Interstate opens Marriott in Belgium

Interstate Hotels & Resorts has opened the 150-room Ghent Marriott Hotel in Belgium under a long-term management contract agreement.  It is Interstate’s first managed hotel in Belgium and one of seven European hotels under contract.  The newly constructed hotel is owned by Granit Korenlei, NV, a partnership between New York developer Harry Gross and Ghent developer Marc Wybraeke.
“This is an architecturally unique property with a world-renowned brand that will appeal to both business and leisure travelers,” said Thomas F. Hewitt, Interstate chief executive officer.  “Belgium is our third European country where we manage a hotel and our seventh European contract, and we are actively seeking to expand our international management portfolio.  We think our size, proven operating systems and successful international track record make us an extremely attractive option for growing numbers of hotel owners with international interests.”
“We have a long-standing relationship with Interstate, which successfully manages three properties for us in New York City,” Gross said.  “We have the utmost confidence in Interstate’s ability to adapt their proven management practices to international markets.”

“The Ghent Marriott Hotel is a very special property, and we believe Interstate is uniquely qualified to help it reach its maximum operating potential,” Wybraeke added.
Located in the heart of the medieval city of Ghent, Belgium’s fourth-largest city, the 150-room Ghent Marriott fronts onto one of the city’s many canals and has retained portions of four centuries-old townhouses as part of its structure, with the new hotel built behind them.  Among the hotel’s amenities are a lobby lounge under an impressive glass dome, a bar and casual restaurant, a fitness center, a business center, 24-hour room service, and in-room mini-bars.  The surrounding area includes retail outlets, offices and such nearby tourist attractions as the Design Museum of Ghent; St. Bavo’s Cathedral, built in the 15th century; the famous Museum of Contemporary Art; the Castle of the Counts; and the Belfry.
“With our charming canal-front setting, unique architecture and proximity to the University of Ghent and major tourist attractions, we expect to attract a large number of leisure travelers,” said Paul Suy, general manager.  “We also offer a number of amenities that will appeal to the business traveler, including a downtown location, onsite garage parking and 4,500 square feet of flexible meeting space.  Our goal is for this unique property to become the meeting destination of choice for Ghent.”