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January 24, 2017
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A Look Back at Marriott’s Record Year




marriott international

Marriott International’s recent partnership with Sandals Resorts International to bring a new conference center to Jamaica caps a record year for the company. 

According to a roundup recently released by the company, in total Marriott opened a record 55,000 rooms in 2016, excluding the 381,000 rooms gained with the close of its merger with Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

Marriott’s just-announced deal with Sandals will bring its AC Hotels by Marriott brand to the Caribbean, marking the first time Sandals has managed a brand it did not create. The new AC Kingston in Jamaica will have 220 guest rooms, a 10,000 square foot conference center and a full service restaurant. 

In Europe, Marriott’s European Convention Network (ECN) announced a new partnership with London-based technology startup GoInStore that will offer meeting planners access to virtual live tours of the meetings and events facilities of the ECN’s collection of 14 convention hotels in Europe. Event managers will be able to use GoInStore’s real-time mobile technology to conduct personalized and interactive virtual tours using a live one-way video stream and two-way audio channel. In other technology news, this year saw the launch of the company’s new Meetings Imagined online platform, which provides expert tips on a variety of meetings-related topics.

In terms of major event hotels, 2016 saw the debut of the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort in Florida, bringing with it a total of 1000,000 square feet of flexible event space and a 12,000 square foot indoor entertainment center in a new adults-only tower. The JW Marriott Miami also took the wraps off a $1.5 million redesign of its meeting and event spaces, including the 10,000 square foot Grand Ballroom. In New York, the Marriott Syracuse Downtown debuted a ballroom renovation of its own, a two-year, $76 million project that preserved the historic details of the spaces. In California, the Marriott Marquis San Diego opened a new event space ahead of this year’s San Diego Comic Con, bringing a new two-level stacked ballroom, the largest on the West Coast, to the property. 

Looking ahead, Marriott continues to beta test a new guest experience, particularly for its boutique Aloft and Element brands. The company just debuted a pop-up hotel innovation lab in Los Angeles that shows off several new proposals for both business and leisure travelers. These include a new communal guest room design for Element that citrates four guest rooms around a central communal room, which Marriott said is aimed at providing more collaborative space for groups. Marriott is also using the space to pilot several new food and beverage concepts, such as healthy spinach-, quinoa- and avocado-focused options for Aloft, as well as an automatic portable wine cart for Element. The new lab builds on Marriott’s M Beta hotel concept, which debuted earlier this year at the Charlotte Marriott City Center

Visit www.marriott.com


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About the Author: Adam Leposa



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