I tried out Marriott’s new home-sharing platform tributeportfoliohomes.com and here’s what I thought

Posted by - April 25, 2018

Marriott International and Hostmaker debuted the home-sharing platform Tribute Portfolio Homes earlier this week and we just had to see what it’s all about.
On Monday, Marriott launched the Tribute Portfolio Homes beta version (which will run on a six-month trial period) and added some 200 home offerings across the London area. When one of the world’s largest hotel groups announced its intention to enter the home-sharing market, of course, we became curious.
These days, Airbnb surely isn’t alone on the plateau of home-sharing services. There’s Hyatt’s Oasis, Accor’s onefinestay, Stay One Degree, Homestay, Homestayin and Love Home Swap, to name a few.
So, I scrolled, I clicked, and I searched on the latest home-sharing service to join the bandwagon and here’s what I thought:
The homepage (Click on the image to enlarge) The interface Tribute Portfolio Homes’ home page has large images, simple to understand text, and the page flows easily while scrolling. However, I’ve got to say, I like Airbnb’s in-your-face search bar better, as it greets you as soon as you enter the website.
Perhaps Tribute’s home page could be compressed into a simpler, leaner page for a easier experience; you can scroll through the page and find a number of large photos and why you might want to try the platform. It says that it will give you peace of mind, make travelling easy, and make you feel the comfort of home. In my opinion, that could’ve been said without all the scrolling I just did.
Finding a home The ‘Find a Home’ page (Click on the image to enlarge) Now, when looking for a home, the user interface gets much better. There are drop-down menus on top, an informational map on the side (with numbers matching the homes’ location), and photos of homes with details about prices and how much points you’ll get for booking the place.
Once you click on the home of your choosing, the site doesn’t lack when it comes to giving details. Aside from the home’s features, it will also give you information about the neighbourhood, and what you can expect while staying in the area.
Neighbourhood options will give you locations from Barbican to Westminster. In addition, It will give you options for dates, number of guests, bedrooms, bathrooms and if you’re looking to stay with a group or family.
You won’t be able to book with your Marriot and SPG points yet. But if the platform takes off, you might soon enough, so better save up on those points.
A “local gem” that goes for $923 per night Price range Once I entered the ‘find a home’ page, I immediately wanted to find out which property is the cheapest and which one is the most expensive. So, I looked for a price filter of some sort – but unfortunately, there is none.
Without the filter, I had to go through all 11 pages of the property choices, which took some time. I found that the cheapest options (or let’s call it least expensive) were US$144-flats with living rooms or balconies.
On the other end of the spectrum, there’s a “local gem”, a modern “oasis of style with garden” that’s up for $923 per night. It has 5 bedrooms, living spaces, a balcony and it comes with Wi-Fi, a dishwasher, dryer – and more notably, it’s in an exclusive address in London, located in the heart of three plus neighbourhoods: Notting Hill, Bayswater and Paddington.
The verdict Marriott’s foray into the home-sharing sector looks very promising with its variety of properties within a reasonable price range. Furthermore, the platform is supported by an already established brand, which will help sustain and propel its business. It may not be pioneering, or revolutionary, but it can be a major player in the home-sharing economy.

Marriott International plans to unify loyalty programs across brands

Posted by - April 18, 2018

Craig S. Smith, president and MD; and Peggy Fang Roe, chief sales and marketing officer, both Marriott International Asia Pacific Marriott International announced it will introduce one set of unified benefits across Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest for its members starting August 2018.
With a goal to create a rich hospitality loyalty programme, Marriott International has announced its plan of unifying its benefits across brands. The move will give members an opportunity to earn more points faster than under the prior programs – an average of 20% more points for every dollar spent.
“We listened to the travel aspirations of our members and set our sights on unlocking the full potential of our loyalty programs,” said David Flueck, senior vice president of global loyalty, Marriott International.
For the first time, members will have access to book stays and earn or redeem points among 29 participating global brands comprising 6,500 hotels in 127 countries and territories.
“We hope to inspire our members whatever their travel passion”
Starting in August, members will be able to combine their separate Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) accounts into a single account spanning the entire loyalty portfolio.
Adding to this unification, travellers will also have the ability to book stays across the entire portfolio for the first time in Marriott.com, SPG.com and the Marriott and SPG apps, or by contacting customer engagement centres.
Flueck concluded: “We hope to inspire our members whatever their travel passion, whether it is resorts featuring overwater bungalows, peaceful secluded island settings, ski-in / ski-out mountain resorts, towering hotels with picture-worthy views or even former palaces converted into hotels.”
In the coming months, Marriott will provide members with information about how and when in August they can begin combining their loyalty accounts.

W Hotels to open W Escape on Ibiza in 2019

Posted by - April 16, 2018

W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International, has announced plans to debut its newest hotel in Spain with the opening of W Ibiza, scheduled for summer 2019. Owned by Inversions Hoteleres Ebza, the 162-room W Ibiza will be located in Santa Eulalia del Río, a beachside neighbourhood centrally located to Ibiza’s beaches, nightclubs and inland attractions.
“With its playful energy and bohemian spirit, Ibiza is an ideal destination and perfect match for W Hotels,” said Anthony Ingham, global brand leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “We have been present in Ibiza since 2010 with a variety of W music events and partnerships, so we’re thrilled to be finally opening a W Hotel on the island that we know our guests love.
“Following the success of W Barcelona and the forthcoming debuts of W Madrid (2019) and W Marbella (2021), W Ibiza will remix the expected and provide a new take on the (in)famous island.”
The free spirit of Ibiza Aiming to become the new entertainment hub in the Santa Eulalia neighborhood, W Ibiza will embrace the destination’s roots through bold and innovative design, attempting to ‘capture the free spirit of Ibiza’.
Santa Eulalia Three concepts designed for dining, drinking and relaxing will be complemented by a rooftop sunset bar and adults-only signature Wet Deck. A second Wet Deck will have direct access to the beachfront promenade and Santa Eulalia beach, which guests will be able to enjoy from W Ibiza’s very own chiringuito, a quintessentially Spanish beach bar.
Facilities include a 4,000 sqft Away Spa with seven private treatment rooms and the brand’s signature FIT gym experience, the brand’s Whatever/Whenever 24/7 service, and the W Insider on hand to share secret hot-spots.
Project W W Ibiza will join a portfolio of more than 50 W Hotels around the world, including recently opened locations such as W Shanghai – The Bund and W Goa. Spain is on track to boast four W Hotels by 2021 with the opening of W Madrid (2019), W Ibiza (2019) and W Marbella (2021) slated to join the W Barcelona.
W Hotel Barcelona The hotel will also be the thirteenth W Escape, the brand’s “playfully luxe” take on the traditional resort experience, which includes sand, ski and entertainment destinations around the world. Each W Escape provides a signature Sunset Beats event to warm up for the night ahead, while also offering regional millennial-focussed experiences, such as shaman healing at W Bali.
The brand has bold ambitions for the future: W Hotels is on track to have 75 hotels globally by the end of 2020. Maybe the ‘W’ stands for ‘Watch this space’.

JW Marriott set to open its debut property in the Maldives

Posted by - April 16, 2018

As part of its luxury portfolio, Marriott International is set to open the JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa in the island of Vagaru by the end of this year.
The JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa is a luxury oasis that will feature 61 beach and overwater villas, ranging from 234 sqm to 638 sqm, each with its own private pool. It will offer some of the largest entry category villas with plenty of vegetation and privacy, with each room featuring private decking and private pools.
Commenting on the opening, general manager of the JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa, Marc Gussing said: “We’re very excited to be opening the JW Marriott’s first property here in the Maldives. This distinctive resort has been created with the Middle Eastern traveller in mind, providing privacy, unparalleled dining experiences, lush surroundings, and curated experiences.”
JW Marriott will house three full-service bars, an interactive wine room, in-villa and destination dining options, and specific cigar and shisha venues.
The offerings include Furamas, providing Japanese Teppanyaki and delicacies from above and below the water line; Lonu, the resort’s grill room fine-dining experience, offering prime meat cuts and fresh crustacean; Rum Bar & Kitchen, serving over 100 rums and Thai street food, tapas-style; Raha, providing hearty and wholesome Italian flavours with wood-fired pizzas, and finally Kaage, an all-day dining venue with an international fanfare of favourites from across the globe.
“Delivering on our brand values and exceeding their expectations”
“We look forward to welcoming guests to the JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa, delivering on our brand values and exceeding their expectations, whilst being a part of crafting lifelong unforgettable memories,” Gussing added.
JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa will also feature a signature Spa by JW, offering guests a relaxing and individual spa experience. Treatments, which are focused on delivering specific benefits, are designed by world-renowned experts and come complete with superior spa products. Furthermore, the resort will provide resident Yogi and fitness instructors.
Also suited for families, JW Marriott will have its signature Kid’s Club by JW. It will enable guests to fully immerse in the tranquillity of the resort and all its offerings, whilst knowing their children are in safe hands.
Providing something for every interest, the resort will have a library for the intellectual; professional diving and water sports for the adventurer; boutiques for the shopaholic; and Lounge 18, a chill-out zone for those aged 18 years and above.
JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa will be a 55-minute seaplane flight from Velana International Airport – it will open its doors in Q4 2018.

Marriott International signed over 30 projects in the Middle East and Africa

Posted by - April 12, 2018

The Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Hotel in Qatar Marriott International has big plans ahead: in the next five years the company will increase its portfolio in the region by 50%, debut additional brands, and add 30,000 new jobs.
With ambitious plans for the Middle East and Africa, Marriott International signed more than 30 properties and over 5,000 rooms in the last 12 months. It will increase its portfolio in the region by more than 50% in the next five years – amounting to more than 80,000 rooms across 21 brands including the introduction of EDITION, Element and AC Hotels.
Marriott expects to add around 30,000 new jobs across its portfolio, in line with the company’s development plans.
“The industry is thriving more than ever”
Regarding the plans, Alex Kyriakidis, president and managing director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International commented: “It is a really exciting time for the Middle East and Africa region’s travel and tourism sector.
“With clear and ambitious visions set out by regional governments to grow and invest in the sector, the industry is thriving more than ever. At Marriott International, we are proud that we and our owners are opening a huge range of jobs, as well as contributing to the ongoing growth and diversification of the region’s economy.”
The announcement of Marriott’s growth plans in the region comes ahead of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference, which centred its 2018 theme on “Focus on the Future”.

During the annual event, Kyriakidis will join the “Regional Leaders in the Hot Seat” panel session to discuss how hotel operators are supporting owners and adjusting to a maturing and shifting regional market.
“Marriott International’s growth in the region is a result of consistently delivering value to our owners. Our long-established presence in the region, global footprint, a compelling portfolio of diverse brands, award-winning loyalty programs and strength of our distribution platforms continue to position us at the forefront, enabling us to leverage trends to benefit our stakeholders in the region,” added Kyriakidis.
“Marriott International’s growth in the region is a result of consistently delivering value to our owners”
“We remain focused on working with our owners to identify synergies and increase efficiencies across hotels by implementing shared services, remote solutions, complexing of hotels where relevant and possible and by bringing state-of-the-art technology to leverage scale, ultimately improving profitability.”
The Middle East and Africa present immense development opportunities for Marriott to strengthen its position in the market and its growth plans reflect a high demand for its various brands.

VIDEO: Marriott says a (rather violent) ‘bonjour’ to the Hong Kong Sevens with iconic French Number 8, Sébastian Chabal

Posted by - April 6, 2018

The Hong Kong Rugby Sevens exploded on to the international rugby scene this today – possibly in a similar way to Sébastian Chabal entering a hotel room in his own iconic way.
To celebrate the sporting event, official sponsor Marriott International has unveiled a series of four short films featuring the legendary French forward Sébastian Chabal, as part of its marketing campaign ‘Stay Brilliant’.
Chabal shows us how ‘Stay Brilliant’ In the launch video ‘Bonjour’, Chabal clatters through a wall as part of the hapless hotel guest’s wake-up call:

Chabal’s next video shows us ‘How to eat local’ – with his host getting quite literally stuffed with bao, a type of Chinese pork bun:

… and the third installment sees the enormous bearded talisman giving a ‘relaxing’ head massage.

Mike Fulkerson, vice president of brand and marketing Asia Pacific at Marriott International, said: “The flagship of the Marriott International portfolio, Marriott Hotels, is a brand known for innovation. When guests check into a Marriott Hotel, they’ll be invited to join our best-in-class Marriott Rewards loyalty program and have access to exclusive experiences.”
Marriott has three major hotels in Hong Kong: The Ritz-Carlton, the Courtyard Hong Kong Sha Tin and the Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel.
The event itself The three-day Hong Kong Sevens attracts some of the world’s greatest rugby players and offers world rugby’s largest prize purse. Having originally kicked off with 12 teams in front of 3,000 people at the Hong Kong Football Club in 1976, today’s three-day festival sees 40 teams playing in front of a total of 120,000 spectators.
The teams involved for the 2018 event, held at Lee Gardens, include international heavyweights such as New Zealand, Australia, England, South Africa, Samoa, Argentina and many more, all looking to earn a place in the final on Sunday 8 April and to take home the title.
To learn more about the event, visit hksevens.com.

Marriott celebrates 100th Indian hotel with commitment to 50 new sites and a total of 30,000 rooms

Posted by - April 4, 2018

L to R: Neeraj Govil, Arne Sorenson,Craig Smith (all Marriott International); Faiz Alam Ansari (Sheraton Grand); Faiz Rezwan, Naoman Razack, Irfan Razack, Zaid Sadiq, Rezwan Razack, Zayd Noaman (all Prestige Group) Marriott International have been particularly industrious over the last few months, revealing the details of their most successful year with the opening of thirty five hotels in Europe during 2017.
An achievement compounded by the opening of its hundredth hotel in India this week – the Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Centre – the group is now set to open a further 50 sites across the country, expected to bring Marriott’s Indian inventory up to 30,000 rooms.
Marriott International president and CEO, Arne Sorenson attended the opening of the hotel during a week-long visit to India.
“We see incredible opportunity… particularly in the upper midscale, upscale and luxury segments”
Commenting on extensive rollout, Paul Foskey, chief development officer for Marriott International said: “India is one of Marriott International’s most important markets in Asia, with the second highest- number of hotels and rooms after China.
“Given India’s robust economy and rising middle class, we see incredible opportunity to continue working with owners to open hotels from across Marriott’s extensive array of brands, particularly in the upper midscale, upscale and luxury segments.”
After more than a decade of accelerated growth in India, Marriott currently has more than 20,000 rooms spread over 15 brands and 32 cities, with over 30,000 current employees and another 3,000 expected to join by the end of this year.
Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Centre The opening of the Sheraton Grand in Bengaluru underscores the company’s commitment to India’s growing market. The 360-room property features 39 suites and the Sheraton brand’s signature amenities and facilities such as the Shine Spa, Sheraton Club Lounge, Sheraton Fitness and Sheraton Signature Sleep Experience.
“Achieving this milestone solidifies our commitment to the region and is a testament to the strength of our brands, our strong team, and the confidence from our owners in delivering world-class hotels and personalized services to our guests. We shall continue to pave the way for aggressive expansion with our strong pipeline of hotels,” said Neeraj Govil, area vice president of South Asia at Marriott International.

“It is an exciting time to be at the forefront of the hotel industry and we have set ambitious goals for the future. Marriott International continues to strive at providing unique experiences, leading in technology innovation as well as ensuring that our loyalty programs continue to provide elevated benefits to our member base.”

Marriott opens new doors in ME with Aloft Me’aisam and announces two more properties in the pipeline

Posted by - March 26, 2018

Marriott International has opened its second Aloft hotel in Dubai, the Aloft Me’aisam.
It’s another exciting year for the Aloft brand, following the launch of Aloft Palm in The Palm Jumeirah. The latest addition to the portfolio, the Aloft Me’aisam is a 223-room hotel that features two-metre-high ceilings and 49-inch LED TVs that come with Chromecast.
As for its location, Aloft Me’aisam aims to deliver a hip new hotel experience in the heart of Dubai Production City. It’s just across the road from the City Centre Me’aisem Mall, within minutes from Dubai Sports City and the acclaimed Jumeirah Golf Estate.
Alex Kyriakidis of Marriott International said: “The UAE remains one of our strongest growth markets and we are confident the continued growth of Aloft in the market is a strong response to the evolving expectations of travellers today.”
The Aloft Suite is around 50-53 square metres The Aloft Me’aisam the Re:fuel by Aloft gourmet restaurant, an all-day café kitchen called City Limits, and the signature WXYZ bar. For looking those looking to maintain their wellbeing, the hotel offers the Re:charge fitness centre, a Bliss Spa, an outdoor splash pool, and a meeting space with A/V equipment.
For families with children, the hotel offers Camp, an adventure programme that includes a night in a sleeping bag and special treats for kids, and, as expected, the rooms are equipped with SPG Keyless, a mobile check-in system where guests can utilise their mobile phones as room keys.
The City Limits All-Day Dining Stuart Birkwood, general manager, added: “Aloft is designed for the hyper-connected, tech-savvy global traveller and we’re excited to share our innovative programming to the millennial travellers of today.”
Aloft Hotels will continue to expand this year as it is scheduled to be open an Aloft in Dubai South (1 August) and City Centre Deira (1 April) later this year.

Marriott makes a green statement with the debut of eco-friendly Element Moline hotel

Posted by - March 21, 2018

The Element Moline in Illinois (artist’s concept by Marriott International) As climate change and biodiversity loss threaten our environment, Marriott International has made a statement with the debut of the eco-friendly Element Moline in Illinois.
Making moves to help conserve the environment and well-being of its guests, Element Moline offers eco-friendly wellness amenities with the support of the Moline Historic Society. The hotel highlights modern features of environmental sustainability while charming its visitors with an old-fashioned style.
The six-story hotel features earthy tones and nature-inspired designs while retaining the same structure and foundations of its historic building that sits near the Mississippi River. Its design includes exposed brick and columns; many of the building’s original components, which come from the O’Rourke Building, a warehouse that was originally built in 1916, have been preserved.
“An important part of the history of Moline”
“We are thrilled to be bringing Element Hotels to Illinois for the first time with the opening of this landmark property. The O’Rourke Building is an important part of the history of Moline, and we’re excited to be part of the city’s future,” said Marlon Whyte, senior global brand director of Element Hotels.
Element Moline’s eco-friendly ways Element Moline uses décor and artwork from repurposed and recycled materials, low-volatile organic compound (VOC) paint, every lightbulb in the building is LED and all of the rooms have filtered water systems. In bathrooms, guests will find low-flow taps, as well as toiletries made with certified organic ingredients.
“It has been an exciting project preserving the historic charm of this building”
Aside from having eco-friendly amenities, Element Moline has the well-being of its guests on top priority. There’s a complimentary Rise breakfast every morning, featuring a yoghurt station and fresh fruits. Furthermore, the hotel is equipped with an indoor saline lap pool and a Motion Fitness centre open 24/7.
“It has been an exciting project preserving the historic charm of this building while turning it into a stylish and modern destination for the neighbourhood and visitors.”
The Element CourtyardElement Moline has embraced a sustainable design philosophy – the National Park Service partnered with the ownership to review and approve every aspect of the project.

Marriott re-sign Grand Lion to take advantage of Cambodian growth

Posted by - March 12, 2018

It’s been little more than eight years since Marriott International first entered into discussions with, Cambodian real estate company, Grand Lion Group to open a luxury resort near Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
The post Marriott re-sign Grand Lion to take advantage of Cambodian growth appeared first on Travel Daily Media.