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In the past couple of years, Marriott Hotels have rolled out quite a few important, and relevant, new amenities and services. So many, that we're kind of in disbelief at how far Marriott has come, aside from that whole hotspot blocking biz of course.
Just 10 years ago, Marriott Hotels felt very out of touch with the emerging breed of savvy travelers who want new technology and good design. Marriott Hotel furniture was often depressing, the carpeting was usually an eyesore, while lobby socializing was nonexistent, and the services were almost always at an added fee. There was also a complete lack of innovation. Just sell a room, check in the guest then collect their money.
But today, even though Marriott would never be considered a boutique or lifestyle brand, it is giving guests a thoroughly modern experience. Here's how:
The WiFi is free-ish (so long as you are a member of Marriott Rewards and book directly through Marriott), the furniture is still corporate but definitely more appealing (and in some cases, even stylish), the technology in the rooms has been upgraded to include flat-screen TVs and plenty of outlets, and you can even check-in and check-out of your room through the Marriott Mobile App. They've also shown their softer side with employees, by introducing these tip envelopes.
One hotel that's got all that's new and shiny about Marriott to show off is the Anaheim Marriott at Disneyland.
Hotel Openings / Denver Hotels / Colorado Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Le Meridien Hotels / AC Hotels / → All Tags
After a busy 2014 that saw Denver's hotel scene hit its highest peak, the city is wasting no time keeping the momentum going, announcing yet another downtown hotel project, this time in the form of a dual-branded property.
This spring, Marriott and Starwood will team up to break ground on an 18-story building that will house an AC Hotel and Le Méridien Hotel. To be located at the corner of 15th and California, a block from the Convention Center, the two hotels will add a total of 491 rooms. Each will have its own separate entry, lobby, and restaurants.
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Let superstition be damned: Marriott Hotels is taking Friday the 13th head on by opening its JW Marriott Austin tomorrow. The largest JW Marriott in the United States (1,012 guestrooms) and second largest in the world (largest being the JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai, because everything is bigger in Dubai), there are some dazzling stats that come with its size, but we’ve mostly focused on its walk-up burger window.
A King or Double-Queen Room is still available from $299 a night on opening day, of which the website currently only displays the above artist impression. We like the factory-style rolling doors that return in the headboard design, with the rest showing an expected subdued mix of blues, greys, whites, and browns.
The 1,000+ rooms on East Second Street are only the beginning of a highly-concentrated hotel boom for Austin, with another 1,400 rooms arriving within blocks of the JW Marriott. First up is The Westin Austin Downtown, now scheduled for July 16th on East 5th – a relative lightweight with only 326 rooms. It is making good on its promise of a 2015 opening though, which cannot be said of The Fairmont Austin, now pushed back to 2017, half a decade after it announced its 1,000+ room hotel.
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Normally, we tend to think, it’s easy. Independent, locally-owned hotel: good. Big, nasty, advantage-taking chain: bad.
But not in the case of the Marriott Port-au-Prince, the first international brand to reach Haiti, which opens March 1. It’s not just a chain hotel, but a collaboration between Marriott, the Clinton Foundation and Digicel Group, and it “aims to bring sustainability to the people of Haiti”.
Those are big words, but they’re backed up by fairly big actions. Staff are predominantly Haitian, and local businesses are providing everything from bathroom amenities and food (even the coffee) to the artwork displayed in the hotel, and even some of the “design elements” (or “furnishings”, as we assume we should call them).
There are hands on hotel General Managers, and then there are hands on hotel General Managers.
The new GM of the London Marriott Park Lane, Nicolas Kipper, is one of the latter.
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The importation by Marriott Hotels of the European, design-forward but very functional, AC Hotels brand is kicking into high gear. The first property opened in New Orleans in November with AC Kansas City set to open at the end of this month, followed by AC Miami Beach in April, along with several more in the pipeline for the Midwest, California and North Carolina. But as we hinted back in November, there's one more AC Hotel coming soon--The AC Hotel Washington, D.C. at National Harbor. We're gonna call it the AC DC Hotel, if you don't mind.
The AC DC Hotel, technically located in Maryland (and close to Marriott International's headquarters), was officially announced this morning with an opening date of March. Yes, that soon!
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So Moxy Hotels are definitely coming to America. With last week’s confirmation that eight US Moxys (Moxies?) are lined up – NYC, San Fran, Seattle, New Orleans, and Chicago – we thought we’d give you a little taster of what to expect. You already know to expect man meat, of course, but here’s what the rooms will look like, if our stay last October is anything to go by.
Firstly, expect a small room. In Milan, there’s not a lot of room to move about in – and certainly not enough for a desk. Perhaps in America they will supersize them a little. But pack light.
Inside your small room, you should find:
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And now, it is also so very Marriott.
Fresh off announcing its U.S. expansion plans for Moxy Hotels, Marriott has now gone and snapped up all 38 Delta Hotels, all of which are located in Canada. Here are the terms of the
signing over of Delta's soul acquisition:
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Already eight Moxy Hotels are lined up, with three hotel set for NYC (in Chelsea, Mid-town and Lower Manhattan), as well as San Fran, Seattle, New Orleans, and Chicago. (See? WE TOLD YOU.)
Naturally, we're a bit concerned about the need for THREE hotels in New York City. But Marriott is sparing no expense here, having contracted Yabu Pushelberg to do the design of at least one NYC hotel. (Remember, this duo recently did another Marriott property--Miami Beach Edition.) So clearly, Moxy is aiming to make a sexy splash when it lands stateside. Which is probably right on brand as the Moxy models are always half-dressed.
Meanwhile, the men of Moxy are still planning on coming in, er, to London three times, as well as in Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin and Denmark.
So what can you expect from Moxy Hotels, aside from lots of man meat? Affordable rates (well, at least near the airport in Milan. NYC probably will not have this), free and "furiously fast" WiFi, Apple TV in the rooms, snug rooms and no phones next to the bed as Moxy is all about high-tech, including keyless entry and motion-sensor lighting. And whatever else millennials are into these days.
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That’s what’s on the menu this spring in Italy, where both Starwood (by way of St. Regis) and Marriott (by way of JW Marriott) are entering the Venetian hotel scene with a splash (ha!) on Isola di San Clemente and Isola delle Rose, respectively. But who will be victorious? Let’s look at what each brings to their corner before things get real around March / April time.
We’ve established they're fighting for your attention in the same category: private islands, ensuring the ultimate Venice experience of hopping on a complimentary shuttle when you want to be whisked away from the crowds on San Marco. We’ve known for a while that the JW Marriott would be opening in March, but the St. Regis is now confirmed for the month after. If all goes as planned, then Marriott will have a (minor) head start.
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Hallo! There's a bunch of news flying around and we're having trouble getting to it all, so we've packaged the tidbits up nice and neat for you to read about here. Enjoy!
· BEHIND-THE-SCENES STRUGGLE IS HAPPENING AT ACE HOTELS: Alex Calderwood, the man who founded Ace Hotels, passed away last November, shocking those close to him and those who like us, just loved his hotels. His presence can still be found throughout the Aces, including in illustrated format at the Ace Hotel DTLA. But now his estate is asking for a bigger presence. We received a media alert which said the following:
The estate of the late Alex Calderwood has filed suit against Ace Group International LLC (“Ace”), its member Ecoplace LLC, and board member Stefanos Economou. Calderwood’s estate is the majority stakeholder in Ace and is asking the court to declare that it, not Ecoplace or Economou, has the right to control and manage Ace under the Ace membership agreement and Delaware law. The case is pending in the Supreme Court of New York for New York County.
Calderwood, who passed away in November 2013, was the founder and creative force behind Ace and its collection of successful Ace Hotels. Aspen Ace LLC, with Gordon Sondland as President, was established to advise and represent the estate on behalf of the Calderwood family.
Ay, yi, yi. We hope this ends amicably.
UPDATE 1.20.15, 5:00PM PST: A rep from Ace Group International has sent over this statement on the lawsuit.
Upon Alex Calderwood’s death, his interest in AGI passed to his estate which is administered by his father Thomas Calderwood. AGI’s operating agreement states that the estate's interest is a profit/distribution only interest and that it has no management rights. Stefanos Economou and the rest of Ace’s management team have been operating the company since Alex’s death. A lawsuit was filed which requests a broader role for the estate. We believe that this lawsuit is without merit.
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Sarajevo is more famous as a city of hills, but it’s also one of those beautiful European cities with a river running through it. The Miljacka splits the city in two, with the city center on the north and a quieter, more residential side (with better views) on the south.
You’d think that a river city would have hotels clamoring to sit along the riverside, but for some reason, in Sarajevo, that hasn’t happened – most of the smaller, independent hotels are in the Old Town, and most of the chainy and business ones sit on the main airport road (AKA Sniper Alley).
But there is one exception. The only hotel that actually sits right on the Miljacka is the brand new Marriott Residence Inn. In another first, it's also the only internationally branded hotel in the whole of Bosnia & Herzegovina.*