Marriott International, Inc.
will break the half-million guest room mark as the new London Marriott
West India Quay in the city’s trendy Canary Wharf area opens on June 1.
Offering travelers across the globe 18 brands to choose from and 2,700
properties in 69 countries, Marriott expects to open up to 95,000
additional rooms through the next three years. And in 2004, Marriott’s
hotel property owners plan to invest more than $1 billion in hotel
upgrades, renovations and conversions worldwide.
“As over the past 77 years, we continue to focus on growth,” said J.W.
Marriott, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer. “Reaching 500,000
rooms is the result of great partnerships with our owners and franchisees
and the dedication of thousands of associates all over the world. Working
together, we continue to combine quality and innovation with the
industry’s best people and service, and we look forward to adding even
more rooms and great locations in the years to come.”
Marriott’s market share in the United States has increased from 3 percent
in 1990 to more than 8 percent today. As the largest hotel management
company in the world, more than a quarter of Marriott’s recent growth has
been outside the United States. Since 1990, the company’s portfolio of
properties outside the U.S. has grown from 15 to nearly 550.
Across Marriott’s portfolio of brands, new color schemes and residential
touches are being added to create stylish and inviting guest rooms,
lobbies and restaurants that feature a wide range of both classical and
contemporary designs. While specific design components vary by brand and
property location, many include new decor packages, contemporary colors,
enhanced bedding, and more comfortable work areas.
Many of these touches can already be found at new properties, including
the JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando, the JW Marriott Desert Ridge
Resort and Spa in Phoenix, the Renaissance Grand in St. Louis and the
Renaissance Arts Hotel in New Orleans. Other new properties include the
157-room Marriott Park Lane on London’s Hyde Park, which appeals to
travelers who appreciate boutique hotels yet expect five-star service and
amenities, and the Berlin Marriott, standing across the street from the
Ritz-Carlton Berlin Potsdamer Platz.
In Beijing, in time for the 2008 Olympics, Marriott plans to open Ritz-
Carlton and JW Marriott hotels, to be located on the eastern edge of the
Central Business District on Changan Avenue, Beijing’s most famous
From the very beginnings of the company, Marriott has focused on
innovation, service and product leadership. Marriott was the first lodging
company to introduce an integrated guest room work station and to broadly
deploy high-speed and wireless internet access in guest rooms and public
spaces. Marriott also was the first to embrace consistent pricing (single
image inventory) and the only lodging company to offer an all-channel
comprehensive rate guarantee. In addition, the company created a
specialized wedding certification program that has graduated more than
1,200 Marriott event wedding planners.
In 1983, Marriott launched the world’s most successful hotel guest loyalty
program. Today, Marriott Rewards leads the industry by a large margin with
20 million members, and is now offered in 65 countries outside the United
States. After joining the program, Marriott Rewards members double and
often triple their number of stays. Members also earn free stays 30
percent faster than with any other major hotel program, and Marriott
Rewards offers more resorts, spas and golf than any of its competitors.
Marriott properties across its portfolio undergo both regular internal and
independent quality checks and inspection. Each property undergoes
scheduled upgrades and renovation based on wear and tear; product lifespan
for carpet, bedding, upholstered items and furniture; and the introduction
of new design elements, special features and technology.
In 2004, a range of significant properties is being refurbished, renovated
or converted, from the famed Grosvenor House in London and the historic
Shelbourne in Dublin, to the Renaissance Battle House in Mobile on
Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Other major renovations include the JW Marriott
Houston, New York Marriott Marquis, Chicago Marriott Downtown, New Orleans
Marriott and the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. Hotels
outside of the United States undergoing major renovation include the
Amsterdam Marriott, Cairo Marriott and Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort in
Marriott led the industry in product segmentation, introducing Courtyard
by Marriott, the first hotel designed and built specifically for business
travelers, in 1983. The company also met growing market demand for
extended- stay lodging with the acquisition of Residence Inn in 1987.
Marriott introduced TownePlace Suites, the first moderately priced
extended-stay brand, in 1997, and SpringHill Suites, one of the
fastest-growing upper-moderate-tier all-suite brands, in 1998. Both brands
now have over 110 hotels each.
Today, Courtyard has an aggressive reinvention program underway, which
includes fresh, crisp designs for guest rooms, lobbies and public spaces.
Residence Inns are also being refreshed, with new bedding, upgraded
kitchens and fresh colors.
Courtyards being reinvented this year include the San Francisco Airport,
Chicago Lincolnshire, Dearborn, Mich., and Tampa Westshore. Residence Inn
hotels are being newly renovated at such locations as Atlanta Buckhead,
Seattle East, Richmond, Va., and Silicon Valley.
The Courtyard portfolio today encompasses 630 hotels, most having opened
in the last 10 years. Of the oldest 200 company-operated hotels,
approximately 80 have already been renovated or reinvented. Another 50 are
expected to be reinvented by the end of the year, with the remainder
scheduled for completion in 2005. About two-thirds of the earliest
Residence Inns are expected to be refreshed by the end of this year.
Fairfield Inn, Marriott’s lower-moderate-tier brand launched in 1987, will
also see significant updating over the next several years. The brand
currently has more than 500 hotels.