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Memorial Day is often seen as the unofficial kick-off to summer, a three-day weekend filled with booze, pool parties and barbecue but Marriott Hotels have brought the real meaning of the holiday back to focus--honoring the men and women who gave their lives fighting for the United States.
The hotel chain has launched their 3rd annual “Fairways-Fore-FREEdom,” which will give members of the armed forces discounted twilight (after 3pm) green fees/carts at participating Marriott golf courses, ranging from just $29 - $69. The military men and women will also receive a free replay certificate for another day.
The program will last until Veteran's Day, November 11 while the free replay certificates will be valid until December 31. For more information on the golf courses, head over to Marriott Golf.
And with that, we will be taking off on Monday for the holiday. Look for our stories again on Tuesday!
[Photo: Marriott Golf/Facebook]
We're all guilty of it: rolling into our hotel room; throwing the suitcase on the floor and leaving it there, still packed, for the duration of our stay. Maybe if the hotel room closet had some features more enticing than a single bar and a couple of flimsy hangers, we'd be more compelled to put away our clothes nicely.
TownePlace Suites by Marriott have now partnered with The Container Store to install the store's famous elfa closet system into all newly built and renovated hotels. Guests will find multiple closet rods, ventilated drawers and shelves for shoes. The closet offers two levels of hanging space to accommodate everything from dresses to pants, and shelves and a gliding drawer for suitcases, briefcases, t-shirts, sweaters and other folded items.
Hotel Openings / LA Live Hotels / Downtown LA Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Marriott Hotels / → All Tags
Last summer we saw the hybrid Marriott hotel rising in downtown Los Angeles from the 10 Freeway. This month, we've got a closer look at the hotel which sits across from The Staples Center and the LA Live entertainment district and which will host 174 Courtyard by Marriott rooms and 218 Residence Inn suites.
As you can see, the wacky wavy-looking exterior is completely done and the signage is up while the websites are live with photos of the rooms. Of note, both hotels are sporting the newest room designs for the brands, which not only look pretty but are supposed to be super functional, i.e. the ottoman with a table top over it and the modular desk furniture.
The hotels are supposedly opening this month but we weren't able to make reservations on the website just yet. We'll let you know when those open up for real and how much they're going for.
Residence Inn by Marriott
Courtyard by Marriott
[Top photo: HotelChatter; Renderings: Marriott International]
To all the hotels out there that still insist on charging for WiFi, consider this comment we just received:
Earlier this month I stayed at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley which provides WiFi in the room for $12.99 a day!
When I questioned this they told me that I had the option of using the free WiFi in the Lobby, which didn't help me when I needed to check my email while still in pajamas at 6:00AM.
Other than the WiFi situation the hotel was great, but it's the only reason I need to ensure I never book this hotel again.
It's a shame that they will lose my future business over a ridiculous WiFi fee, but I'm guessing I'm not the only one.
Hotel WiFi / Hotel WiFi Speeds / Annual Hotel WiFi / Marriott International / Marriott Hotels / Courtyard by Marriott Hotels / Free WiFi / Tiered WiFi / Hotel News / → All Tags
To get online at a Marriott Hotel, typically you have to hang out in the lobby where the flagship brand of Marriott International has free WiFi for all, across all their hotels. Marriott has done this for its other brands too, including JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton. But unless you're an elite member of Marriott Rewards you still have to pay for WiFi in your hotel room.
This is frustrating for sure, but even more so when Marriott International's select service brands----Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield Inn and Suites, Springhill Suites, Residence Inn and TownPlace Suites--have free WiFi for all guests, everywhere in the hotel. And they aren't just offering free WiFi, they're making sure it's really good WiFi.
In the past year, these brands have been pushing hard to improve the quality of their WiFi speeds for guests through a variety of strategies. For example, the newest Courtyard by Marriott which opened in NYC earlier this year, has "1.25 gigabytes of bandwidth with horizontal and vertical fiber optical cable network that allows for fast, extensive use on multiple devices at one time." Marriott has also introduced a tiered structure where basic WiFi is free and where faster WiFi can be bought. (The tiered WiFi structure is also in place the brands that charge for basic WiFi.)
While we can only hope that all of Marriott International's hotel brands will soon have free WiFi in the guest rooms, we do have to commend this special group for making free and working WiFi a priority.
To that end we asked Violeta Seidell, Vice President, Project Services for Marriott International a few questions (via email) about Marriott's recent WiFi strategies. While her answers focus mainly on the select service brands, a Marriott rep tell us the answers also apply to the full-service brands.
But now Marriott has gone one step further. Guests will now be able to "real-time chat" with the hotel with the Guest Service Requests function. The chat feature is available to Marriott Rewards' guests and allow for two-way text messaging, if you need an extra pillow or have issues with the WiFi. No word on if you can order up a club sandwich at 2 am, but room service is easy enough.
Right now, the text-like chat is only available at 15 properties around the country, and pending its success, will be rolled out to more cities by the end of the year. Right now you can chat with guest services at the New York Marriott Downtown, Boston Marriott Copley Place, Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile and Marriott San Diego Hotel and Marina to name a few.
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If you live in the area or plan to pass through Denver next week, the JW Marriott Cherry Creek is going to be the temporary home for an exclusive showing of Impressionist & Modern paintings, American art, 19th Century European art, and luxury timepieces on April 22rd through 24th.
It promises to be a pretty impressive exhibit, featuring more than 15 pieces that include paintings by Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Thomas Moran, Camille Pissarro, and Norman Rockwell, plus sculptures by Edgar Degas and Henry Moore.
Put on in a partnership with Christie’s Fine Art, the collection is making a stop in Denver on its way to be auctioned off in New York City later this year. Believe it or not, the painting shown below by Thomas Moran, entitled "The Grand Canyon of the Colorado," was painted in 1904 and is expected to sell for $8 million. $8 million!
Renaissance Hotels / Hotel Openings / Santiago Hotels / Chile Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Hotel Design / → All Tags
Renaissance Hotels, Marriott's "luxury lifestyle" brand, is getting on the expansion bandwagon by expanding into Latin America. The Renaissance Hotel Santiago becomes their third hotel in South America and their first in Chile’s capital.
The hotel’s design team is New York based dashdesign and Santiago based MC Studio, who also designed W Santiago (while working at Tony Chi). A classic modern approach was taken to the hotel’s design, featuring large open spaces with simple but sculptural furnishings, finished in warm earth tones and shades of grey.
What really makes the interiors come alive is the use of Latin-inspired accent colors and bold artwork, which gives the hotel its local flavor. Speaking of flavor, there is one fine dining restaurant and several options for casual fare including poolside, and in the bar or lounges. For a liquid only excursion, the hotel offers regional wine and beer, as well as 29 varieties of coffee. This is after all, South America.
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The singsongy sounding Marriott Marquis Washington DC is still planning to open on May 1, but right now, reservations are being accepted online only for June 1 at a grand opening rate of $269 a night.
Yet in an effort to capitalize on the summer travel to DC (did you know this summer will be the 200th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner?), the soon-to-be-largest hotel in DC (with 1,175 rooms) has put together three opening packages and they are actually deal-worthy. Here they are:
· Summer Weekends Deal: From June 1-September 1, the hotel is offering 40 percent off two night stays and 50 percent off three-night stays from Thursday-Sunday nights. Suites are exempt. All stays must be purchased in advance and are nonrefundable. Still, you can get a two night stay for just $108 a night or a three-night stay for just $90 a nigt. Book by May 23 to score the best rate. Use code NEW to book.
With Marriott International working on two new hotel brands aimed at Millennials--Moxy and AC Hotels by Marriott--along with revamping their existing properties like Courtyard By Marriott--it's no surprise that they've got a Millennial prototype in mind.
In a LinkedIn Influencers post titled, State of Hospitality: Ask the Next Gen Traveler, Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson revealed the prototype and even her fictional name, Jia. Here's how he described this PYT:
No doubt that explains Marriott Hotels recent push to offer both mobile check-in and check-out. (Note: this service is only available at the flagship Marriott hotels.)
Millennials like Jia define “Service” as “Personalization” and they report far more willingness than older generations to allow access to their personal data when they feel they receive a tangible benefit in return.
Global brands now have the advantage of collecting a tremendous amount of data on travelers. Jia expects that brands will know that she likes a room with a view, one that ends with her lucky number. She wants them to be as technologically-savvy as she is, so she can check-in and checkout with a single press of her thumb.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Renovations / Hotel Reopenings / Autograph Collection / Marriott Hotels / Canada Hotels / → All Tags
New Brunswick’s Grande Dame of a hotel, The Algonquin Resort, reopened last week after a one-year “rafters to registration” refurb to become Canada’s first hotel under Marriott’s Autograph Collection brand of independent hotels.
The century-old plus Algonquin Resort’s guest rooms and public spaces were completely redesigned by Toronto designer, Robynne Moncur of Moncur Design. The hotel’s décor reflects its Victorian origins but is re-styled for a modern sensibility, with a living room-style lobby that invites lingering around the two-sided fireplace. The lounge now opens to an outdoor patio that takes in the nightly sunsets over Passamaquoddy Bay in the awesomely-named St. Andrews-by-the Sea.
Each guest room and suite in the 233-room resort includes comfy pillow-top mattresses and bathrobes, radiant heat flooring in the bathrooms so that your tootsies don’t get cold, MP3 players, 32-inch flat screen TVs, in-room coffee, and complimentary in-room movies and WiFi. Select rooms and suites even feature a balcony or patio for you to while away an afternoon with a book — something like Michael Martin’s Lost in Hotels seems appropriate!
The London Edition is all that for many reasons, and it has us properly excited for what’s to come: New York and Miami Beach are up first in the States, but after that Edition is heading for more exotic destinations – Sanya in China and Gurgaon in India. Virtually nothing is known about these hotels, but that didn’t stop us from unearthing these renderings already.
The Sanya Edition (above) will open in 2015 on the Chinese island of Hainan. Referred to as China’s Hawaii, nearly every luxury hotel group (from sibling Ritz-Carlton to Mandarin Oriental and Kempinski to One&Only) is rushing to claim their spot along Sanya’s beaches and vie for the attention of the increasingly wealthy and wanderlust-filled Chinese tourist. The curved building looks huge (spot the tiny cars under the soaring porte cochere for a sense of scale), with some kind of lattice wood construction over the main entrance, a design reflected again it appears in the façade.