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Marriott International / Marriott Hotels / Courtyard by Marriott Hotels / Hotel WiFi / 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 Townhill 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.
Hotel Events / Denver Hotels / Colorado Hotels / Marriott Hotels / JW Marriott Cherry Creek / → All Tags
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.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Marriott Hotels / Hotel News / Washington DC Hotels / Hotel Art / → All Tags
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.
There’s a new kid (sort of) on the chopping block. Recent renovations at the Boston Marriott Burlington in North Boston have introduced an upscale steakhouse conceptualized by an esteemed local chef.
Chopps American Bar and Grill has replaced Summer Winter, a farm-to-table spot that from the Top Chef Masters duo of Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier. (They now have the just-opened M.C. Spiedo, which is focused on historic Italian cuisine, at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel.) Chopps has its own distinct pedigree courtesy of consulting chef Daniel Bruce, the man behind Meritage at the Boston Harbor Hotel.
Bruce worked with Chopps chefs David Verdo and John Costello to conceptualize the 245-seat modern steakhouse, where floor to ceiling windows and masculine woods and leathers provide th environs for a menu of Atlantic fish (like grilled Maine salmon with kale), creative apps (like a peekytoe crab cocktail with 1000 Island dressing) and – well, steak. There’s even a 32-ounce porterhouse designed to share. Not that you’ll want to.
Hotel Openings / Renaissance Hotels / Marriott Hotels / France Hotels / Provence Hotels / → All Tags
It’s only fitting that an American hotel brand carrying a French name would branch out further into la douce France, and so it is: Renaissance Hotels has opened its fifth hotel in the country, going beyond Paris and setting up shop in the deep south, in Aix-en-Provence.
With a history dating as far back as 123 BC, when it was founded by a Roman consul, Aix is not only a beautiful city, but a perfect base for exploring the lavender fields and villages of the Provence. A high-speed TGV train takes you from Paris to Aix in around 3 hours, or you can fly into the southern port city of Marseille. Heading east from Aix will take you towards St. Tropez, the Esterel Massif, and of course, the Côte d’Azur.
Moxy Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Hype / Marriott Hotels / Airport Hotels / Millennial Hotels / → All Tags
Just a few weeks ago we heard that Marriott's new brand for Milennials, Moxy Hotels, would be opening its first hotel in Milan this August, with five more locations to open by 2015. Today, we know exactly where those new hotels will be. And if you like airport hotels, then you should be psyched.
· MOXY Milan Malpensa Airport: 162 rooms, located at Terminal Two and scheduled to open in August, 2014
· MOXY Munich Airport: 317 rooms, located approximately five minutes from the main terminal and scheduled to open in spring, 2015
·MOXY Berlin Ostbahnhof: 190 rooms, centrally located near Ostbahnhof train station and scheduled to open in spring, 2015
·MOXY Frankfurt Gateway Gardens: 305 rooms, located approximately five minutes from Frankfurt Airport and scheduled to open in summer, 2015
·MOXY Berlin Airport: 266 rooms, located at the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport and scheduled to open in autumn, 2015
·MOXY Oslo Exporama: 229 rooms, located approximately 15 minutes from both the airport and city center and scheduled to open in autumn, 2015
With the Marriott Mobile app, checkout is simple. In the morning of their departure day, Marriott Rewards guests will receive a push notification on their Apple iPhones or Android devices alerting them mobile checkout is available. Upon completing mobile checkout, guests will then be prompted to provide an email address and their bill will be emailed to them, allowing guests to bypass the front desk on their way out.
No more "Irish goodbyes", no more waiting forever for the folio to pull-up on the TV and definitely no more queuing at the front desk with all the other guests at 11am. Of course, this new services has our full approval.
Marriott plans to all 500 properties worldwide in offering mobile check-in and check-out, available in English, Chinese, French, Spanish and German. You can go here to see where the mobile check-in and check-out services are offered.
Since July, Marriott has process 150,000 mobile check-ins while the Marriott mobile app has been downloaded nearly 3 million times. Since checking out is a bit easier than checking in, we expect to see some pretty high numbers for the service in a few months.