listed chandeliers. The multifaceted bar serves tea, coffee and pastries in the morning, and champagne and signature cocktails from the afternoon into the late evening.

The London Marriott Hotel County Hall is situated just minutes away from Westminster Bridge in the heart of London, with the Noes Lobby leading off the entrance to the hotel. The hotel’s exceptional design means it now offers guests some of the most spacious rooms in London with incredible riverside views overlooking Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.

rpwdesign.co.uk
marriott.co.uk

Majestic Kuala Lumpur joins YTL Collection

YTL Hotels debuts two Autograph Collection properties in Malaysia

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YTL Hotels is delighted to announce two Autograph Collection Hotels in Kuala Lumpur, an ensemble of exclusive independent hotels by Marriott International. 1 January 2017 markED the brand’s entry into Malaysia, creating a new chapter for The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur as the first Autograph Collection Hotel.

The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur (above) is now established as part of Autograph Collection of iconic historic hotels where the allure of a city’s distinctive past meet all of today’s modern luxuries and stylish innovations.

The second Autograph Collection Hotel will be Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur which will make its debut in February 2017. The chic and stylish Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur draws inspiration from the history and heartbeat of its local neighbourhood.

YTL - Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur

YTL – Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur

As a member of Autograph Collection, it features a distinctive vibe and character with a different perspective on the local scene mixed with edge and adventure.

Dato’ Mark Yeoh, Executive Director of YTL Hotels said, “Our long-term partnership with Marriott International continues to grow steadily with our two Autograph Collection Hotels in Kuala Lumpur and across the continents that encompasses eight properties across Asia-Pacific and Europe”.

YTL Hotels has enjoyed almost two decades of a very successful long term relationship with Marriott International since 1995 through the ownership management and future development of eight properties: Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel, Brisbane Marriott Hotel, Melbourne Marriott Hotel, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur, JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur, The Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui – Thailand and the first Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Niseko Village – Japan. In 2016, YTL Hotels acquired The Glasshouse Hotel, Autograph Collection in Edinburgh, United Kingdom, an award-winning 77-room luxury boutique hotel with a secret rooftop garden and was once Lady Glenorchy Church built in the mid-19th century.

ytlhotels.com

JW Marriott - Marco Island

JW Marriott debuts stunning beach resort on Marco Island

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JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts has debuted JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort in Florida.

Following an extensive $320 million (£260 million) renovation facilitated by ownership group Mass Mutual, the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club & Spa has converted to a JW Marriott luxury property. The 726-room JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort offers engaging and enriching on-property experiences that can be artfully tailored to each guest.

“This brand conversion brings to fruition years of planning, dedication and hard work, and I could not be more pleased,” said Rick Medwedeff, General Manager, JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort. “As we move forward into the next chapter of our resort’s story, we are embracing our celebrated past and welcoming a new level of luxury by joining JW Marriott’s global portfolio of exceptional properties.”

“JW Marriott Marco Island is an optimal addition to our brand’s global portfolio,” said Mitzi Gaskins, Vice President, Luxury Brand Management, Marriott International “We look forward to offering guests a distinctive and enriching luxury experience set on three miles of pristine white sand beach on the Gulf of Mexico.”

JW Marriott Marco Island features Spa by JW, the JW Marriott brand’s exclusive global spa concept, created to demystify and reimagine the spa experience with treatments based on four core benefit states: calm, indulge, renew and invigorate. Guests can customize their spa experience, choosing from a variety of menu options from full-service treatments to express spa services that start at a 12-minute entry point and are bookable without an appointment. Additional spa programming includes daily beach yoga and weekly spa events.

The property will also feature a 94-room, adults-only tower, scheduled to open in the autumn of 2017 –offering a rooftop pool, restaurant with an award-winning chef at the helm, and 12,000 square foot, state-of-the-art indoor entertainment center. Designed by Florida based design and architecture firm, Edge of Architecture, Inc., the new tower will boast unmatched views of the Gulf of Mexico, establishing a relationship between the building and the environment – an experiential symbiosis of interior and exterior spaces. Once completed, the resort will boast a total of 100,000 square feet of flexible event space — equipped with up-to-the-moment technology — and 810 finely appointed guestrooms and suites.

In 2015, the resort began phase one of a three-phase makeover and brand conversion project, including expanded pool decks, a refurbished lobby, a new porte-cochere and a grand front entrance. The second phase, which concluded on December 31, 2016, welcomed a complete transformation of guestrooms and resort culinary offerings, including the addition of two new signature restaurants, Ario and Maia, as well as an all-new beachfront tiki bar, Kane.

Courtyard Brussels EU opens in the capital’s European Quarter

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Courtyard by Marriott continues to expand across Europe with the opening of Courtyard Brussels EU. Ideally located in the heart of the European Quarter near the vibrant city centre, the hotel offers convenient access to the Grand Place, Magritte Museum, European Commission and Brussels International Airport.

Inviting the modern traveller to work and play, the hotel features the latest Courtyard by Marriott design to ensure a refreshing and productive hotel experience.

180 guestrooms and suites are thoughtfully designed with comfort and convenience in mind. Elsewhere in the hotel, guests can sample Scandinavian cuisine in the Bistro GåRD – Nordic Kitchen, and enjoy the use of a 24-hour market providing refreshments and travel accessories. Other facilities include a fully-equipped fitness centre, and a business centre with three meeting rooms, including a flexible 72m2 venue. Complimentary high-speed WIFI is available throughout the hotel.

Courtyard Brussels EU

Courtyard Brussels EU’s stylish and spacious lobby welcomes leisure and business travellers to meet, socialise, work or relax. Courtyard by Marriott’s unique GoBoard concept offers touchscreen technology to allow users to view the latest airport information and research popular tourist attractions.

This new opening marks the arrival of Courtyard by Marriott’s second hotel in the city, and increases Marriott International’s presence in Belgium to six properties.

JW Marriott Singapore

JW Marriott brand debuts in Singapore

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JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, the global luxury brand that is part of Marriott International’s luxury brands portfolio, is thrilled to debut the new JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach – the brand’s first hotel in Singapore.

Located in close proximity to the Marina Bay entertainment and business districts, the new 634-room luxury hotel is poised to become an iconic lifestyle destination in the heart of Singapore’s arts and culture district.

“We are thrilled to welcome discerning travellers to this design-led landmark in the hub of Singapore’s arts and culture district,” said Derek Flint, General Manager, JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach. “We look forward to enriching guests with a truly luxurious experience and showcasing the warm, intuitive service that is synonymous with the JW Marriott brand globally.”

The hotel consists of both historic and newly constructed buildings with interiors designed by renowned French designer Philippe Starck and architecture by award-winning British architects, Foster and Partners. Complemented by a multi-million dollar collection of more than 30 works and installations by regionally and internationally acclaimed artists, guests can expect enriching and multi-sensory cultural experiences throughout the hotel.

Upon arrival, guests are greeted by a 7-metre video wall installation by South Korean artist Lee Lee Nam. The wall brings art to life through movement and technology with the use of the LED monitors as a canvas to create an artistic symphony. Additional works include the Donna a Cavallo, a lobby sculpture by the acclaimed Fernando Botero, and the Gorilla, a reclaimed scrap metal sculpture at the hotel entrance by Turner Prize winner Iain Nutting. Guest elevators are also an artistic expression with custom RGB wallpaper, and graffiti artwork by Milan-based art and design duo Carnovsky.

Set to become one of Singapore’s most coveted culinary destinations, JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach will feature a total of nine dining options. Five outlets will open on 15 December 2016 including Akira Back, by celebrity chef Akira Back, which offers modern Japanese cuisine with Korean accents and culinary influences from around the world; Beach Road Kitchen, an all-day-dining restaurant, featuring global cuisine and to-go items; Court Martial Bar and Media Bar, offering cocktails in refined lounge and gastropub settings; and Tonic, serving gin-based cocktails in an intimate environment. The remaining four outlets will open second quarter 2017.

JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach offers hotel programming and amenities to appeal to and nurture guests’ passions. In the lobby, guests can feed their curiosity in the Concierge Library – a social space hosted by the hotel concierge – and at the Activity Table, which offers enriching cultural programming such as wine and cheese tastings, coffee experiences, chef-led culinary events and more. Additional curated experiences include a hotel heritage tour showcasing the property’s historical significance and architectural brilliance.

The property also features a variety of wellness offerings including Spa by JW (opening second quarter 2017), a brand spa concept created to demystify and reimagine the spa experience with treatments based on four benefit states. Spa by JW comprises 10 treatment rooms, including two private and two express treatment suites. JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach also boasts an outdoor infinity pool, sky garden and a 24-hour fitness centre at Flow18.

Each of the 634 guest rooms and suites are fitted with a full array of modern amenities and smart technology including an Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) system, up to seven USB power sockets per room, and a Wi-Fi-enabled mobile phone that allows guests to receive calls anywhere within the property. The hotel also offers guest rooms with the female traveller in mind, which feature amenities such as a “boyfriend” shirt, facial steamer, hair straightener and more.

An ideal venue for any event, the property has 1,711 square metres of indoor and outdoor events and meeting space, including a 520 square metre Grand Ballroom housed in a 1930s historic Drill Hall, which features a dramatic 11,520-light Forest of Lights design by Philippe Starck. The hotel’s 15 meeting rooms are housed in Assembly, one of the property’s restored historic buildings.

Courtyard by Marriott Siem Reap

Cambodia’s Grand Lion Group to open Marriott-branded hotel in Siem Reap

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Preparations are under way for Cambodian-based Grand Lion Group to open the very first Marriott International branded hotel in Cambodia, a 233-room Courtyard by Marriott Siem Reap Resort in April 2017.

The Courtyard by Marriott Siem Reap Resort is strategically sited 15 minutes away from the UNESCO World Heritage site of Angkor Archaeological Park, one of the world’s renowned tourist sites which drew over two million global visitors in 2015. In June this year, the European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT) announced Cambodia as the ‘World’s Best Tourist Destination’ for 2016, out of 29 candidate countries. Simultaneously, Cambodia was also declared the ‘Favourite Cultural Destination’. The top three source markets to Cambodia are Asia, Europe and the Americas.

Courtyard by Marriott Siem Reap

The Courtyard by Marriott Siem Reap Resort will feature 233 stylishly-designed guestrooms with four-fixture bathrooms. In-room amenities will include Marriott’s famous plush bed and bath linen and amenities, high-definition flat-screen television, high-speed internet access, mini-bar and safe. Dining and entertainment options include a casual, all-day dining restaurant, a rooftop bar called The View with stunning views of Angkor Wat, a grand ballroom and a lobby lounge. Recreational facilities will include an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre as well as a full-service spa including a relaxation lounge and a foot reflexology area.

The property will also feature approximately 600 sq m of function space and is expected to create over 200 employment opportunities.

The Grand Lion Group also plans to open a 250-room resort Marriott branded resort in Cambodia’s beachside playground of Sihanoukville adjacent to a 688-unit residence and a retail mall. Slated to break ground in the 4th quarter of 2017, the sleek USD160 million project designed by Blink Architects, is dramatically designed to change the skyline of Sihanoukville and inject real luxury into this region. Sited four hours by road from Phnom Penh in the south west of Cambodia, the Resort is scheduled to open in 2020.

Marriott Hotel County Hall

London Marriott Hotel County Hall celebrates major redesign

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Marriott Hotels is celebrating the grand re-opening of one of its most iconic properties in the UK, London Marriott Hotel County Hall, following the completion of a multi-million pound transformation.

Set on London’s South Bank, County Hall offers guests an unparalleled panoramic view of London that takes in the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, the River Thames and the London Eye.

The redesigned hotel signals the momentum and evolution of Marriott Hotels’ bold transformation as it continues to elevate experiences all around the world, enhancing every aspect of the guest’s stay. New openings and reinvented hotels showcase attributes of the future of the brand, including contemporary guestroom design, local influences, stylish public areas and intuitive technology.

London Marriott - County Hall

“Marriott Hotels has consistently pushed the boundaries of innovation in travel to create experiences that inspire and push our guests’ creativity. London Marriott County Hall is the perfect combination of historic charm and intuitive design.” says Matthew Carroll, vice president, Marriott Hotels.

Set at the foot of Westminster Bridge, the 206-room London Marriott County Hall makes the most of its heritage and premier location in the heart of London. Its vaulted ceilings and wood-panelled chambers have witnessed many important moments of London history.

London Marriott - County Hall

The hotel offers guests some of the most spacious rooms in the heart of London with breathtaking riverside views. Based on guest feedback, locally-inspired accents offer a sense of place, while smart technology enables guests to use the room flexibly.

Led by RPW Design, one of the world’s leading hospitality interior design practices, the hotel’s reimagined interiors combine contemporary hotel design and luxurious functionality with inspiration from the heritage and elegance of the building. All suites include upgraded bathroom facilities, entrances with tiled mosaic flooring and bespoke wallpaper featuring a historic map of London from the era of the building’s infancy.

London Marriott - County Hall

Sumptuous soft furnishings and subtle plays on iconic London landmarks are featured throughout, including tasteful tributes to the building’s history – for example the orange chairs pay homage to the seating used in the chamber of the former London County Council and bowler hat prints on curtain fabrics echo London’s business culture.

London Marriott - County Hall

Govert Deketh, general manager, London Marriott Hotel County Hall commented: “Our transformation perfectly captures the essence of great British style whilst also delivering an elevated and modern hotel experience. That together with our building’s incredible history and our exceptional riverside views now places us as one of the most sought after properties in London.”

Marriott - ANZAC

Marriott targets Australia, NZ and Pacific region to reach 50 hotels by 2020

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Marriott International has announced that its on track to hit a target of 50 hotels for its Australia, New Zealand and Pacific portfolio by the end of 2020. This announcement follows Marriott’s recently completed acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

With 24 hotels currently in operation and a pipeline of signed and approved deals totaling an additional 18 properties, Marriott is on track to grow to 50 hotels over the next four years across the region, which includes Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Fiji and New Caledonia. The current pipeline properties will provide more than 2,500 hotel jobs and add more than 4,500 rooms.

“This is an extremely exciting time for Marriott as we significantly grow our footprint in the Australia, New Zealand and Pacific region, and continue to build on our leadership position in gateway markets,” said Craig S. Smith, president and managing director Asia Pacific, Marriott International. “We currently have seven of our 30 brands represented here and we look forward to introducing more in the coming years.”

Marriott International is set to expand rapidly across Australia in particular over the next few years. The world’s largest hotel company already has a strong market presence in the key gateway cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane, and will be entering emerging primary and secondary destinations, with the signings of Four Points by Sheraton Parramatta, The Westin Resort & Spa Coolum, Aloft Adelaide and Sheraton Adelaide Hotel. Three additional brands, Aloft, W and The Ritz-Carlton, are expected to be introduced to the region by the end of 2020, with the W Brisbane, and Aloft Perth scheduled to open in 2017, followed by Aloft Melbourne South Yarra and Aloft Adelaide in 2019, and The Ritz-Carlton, Melbourne and The Ritz-Carlton, Perth slated for 2020.

Marriott International is on track to boast the largest portfolio of upper upscale and luxury brands and properties across the Pacific region by 2020.

Tribute Portfolio - Latin America

Marriott International inks deal to debut Tribute Portfolio in Latin America

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Tribute Portfolio will be debuting in Latin America, according to a Marriott statement. By December 2016, the brand will add two independent hotels to its portfolio in Argentina’s most sought-after regions.

Arelauquen Lodge, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel, will be debut in Patagonia, near the world’s end, with vast landscapes of lakes and mountains, while Auberge du Vin, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel, will be located in the heart of Argentina’s wine country, where some of the world’s best wine is produced.

Auberge du Vin has 29 guestrooms that allow travelers to take in the beauty of the terrain and the local architecture. In-room massage services are available to all guests on-demand, and the hotel’s relaxing outdoor and indoor pools overlook the majestic Andes mountains.

Arelauquen Lodge is part of the extensive Arelauquen Golf and Country Club, and sits on a natural reserve, which spans over 550 hectares of picturesque views. Featuring 28 stylishly-appointed rooms, guests can soak in the striking scenery while enjoying all of the comforts of premium amenities with an independent spirit offered throughout the property.

From boutique resorts to urban destination properties, Tribute Portfolio gives guests access to outstanding upper upscale hotels with an independent spirit, all while benefitting from Marriott International’s loyalty programs. Built and fueled by consumer preferences, Tribute Portfolio carves out its distinction in the category through its close collaboration with the rewards community.

Autograph Collection - West Palm Beach

Concord Hospitality announces plans for Autograph Collection Hotel in West Palm Beach

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Concord Hospitality Enterprises Company has announced that it will open a new hotel under the Marriott Autograph Collection brand at the former City Hall site in West Palm Beach, Florida. The 200-room hotel is the cornerstone of a mixed-use project that has received Concept Plan approval from the City of West Palm Beach. It is slated to break ground in 2017.

Concord Hospitality has partnered with Marriott International on the development of new hotel brands for the last two decades.

In addition to the Autograph Collection Hotel, the three-acre redevelopment project will include 27,000 square feet of retail space; up to 7,000 square feet of restaurant and outdoor dining space; 255 multi-family units; and a public park. The site overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway and Palm Beach, with views of the Atlantic Ocean.

“While we have developed many hotels during the past 30 years, it is a special privilege to team with friends and respected colleagues from Marriott and Navarro Lowrey to bring the Autograph Collection vision to life in West Palm Beach,” said Mark Laport, co-founder, president and CEO of Concord Hospitality. “Concord is especially proud to play a role in a robust project that will no doubt have a huge impact on the entire area.”

The Marriott Autograph Collection is an upscale boutique hotel brand. Each hotel is handpicked for being intimately connected to its surroundings, with an ultimate goal of becoming part of the fabric of the local community.

“To have an Autograph Collection Hotel in West Palm Beach is very exciting,” said Frank Navarro of Navarro Lowery, Inc., the local master development team on the project. “This new hotel enriches our shared vision with Concord, to create irresistible places within vibrant communities, and we believe it will be very successful in Downtown West Palm Beach.”

Tribute Florida - Westshore Grand

Tribute Portfolio debuts third Florida hotel – The Westshore Grand

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Tribute Portfolio, part of Marriott International, has announced its official debut in Tampa with the addition of The Westshore Grand, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel.

Marking the brand’s third hotel in the Sunshine State, The Westshore Grand is located in Tampa’s vibrant Westshore business district, bringing its Stay Independent mantra to both leisure and business travelers alike.

“At the brand’s inception in April 2015, our members expressed a strong desire to ‘stay independent’ at more locations in Florida. We’ve listened, and are excited to open our third property in the destination in just over one year,” said Brian Povinelli, Senior Vice President and Global Brand Leader for Tribute Portfolio. “With the recently completed renovation, we are confident that The Westshore Grand, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Tampa will deliver a truly unforgettable independent Floridian travel experience for our guests and locals alike.”

Newly reimagined by Forchielli Glynn LLC, The Westshore Grand, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Tampa has a refreshed look and feel that draws from the rich native history of the city. Native tribes first called the village by the bay “Tanpa,” meaning “sticks of fire;” the design aesthetic for the newly renovated hotel pays homage to the city’s native roots, and a stick design motif is explored in the bent wood lighting pendants installed in the reception area, creating patterned shadows on the ceiling. Likewise, colorful area rugs in the lounge are also derived from the motif of sticks. Indie furnishings throughout the property are eclectic and reference a more modern approach to Tampa’s beachy vibe, incorporating textured fabrics of deep blues and grays with orange accents against neutral backgrounds. The mix is sophisticated, modern, and inviting, with a casual nod to an upscale beach house.

“An optimal destination for business and leisure travelers, The Westshore Grand, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel, sits in Tampa’s Westshore district, within close proximity of the city’s beautiful beaches,” said Craig A. Spencer, CEO of Arden Group. “We are thrilled to officially join Tribute Portfolio, and now that the hotel has completed its full renovation of all 323 guestrooms and suites, we are excited to bring our independent vision for the hotel to our guests.”

Previously known as The Paramount, the updated hotel offers a wide range of upscale amenities for guests, including 323 guestrooms and suites, an expanded bar area, and a refreshed lobby with communal tables for ease of business, as well as several dining establishments such as the No Name Lounge and the award-winning Shula’s Steakhouse. The hotel also provides guests with free WiFi and complimentary pick-up and drop-off at Tampa International Airport.

Independence on the Bay
As with all Tribute Portfolio properties, The Westshore Grand, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Tampa features a selection of #independentmoments: distinct design touches and experiences found at each Tribute Portfolio hotel and resort that illustrate what guests love about “staying independent.” These socially-sourced vignettes extend beyond the typical hotel brochure to highlight the secret spots, must-sees and can’t-miss experiences at each Tribute Portfolio property. Guests are also encouraged to share their own #independentmoments throughout their stay at the hotel.

Cycas Hospitality to open two Marriott properties in Slough

Cycas Hospitality, Slough Urban Renewal opening Marriott properties in Slough

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Cycas Hospitality and Slough Urban Renewal (SUR) have agreed heads of terms for two new Marriott International hotels – Moxy and Residence Inn – to be located on the former Central Library site, a landmark location on the A4 between the station and the town centre.

The dual branded hotel development will be operated by Cycas Hospitality, the specialist extended-stay hotel management company. It will include a 144-room affordable boutique Moxy Hotel and a 92-room extended-stay Residence Inn, both of which will be operated under a single lease, in the same building.

Andy Howell, General Manager of Slough Urban Renewal said: “We are particularly excited to be bringing two internationally acclaimed brands to Slough in time for the opening of Crossrail in 2019. The delivery of The Curve by SUR has created a perfect site for these two hotels in a key location in the heart of Slough, with unrivalled access to Slough Station.”

Eduard Elias, Cycas Hospitality Managing Partner said: “This is an exciting time to be investing in the heart of Slough. The town is undergoing a huge transformation and will after the opening of Crossrail become a real hub between Heathrow and Central London. After the success of our dual branded hotels in London Stratford (Holiday Inn and Staybridge Suites), we are now implementing similar dual branded projects in Slough, Manchester and Amsterdam.”

SUR is a joint venture partnership between Slough Borough Council and Morgan Sindall Investments Limited. Its purpose is to deliver high quality commercial, residential and community buildings to transform the Borough of Slough.

Moxy Berlin Ostbahnhof

Marriott International debuts Moxy Berlin Ostbahnhof

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Moxy Hotels, Marriott International’s experiential hotel brand, hosted an epic party inspired by the prolific nightlife culture in Berlin, showcasing the music, dance, art and sexual expression that are the lifeblood of the city, October 20, 2016.

The event was attended by YouTube stars Taryn Southern, Oli White, and Jack Maynard with actresses Natalia Avelonand Grace Capristo and DJs ItaloJohnson, the faceless enigma trio as the headliners, who kept guests dancing well into the morning. Moxy Underground, a mash-up of Moxy’s wildest and most imaginative programming, featured eccentric live, interactive, art installations where guests were encouraged to write their deepest, darkest secrets on latex clad hosts,renowned Berlin tattoo artist Suzan Rinow inking guests, ‘Hungry’ and Mad Kate, legendary Berlin performance drag queen and performance artist respectively, with UY Studio creating bespoke club-kid wardrobe for the talent of the event.

The Moxy Berlin opening party also celebrated artist-in-residence, the British artist Paul Robinson, aka LUAP, the chosen artist of the brand’s #BlankCanvas global initiative, which calls on international emerging artists to submit works for the chance to feature their art at new Moxy hotels. Robinson created a light-box installation, featuring two large-scale photographs from his ‘The Pink Bear’ series, which are suspended from the ceiling in the hotel’s vibrant Living Room. ‘The Pink Bear’ series is best known for being featured in Cara Delevingne’s #Art4Animals campaign. LUAP was on-hand to direct his provocative live installation during the party. Moxy Berlin’s partygoers were able to engage with LUAP’s creation as ‘The Pink Bear’ came to life with his doll-like companion through transformational performances.

“Berlin has a unique character and culture and we wanted to celebrate that with the launch of Moxy Berlin.” said Osama Hirzalla, Marriott International’s Vice President, Brand Marketing and ecommerce for Europe. “Working with local talent from dance, music, performance art and fashion helped us create an unforgettable event– marking Moxy’s arrival in Berlin with a bang!”

The epic event launched the brand’s cheeky global Moxy programming– activities that encourage the next generation todo all the fun stuff they would never think of doing back home, in a stylish and vibrant setting.

“Moxy Hotels bring out the local flavor and energy of the cities they are in through the bold programming that speaks to the creativity of each location,” said Vicki Poulos Global Brand Director. “A good time at Moxy NOLA will be different to a good time at Moxy New York. No two events will ever be the same at a Moxy, just like no two hotels will ever look exactly alike. Our Fun Hunters have a deep desire to make room for spontaneity and live life unscheduled even on travel.”

A Moxy Hotel is a 24/7 spot for all things fun and impromptu. Moxy’s NOW + WOW communal spaces, including its Living Rooms, game rooms and bar, come alive with a thoughtfully-crafted assemblage of spontaneous and organic happenings designed to cater to travelers and locals who like to hang-out with their friends and meet new ones, without breaking the bank. Moxy is premium in every way but price– its affordability is not a sacrifice of style, nor a loss of comfort.

“Our high-energy Living Rooms and bars are thoughtfully designed to create environments that get friends new and old to have some fun in creative and playful ways,” said Toni Stoeckl, Vice President Marriott International’s Lifestyle Hotels. “Fun-hunters create the action; our living rooms are essentially their playground.”

Gene Kaufman - Fairfield Inn, NYC

Gene Kaufman-designed Fairfield Inn & Suites opens in NYC

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A new Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites designed by Gene Kaufman Architect has opened at 538 West 58th Street.

The 85,000-square-foot, 18-storey, 226-room hotel sits between 10th and 11th Avenues, within easy walking distance of the beautifully landscaped Hudson River greenway, Columbus Circle, Central Park, and the Time Warner Centre. Barone Management is the developer.

Said Gene Kaufman, Principal and Founder of Gene Kaufman Architect: “This hotel combines the convenience of a midtown location with the quiet street character of a residential neighborhood. Best of all, the zoning-district boundaries bisecting the site gave us the opportunity to create both north-facing views that overlook John Jay College’s beautifully landscaped roof, and high-rise, west-facing views of the Hudson River.”

Gene Kaufman - Fairfield Inn, NYC

The hotel features two seemingly separate structures, an 18-story tower and an adjoining 10-story building, recessed from the street wall at different depths. The tower, which projects slightly forward of its shorter sibling, has a compelling verticality, the result of its height and narrow frame. Further enhancing the upward thrust is the curtain wall of the top three floors and the use of aluminum wall panels to separate the tower’s windows. The stylistic fillips come together to create a single architectural through-line from the 18th floor all the way down to the street.

Gene Kaufman - Fairfield Inn, NYC

In keeping with GKA’s expertise in maximising key counts without sacrificing quality of the accommodations, the hotel’s ground floor and lobby are below-grade on a floor usually reserved for operations. They are reached through the hotel’s sunken entryway, which also allows for a 2,300-square-foot landscaped plaza in front of the hotel.

The hotel will offer king-sized and double guest rooms as well as adjoining rooms which can be combined to form suites (the interiors are by Hotel Depot with VLDG Interiors). In addition to the streetside plaza, amenities include an office center, a fitness centre, and a breakfast bar.

Marriotts ground-breaking in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Ground broken on first Marriott properties in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

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Officials of New Castle Hotels & Resorts along with Southwest Properties of Halifax, Nova Scotia and JLK Global Fund International have broken ground on a 178-key Courtyard by Marriott/Residence Inn hotel in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

The dual-branded hotel will be the first Marriotts in the city.

The project is estimated for completion in Q3 2018 and will include a 106-room Courtyard by Marriott and 84-suite Residence Inn in the Dartmouth Crossing lifestyle centre and in close proximity to the Burnside Business Park, the largest eastern seaboard business park north of Boston or east of Montreal.

“The dual-brand configuration has been tremendously successful for us in other urban areas like downtown Syracuse, NY where land acquisition is costly,” said Gerry Chase, president and COO of New Castle. “I feel very confident that this project, with known and trusted development partners, and a proven product mix, will be completed in a timely fashion and ramp up quickly to serve the unmet needs of the Dartmouth business community.”

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RELATED: Marriott finally completes acquisition of Starwood
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“Dartmouth Crossing is rapidly expanding with iconic brands and is attracting business travellers working in the greater Halifax region,” noted Jim Spatz, chairman & CEO for Southwest Properties. “The hotel is well placed in an area that is becoming a primary shopping destination for Maritime Canada and an athletic hub for Halifax with the new four-pad ice arena and the existing Harbour East soccer and football fields. We believe in Dartmouth Crossing because of our great success with the hotel we built and opened with New Castle Hotels in 2009.”

New Castle and Southwest have partnered previously on the Residence Inn Moncton, New Brunswick, the Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton Halifax-Dartmouth in Nova Scotia and The Algonquin Resort in St. Andrews, New Brunswick.

“Today’s travelers have varying and specific needs, and over 35 years, we’ve found that the combination of an upscale select service hotel, coupled with an extended stay product is an ideal way to satisfy most guests,” said Chase. “The nearest Marriott hotels are across the bridge in Halifax, so I’m sure that these two hotels will be very well received, particularly by the points-conscious business traveler.”

Courtyard by Marriott welcomes first hotel in Glasgow

Courtyard by Marriott welcomes first hotel in Glasgow

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Marriott International has announced the addition of Courtyard Glasgow Airport to its portfolio in Scotland.

Courtyard Glasgow Airport underwent a multi-million pound refurbishment before joining Courtyard by Marriott, marking the brand’s debut in the city. Formerly Ramada Glasgow Airport Hotel, the hotel is conveniently situated on Glasgow Airport’s doorstep, and a 15 minutes’ drive from the city centre.

All 114 guestrooms have undergone an extensive renovation, in addition to the public areas, leisure facilities and restaurant and bar venue, The Bistro. Carrying the latest Courtyard by Marriott design, the new spaces offer business and leisure travellers a refreshing hotel experience with contemporary and efficient design to ensure convenience and productivity throughout the entire stay.

Courtyard by Marriott welcomes first hotel in Glasgow

The lobby has been redesigned into a flexible space to promote engagement with guests. The GoBoard, a unique Courtyard by Marriott concept, offers touchscreen technology to allow users to view the latest airport information and research popular tourist attractions. Guests can also enjoy the use of complimentary WIFI.

New features of the property include a fully-equipped fitness centre, as well as a business centre with three meeting rooms. In addition, the hotel’s 24-hour market provides refreshments and travel accessories. The hotel also plans to add a further 56 rooms by mid-2017 taking the total to 170.

The transformation follows a significant investment by owner Cairn Group.

Courtyard Glasgow Airport is one of two additions for Courtyard by Marriott in Scotland this year, with Courtyard Edinburgh anticipated to open in December 2016. Courtyard by Marriott has one existing outpost in Scotland; Courtyard Aberdeen Airport, which opened in 2013.

courtyard.marriott.com

Marriott completes acquisition of Starwood

Marriott finally completes acquisition of Starwood

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Marriott International has completed its acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, creating the world’s largest hotel company.

Marriott now offers the most comprehensive portfolio of brands including leading lifestyle brands, a significant global footprint, and leadership in the luxury and select-service tiers as well as the convention and resort segment.

Beginning today (Friday 23 September), Marriott will match member status across Marriott Rewards – which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards – and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), enabling members to transfer points between the programs for travel and exclusive experiences when they link their accounts later today.

New Marriott logo

New Marriott logo

The new company will operate or franchise more than 5,700 properties and 1.1 million rooms, representing 30 leading brands from the moderate-tier to luxury in over 110 countries. With the completion of this acquisition, Marriott’s distribution has more than doubled in Asia and the Middle East & Africa combined.

What does this mean for the UK?
– Marriott’s UK & Ireland portfolio now amounts to 80 hotels across 17 different brands, and makes up 15% of the total European footprint with over 16,000 open rooms
– Guests are offered unparalleled choice across a variety of brands in the UK & Ireland, from EDITION to Aloft, and Le Meridien to Residence Inn
– Moxy Hotels, Courtyard by Marriott and W Hotels are in the pipeline for the UK & Ireland
– Marriott now employs 8,716 staff in the UK & Ireland (managed hotels and above property only)

What does this mean in Europe?
– Marriott’s European portfolio now has 504 hotels open, with nearly 104,000 rooms open and nearly 19,000 rooms in the signed pipeline
– This takes Marriott International from the 10th largest hotel group in Europe to the third largest
– Marriott will be the largest luxury hotel company in Europe
– Marriott doubles in size in Italy, Turkey, Austria, Poland and Portugal
– New markets include Malta, Croatia, Slovakia, Monaco, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Albania, Tajikistan and Slovenia

MGravityRoom

Marriott Hotels flips design on its head with MGravityRoom

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Marriott Hotels has unveiled its #MGravityRoom, an interactive replica of the brand’s evolving modern guest room designs. Located in the Greatroom of the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge, this inverted replica of a guest room will be open from September 21 to October 1, 2016, allowing visitors to experience, snap and share photos.

Visitors have the opportunity to walk into the installation where a closet, desk and TV appear to float on the walls and ceiling. A how-to on the desk will prompt guests to position themselves and capture a photo to appear as if they are walking on the ceiling of the modern guest room. When one takes photos and rotate them 90-degrees, they will appear as if one is floating upside-down within the space.

“Travelers today crave inspiration and unique experiences,” said Matthew Carroll, vice president and global brand manager, Marriott Hotels. “We see the #MGravityRoom as a creative way of showcasing the transformation of our brand and how we’re meeting the evolving needs of our guest. We have pushed the limits in our design and this allows us to have some fun with it while sharing our newest ideas.”

To bring its #MGravityRoom vision to life, Marriott Hotels worked with design teams and partners, including Marriott I + A Design Studio, Fairmont Designs, Brookline Furniture, Belstone, Wolf Gordon, Mosaic Tile Company, Historic Timber and Plank, Sandler Seating, and Designtex creating an imaginative expression of Marriott Hotels modernised rooms.

As a leader in its lodging tier, Marriott Hotels is no stranger to forging new trails and introducing new innovations to the hospitality industry. Next month, the brand will officially launch M Beta at Charlotte Marriott City Centre, a “live beta” hotel where guests are invited to test the newest and best product and services concepts first-hand and give feedback in real-time. The brand also recently announced its partnership with TED, bringing new ideas and creative conversation to guests. It changed the future of in-room entertainment by forging a first-of-its-kind partnership with Netflix and last year, Marriott Hotels introduced the first-ever in-room virtual reality experience.

Wailea

Residence Inn by Marriott makes debut in luxurious Wailea, Hawaii

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Marriott International has opened Residence Inn by Marriott Maui Wailea – Hawaii’s first.

Set against a contemporary Hawaiian motif, the all-suite hotel consists of studio, one and two bedroom offerings. Each suite boasts spacious living zones and fully equipped kitchens. The upscale furnishings; deluxe bedding; flat screen TVs; functional work surfaces, and generous lanais (balconies) that open to a views of the ocean or mountainside — all provide the comfort and flexibility for guests to feel at home in paradise.

The Great Room leads to the outdoor living area where guests will enjoy the outdoor pool and hot tub and the patio bar with fire pits. For fun in the sun, guests have the option of putting on the golf green or shooting hoops at the Sport Court® — all with Maui’s natural landscape as the perfect backdrop.

Residence Inn’s signature services and amenities including: complimentary hot breakfast, free grocery delivery service; fitness centre; Wi-Fi; business centre, and laundry facilities are available to all guests. The property also features a 24/7 Market, which provides easy access to grab-and-go snacks and sundries. Additionally, guests who wish to explore the island are encouraged to log-in to the Under Armour mapmyfitness app for a curated running route of the surrounding area. The Residence Inn Wailea Maui also accepts pets.

The property contains 1,800-square-feet of indoor function space, which breaks out into the Molokai and Molokini meeting rooms, and a lush green lawn for outdoor special events. The 410 square-foot Boardroom is complete with state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment and designed to accommodate business meetings.

In addition to the resort-like features, Residence Inn Maui Wailea offers guests convenient access to The Shops at Wailea, three championship golf courses at Wailea Golf Club, Wailea Tennis Club and three beaches: Makena, Wailea and Ulua. The resort is in close proximity to several of the area’s top visitor attractions such as Maui Ocean Center, and Pacific Whale Foundation, accessible via the courtesy shuttle.

Marriott-Starwood merger

Opinion: Spanner in the works for Marriott-Starwood deal?

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Is there about to be a spanner thrown into the works for the Marriott-Starwood merger? Recent reports – albeit very liberally-sourced ones – seemed to suggest that Marriott was feeling a sense of ‘remorse’ about the deal and was looking for a way out to back out.

While the source cited is allegedly ‘close to the deal’, the veracity of their claims and their anonymity remains very much in question.

So, could there be a kernel of truth in the claim? Possibly. The fact Marriott beat out Anbang has led to a ‘transaction review’ from the Chinese which is delaying the closure of the deal. While frustrating, the review is unlikely to stop the deal closing. But as with all merger deals, the longer the closure takes, the more the negative voices grow louder. Seeds of doubt about how good a deal has been agreed will begin to grow in the minds of Marriott executives.

Secondly – and it’s been a talking point since the deal was first announced – the uncertainty in combining the two groups’ reward programmes is proving more of an obstacle than first hoped. Granted, this will be the key in ensuring Marriott have got the best deal for the $12 billion spent. But there’s no reason to suggest such difficulties will lead to a breakdown of the deal.

And, in truth, small hurdles that sour the deal in the short term and could be used by twitchy Marriott executives as justification for pulling out of the deal are unlikely to derail this ‘megamerger’ in the long term – executives on both sides should rest easy that anonymous sources will have to do a lot more to do so.

Marriott International Belfast

Marriott International to open first Northern Ireland hotel in Belfast

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Belfast waterfront will be the site of the city’s newest hotel with the construction of Marriott International’s City Quays Hotel.

This will be Marriott’s first hotel in Northern Ireland, joining the company’s portfolio of nearly 4,500 hotels located in 87 countries and territories around the world. The four-star hotel will include 188 rooms, a restaurant, a bar/lounge, fitness facilities and meeting rooms.

Graeme Johnston, Belfast Harbour ’s Property Director, said: “Bringing Marriott to Northern Ireland for the first time is great news for both business and leisure travellers as well as for the city.

“The hotel will also be well placed to tap into Belfast’s growing reputation as a conference destination with the newly-refurbished Waterfront Hall just a short riverside walk away.

“With views of Titanic Belfast and SS Nomadic the hotel will also appeal to inbound tourists and – given Marriott’s reputation for quality – we’re confident that it will appeal strongly to local people looking for a new leisure experience.”

Marriott already has two hotels in Ireland: the world famous Shelbourne Dublin, a Renaissance Hotel and Powerscourt Hotel, Autograph Collection in Co Wicklow. Marriott International hotels in London include the five-star JW Marriott Grosvenor House and St Pancras Renaissance Hotel.

“We are delighted to bring our lifestyle hotel brand, AC Hotels by Marriott, to the revitalised City Quays area of Belfast,” said Paul Thomas, Director International Development.

“This will be the first AC Hotel by Marriott in Northern Ireland, demonstrating our commitment to opening design-led hotels in thriving destinations where we see growing demand from discerning travellers seeking a refreshed hotel experience. We look forward to being part of this exciting and flourishing city.”

Marriott-Starwood merger

5 facts to know about… Starwood-Marriott deal

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Marriott International will acquire Starwood Hotels and Resorts in a deal believed to be worth $12.2 billion, and when it was first announced consumers weren’t the only ones taken by surprise by the news. Analysts and investors expressed surprise at the acquisition.

The move will form the largest hotel group in the world, and whatever your thoughts on it, here are five things you need to know about the deal…

– Marriott weren’t the only suitors for Starwood, Intercontinental Hotels and Hyatt Hotels had long been vying to buy out the company.

– The acquisition will offer up thousands more rooms to choose from when booking. Combined, the group will own more than 5,500 hotels worldwide, 30 distinctive chains and more than a million guest rooms.

– Due to anti-competitive issues in China, and at the request of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), Marriott and Starwood have agreed to extend the time period for MOFCOM to complete its review of the merger transaction. This additional review period, known as phase three, could last up to 60 days.

– Starwood and Marriott can actually mutually agree to terminate the merger agreement, even with stockholder approval. The deal’s kill date is open until 31 December of this year. However, there’s the matter of a $400-million termination fee if either side decides to end the deal.

– When Marriott’s takeover of Starwood is complete, the chain will have 30 hotel brands.

Marriott Hotels debuts in Rotterdam

Marriott Hotels debuts in Rotterdam

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Marriott Hotels, the signature brand of Marriott International, has welcomed Rotterdam Marriott Hotel to its portfolio.

Formerly known as The Manhatten Hotel Rotterdam, Rotterdam Marriott Hotel has undergone extensive renovation of its interiors to meet the needs of today’s traveller.

The hotel’s 230 luxurious guest rooms and suites feature modern amentites throughout and are designed with a spacious and upgraded look with tailored solutions that are as inventive as the guest. The lobby has been transformed into a vibrant space to welcome guests and visitors to relax and socialise.

“We want our guests to experience forward-thinking, aesthetically pleasing spaces that help foster their inventive nature,” said Matthew Carroll, vice president, Marriott Hotels. “Marriott Hotels has consistently pushed the boundaries of innovation in travel to create experiences that inspire and push our guests’ creativity.

The upgraded interiors are complemented by warm and personal service. Rotterdam Marriott Hotel offers 24-hour room service, valet parking and free high-speed internet. The fully equipped fitness centre offers guests the most high tech equipment for any kind of workout they want. An Executive Lounge, Business Centre, and nearly 600sqm of flexible space for meetings and events cater to guests. Through connections, the hotel also has the ability to coordinate with De Doelen International Congress Centre, which can accommodate groups of up to 3,000 visitors.

The debut of Marriott Hotels in Rotterdam marks a key moment in the development of the world port city. The hotel’s local area and commercial heart of the city, the Rotterdam Central District, has undergone significant change in recent years with the arrival of numerous international companies and extensive regeneration.

Marriott Hotels is on a transformational journey to enable its guests to Travel Brilliantly. Guests and travel enthusiasts can visit www.travelbrilliantly.com to experience the countless ways Marriott Hotels continues to meet the needs of today’s travellers. In addition to mobile check-in, checkout, room ready alerts and Mobile Requests, Marriott Hotels is piloting keyless entry with mobile devices at select properties.

Marriott Singer Island

Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island £6.8m renovation revealed

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Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa has unveiled the results of a $6.8 million (£5.1 million) renovation that has infused the popular resort with a relaxed, breezy coastal style.

The new design at the Palm Beach resort blurs the lines between indoor and out, encouraging guests to step out and enjoy the fresh air and beachfront setting.

The lobby is an inviting, oval-shaped great room where soaring wood-paneled columns, conversational groupings of curved-back sofas, lounge chairs, and glass-topped tables encourage guests to gather for a drink or relax for a moment and charge their personal electronics. Furnishings are light and airy, with upholstery in a textured, natural shade that evokes the Florida sand and accent pillows in ocean blues and greens.

Marriott Singer Island

The undulating pattern of the great room’s new carpet is reminiscent of ocean waves, creating a sense of movement that draws the eye outward to a monumental fountain, refinished in opalescent mosaic tiles, that serves as the focal point of the newly renovated patio. Guests can lounge al-fresco under the Florida sun by day, shaded by patio umbrellas, and starry skies by night.

Floor-to-ceiling windows in the great room, bar and lounge flood the area in natural light by day. In the evening, lights are dimmed and the ambience transformed. At the entrance to the bar and lounge is a new communal high top for up to 14 guests, creating a relaxing space to mingle while waiting to be seated at 3800 Ocean, a celebrated restaurant on Singer Island.

Charging stations throughout the bar area let patrons power up their personal electronics as they relax. Under-lighting casts the entire bar in a warm glow, while accent lights on the back bar showcase the inventory of bottles. In the lounge area, banquettes are newly upholstered in a pattern of natural and blue with deep ocean blue seats and tufted with nail head trim. Dramatic hardwood flooring – whose stripe effect of light and dark woods recalls the deck of a vintage Chris Craft yacht – extends throughout the restaurant and lounge and has been sanded and stained to restore its original beauty.

Marriott Singer Island
Throughout the Palm Beach resort’s 193 one- and two-bedroom guest suites, thicker, more textured carpeting feels luxurious under bare feet and provides more visual interest, with a tonal effect that evokes waves and sand. Walls have been painted in clean white, and sofas and lounge chair fabrics are soft and subtle for a relaxed, coastal feel. New throw pillows with a turtle pattern are inspired by Singer Island’s resident sea turtle population and are a nod to the resort’s ongoing support of the nearby Loggerhead Marine Life Center through sales of plush turtles that are displayed in-room.

In the guest bedrooms of two-bedroom suites, beds are set against a bold photo mural of driftwood rising out of the sea.

Perfect for meetings, social soirees and wedding celebrations, the Palm Beach, Florida resort’s 3,600-square-feet of event space has also been refreshed. New carpet gives the rooms a sense of depth, movement and water, and walls have been lightened to be more inviting.

Atlanta Marriott Marquis

$78 million transformation, modernisation for Atlanta Marriott Marquis

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Atlanta Marriott Marquis recently revealed its extensive transformation, which cost $78 million and saw guestrooms and suites get a complete overhaul, as part of a roll-out across North America.

The Greatroom features modern enhancements and programs while the hotel’s 160,000 square feet of meeting space is tailored to foster collaboration.

The latest modernisation to Georgia’s largest hotel comes on the heels of a $138 million upgrade in 2008, bringing the total investment into the hotel to more than $216 million in less than ten years. New, mid-century modern interiors in each of the property’s 1,663 rooms including 94 suites create a consistent aesthetic that now aligns with the Atlanta Marriott Marquis and its iconic architecture while offering contemporary conveniences.

Atlanta Marriott Marquis
The new Marriott guest rooms are designed with a modern, spacious, and elevated look with tailored solutions. Based on consumer insights, locally-inspired accents offer a sense of place, such as the Atlanta skyline. Multi-purpose work surfaces provide flexibility and mobility in the space, allowing guests to work and live in the room the way they want. A deluxe new bath in king rooms includes walk-in upgraded showers that enhance the bath experience.

The hotel’s 94 suites and concierge-level rooms also received a new look including new hardwoods accented by beautiful area rugs throughout each area. The hotel offers more suites than any other hotel in the Atlanta market, providing ample multi-functional space for meetings, interviews, receptions or VIP accommodations with stunning floor-to-ceiling views of the city.

The expansive concierge lounge received technology upgrades and enhanced food and beverage offerings that showcase the Marriott Marquis’ award-winning culinary program. The exclusive, relaxed setting, gives guests staying in concierge level accommodations an ideal environment to socialise or work while enjoying complimentary items such as wi-fi, plug-in access for laptops and personal devices and a selection of snacks, soft drinks, coffee, bottled water. In the morning, guests are treated to a selection of freshly prepared breakfast items that are made in-house from scratch using only locally-sourced ingredients.

Evening reception hours offer a chance to unwind from the day amidst breathtaking views of the Atlanta skyline.

The expansive, multi-level Greatroom features a new layout and modern furnishings that create spaces to relax, collaborate with colleagues or socialize after hours. Wi-Fi and wireless chargers provide a flexible workspace. The redesigned space seamlessly transitions from the hectic pace of the work day to a vibrant and stylish lounge in the evening.

www.marriott.co.uk

Marriott-Starwood merger

Marriott acquisition of Starwood set to change travel buying forever

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Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood is set to change the hotel industry significantly. Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s (CWT) latest white paper, launched this week, shows corporate travel buyers need to start thinking about the implications now and start planning how it will change their travel programmes.

Scott Brennan, CWT EVP and Head of Global Supplier Management, said, “Consolidation in the hotel industry isn’t new but the Marriott/Starwood tie-up is likely to change the way corporate travel is bought and sold. Everyone has to think very carefully about what this means for negotiating corporate travel deals.”

In 14 of the world’s top 20 cities, the new hotel group will have nearly a third of all the available rooms, rising to half in some places. Also, CWT’s analysis suggests Marriot, more than any other chain, has chosen not to take part in corporate travel RFP processes.

Brennan continued, “The implications are potentially huge. We think the new Marriott/Starwood group is going to have a lot of say in the market, which could alter the way corporate rooms are bought and sold. We don’t yet know the full impact and because the new group won’t be finalised in time for the negotiations this year, we won’t know until the 2017 negotiating season, in September next year.”

A further consideration is travel policy compliance. One of the travel buyer’s best negotiating tools is compliance because they can drive volume to preferred properties. However, CWT’s analysis shows 22 per cent of non-compliant spend is with Marriott and nine per cent is with Starwood.

Brennan continued, “According to a 2015 GBTA survey of corporate travel managers, hotel chain loyalty programmes is one of the underlying reasons for non-compliant hotel spend. We don’t yet know what changes, if any, the new Marriott will make to its and Starwood’s loyalty programme. But whatever happens, the new group already accounts for a large share of non-compliant spend.

“The combination of the new Marriott’s increased market share and the pulling-power of its loyalty programme means it will be in a very strong position. After all, volume drives the discussion in the hotel industry. On top of that, where a player the size of the new Marriott goes, others will follow.”

Brennan concluded, “Our advice is to start planning now for your travel programme negotiations. The more prepared you are, the better the deals you will be able to strike.”

Courtyard by Marriott, Cambodia

Courtyard by Marriott opening first property in Phnom Penh

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Marriott International has signed an agreement to operate its first property in Phnom Penh, Cambodia under the Courtyard by Marriott brand.

Marriott International is one of the largest lodging companies globally with more than 4,500 properties in 87 countries and territories and will become the world’s largest lodging company upon completing its merger later this year with Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

Courtyard by Marriott is the Upper Midscale offering in Marriott’s brand portforlio with more than 1,000 hotels in 46 countries.

The Phnom Penh property will have 189 rooms with one all-day dining, a dynamic lobby cafe and exciting sky bar. The project is currently under construction and is expected to open in 2017.

Autograph Hotels

Autograph Hotels opens four new one-of-a-kind properties

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Autograph Hotels, Marriott International’s distinctive portfolio of independent hotels, is proud to welcome four one-of-a-kind properties to its global portfolio, in the Florida Keys, New Orleans, Michigan and The Netherlands.

Launched in 2010, Autograph Hotels is a pioneer in the independent hotel space and has grown both aggressively and selectively from less than five hotels in 2010 to over 95 hotels today – making it not only Marriott International’s fastest growing brand, but one of the fastest growing hotel brands in the industry.

“We are very pleased to welcome these four properties to our rapidly growing and diverse global portfolio,” said Julius Robinson, Vice President & Global Lead, Autograph Hotels. “Exactly like nothing else, each destination has been thoughtfully selected for its bold originality, rich character and uncommon details.”

The Collection’s latest additions include:

The Saint Hotel Key West, Autograph Collection (Key West, Florida)
Located on famous Duval Street just blocks from Mallory Square’s famed daily Key West Sunset Celebration, The Saint Hotel Key West, Autograph Collection provides the ultimate luxury destination to enjoy the island’s renowned festivals and water sport offerings. The one-of-a-kind, 36-room property, boasts a spontaneous, eccentric and edgy sophistication for even the most cultured traveler. Guests are met with the brand’s signature “Play Naughty, Sleep Saintly” atmosphere, infused with the laid-back lifestyle and Southern charm of Key West. The Saint Hotel Key West represents the rebirth of one of the oldest operating hotels in historic Key West, with every aspect of the property re-imagined, redesigned and re-appointed to the luxury brand standards The Saint Hotel is known for. Following a $22 million dollar purchase and transformation, the property formerly known as the Southern Cross Hotel, was re-christened The Saint Hotel Key West when it reopened in February 2015.

Autograph Collection - The Saint Hotel Key West, Autograph Collection (Key West, Florida)
Q&C Hotel and Bar, Autograph Collection (New Orleans, LA)

The 196-room Q&C Hotel and Bar is ideally located between the French Quarter and the Central Business District in close proximity to all the major tourist attractions.

The hotel is over 100 years old and located on the Historic Register. As the number 10 rated hotel and number five rated Bar in the City. Following a complete renovation in 2014, the hotel now boasts brand new luxurious modern rooms with Wi-Fi, 47-inch flat screen TVs with tele-adapt wireless capability, fitness center, convenient parking and pet friendly amenities. The lobby has the warmth of a living room and embraces the entire hotel’s unique historic charm. Every dish served at Q&C Hotel and Bar is locally inspired and freshly prepared in the hotel’s open kitchen. Guests can savor a Cajun inspired Q&C Supreme stone-fired pizza and specialty cocktails. The staff is committed to the timeless spirit of hospitality. Like its guests, the staff consists of gastro nerds, music fans, and culture junkies devoted to ensuring everyone has a chance to discover all the wonderful experiences New Orleans has to offer.

Autograph Collection - Q&C Hotel and Bar
Hotel Nassau Breda, Autograph Collection (Breda, The Netherlands)

In the heart of the vibrant city of Breda, the Hotel Nassau Breda, which opened on May 26, 2016, redefines the Breda hotel market. The hotel is the perfect combination of rich history and contemporary comfort and luxury. On one of the oldest streets in the city centre, Three Court Houses, a convent and a beautiful chapel have been converted into a hotel with 95 rooms, several meeting spaces and a fine dining restaurant. Hotel Nassau Breda has been created for travelers that want to experience the unexpected, that are looking for adventure while also expect traditional values of a luxury hotel. The hotel’s signature is “Nothing to Confess,” reminding guests that within the vast walls of the hotel, everyone can be a sinner. The restaurant serves excellent dishes centering on a “Mad for food” philosophy.
Autograph Collection - Hotel Nassau Breda

The Inn at Bay Harbor, Autograph Collection (Bay Harbor, Michigan)
The stately Inn at Bay Harbor is situated on the shore of Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay, where broad vistas form the background for some of the world’s most spectacular sunsets. Calming hues and nautically-inspired patterns, textures and art provide a relaxing state of mind while enjoying the comforts of the hotel’s 123 one-, two- and three-bedroom suites with full kitchens, living areas with Travertine stone fireplaces, marble baths, and breathtaking balcony views. The lobby – centered on a spectacular Schonbek chandelier with more than 34,000 gem-cut crystals and nearly 200 lights – has been modernized with a warm ambiance to settle in from a day’s travels. Deep blue wingback chairs, rich leathers, marble tabletops, decorative lighting and a cozy fireplace flanked with bookshelves of northern Michigan memorabilia encourages guests to linger. The Inn’s full-service spa and salon provides the ultimate in luxury and pampering with services that evoke rest and restoration. Lakeside dining at its finest is served up in the all-new Vintage Chophouse | Wine Bar where guests can indulge, unwind, and soak in refreshing lake breezes and famed ‘million dollar sunsets’ in this classic all-American steakhouse. The Inn’s Bay Harbor Golf Club, designed by Arthur Hills – often referred to as the Pebble Beach of the Midwest – is high on many golfers’ “must play” list.

Autograph Collection - The Inn at Bay Harbor

Portland Marriott

Portland Marriott Downtown unveils extensive renovation

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The Portland Marriott Downtown has unveiled the results of its complete renovation – which included 44,000-square-metres of meeting space, ballrooms, M Club Lounge, 507 guestrooms and suites and the fitness centre.

Houston-based hospitality design firm Paradigm Design Group completed all areas of the renovation.

Combining local aesthetics with Oregonian-inspired details, the re-imagined Portland Marriot now has a colour palette of greens, navy blues and grays that echo the surrounding environment of the Willamette River, Mount Hood and industrial influences. The colour schemes vary in each space. For instance, the meeting spaces use blues, the M Club uses pops of green, and guestrooms and suites use soft grays.

PDG also developed customised artwork to capture Portland’s love for biking. The guestrooms have a focal wall/backdrop where the image of a bike wheel is portrayed in the element of a tree slice. Additional examples include patterned carpet with tire track prints, and sculptural tire wheel artwork in the M Club Lounge. Special hanging racks for bikes were also incorporated in selected specialty guestrooms.

AC Hotels debut in Mexico with two properties

AC Hotels debuts in Mexico with Guadalajara and Queretaro properties

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The 188-room AC Hotel® Guadalajara Mexico and the 175-room AC Hotel® Queretaro Antea recently opened their doors – both properties are owned and were developed by FibraHotel and are operated by Marriott International.

AC Hotels by Marriott celebrates the beauty of classic modern designs with its European soul and Spanish roots, borne from the signature vision of renowned hotelier Antonio Catalan, who founded the brand in 1998 and grew it into one of the most well-respected hotel brands in Spain. Following its success in Europe, a joint venture was formed with Marriott International in 2011, which launched AC Hotels by Marriott globally into France, Denmark, the United States and now Mexico.

AC Hotels debuts in Mexico with two properties

These two openings mark the first hotels for the Caribbean and Latin America region. Later this year, AC Hotels plans to open hotels in Mexico City (Mexico), Panama City (Panama), Santiago (Chile) and two hotels in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in time for the summer Olympic Games.

Based on a belief that purposeful design improves lives, AC Hotels carves away what is unnecessary, in order to provide guests with thoughtfully designed moments of beauty. The concept revolves around the idea that guests should only get only what they need, without paying for what they don’t.

AC Hotels debuts in Mexico with two properties

The result is sophisticated yet unpretentious style, innovative beverage and food programming and locally inspired experiences for both guests and locals.

Taking influence from its European roots, the AC Hotel Queretaro Antea and the AC Hotel Guadalajara Mexico showcase a timeless design that is modern and sleek. Guest rooms incorporate inviting grays and charcoal tones, with clean lines and elegant floors; furniture is lifted to create a sense of space, and crisp white linens are used to create a look that’s both refined and elegant.

AC Hotels by Marriott

AC Hotels by Marriott making its UK debut this month

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AC Hotels by Marriott, the European-inspired lifestyle brand by Marriott International, makes its debut in the UK this month with two new hotels in Birmingham City Centre and Manchester Salford Quays.

The new hotels embody AC Hotels’ vision to create harmonious, modern and contemporary hospitality experiences for guests and its purposeful and timeless design is set to complement two of the most celebrated shopping and cultural destinations in the UK.

“These two new UK hotels are a wonderful example of design, style and sophistication situated in revitalised thriving urban destinations – perfectly reflecting the AC Hotels brand ethos,” says Toni Stoeckl, Global VP, Lifestyle Brands, Marriott International. “They support our commitment to driving growth for our lifestyle brands in Europe and respond to a continued demand from discerning travellers seeking hotels with thoughtful, modern design that calms and enriches the guest experience.”

Each hotel blends European style and simple lines to create a sophisticated and contemporary ambience for guests. The spacious bedrooms feature furnishings and décor in neutral tones of warm greys and charcoals complemented by sleek design furniture, open closets and hardwood floors. Furniture appears to be lifted from the ground to create a sense of space, and crisp white linens are used to craft a look that is both refined and elegant. A seamless check-in experience is created through Marriott’s mobile check-in and check-out service, and guests can make full use of USB charging stations and complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.

AC Hotel Manchester Salford Quays
The 142-room AC Hotel Manchester Salford Quays occupies a prime spot in the heart of the vibrant regenerated Salford Quays district. The cutting edge innovation of MediaCityUK, the rich sporting history of Old Trafford Football Stadium and the diverse cultural offering of Lowry Theatre are all just a few minutes’ walk.

AC Hotels by Marriott - Manchester

AC Hotels by Marriott – Manchester

AC Hotel Birmingham City Centre
The 90-room AC Hotel Birmingham City Centre is situated at The Mailbox, the former Royal Mail sorting office, which has been repurposed into an exclusive shopping area with stylish stores, restaurants, cafes and bars. Leisure guests will enjoy the hotel’s easy access to the city’s major attractions, including the National Indoor Arena, Barber Institute of Fine Arts with views over the city while business visitors will benefit from the hotel’s prime location by the International Convention Centre.

AC Hotels by Marriott - Birmingham

AC Hotels by Marriott – Birmingham

Meetings and events are expertly catered for at AC Hotels by Marriott. In Manchester guests can choose between three fully flexible meeting rooms that cater for up to 100 people. AC Hotels was born from the vision of renowned hotelier Antonio Catalan, who founded the brand in 1998 and grew it into one of the most well-respected hotel brands in Spain. Following its success in Europe, a joint venture was formed with Marriott International in 2011, which launched AC Hotels by Marriott globally into France, Turkey, Italy, Portugal, Denmark and the US.

Based on a belief that purposeful design can enrich lives, AC Hotels by Marriott celebrates classic modern design that is inspired by the urban locale and the brand’s Spanish roots. The brand’s design ethos carves away all that is unnecessary in order to provide guests with thoughtfully designed experiences to help them focus on what is important to them.

AC Hotels Birmingham City and AC Hotel Manchester Salford Quays are two of more than 22 AC hotels expected to open globally this year.

www.marriott.co.uk

Marriott Hotels Bonn

Marriott Hotels debuts in German city of Bonn

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Situated on the banks of the Rhine, just moments away from Bonn’s famous Museum Mile, the Marriott Bonn World Conference Hotel is scheduled to open its doors to guests at the end of the month.

With 17 floors and 336 rooms – including 30 suites, two presidential suites and an array of modern facilities – the hotel is one of the largest in Germany and boasts a roof-top restaurant, fitness centre, spa and indoor pool.

Marriott Bonn


Designed to cater to both business and leisure guests, the 19,000m2 hotel is perfectly located for both the bustling business district and the fantastic bars, restaurants and famous museums the city is renowned for.

The hotel’s interiors have been inspired by the rich history of the Bonn Republic and boast fresh, modern design with images of famous figures from the city’s political past decorating each floor.

Marriott Bonn

In addition to the stunning views, gastronomic delights and beautiful interiors, the hotel also offers 662m2 of fantastic conference and banquet space including three private dining areas on the top floor of the hotel, for creative exchanges, private events and meetings.

Within the new hotel is a 1500m2 spa built around historic Roman remains that are integrated into the space itself. The spa will offer an extensive treatment menu, allowing guests to pamper themselves with tailor-made therapies, as well as having access to the indoor pool and fitness centre.

Marriott Skopje

Skopje Marriott opens in Macedonian capital

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Marriott Hotels, the signature brand of Marriott International, has opened its first hotel in Macedonia, the Skopje Marriott Hotel. Situated on Macedonia Square, in the heart of the city’s business and cultural district, the new hotel has been expertly designed to offer the very best in comfort and style.

Each of the 164 beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites, including the luxurious Presidential Suite, offer a combination of traditional architecture and modern interior design.

The new hotel, which overlooks the Vardar River, boasts an array of innovative facilities and design features including Marriott’s signature Greatroom lobby, which offers an open and flexible welcoming lounge area for guests to relax, work or socialise in, as well as a restaurant and two bars, which provide a fantastic selection of local wines and handcrafted premium cocktails.

Marriott Skopje

The hotel offers excellent facilities for business travellers with flexible and stylish meeting spaces including seven separate event spaces, with the largest accommodating up to 400 people, along with a multi-functional space for open discussions, workshops and private meetings. Luxurious executive suites and the hotel’s Executive Lounge offer additional comfort and style.

Marriott Skopje

The hotel’s restaurant, Distrikt Bar + Kitchen, takes the city’s melting pot of cultures and combines the best local produce with Eastern European and Mediterranean influences. Culinary highlights include market fresh fish and a Josper charcoal grill, which gives a unique and delicious flavour to the aged-steak selection on offer.

Marriott Skopje
The hotel’s spa provides an array of relaxing treatments including a signature intensive age defying facial, and a green tea and cucumber body polish, using June Jacobs products, renowned for their natural botanic and patented anti-oxidant blend.

Marriott’s Meetings Imagined platform provides new opportunities and inspiration for events and meeting planners along with an online service that keeps guests in touch with guest relations managers 24/7.

A charming city with a fascinating history, Skopje is located in the northern part of Macedonia with the beautiful Vardar River flowing through the city. The hotel is located close to the city’s most famous attractions including the Stone Bridge, the incredible statue of Alexander the Great ‘Warrior on a Horse’, as well as an array of theatres, museums, bars and restaurants.

Renaissance Hotel Dubai

Marriott reveals details of UAE’s first Renaissance Hotel

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The first Renaissance Hotel in the United Arab Emirates is set to open at the end of the year, according to a statement released by Marriott International. The Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai will be a 298-room luxury property. The firm has also announced it plans to open four additional hotels in the country throughout 2016.

Amongst the 2016 openings is Abu Dhabi’s first Marriott Hotel, the 315-room five-star Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi as well as the 64-suite Marriott Executive Apartments Downtown Abu Dhabi.

Further strengthening Marriott International’s luxury lifestyle offering, scheduled 2016 openings also include the 86-room La Ville Hotel City Walk Dubai, Autograph Collection, the 68-suite La Ville Apartments City Walk, Dubai and the 500-room Lapita Hotel, Autograph Collection, all set to open by the fourth quarter of this year.

Speaking ahead of this week’s Arabian Travel Market 2016 (ATM), Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East & Africa of Marriott International, said: “The Renaissance Hotel Downtown Dubai will be a truly unique offer within the UAE hospitality sector as it is a highly appealing lifestyle option for both business and leisure travellers. The debut, alongside the opening of our flagship Marriott Hotels brand and two other Autograph Collection properties make for a very attractive luxury lifestyle proposition in the UAE.”

The 5 property openings planned for this year will be amongst nine Marriott International properties, representing over 2000 rooms, scheduled to open in the UAE by 2018. Among the much-anticipated Marriott International openings will be the region’s first EDITION and Bulgari Hotels – both set to open in 2017.

At present, Marriott International operates nearly 150 properties across the Middle East and Africa region, representing 9 brands in 19 countries. By 2020 the hotel company will add a further 93 properties and approximately 19,000 rooms within the region for a total of 240 properties and 40,000 rooms.

Zhejiang Taizhou Marriott Hotel

Marriott announces latest property in China – Zhejiang Taizhou Marriott

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Marriott International has announced the opening of its newest property in China – the Zhejiang Taizhou Marriott Hotel.

The hotel has 351 elegant and spacious rooms featuring gorgeous views of the city skyline. Each room is equipped with the state-of-the-art facilities and amenities ranging from high-speed internet, luxurious bedding with down comforters and cotton-rich linens to spacious marble bathrooms and 48” flat-panel TV.

Zhejiang Taizhou Marriott Hotel offers a total of 2,400 square meters of meeting space with an elegant pillar-less 1,000 square meters Grand Ballroom, the largest ballroom in town, as well as 14 meeting rooms that can be scaled for various functions and sizes.

“Local demand for Marriott Hotel’s brand is surging, driven by the region’s robust economic growth and rapid infrastructure development, and our hotel is well poised to serve increasingly refined hospitality needs in Taizhou,” said Mr. Mark Chan, General Manager of Zhejiang Taizhou Marriott Hotel.

Marriott's two new properties in San Diego

Bayfront SpringHill Suites & Residence Inn by Marriott open in Downtown San Diego

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Marriott International is celebrating the grand opening of the highly anticipated SpringHill Suites & Residence Inn San Diego Downtown Bayfront at BRIC. Adding to the expanding portfolio, the SpringHill Suites marked the 3,000th Select Service property for the Marriott Global Portfolio.

Marriott International’s end-to-end hotel management solution – Managed by Marriott (MxM) – will operate this new hotel. The John Portman & Associates designed hotels deliver an integrated guest experience for both of these Marriott brands within one shared footprint.

The hotel offers cutting-edge design with its striking yellow wall, spectacular bay and city skyline views, fifth-floor outdoor swimming pool, bay-front patio area and state of the art fitness centre.

Marriott's two new properties in San Diego
“The hotels in the first phase of BRIC are unlike any hotel property that has been built on the waterfront in San Diego’s recent history,” said Ambrish Baisiwala, CEO of Portman Holdings. “We, along with our partners at Lankford & Associates and Hensel Phelps, are so pleased we were able to work with Marriott to bring the vision to life on the San Diego Bay.”

This hotel encompasses not only lifestyle amenities with the SpringHill Suites, but also helps guests thrive on long trips with the leader in extended-stays, Residence Inn. The properties’ 11,000 square feet of meeting space can accommodate up to 225 people. This space includes the Ted Williams Room and Bayview Terrace and overlooks the USS Midway, while also presenting panoramic views of San Diego Bay from the Coronado Bridge to Point Loma.

Baulmann Leuchten provides lighting for Boulevard Hotel Baku

Baulmann Leuchten contracted to manufacture lighting for Boulevard Hotel Baku

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Baulmann Leuchten were asked to collaborate on the manufacture of guestroom and public area lighting for the Boulevard Hotel Baku.

Located in the heart of Baku’s White City district, and set right on Baku Bay, the Boulevard Hotel, Baku has joined the collection of independent hotels under the Marriott Autograph Collection.

This stunning hotel offers 818 guest rooms, three restaurants and conference and event facilities, currently the largest in Azerbaijan. All the guestroom and public area lighting manufactured by Baulmann including, floor lights, wall lights and LED reading lights, as well as large public area lighting was conceived and designed by talented UK interior designers from Robert Angell Design International and MKV Design.
Boulevard Hotel Baku
Boulevard Hotel Baku
Each creation was then custom engineered to the meet the extremely high standards of quality of finish demanded by the clients, Marriott and the Autograph concept. Due to the speed in construction, delivery of all the lighting was time sensitive, and everyone involved was working to very strict schedules.

The lighting provided for this project was delivered on-time and on budget.

To contact Baulmann Leuchten visit baulmann.com or call +49 29338 47251

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