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Marriott Announces Ed Ryan to Retire as General Counsel

Marriott - 18 October 2017
BETHESDA, Md. -- Following a distinguished career of over 21 years, the last 11 years as general counsel, Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) announced today that executive vice president and general counsel Ed Ryan will retire from the position. Ed will continue as general counsel through early December, at which point he'll transition to an advisory role to company president and CEO, Arne Sorenson, through 2018."Ed has been a trusted advisor from the moment we met both joining the company in 1996 - but particularly since I took on the CEO role," said Sorenson. "Ed uniquely defined the GC role to fit both the complexity of our business and the company's rapidly growing profile as an industry leader and a global company. Among his many accomplishments, one of the best is the development of his team - an exemplary in-house legal department staffed not just with talented professionals around the world, but with people who care deeply about advancing Marriott's business goals, minimizing our legal risk, and leading the way on ethics."During Ed's tenure, Marriott was recognized by the Ethisphere Institute on its "World's Most Ethical Company" list for ten years. As Marriott International has grown internationally over the last decade, Ed developed a legal department across 15 offices around the world to support the company's global footprint. Most recently, Ed was responsible for guiding Marriott International's merger with Starwood across the finish line."Ed believes that the end of a successful business negotiation is making sure the person on the other side of the table feels good about the outcome," said Sorenson. "That's not just smart business, it's emblematic of the company's culture, and throughout the hotel industry Ed is known for his ability to get to a result where both sides can walk away knowing they were respected."Prior to being appointed General Counsel, Ed held several positions in the Marriott law department, including in development, asset management, operations, franchising, and corporate transactions. Ed joined Marriott after 18 years serving clients in private practice in Washington, D.C., first with the firm of Crowell & Moring (1978-1984), and then with Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells) (1984-1996), where he was made partner in 1989.Ed is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, receiving his A.B. summa cum laude in 1975 and his J.D. cum laude in 1978. While attending law school, he was associate editor of the Law Review. Ed is a member of numerous legal associations including the Association of Corporate Counsel and also serves on the Board of Goodwill of the Greater Washington area, and is a past President of the Potomac Boat Club.The company anticipates announcing Ed's successor shortly.

MADE In Partnership With Moxy Unveils FAITH CONNEXION X SITA ABELLAN Capsule Collection

Marriott - 16 October 2017
NEW YORK -- JORDAN BARRETT, HARI NEF, PETER BRANT JR, VENUS X and SLICK WOODS were just some of the names joining New York's fashion crowd Thursday night in Times Square for the unveiling of FAITH CONNEXION and Sita Abellan's capsule collection FAITH CONNEXION X SITA ABELLAN at the city's most audacious and non-conventional new hotel location, Moxy Times Square. The design-driven hotel provided the backdrop for a presentation of the collection complete with live snakes, a pop-up shop with exclusive items for purchase, and a private rooftop cocktail party, toasting the hosts' shared affinity for fashion, art and creativity.TAO Group's Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge at Moxy Times Square offered unique food and beverages throughout the night, while DJ VENUS X provided the evening's soundtrack. Models showcased pieces from the FAITH CONNEXION x SITA ABELLAN capsule, alongside six looks from FAITH CONNEXION's Spring '18 main collection, giving guests an exclusive preview under the glow of the Empire State Building. FAITH CONNEXION's exclusive limited edition hoodie as well as items from Sita's personal collection not available to buy anywhere else in NY were also available for purchase in an exclusive pop-up shop outside Bar Moxy, Moxy Times Square's second-floor bar."MADE's reputation as a rule-breaker and culture-shaker perfectly aligns with Moxy's brand identity, which celebrates nonconformity, irreverence, and originality. Similarly, both FAITH CONNEXION's tribe of designers and Sita Abellan's free-spirited style fully encapsulate the Moxy and MADE spirit, creating a unique experience for all who attended that could only happen in New York," said Toni Stoeckl, Global Brand Leader and Vice President, Distinctive Select Brands, Marriott International."Moxy's disruptive brand identity, FAITH CONNEXION's commitment to all things cool and Sita's vibrant music and style are all aligned with MADE's vision," said MADE's Global Fashion Director Ruth Gruca. "Together we were able to create a unique experience for all attendees, inclusive of live anacondas, diamonds and one-of-a-kind NY-themed hoodies.""FAITH CONNEXION chose Moxy as the ideal partner for the launch of FAITH CONNEXION X SITA ABELLAN'S bold and diverse capsule collection," said Maria Buccellati, President of FAITH CONNEXION. "Moxy Times Square's rooftop, Magic Hour, provided the iconic New York City skyline as our backdrop, which perfectly reflects the urban energy and raw creativity channeled into this capsule collection."The party marked the New York coming out for both FAITH CONNEXION, whose first U.S. retail location opened in SoHo on September 11 and for Moxy Times Square, which opened its doors to the public in September.FAITH CONNEXION's collaboration with DJ and Instagram star Sita Abellan marks a new chapter for the maison. The story began a year ago, when the Spanish model struck a pose alongside the likes of rapper Tommy Genesis, among others, for the group's Summer 2017 look book, before hitting up the turntables at Silencio club for a private FAITH CONNEXION event.Renowned for her eclectic - and electric - looks, Sita rose to fame when she was discovered on Instagram by Rihanna, who also hosted her Fashion Week party at Moxy Times Square earlier in the year. Sita is by no means a "typical girl" - and the emblematic song of the same title by The Slits, one of the first female punk-rock groups, represents, according to her, the spirit of this capsule.VIP guests included: JORDAN BARRETT, HARI NEF, PETER BRANT JR, VENUS X, SLICK WOODS, JACOPO OLMO, ALANA O'HERLIHY, MAY KWOK, ALEXANDRE ASSOULINE, HANNAH SIDER, JENNE LOMBARDO, THE BLONDS, MATTHEW MAZUR, MAAD, MAZDACK RASSI, and KEITH BAPTISTA.VIP guests wearing FAITH CONNEXION: SITA ABELLAN, PETER BRANT JR, MATTHEW MAZUR, SLICK WOODS, MAY KWOK, MAAD, VENUS XAbout the FAITH CONNEXION X SITA ABELLAN Capsule CollectionThe nine-piece capsule is a testament to the virtuosity of Faith's in-house ateliers who accompanied Sita throughout the creative process. A spectacular biker jacket in metallicized blue calfskin is adorned with 2500 studs, which took more than 30 hours to apply. Meanwhile, the smocked waistband of a 90s-inspired poplin mini-dress required 2 meters of fabric to create a stretch effect in non-stretch fabric utilizing a special stitching technique. Similarly, a full five and a half meters of fabric went into the fabrication of a legging made entirely of black gathered tulle.Sita's signature shade of electric blue represents a common thread in the capsule, manifesting as a subtle edging on the collar of a black mesh-and-tulle robe, a nod to Madonna circa 1980s. A high-waisted trouser of stretch silk leather features an embroidered motif of the word "Fe" in blue lurex - a translation of the word "Faith" and a playful reference to the brand. A black silk jumpsuit, inspired by a workman's coveralls, features multiple zippers, and is embroidered with blue sequins in a zebra pattern.In the same spirit, a miniature cargo vest is reimagined in a reflective high-tech fabric, accompanied by a motorcycle trouser that combines the same with panels of black waterproof and white performance nylon, with a backpack-inspired plastic buckle belt closure. The high note of the capsule is a top entirely made up of "Faith" patches, as if Sita were rendering homage to the house that has welcomed her into its creative family. The DIY style of this special piece highlights the ultra-customization and personalization reflecting the universe of the self-defined "technoprincess".About MADEMADE began in 2009 to counter the impact of economic recession on the fashion industry and designers. As part of the IMG portfolio, MADE is a global platform that makes fashion more accessible and connects visionary brands to the creative vanguard. Love MADE and stay tuned at MA.DE, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and tumblr.

Marriott International continues extensive expansion in Africa

Marriott - 10 October 2017
Today Announces Seven New Hotels, Marking a Debut in Ivory Coast and Strengthening Presence in Ethiopia, Ghana and NigeriaKIGALI, Rwanda -- From the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) (www.Africa-Conference.com) in Kigali, Rwanda, Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) (www.Marriott.com) today announced further expansion plans in Africa with seven new hotel signings. Marriott International was the first global chain to make a significant investment in Africa with the acquisition of Protea Hotels for $210 million in 2014. The company is targeting over 200 hotels with 37,000 rooms open or in the pipeline by 2022, equating to around $8.5 billion of capital investment by its real estate partners, reinforcing its continued commitment to expansion in Africa and solidifying its leadership on the continent. The investment is expected to generate substantial economic activity and around 50,000 direct and indirect jobs once the hotels open."Africa today makes a very compelling story. We are seeing unprecedented traction for our compelling brands, driving our momentum of growth," said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. "We have always believed in the potential of Africa and the opportunities the continent has to offer. With economic growth, a rising middle class and rapid urbanization, the demand for travel and high quality lodging is growing, providing us with a significant opportunity to enhance our footprint and play our part in supporting many emerging markets across the continent," he added.Today Marriott International hotels are present in 20 African countries: Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia. The company is expected to foray into new markets including Benin, Botswana, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, and Senegal and has signed 1300 new rooms marking the debut of Marriott International into Ivory Coast while strengthening its presence in existing markets including Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria.Abidjan Marriott Hotel, Ivory CoastWithin walking distance from the Presidential Palace, the 200 room Abidjan Marriott Hotel is strategically located in the heart of Plateau, the central business district and the commercial, financial and administrative center of Abidjan. Owned by Ivory Coast Investissement, the hotel is slated to open in 2021 and will be part of a mixed-use development that will include a conference center, offices, retail and a national library.Sheraton Abidjan and Four Points by Sheraton Abidjan, Ivory CoastSlated to open in 2022, both Sheraton Abidjan and Four Points by Sheraton Abidjan will also be part of a mixed-use development which will include a convention center, a marina, a shopping center and an office building. The 259 room Four Points by Sheraton Abidjan will be a conversion of an existing hotel, which will be rebranded following extensive refurbishment, while the 300 room Sheraton Abidjan will be a new build property. Owned by the Societe Des Lagunes, the hotels will be set on the waterfront in the affluent neighborhood of Cocody, an upmarket residential commune that also houses the embassy district.With Ivory Coast being celebrated as one of Africa's fastest-growing economies, and re-emerging as the gateway to Francophone Africa, the new hotels in the capital city of Abidjan are ideally placed for a long and thriving future.Renaissance Landmark Lagos Hotel and Marriott Executive Apartments, Victoria Island, Lagos, NigeriaOwned and developed by Landmark Africa Group, Marriott International will manage the 216 room Renaissance Landmark Lagos Hotel, as well as a 44-room Marriott Executive Apartments. Slated to open in 2020, the hotels will be located within the Landmark Village precinct, a premier mixed-use, business, leisure and lifestyle development along the Atlantic Ocean waterfront in Victoria Island, the central business district of Lagos. The 25-floor hotel will offer a wide range of amenities, including local and international restaurants, spa facilities, a fitness center, and an infinity pool with access to a 100-meter-long boardwalk overlooking a vibrant beach club offering exciting watersports. Speaking on the increased interest in mixed-use development projects, Kyriakidis said, "As cities evolve and grow into flourishing urban centers, we will continue to see a lot of activity in this space. An international hotel brand can bring cachet to a project that positions it significantly above its peers and differentiates it from its competitors. Our compelling brands spanning every segment from Luxury to Premium to Select to Extended Stay, lend themselves to grow in all markets, city and resort as well as standalone and mixed-use formats, providing developers the flexibility and choice to identify the right brand for the right location."Le Meridien Accra, GhanaThe 160 room Le Meridien Accra, owned by 4-Mac Limited is strategically located close to the international airport, within the prestigious Airport Residential Area of Accra. It will provide easy access to key commercial, diplomatic and government nodes as well as to major city attractions. Scheduled to open in 2021, the hotel marks the debut of Le Meridien brand into Ghana.Protea Hotel by Marriott Addis Ababa, EthiopiaProjected to open in 2021, the 165 room Protea Hotel by Marriott Addis Ababa, located on Churchill Avenue will mark the debut of the brand into Ethiopia. The hotel will offer a specialty restaurant, a lobby bar and lounge and meeting facilities as well as a fitness center and spa.Earlier this year, Marriott International had announced the debut of The Ritz-Carlton brand in the exotic Zanzibar Archipelago with the signing of The Ritz-Carlton Zanzibar, the 90 room all suite and villa luxury resort as well as the debut of Aloft into Mauritius with the signing of Aloft Port Louis, the brand's first adaptive reuse project in Africa.Commenting on the extraordinary pace of hotel signings and openings this year, Kyriakidis said, "Signings and openings form the cornerstone of our aggressive growth strategy. Our history and legacy on the continent and the strong foundations we have built over the years serve as a springboard for our future growth. Our brands are resonating with the aspirational and fast growing middle class in the region. Our strengthened footprint and increased distribution is driving market share and building loyalty which makes us more attractive to investors than ever before."The company debuted the Four Points brand in Tanzania last week with the opening of Four Points by Sheraton Arusha, The Arusha Hotel and is now gearing up to open the Four Points by Sheraton Dar es Salam, New Africa Hotel. Earlier this year the brand debuted in Kenya with the opening of Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Hurlingham and is now expected to open its second hotel in Kenya, Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport in the next couple of weeks.In Egypt, the company recently reopened Sheraton Cairo, a city icon for over four decades, after extensive renovation. It is now looking to debut its renowned luxury brand St. Regis, with the opening of the spectacular St. Regis Cairo, a highly anticipated addition to the company's luxury portfolio in the country.Marriott also recently opened Protea by Marriott Owerri Select in Nigeria. Other forthcoming openings over the next couple of months include Sheraton Bamako which marks the debut of Marriott International in Mali, Protea Hotel by Marriott Constantine, the brand's debut in Algeria and the Accra Marriott Hotel, the debut of the flagship Marriott Hotels brand in Ghana.Today, Marriott International has a strong footprint across the continent operating 140 hotels with close to 24,000 rooms across 12 brands.

W Maldives Partners with Reebok Women Brand to Redefine Perfection with #PerfectNever Campaign

Marriott - 3 October 2017
On 25-27th August, Reebok Women invited 12 ladies from Southeast Asia and the Pacific to W Maldives as the faces and voices of their #PerfectNever campaign in the region, with the aim of flipping the conventional notion of perfection. These are influencers with a huge following on Social Media (approx. 7.7 million collectively) and admired for their flawless lifestyles. With the #PerfectNever campaign set in the perfect environment, the aim of the happening was to show that there are more to these women than the airbrushed images on their Social Media accounts - the grit and the determination that makes them human and 'perfect' in their own way.During the 3-day event, these women shared their life journey during both individual and sharing interview sessions. At the forefront of their minds were topics on comparing oneself to others, body shaming, bullying, personal insecurities and society's definition of 'beautiful'. Boundaries were also pushed with a 7:00AM sunrise yoga session and a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout at sunset led by Reebok's Ambassador Liv Lo. A combat workout was also conducted by W Maldives' own fitness instructor Mark Angeles. The digital campaign is scheduled for launch on October 1, 2017.During the event, Social Media content contributed to #PerfectNever garnered a reach of 8,910,066 and 35,911,486 in impressions.The actual #PerfectNever campaign will launch with a full video that summarizes the #PerfectNever experience at W Maldives and a voiceover that encapsulates the campaign message. The influencers will be sharing their #PerfectNever story through 60 seconds' videos of their individual journeys; pictures of their perfect self and 'tough fitness' pictures of them geared in Reebok attire.An online contest is also organized for residents of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, in which they may enter by sharing their #PerfectNever stories online. The Grand Prize is an all-expense paid 3-night stay at W Maldives for two, sponsored by both brands.Explore the Instagram pages of our #PerfectNever attendees:Reebok Ambassador - Liv LoIndonesia - Naysilla Mirdad, actressIndonesia - Olivia Lazuardy, fashion bloggerThailand - Lydia Sarunrat Deane, singerSingapore - Andrea Chong, fashion and travel bloggerSingapore - Melissa Celestine Koh, fashion and travel bloggerMalaysia - Kiran Jassal, model and Miss Universe Malaysia 2016Malaysia - Venice Min, bloggerPhilippines - Laureen Uy, bloggerPhilippines - Katarina Rodriguez, model and Asia's Next Top Model finalistVietnam - Chau Bui, fashion iconAustralia - Amy Maree Comber, makeup artist and YouTuberAustralia - Keira Rumble, travel and lifestyle blogger"We are excited to sponsor the Reebok's Women new #PerfectNever marketing campaign, which resonates perfectly with the W Hotels' lifestyle approach to delivering healthy lifestyle choices to their diverse W clientele. For W Maldives, this means applying our bold approach to wellness so any woman could look and feel good whenever she wants," said Thomas Vaucouleur de Ville d'Avray, W Maldives' General Manager.About W MaldivesConnect with your inner peace and go along with the pace of island life. Experience one of the 77 Escapes, either on the beachside or overwater giving you access to endless Indian Ocean views. Succumb to the dazzling blue waters, spectacular reefs and pristine sands in style and be at one with both body and soul. AWAY Spa at W Maldives is the ultimate sanctuary for well-being with four overwater treatment villas, each with a private outdoor area and a range of treatments designed to remove all the stresses and strains of modern day city life.

Marriott International's AI-powered Chatbots on Facebook Messenger and Slack, and Aloft's ChatBotlr, Simplify Travel for Guests Throughout Their Journey

Marriott - 29 September 2017
BETHESDA, Md. -- Marriott International - the hospitality industry's iconic leader in guest service - is expanding upon the heart of its hospitality, its hundreds of thousands of associates, by creating additional points of engagement for guests, powered by artificial intelligence.Recently, Aloft Hotels, the innovation incubator for savvy global travelers, launched the first ChatBotlr, a new chatbot available via text message that gives guests an additional way to make service requests. Driven by ahead-of-the-curve technology, Aloft's ChatBotlr empowers guests to request basic hotel services right from their own smartphones. Aloft introduced the first generation Botlr, a robotic butler, in 2014 as an inventive pilot program to allow front desk associates to respond more immediately to guest needs, one-on-one. This next evolution of Botlr, the ChatBotlr, is available to all our guests on their phones, anywhere and anytime they have a request. With ChatBotlr, guests may text to request services, information about the hotel, listen to the brand's #AloftLive playlist and connect with the front desk team during their stay, even when the guest is not on-property. By leveraging natural language understanding and machine learning, ChatBotlr gets smarter the more it interacts with guests. Early findings show that 2 out of 3 Aloft guests are interacting or making requests with ChatBotlr and the service has a five-second response time."By embracing emerging messaging technologies, we can expand service to our guests on their terms and through communication channels they increasingly prefer and feel comfortable using," said Stephanie Linnartz, Global Chief Commercial Officer, Marriott International. "The delivery of on demand service enables Marriott to simplify travel, remove friction and power up even better service for our guests at more moments throughout their travel journey."Aloft's ChatBotlr joins Marriott's other newly implemented service innovations powered by technology. Marriott Rewards chatbots are available on Facebook Messenger, Slack and soon, We-Chat and Google Assistant, and serve loyalty members before, during and between stays. Marriott Rewards members on Facebook Messenger and Slack can research and book travel at more than 4,700 hotels, link their Marriott Rewards and SPG accounts, plan for their upcoming stay with articles from the digital magazine Marriott Traveler, and chat directly with Customer Engagement Center associates. Of Marriott Reward members using Marriott Rewards' Facebook Messenger this year, 44 percent received stay-related customer service such as changes to their reservation and 53 percent found assistance related to their Rewards account such as how to redeem points for stays. As technology becomes more integrated into our guests' daily lives, chatbots simplify the travel experience enabling guests to ask basic questions, make simple requests, and receive instant responses. They also free our Marriott associates on property from routine tasks, allowing them to deliver elevated, personalized hospitality to our guests.Messaging is growing in popularity with people in the U.S. spending an average of 200 minutes per day in messaging apps according to The Economist and recent reports show messaging apps as the number 1 most frequently used feature on mobile devices. Years ago, Marriott recognized the growing popularity of text messaging when it launched the Mobile Requests feature on the Marriott Mobile app in 2015 enabling guests to chat directly with hotel associates. Since then, 2.5 million requests have been received with more than half coming before guests checked in. Mobile Requests inspired Marriott to expand mobile communications options to guests using the device they always have at hand, their smartphone.Marriott's always-on approach to customer service enables the company to deliver the widest choice of engagement whether that is through messaging, call centers, or face-to-face on property with associates. Leveraging technology, we can deepen personalization, expand choice and connect our associates with our guests in a more meaningful way, as we lead the next generation of the guest experience.

Marriott Hotels announces winners of its 2017 TestBED programme

Marriott - 27 September 2017
After being shortlisted from almost 150 applicants across 24 countries, eight start-ups pitched to a panel of judges last month, aiming to shape the future travel and hospitality experience. The panel included Georgie Barrat, presenter of The Gadget Show, in addition to tech industry leaders and senior Marriott figures. The following three start-ups were crowned the winners following a rigorous judging process:MyManuPiloting at: Frankfurt Marriott HotelA UK start-up that developed 'Click' - wireless earbuds that offer live voice translation to 37 languages. For Marriott Hotels 'Click' can offer the ability to communicate with guests in their native language and make their interaction with Marriott associates feel more seamless and natural. The technology can also be used for meetings and events held within Marriott Hotels.mymanu.comHiJiffyPiloting at: London Marriott Hotel Regents ParkA Portugal based start-up that developed an AI powered Chatbot designed for the hospitality sector. Using Chabot's Marriott Hotels can offer its guests with a variety of services using Facebook Messenger at any place and time and in an effective and efficient way.www.hijiffy.comOptishowerPiloting at: Amsterdam Marriott HotelA Portugal-based start-up that has developed smart meters to measure water and electricity consumption and the ability to provide associates and guests with analysis of usage. Marriott Hotels could offer its guests the ability to track their own consumption and be rewarded for sustainable energy use during their stay.www.optishower.comMarriott TestBED is now in its second year following its debut in 2016. The hugely popular accelerator programme attracts start-ups that aim to enhance the entire hotel guest experience. For more information, visit www.marriotttestbed.com.

Moxy Times Square Reinvents The Traditional Hotel Experience, Encouraging Guests To Play On...

Marriott - 26 September 2017
NEW YORK -- In a debut that's as provocative and confident as its name suggests, Moxy Times Square's opening represents a disruptive shift in scale. Transforming a historic building into a dynamic, design-driven hotel, the property is welcoming, surprising, instantly comfortable and - with 612 bedrooms and over 22,000 square feet of flexible event space - remarkably intimate. Formerly the New Mills Hotel, built in 1907 in Midtown Manhattan on 36th Street and 7th Avenue, Moxy Times Square proves that affordability doesn't have to mean a sacrifice of style or comfort.The developer of Moxy Times Square, as well as five other Moxy properties planned for New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles, is Lightstone, one of the largest and most diversified privately held real estate companies in the United States. To bring Moxy to life in New York City, a star team of collaborators was formed: Yabu Pushelberg for the design of the bedrooms, lobby and second floor public spaces, TAO Group to cultivate the food and beverage program, Rockwell Group to design the restaurant and bar spaces, and New Stand to run retail operations. Thanks to the collective ingenuity of these partners--each a disruptor in its own space--Moxy Times Square exudes a vibrancy that contrasts with the lackluster efficiency of other affordable hotels.To begin, architectural design firm Stonehill & Taylor divided the interior space into 612 cozy guestrooms ranging in size from 150 to 350 square feet. The hotel's concept was built on the Moxy brand's design-forward sensibility, and is playfully executed with thoughtful detailing, honest materials, and basic exposed construction techniques. A wide variety of cleverly designed bedrooms were conceived to be flexible and functional and adapt to modern traveler's changing needs. From king suites to quad rooms with twin bunks, all rooms include Yabu Pushelberg-designed versatile foldaway furniture, large walk-in rain showers, wood-frame beds with storage, and open pegboard closets. Saying goodbye to old-school hotel technology, bedrooms feature furiously fast and free Wi-Fi, Bluetooth soundbars, and large flat-screen HDTVs with personal screencasting technology allowing guests to stream Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and more.From the moment guests enter the hotel, Insta-worthy moments of cheeky fun are brought to life through Moxy's thoughtful and thought-provoking design. Instead of the traditional hotel lobby, guests check in with a crew member at dedicated kiosks--if they haven't already accessed keyless entry through the Marriott Mobile App. Just beyond check-in is the Moxy Digital Guestbook, streaming videos and images taken within Moxy hotels or tagged #atthemoxy for visitors' pre-elevator amusement.Making their hotel debut is New York's favorite hybrid retail and media concept, New Stand, a New York-based chain of boutique convenience stores reimagining what the modern day "newsstand" should be. Rather than just magazines and newspapers, the shop offers guests everything from a toothbrush to a mini-pinata. Post check-in, the Moxy experience begins. Thirsty travelers head straight to Bar Moxy in the second floor lobby lounge to enjoy a welcome cocktail, on the house. Serving as the social heart of the hotel, Bar Moxy has a magnificent copper-wrapped bar at its center and is flooded with natural light during the day, thanks to the dramatic, triple-height atrium skylight. On one side, the plug-and-play lounge offers flexible seating areas and power outlets galore for co-working. There's even a DJ booth, to take the vibe from day to night. On the other side, divided from the bar area by sliding, copper-framed glass doors, are three "studios"--flexible, multi- purpose rooms with state-of-the-art AV equipment that can be combined for meetings, events, or private parties. Behind the bar, in a greenhouse-inspired space, is The Pickup, a twist on the traditional grab-and-go concept.TAO Group's new eating and drinking destinations include Legasea; a 185-seat Seafood Brasserie helmed by Executive Chef Jason Hall, featuring a menu of local, sustainable seafood dishes, Egghead; an egg-centric all-day breakfast spot, and Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge; NYC's largest all-season hotel rooftop bar and lounge, featuring an "urban amusement park" concept and epic skyline views.Magic Hour is designed to change the NYC rooftop game. The emphasis isn't on velvet ropes or bottle service. "We need it to be attractive to locals, of course, but also comfortable for people visiting from Denmark or Delaware," says TAO Group co-founder Noah Tepperberg. "We made Magic Hour more about attitude than exclusivity. If you're here to have fun, no problem!" Upon entry, a dark and mysterious lobby with a giant funhouse mirror leads to five distinct environments. The gallery-like entrance hall features whimsical topiary animals in naughty positions, a feature designed by TAO Group. A small interior lounge has a sexy urban-industrial vibe, with wire mesh panels riveted to the ceiling and walls. There are two separate outdoor areas: the east side, overlooking the Empire State Building, has elegant garden-party fixtures, while the west is more overtly carnival-esque, with one seating area located on a rotating antique carousel. Tucked into a corner is what's bound to be the hotel's most Instagrammed feature: Foreplay, a miniature putt-putt course designed by TAO Group that, instead of windmills, has follies of colossal-size animals in compromising poses. Magic Hour's menu will include modern takes on State Fair classics from Lobster Rolls and Baby Back Ribs to Dippin' Dot Shots and Ice Cream Sandwiches along with a list of decadent cocktails. A unique and cheeky addition to the menu is the option to book one of the hotel's $99.00 Crashpads - meant for those who may have had a few too many rounds on the carousel or simply don't want the night to end."Moxy pushes the envelope, so we tossed out the rulebook," said Toni Stoeckl, Global Brand Leader and Vice President, Marriott International's Distinctive Select Brands. "Together with Lightstone, we set out to create a new paradigm within the New York hotel scene by bringing together the best-in-class in design, food & beverage and retail and giving them the freedom to allow their imaginations to run wild. The result has been a hotel experience like no other - fun, edgy, playful, and all at a killer price."Programming at the hotel is designed to appeal to savvy New Yorkers, bringing in guest DJs, pop-up trunk shows, guest speaker series, and collaborations with local digital artists. Moxy Times Square's ongoing rooftop fitness series - #SWEATatMoxy - will launch with it-girl fitness studio modelFIT. Beginning Friday, October 6th, Moxy Times Square will offer complimentary modelFIT classes to guests and locals every Friday morning on Magic Hour's indoor/outdoor terrace, featuring 360 degree views of the Empire State Building.Creating a new paradigm for the modern traveler is what Moxy Times Square is all about. "Travelers' needs are rapidly evolving, and the hotel industry is still playing catch-up," said Mitchell Hochberg, President of Lightstone. "With Moxy Times Square, we wanted to create something that fulfills the modern traveler's desires--that, after all, is what really defines hospitality today, more than gratuitous services or frivolous amenities. Today's travelers don't need a newspaper at their door, or a mint on their pillow. They want to be engaged by unique experiences that create a sense of place. We believe a hotel can do all that while remaining accessibly priced--and never sacrificing on style or comfort."The opening of Moxy Times Square marks the brand's 15th hotel opening, and the first of five Moxy hotels planned for New York City. This year the brand is expected to open ten additional hotels located in Berlin, Frankfurt, Seattle and Tokyo, among others.For additional information, please visit www.MoxyTimesSquare.com. Follow us at @MoxyTimesSquare #AtTheMoxy.About LightstoneLightstone, founded by David Lichtenstein, is one of the most highly-regarded and diversified private real estate companies in the United States. Operating in all sectors of the real estate market, Lightstone's $2 billion portfolio (in 26 states) currently includes over 6 million square feet of office, retail and industrial commercial properties, 11,000 residential units and 3,800 hotel keys. It also owns over 12,000 land lots across the country. Lightstone is currently developing over $2.5 billion of hospitality, multi-family, and condominium projects in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami.
Article by Danny Bryer

Africa set to benefit from global loyalty network

Marriott - 20 September 2017
Business travel across the African continent is, well, big business. Not only is it on the rise, but the foundations that support it are growing apace. From improved air access to increased hotel capacity for conferencing, many nations across the continent are shaping up for a competitive future. With the development of business travel facilities, leisure travel opportunities are also growing.Who's travelling?There's continent-wide development taking place, countries such as India, China, Singapore and more are partnering with African countr ies to hasten the development process by building networking capabilities, transport solutions and construction projects at an unprecedented rate. Protea Hotels by Marriott is deep into this new wave of Afrocentricity, with 65 acquisitions and property developments in the pipeline, geared towards ensuring that the infrastructure is there to support material growth.Regional travel is also growing, and, with the hotel developments, frequent travellers will benefit from loyalty programs. Marriott Rewards, the world's biggest loyalty program with over 100 million members - and a million new members every month - is ideally placed to suit the super-traveller. Elite members spend anything between 25 and 100 bed nights per year in hotels, so the loyalty program can provide accommodation at a premium to those businesses who require accommodation representation in many different countries.You could be in Ghana one month and Kenya the next, ten years ago the headache of making travel arrangements made the trips thankless, full of red tape and often resulting in having to stay in sub-standard accommodation. With global companies entering into the equation, there's more parity in between establishments, and a greater chance that the business traveller will have their preferences and expectations met. The point is, big players have noted that the need has been there to develop in under-developed spaces, and these needs are rapidly being fulfilled. Gone are the perceptions that countries in Africa will never compete with "the West", the reality is that with infrastructural developments, African countries are increasingly capable of holding their own against countries to the north, east and west.Besides the benefit to the end user, the traveller, entire local economies are benefiting from these hotel developments. Getting a hotel up and running, or refurbishing an existing hotel has an extensive ripple effect througho ut many sectors, from construction to design. Architects and interior designers, graphic designers and tech specialists, marketers and advertisers and the many tiers to the supply chains of bedding, food and beverages all benefit. With growth and expansion come much-needed employment opportunities, and, again, with a global chain, it's possible for team members to develop world-class skills and expose them to international employment opportunities.Picture for a moment how many people it takes to staff one hotel. Then multiply that by 65 and the numbers become mind boggling. Thousands of individuals and their families will have the opportunity to enjoy job security.Conferencing, meetings and eventsAffordability is at the heart of planning when it comes to business travel, especially in event planning and logistics. Having more facilities available for conferencing reduces the need for extended flights, and having more flight routes available p rovides ease of access to more destinations. The travel and business network is growing at a furious pace. Couple the infrastructure that facilitates this with massive growth in internet access and business people are able to conduct more business online - saving time and money.Take a look at Rwanda, currently the jewel in the continent's crown for the rate at which it has brought its citizens online, providing the means of access to the internet. In a country with few natural resources, online access means access to trade opportunities that may not have otherwise been available. Besides e-commerce, computer literacy gives locals the opportunity to become global citizens. In the 23 years since the horrific conflict that tore the nation apart, they've reimagined themselves as the country showcasing the possibilities for development in Africa."Bleisure" travel a secondary benefitBusiness travel is on the rise, as is leisure travel. With growth in the volumes of middle-class black travellers the tourism industry is set to boom. More than old-school safari experiences, people want to have immersive experiences across the many countries within Africa with the vast array of cultural offerings. Across borders there's such variety that we'll start to see each nation being individually identified - no longer will international travellers refer to Africa as one homogenous place, but, with improved access and facilities to each country, differentiation will occur: travellers will get to know the difference between Ethiopia and Botswana or South Africa and Tanzania. The route to Africa is opening up, and, if you haven't explored for both business and leisure purposes, it's time to get going.

Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts Brings Collaboration With Renowned Chinese Art Collective X+Q Art To Paris

Marriott - 15 September 2017
Themed 'Ai Mei * Midsummer', the distinctive artworks are sculptures of a young girl celebrating the unique sense of place of eleven Le Meridien hotels across Greater China, and for the first time, a sculpture reflecting Paris as a destination. The artworks will showcase at Maison & Objet Paris 2017, attracting curious and creative-minded guests from around the world."With a shared passion to inspire discovery through an unexpected and artful lens, we are delighted to see our collaboration with X+Q Art come to Paris after its success in China," said Brian Povinelli, SVP & Global Brand Leader, Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts. "Like Paris, Le Meridien continues to attract artists and enchant creatives from around the world; and with more than 100 Le Meridien hotels globally, the idea that everyone should explore the world in style seems to really be resonating."Inspired by the brand's first-ever hotel and celebrated flagship in Paris, 'Ai Mei * Midsummer' celebrates Le Meridien Etoile and the destination's rich culture and heritage. There is also a hint of whimsy in the art's design; with a nod to France as the birthplace of Champagne - embodying a sense of celebration and savouring the good life. The graphic on the sculpture's dress creates chic silhouettes and portrays France's national colors of blue, white and red, symbolising the exquisite Parisian lifestyle reinterpreted via Chinese art and design aesthetics."Le Meridien brand is an ideal platform to share our inspirations and aspirations for art, and for the first time raising them to an international platform," said Qu Guangci, co-founder, X+Q Art. "Our work with Le Meridien embodies our joint appreciation of different destinations and diverse local cultures, a concept we are aiming to bring across at the Maison & Objet 2017 and an international audience this year."The first Le Meridien and acclaimed flagship hotel, Le Meridien Etoile, revealed its transformation after a multi-million-dollar renovation last year, cementing itself as an iconic hotel. Proudly positioned as the largest hotel in Paris, it is anchored by L'Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysees and was redesigned with its destination in mind, expressing quirky impressions of Paris throughout the property. Following the unveil, Le Meridien Etoile will house the 'Ai Mei * Midsummer' Paris piece at its signature Le Meridien Hubtm, the brand's signature lobby concept, enriching guests' in-hotel experiences through the lens of art and adding an international artistry layer to the hotel's French heritage.About X+Q ArtFounded by reputed contemporary Chinese sculptors and artists Xiang Jing and Qu Guangci in 2010, X+Q Art features products ranging from limited edition sculptures to accessories and design products. X+Q Art has partnered with high-end department stores, luxury hotels, design galleries and museum stores, including Lane Crawford, the Guggenheim Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum, among others.

Marriott: Map A Fall Foliage Tour This Autumn Season

Marriott - 13 September 2017
Where can you experience the finest fall foliage?Marriott International has mapped 14 locations across the U.S. and Canada which are home to some of nature's most riveting Autumn attractions. Plan ahead and book your first getaway of the season to witness the pinnacle of fall foliage along with events and happenings in the coming months.Late September/Early OctoberFulfill your fall fantasy with a trip to Vermont. If the breathtaking foliage isn't reason enough, try classic fall activities such as pumpkin and apple picking, corn mazes, hayrides and more. The Equinox, A Luxury Collection Golf Resort & Spa is located in Manchester in the heart of the Green Mountains. The resort will offer a fall package that includes breakfast, $150 resort credit, and an apple orchard tour. Additionally, the hotel has an amazing webcam that will show the colors of fall coming in - http://www.equinoxresort.com/webcam.Set among the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains sits MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort and Convention Center located in Northeast Tennessee. With a stunning backdrop, the hotel boasts the ideal location for a fall color road trip as you make your way down to the Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg. The hotel offers golf packages to make the most of the time outdoors.Few regions are as breathtaking year-round as the Colorado Mountains. The mountains are an ideal vacation spot for those seeking crisp fall weather, picturesque foliage, and fresh mountain air. Element Basalt-Aspen is in the center of the Roaring Fork Valley for a one-of-a-kind look at some of the country's most incredible landscapes from the mountains of Aspen to the red canyons of Glenwood Springs, and all the valleys in-between.Nestled between the shores of Georgian Bay and the heights of the Niagara Escarpment, Blue Mountain is a breathtaking Canadian getaway. Enjoy an unmatched view of the changing leaves from Ontario's only open-air gondola, or bite into a little slice of heaven on the Apple Pie Trail, Ontario's largest apple-growing region. Guests who book the Apple Pie Trail package at The Westin Trillium House, Blue Mountain receive a gift bag including a map/guide, two $10 vouchers to be used at stops along the trail and local products such as cider, honey and apple salsa. Other activities include the Wind Rider Zip line, the Ridge Runner Ontario's first mountain coaster and mountaintop Segway tours.Mid-OctoberBundle up with a sweater and hold hands with a loved one while strolling around this charming and historic city. A walk along the Boston's Freedom Trail can also be a foliage tour seeing attractions and vibrant leaves. Finish the day overlooking the Boston Harbor with a seasonal cocktail or with an October ale in front of the fireplace at Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel.Head out to New Mexico to see the mountains transform with the colors of fall. Locals recommend the Santa Fe National Forest Scenic Byway for a gorgeous drive and amazing foliage. Set on six beautifully landscaped acres, La Posada De Santa Fe, A Tribute Portfolio Resort & Spa is the only resort in downtown Santa Fe.If there is one place that comes to life when the leaves start to fall, it's Wisconsin, the Badger State. The fall is the start of football season and is also widely considered the beer capital of the U.S. Be sure to visit one of the many Oktoberfest celebrations in Madison and take a break from the excitement at AC Hotel Madison Downtown.Canada's foliage is the highlight of the fall season. For over a century, The Algonquin Resort St. Andrews by-the-Sea, Autograph Collection has offered travelers a memorable place to stay in New Brunswick. Spend an Autumn afternoon exploring by foot at a local farmer's markets, by car with a road trip to see the foliage or by boat to see the whales and wildlife that the Passamaquoddy Bay is known for.Late-OctoberImmerse yourself in the beauty of The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, and take in the foliage during a day of smooth sailing on majestic Lake Tahoe. Enjoy some fresh air with a morning yoga class and finish the evening crafting s'mores around the fire pit. Luxurious guestrooms and suites with in-room gas fireplaces and floor-to-ceiling windows will be a constant reminder of the gorgeous surroundings.Known as the City of Brotherly Love, you'll find more than one way to fall in love with this cultural mecca. As the primary city where the United States of America was formed, Philadelphia is full of rich historical sites such as Independence Hall, where both the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were adopted, and the Liberty Bell. More modern activities are also available for fall travelers, such as Bloktoberfest - Philly's take on Oktoberfest spanning 4 blocks - and the Philadelphia Cheesesteak Festival, a celebration of the city's most famous sandwich. Stay in the center of the city at Le Meridien Philadelphia.Central Park is spectacular in the fall and best enjoyed while using the curated walking map created by JW Marriott Essex House New York. Located on Central Park South, the hotel includes recommendations such as renting a rowboat from Loeb Boathouse or taking in iconic New York City views from Oak Bridge. Visit: www.essexhouseexplorer.comExplore apple orchards and parks this fall in Kansas. For one of the best views, try Kaw River State Park in Topeka which is known for its fall colors. Families can relax after a day of exploring and stay at the all-suite Residence Inn Topeka with free breakfast and wi-fi. Don't leave Fido at home. Bring him along to jump in the leaves since the hotel is pet-friendly.NovemberAdmire the beauty of the season as you visit Washington, DC's most historic landmarks like the White House, the Washington Monument and the U.S Capitol Building. Plan a hike in Rock Creek Park or visit to one of the many wineries in the area. The Marriott Marquis Washington, DC puts you in the perfect location to explore.Do you love the fall colors, but aren't quite ready to kiss warm weather goodbye? Venture south and enjoy the best of both seasons in Atlanta. Temperatures here stay warmer longer, but not hot enough to prevent the leaves from changing. Aloft Atlanta Downtown offers a prime location to explore local attractions like the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca-Cola.Explore travel destinations, activities and experiences with fall rates throughout the Americas:www.marriott.comwww.starwoodhotels.com

Marriott's Updated Statement on Hurricane Irma

Marriott - 13 September 2017
To date there have been no reports of storm-related injuries to employees or guests at our hotels. While most of our hotels are open, some hotels in the affected areas have sustained damage. Efforts are underway to fully restore operations but some hotels may have temporary interruption or limited availability of guest services.While many of the hotels impacted by the storm are waiving cancellation fees for confirmed reservations, for the most up-to-date information, please visit the hotel's website.For information regarding reservations, please call (800) 228-9290. Those in countries outside of the United States seeking information about the impact of the storm should call the Marriott International toll-free number in their country.

Lending a Helping Hand

Marriott on the Move | By Bill Marriott - 11 September 2017
Hurricane season is hitting hard. Hurricane Irma has made landfall while cleanup is underway in the wake of Harvey. And as the floodwaters start to recede in Houston and other cities in the Gulf Coast, the stories are starting to emerge. Simple acts of kindness can mean the world to someone in need. Marriott International has thousands of associates in the region and nearly 200 of our associates had homes damaged or lost in the storm. But what always amazes me – even in times of personal tragedy – is how our associates and franchisees are able to come together to put others first.

Marriott International Wins Coveted Honours at Business Traveller Asia-Pacific Awards

Marriott - 11 September 2017
Marriott International proudly took home six prestigious awards from The Business Traveller Asia-Pacific Awards announced at a presentation luncheon at the Conrad Hong Kong Hotel. The Business Traveller Asia-Pacific Awards celebrate the best in the travel and hospitality industry as recognized by the region's business travellers.The six awards include JW Marriott winning the Best Business Hotel Brand in North America, The RitzCarlton being named the Best Luxury Hotel Brand in the Asia-Pacific and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) being recognized as the Best Hotel Loyalty Program. In addition, three hotels took individual awards: JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach won Best New Business Hotel in Asia-Pacific, W Bali in Seminyak won Best Resort Hotel in Asia-Pacific and The St. Regis Bangkok won Best Business Hotel in Bangkok. These awards recognize outstanding hotel properties that go above and beyond and set the standard in daily operation and customer service. "Many congratulations to Marriott International for a number of impressive wins at this year's awards. Our readers voted JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton as some of the best luxury brands in the world - a testament to the excellent offering for business travellers", said Peggy Teo, Director, Business Traveller Asia-Pacific. "The well-deserved award for Best Hotel Loyalty Program is further proof of the company's dedication to looking after its guests." Speaking after the event, Craig Smith, President and Managing Director of Asia Pacific for Marriott International said, "These awards are testament to the hard work and dedication that our associates across Asia-Pacific put in to providing the best possible experience for our guests. On behalf of all our associates I would like to say thank you to the people that voted for our brands and properties. "These awards confirm that we have the broadest portfolio of brands, the most comprehensive global footprint, and the most extensive loyalty programs. All of which adds to unparalleled guest experiences." The Business Traveller Asia-Pacific Awards is now in its 26th year and are voted for by some of the region's most qualified judges: the Business Traveller Asia-Pacific readers. These 30,000-plus individuals travel for a living, taking an average of 19 business trips a year, and their views provide valuable industry feedback. Between April and June, Business Traveller Asia-Pacific sent out a voting poll to subscribers, with the results independently compiled by market research leader Ipsos. Marriott International's luxury portfolio includes The Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, JW Marriott, W Hotels, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, The Luxury Collection, BVLGARI Hotels & Resorts, and EDITION Hotels.

The Marriott family American Dream: From "Hot Shoppes" to hotels - cnn.com

Marriott - 5 September 2017
"What do you think we should do?" It's a question that has guided hotel heir Bill Marriott Jr. as he led his family's business, Marriott International Inc., for half a century. Marriott's most valuable lesson on leadership came on a December evening in 1954 during a brief chat with President Dwight Eisenhower. The President was visiting the Marriott family farm and trying to decide whether to venture out hunting on a cold day. "He looked at me and he said 'What do you think we should do, Bill?' Marriott recalls "'I just said 'Wow.' I said, 'It's cold out there, let's stay inside.'" It was a simple query, but carried a lesson that Marriot has never forgotten.

Forbes Names Marriott International One of the World's Most Innovative Companies

Marriott - 4 September 2017
Marriott International, Inc., was recently named to the Forbes 2017 World's Most Innovative Companieslist, joining the ranks of Tesla, Amazon and Netflix. Forbes' proprietary evaluation ranks companies according to their "innovation premium" or the difference between their market capitalization and the net present value of cash flows from existing businesses (based on a proprietary algorithm from Credit Suisse HOLT). Marriott ranked #19 of 100 and is the only hotel company in the Top 20.Innovation has always been part of the Marriott story. Over the last few years alone, Marriott has launched several new ideas to help put the company at the forefront of travel. When Marriott closed its acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, the company immediately enabled members of its loyalty programs - Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) - to link their accounts. This allowed members to have their status matched across all three programs, and easily transfer and redeem points for travel to more destinations than ever before.To further attract the next generation of travelers, the company launched new and relevant brands like Moxy Hotels. To connect with guests instantly and everywhere, Marriott also introduced personalized app experiences with Mobile Check-in, Mobile Requests and Mobile Key, and most recently adopted new technology through a unique partnership with Alibaba in China.Marriott leads the conversation around travel with its Content Studio, which publishes original, engaging content across digital platforms worldwide, and M Live, the company's real-time social media command center. And recognizing that state-of-the-art technology will always be a critical part of consumer expectations, Marriott joined forces with Accenture Interactive to launch the Travel Experience Incubator, a new program designed to discover and foster startups working on innovative technologies and solutions to improve the travel experience.

Marriott International Activates NBA Partnership Across Four Continents

Marriott - 4 September 2017
More than 100 million members of Marriott's loyalty programs - Marriott Rewards, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) - will be big winners with the partnership. They will be able to redeem points for everything from once-in-a-lifetime basketball-themed experiences with current players and legends of the game, to exclusive access to highly sought-after NBA games and events. These experiences will be available to members on the Marriott Rewards Moments and SPG Moments platforms. In addition, select Elite members will enjoy hosted, elevated VIP access and experiences at marquee NBA games and events."The global popularity of basketball makes the NBA an ideal partner to provide members of our loyalty programs once-in-a-lifetime experiences," said Karin Timpone, Global Marketing Officer at Marriott International. "We know that consumers - more so than ever before - travel for experiences and this one unlocks truly memorable moments for our guests around the world."In October, the Minnesota Timberwolves will take on the Golden State Warriors in two pre-season games in China. The first game will take place in Shenzhen on October 5, with a rematch scheduled for October 8 in Shanghai. The Brooklyn Nets will face the Oklahoma City Thunder on December 7 and the Miami Heat on December 9 in this year's NBA Mexico City Games. On January 11, the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics will battle in front of fans during a regular season game at the O2 Arena in London. The partnership will culminate with the highly-anticipated NBA All-Star 2018 in Los Angeles, where Marriott will activate during Friday night's Rising Stars Challenge, NBA All-Star Saturday night presented by State Farm, and the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday.The partnership extension follows a highly successful sponsorship of the NBA Africa Game 2017, which took place at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg, South Africa, where Team World played Team Africa to benefit several charitable organizations in Africa, such as UNICEF, Nelson Mandela Foundation, and SOS Children's Villages South Africa. Elite members across Marriott Rewards and SPG in Johannesburg were hosted at the game and received a private meet and greet with NBA players Andre Drummond and Kemba Walker. In addition, one lucky loyalty member and her guest won the experience of a lifetime, which featured an all-expenses-paid trip from her hometown of Vancouver to South Africa. This VIP experience during the game, included a photo on the court with star center Joel Embiid. Her trip also included a four-night stay at the Protea Hotel Kruger Gate and two-day African safari in Kruger Gate National Park. The activation was inspired by Marriott's integrated You Are Hereadvertising campaign, developed by Grey Worldwide, which chronicles the stories of actual loyalty members that are emotional, meaningful and inspirational to travelers everywhere. One television spot from the campaign featured Marriott Rewards member and photographer Toli Kanaris, as he sets out from one of Marriott's Protea hotels on an African safari with his camera in hand. He takes amazing shots of elephants, zebra and lions, capturing great moments, but as Marriott points out, the best moments capture him.Marriott has activated globally as a partner with the NBA since 2015. To date, thousands of loyalty members have been hosted at NBA events across the globe, including USA Basketball events in Los Angeles and Chicago, as well as NBA House in Rio de Janeiro last summer. Most recently, Marriott received the PRO Award for "Best Use of Influencer Marketing" for their social campaign launched in conjunction with the NBA London Games.
Article by Danny Bryer

Luxury tourism surprisingly buoyant, states report

Marriott - 28 August 2017
There's an element of tunnel vision that can come with maintaining a fairly ordinary existence, it's difficult to place yourself in someone else's position, especially when that someone is, by all accounts, incredibly wealthy. While many of us scrimp and save to enjoy a well-earned vacation, for others, luxury travel is part of their lifestyle. The benefit of this is to us as locals in South Africa is that this form of niche tourism contributes to sustainability in the tourism and hospitality sector.Cape Town, for example, is a second home to the wealthy, with over 1.500 multi-millionaires (classified as those with personal wealth in exce ss of $US10 million / about R130 million) living in the city during peak holiday months. While the city faces the ongoing internal challenge of development, there's no doubt that this influx of the super-wealthy is adding to the region's economy.A city of contrastsReal estate, financial services, retail and tourism all contribute to the city's coffers, providing extensive employment opportunities and room for growth. When analysing the contribution made by the cash injection administered by luxury travel, one insight gained is that tourism is not a single-faceted gem, but rather a series of diamond-encrusted dominoes toppling throughout entire communities. The revenue generated allows for construction and development projects and for infrastructural improvements.What most of us would consider luxury is comparatively simple - an exclusive suite in a five-star property and a bottle of French bubbly, but luxury tourism encompasses much more than that. It can mean everything from international retail adventures to private jets ferrying couples to discreet hideaways for some romance. Helicopters, polo ponies, fine dining and sports cars; all of these translate to luxurious experiences in terms of leisure.Luxury tourism, considered a niche market, is thriving, with the city offering the kinds of upmarket experiences the luxury traveller seeks, besides the world-renowned landmarks of Table Mountain, Robben Island, the V&A Waterfront and Cape Point, upmarket restaurants and luxury excursions.The AfrAsia and New World Wealth Review figures quoted above don't differentiate between business and leisure travel, so luxury travel isn't always about enjoying down time, it may include some large business deals that will also contribute to the economy, providing more jobs for locals. Ease of travel is what enables these deals to take place, so the facilities must exist to accommodate the lifestyles t o which high-flying executives are accustomed.Behind the scenes in hospitality you'll find an astonishing number of CSI projects taking place, with hotels, tour companies and other tourism operations ensuring that the benefits are paid forward throughout communities. The income enjoyed by luxury tourism operators is being poured back into skills development, community upliftment and other projects. Organisations such as Wesgro are tapping into the possibilities that exist, developing air access and facilitating trade deals, all with a view to increasing the potential that comes from investment. International investors won't just sign away a fortune without visiting the destination where projects will take place, large delegations are travelling to ensure that everything is in place before deals get signed. The bread and butter of tourism remains in encouraging domestic and international business and leisure travel, both for fun and commercia l reasons; it's imperative that tourism operators work towards ensuring that this takes place. For every penthouse suite there are a hundred rooms that exist to ensure that all tastes and budgets are accommodated, and no hotel worth its salt would ignore the ongoing fruits of providing every guest with a personalised visitor experience. The point is, you can explore a destination and get as much out of it as your budget allows, whether your budget is limitless or carefully tailored. The fabulously wealthy also enjoy experiences and exploring; they can be adventurers as much as the student with his backpack.Tourism remains an aspirational activity, to see the world and all that's in it is a privilege to all, and there's no price tag on the value of discovering the world that's around us.With any niche market, there are opportunities for enterprising individuals to tap into gaps, so perhaps you, too, could provide an experience that provid es a luxurious take on travel within South Africa. The market is there, but is it being accommodated to the fullest?With the exchange rate bobbing and weaving, we're also reaching a market that seeks what's known as affordable luxury - the middle-class international traveller can enjoy a travel experience that's way beyond what they'd be able to afford in their own country, and that appeal is contributing to growth in tourism.Your holiday may not involve shopping for diamonds or hanging out on a super yacht, but it should always leave you feeling special.

Aloft Hotels Kicks Off 2017 Live at Aloft Hotels Tour Featuring Emerging Musicians

Marriott - 22 August 2017
Aloft also announces the 8th annual Project: Aloft Star Competition giving up-and-coming musicians a chance to be mentored by Grammy-nominated, multiplatinum-selling artist Gavin DeGrawMusic-lovers will once again be able to come together and enjoy stripped-down performances from the next big acts in music as Aloft Hotels announces the launch of its 2017 Live At Aloft Hotels Tour. With a focus on both established and emerging artists, the brand is also kicking off the 8th Annual Project: Aloft Star Competition, a global contest to identify and elevate tomorrow's hottest artists. The contest is launching in collaboration with Grammy-nominated, multiplatinum-selling musician, singer and songwriter, Gavin DeGraw as a mentor to this year's winner.Live At Aloft HotelsLive At Aloft Hotels is an international program that brings in local sounds to Aloft properties around the world, by hosting free, intimate, live music performances at its W XYZ(r) bars. Alongside a number of local emerging artists, this year's lineup includes notable performers like acoustic singer MAX, country star Drake White, and LA-based blues performer ZZ Ward."Aloft Hotels is excited to continue to bring together musicians, guests and music-loving locals to deliver a buzzing social scene and support up-and-coming music talent through Live At Aloft Hotels," said Bridget Higgins, Senior Director, Aloft Hotels. "Our Live At Aloft Hotels events are a unique opportunity to bring fans and musicians together in a laid-back setting to enjoy new music - whether that musician is a well-established artist or the next big thing."Previous performers at Live At Aloft Hotels have included artists such as The Lumineers, Colbie Caillat, and "American Idol" winner Nick Fradiani.Aloft Hotels is joining forces with Coca-Cola, bringing innovative, tech-driven digital extensions to the program including live streaming events from Coke Music TV's Periscope, an innovative Emoji cocktail menu and more."Coca-Cola has partnered with the Live at Aloft Hotels program for the second year in a row due to its ability to bring together incredibly talented artists who represent the next generation of music," said Joe Belliotti, Group Director Global Entertainment Marketing , Coca-Cola North America. "We will be live streaming performances, bringing an eclectic group of emerging musicians to wherever music fans are. Guests attending the performances live at the hotels will enjoy refreshing complimentary Coca-Cola beverages in the open yet intimate setting created in W XYZ(r) bars."How to Enter Project: Aloft StarProject: Aloft Star promotes the brand's commitment to supporting self-expression by identifying the hottest emerging music talent from around the globe, offering them a chance to kick start their careers and take center stage at one of the most innovative hotel brands.Beginning August 15, until September 30, unsigned bands and artists across North America and Latin America are invited to upload up to two original songs along with a photo at LiveAtAloftHotels.com. A panel of industry insiders will select five finalists for Phase 2 of the competition. From October 20 through October 30 fans and music lovers are encouraged to vote for their favorite two artists via LiveAtAloftHotels.com.What You WinTwo finalists will be personally mentored by Grammy-nominated, multiplatinum-selling artist Gavin DeGraw, and will perform for key music industry insiders including Mike Easterlin, President of Fueled By Ramen and Roadrunner Records and Danny Bush, Senior Vice President of Promotion and Artist Development at RED Distribution on November 7. The winner will be named that evening and offered the opportunity to perform live as part of the 2018 Live At Aloft Hotels Tour.The Project Aloft Star competition is already underway in the Asia-Pacific region in partnership with MTV, and will also be rolled out in Europe and the Middle East later this year.All 2017 Live At Aloft Hotels Tour performances have no cover charge and are open to hotel guests and music-loving locals alike. For a complete and up-to-date list of all performances, please visit LiveAtAloftHotels.com and join the conversation by connecting with Aloft Hotels on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, using the hashtag #AloftLive.Live At Aloft Hotels Tour Dates HighlightsRachel Crow, Aloft Miami Doral, Friday August 18ZZ WARD, Aloft Seattle Redmond, Wednesday August 30MAX, Aloft Dallas Downtown, Friday October 20Drake White, Aloft Philadelphia Downtown, Tuesday October 24Magic Giant, Aloft Denver Downtown, Monday November 13For a complete and up-to-date list of all performances, please visit LiveAtAloftHotels.com

Element Hotels Launcges Clothing Exchange Pop-Ups In Celebration Of National Secondhand Wardrobe Day On August 25

Marriott - 21 August 2017
BETHESDA, Md. -- Element(r) Hotels, part of Marriott International, is proud to support National Secondhand Wardrobe Day on August 25, 2017 by introducing The Element Exchange, a series of secondhand clothing pop-ups. All of the brand's properties in North America will participate, using their public spaces to encourage hotel guests and local communities to swap, not shop, for their next item of clothing.Element Boston Seaport - just one of Element's 65 North American hotels that will take part in the Element Exchange on Friday 25 AugustWith the launch of this new initiative, Element Hotels will contribute to combatting the global issue of fashion waste, as well as support the sustainability efforts of the local communities around each of Element's hotels in North America. Each hotel will host their own unique event on August 25 in support of local clothing recycling partners or shelters."Clothes are one of the most frequent items purposefully left behind in hotel rooms," said Marlon Whyte, Global Brand Leader of Element Hotels. "The Element Exchange helps to limit the huge environmental impact of fashion sustainability by giving guests and locals in our vibrant communities the option to exchange or recycle clothing and offset their carbon footprint."At Element Boston Seaport's pop-up, attendees will be able to enjoy sustainable bites in the courtyard and sample organic wine through a sustainable and automated wine cart while they 'shop'. The event will see Boston-based clothing upcycling partners helping guests give their items of clothing a new life. Ministry of Supply, Boston-founded maker of performance dress clothes that supplies underprivileged adults with clothing for the workplace and job interviews, will be on-site for attendees interested in shopping and upcycling through their 1 In, 1 Out initiative.Fashion sustainability continues to grow as a major environmental issue. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 85% of all discarded textiles - 13 million tons - are sent to U.S. landfills every year. In addition, it takes 2,700 litres of water to make one cotton t-shirt, that is enough for one person to stay hydrated for 900 days1.As an eco-conscious, extended stay brand, Element Hotels are built green from the ground-up using sustainable materials and eco-driven practices. The Element Exchange initiative further highlights the brand's commitment to adopting environmentally friendly practices and supporting their local communities.As part of The Element Exchange initiative, all of the North American Element Hotels will install donation and upcycling points for clothes, which will remain on property in perpetuity for future guests to recycle their garments.Since the brand's inception Element Hotels has been an eco-innovation lab, with the brand constantly exploring new ways to better the guest experience while keeping true to its philosophy. For example, each hotel features a Bikes to Borrow program, electric-vehicle charging stations, saline swimming pools, SPG Keyless access to guestrooms, spa-inspired bathrooms with eco-friendly fixtures, in-room recycling bins, in-room filtered water and workout bikes that allow guests to re-charge their phones as they pedal.

Marriott International Debuts First-Ever Campaign for New Category Marketing Approach

Marriott - 16 August 2017
Marriott International announced a new strategic advertising approach to connect guests with its brands and associates. "Golden Rule," the multi-dimensional campaign debuted today in the U.S., and will for the first time feature four of Marriott International's brands together: Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Four Points by Sheraton and SpringHill Suites.The campaign represents Marriott International's entry into category marketing, a critical evolution of how the company will leverage its collective strength to present a more powerful offering to consumers. Though distinct in their own identity, Courtyard, Fairfield, Four Points and SpringHill Suites are collectively known as the "classic select" brands and represent more than a third of the properties in Marriott's 30 brand portfolio. Together, they are united by their service rooted in human connection, which gave foundation to the "Golden Rule" message.Noticing an increasingly challenging travel environment, Courtyard, Fairfield, SpringHill and Four Points found the timing right to celebrate the humanity delivered at its hotels that can often be missing inside today's travel experience. The centerpiece of the campaign, "Human," is a 60 second anthemic spot that celebrates the relevance of this not only in our hotels, but around the world. To complement the 60 second spot, a series of 30 second spots will further bring the campaign to life through real stories from associates reinforcing our warmth, familiarity and the genuine human connections that has always been our guiding principles and is the golden thread that ties these brands together."The 'Golden Rule' campaign personifies how our associates fundamentally go beyond making one's bed to making someone's day," said Paige Francis, Vice President Global Brand Marketing. "With these four brands comprising a third of Marriott's portfolio, we use our powerhouse status to celebrate human connections, whether it's in Seattle or Singapore. Beyond a campaign, this illustrates that the hospitality we deliver at these four brands can serve as a guiding principle of how all people should treat each other."The campaign's multi-platform media plan will hit all screen sizes, first in the U.S. before expanding internationally next month in Canada, with a diverse media plan consisting of cinema, broadcast, in-flight and mobile.The ads will be complemented by digital-only content that highlights real associates and guests at properties around the world. These stories will be featured on the campaign landing page (goldenrule.marriott.com) along with social media channels. Marriott International is also preparing a docuseries for later this fall that will celebrate the most extraordinary examples of altruism.Marriott International collaborated with advertising agency mcgarrybowen to develop and produce the campaign. For more information, visit: goldenrule.marriott.com

Marriott Hotels Announces The Shortlist For Its 2017 Testbed Programme

Marriott - 9 August 2017
The eight shortlisted start-ups will now be invited to London on 22 and 23 August to pitch their solutions in front of a panel of judges, including Georgie Barrat, presenter of The Gadget Show, tech industry leaders, and senior Marriott figures, who will decide which start-ups will enter the TestBED programme and pilot their products in one of the Marriott Hotels in Europe.The shortlisted start-ups are:Reward Technology - a UK start-up that has developed a digital engagement platform using smart card detection. Reward Technology offers guests personalised communication and services based on the detection of their loyalty and/or room key card.Umbo - a US start-up that has developed a device that turns surfaces into interactive interfaces by projecting information and using gesture recognition to navigate. Umbo could be installed in guest rooms, meeting rooms and/or public spaces and allow guests to interact with content that is projected onto surfaces.HiJiffy - a Portugal-based start-up that has created an AI powered chatbot designed for the hospitality sector. Through the use of chatbots, Marriott Hotels can offer a variety of services to its guests using Facebook Messenger at any place and time, in an effective and efficient way.My Brain Technologies - a French start-up that has created 'Melomind' - a brain training headset that uses neuroscience to combat stress and anxiety to help individuals relax. 'Melomind' would offer guests a single stress-relief session or a personalised coaching programme that could be developed over a series of stays.Mymanu - a UK start-up proposing 'Click' - wireless earbuds that offer live voice translation in 37 languages. 'Click' offers the ability to communicate with guests in their native language and make their interaction with Marriott associates feel more seamless and natural.New'ee - a French start-up that has developed a device that wirelessly turns furniture into speakers, allowing guests to broadcast music without the need for speakers. New'ee could be used in guest rooms or public spaces to enable a more efficient and focused diffusion of sound.Phaceology - a US start-up that has developed a platform enabling analysis of emotional responses in real time, to improve employee performance and customer experience. It offers the ability to track associates' communication performance and help to improve it.Optishower - a Portugal-based start-up that has developed smart meters to measure water and electricity consumption and the ability to provide associates and guests with analysis of usage. Marriott Hotels could use 'Optishower' both to reduce wastage as well as offer its guests the ability to track their own consumption and be rewarded for sustainable energy use during their stay.Key insights from the application processTravel apps and concierge services continue to be the main focus of start-ups in the travel-tech sector, accounting for over 33% of applications for the 2017 programme.Most travel apps looked to capitalise on the growing trend for experiential travel, offering diverse solutions for travellers to discover, curate and share experiences. Shareability was a recurring theme, with over half of the travel apps based on social media and the ability to enable travellers to share their discoveries with others.Mobile served as the main touchpoint in a third of the applications; particularly those offering concierge services, of which two thirds were mobile first/only solutions. Several start-ups already offering online booking/mobile key solutions were looking to expand their offering to a full-service customer journey, providing seamless experiences from booking to check-out.IOT and wearable tech featured in approximately 20% of the products put forward, suggesting a growing trend towards technologies that can be used 'on the go'. This is up on last year, where IOT and wearable tech accounted for just 3% of submissions.The adoption, implementation and widespread use of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning is still nascent.For more information on the accelerator programme, please visit www.marriotttestbed.com

Building a Foundation of Hospitality

Marriott on the Move | By Bill Marriott - 9 August 2017
Five years ago, my family's foundation partnered with San Diego State University to create the China Hospitality Education Initiative, or CHEI. Our idea was to establish relationships with a few Chinese schools and offer hospitality teachers hands-on operational experiences and teaching resources to supplement textbooks.

BEER WE GO! Four Points Best Brews Around the World Brew Off Kicks Off International Beer Day

Marriott - 7 August 2017
BETHESDA, Md. --POINT 1: Four Points, a booming Marriott International hotel brand known for its love of beer, is embarking upon a global trip discovering the world's best brews. The journey kicked off at the new Four Points Manhattan Midtown West last night, the eve of International Beer Day, and will continue across the globe before culminating at the Four Points Barcelona Diagonal in October.Four Points Best Brews Around the World Brew Off Kicks Off International Beer DayPOINT 2: Four Points' Best Brews Around the World celebrates the brand's signature initiative, a dedicated program in which each of the brand's 225+ hotels around the world showcases a local, craft beer which has been chosen based on taste, popularity, quality and proximity to the property. A Best Brew is available on tap at each Four Points, offering travelers an authentic taste of local beer culture wherever their travels may take them.To add further authenticity and credibility to the Best Brewstm program, Four Points is enrolling select associates at each "Best Brews Around the World Brew Off" hotel in the globally recognized Cicerone Certification Program. This program is highly regarded in the food and beverage industry and is instrumental with the development of expert beer servers. Each of the selected Four Points associates will train and complete the first of four levels of the Cicerone Certification Program, becoming a Cicerone Certified Beer Server and on-property beer aficionado.POINT 3: At each stop during the Best Brews Around the World tour, two beers from local craft breweries will go "head to head" (pun intended) for bragging rights and to claim the winning spot as the hotel's newest Best Brew. The beers will be presented by the breweries and judged by the crowd, comprised of local beer lovers, each hotel's newly certified Cicerone, and hotel guests. Every "Best Brew Off" competition will be hosted by an influential "beer expert" who will help educate the crowd and cast the final vote. At last night's kickoff event at Four Points Midtown Manhattan West, Peekskill Brewery and LIC Beer Project squared off. LIC Beer Project's Higher Burnin' IPA was crowned the winner. The evening was hosted by Bella of " One Hoppy Lady."The remaining stops on the tour include: August 9, 2017 - Four Points Cancun Centro (Mexico) August 23, 2017 - Four Points Kelowna (Canada) September 13, 2017 - Four Points Melbourne Docklands (Australia) September 20, 2017 - Four Points Nairobi Hurlingham (Kenya) October 2017 - Four Points Barcelona Diagonal (Spain)POINT 4: "Four Points has a love for locally crafted beers, which is why we're traveling to the far corners of the globe to discover the best brews the world has to offer," said Callette Nielsen, vice president, global brand manager for Four Points. "We know the perfect pint has universal appeal, which is why we're celebrating International Beer Day with the launch of our 'Best Brews Around the World.' From Manhattan to Barcelona and Melbourne to Nairobi, we are taking our love of beer on the road. We invite local beer lovers and thirsty travelers to join us as we discover new Best Brews."For more information on Best Brews, click here.

Great Place to Work and FORTUNE Name Marriott International a Best Workplace for Millennials

Marriott - 1 August 2017
For the second year in a row, Marriott International has been named one of the Best Workplaces for Millennials, by global research and consulting firm Great Place to Work and FORTUNE magazine, landing in the top 20 at #14. See the full results here. This announcement comes on the heels of the brand-new Marriott Careers employer brand campaign "To the Journey" that has a particular focus on recruiting and retaining top millennial talent globally."We're honored Fortune and Great Place to Work have recognized Marriott International as one of the Best Workplaces for Millennials," said David Rodriguez, EVP and Global Chief Human Resources Officer for Marriott International. "This hyper-connected, tech savvy generation makes up a significant portion of our workforce - in fact, millennials accounted for 69 percent of all Marriott hires in 2016 in the U.S. alone. Personal happiness and wellbeing coupled with company pride are at the center of our culture and millennials are particularly attracted to job opportunities where they can feel good about themselves and their teams, have a passion for the work and also the organization overall.""Companies trying to engage Millennials should follow the example set by The Best Workplaces for Millennials. These companies have found that investing in a workplace culture based on trust, fair treatment for all, an authentic leadership style, and personal connections make Millennials 20 times more likely to plan a future there," said Michael Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work.More than 739 Marriott employees were surveyed by Great Place to Work and here's what a few had to say about the company being a great workplace for millennials:"What I find unique about Marriott is that the company has been able to stay true to its core values over the years. Employees at any level of the organization are aware of the company's culture and core values. When asked, Bill Marriott would often acknowledge that the key to his success was the employees. All these years later, the simple concept of 'take care of associates and they'll take care of the customers,' still rings true. There is flexibility and a focus on the balance of work and home life that you do not typically find in large corporations. However, what truly makes Marriott a great place to work are the people. Observing just my department, we are sixteen strong with 267 combined years of Marriott experience. We work as a cohesive team valuing each other's opinions and working together to achieve company goals.""At Marriott, you're only limited by yourself. If one of your goals is to move up, you can let your manager know and they will provide the tools necessary to achieve your goal.""This company values healthy associates and encourages us to take time off when we can, and to refresh, eat well and exercise," one employee says. "I value that they encourage this."Marriott International also previously ranked as one of the 50 Best Workplaces for Diversity, 10 Best Workplaces for Latinos and 10 Best Workplaces for African Americans, and has appeared on the overall Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list every year since it began in 1998.About the Best Workplaces for MillennialsRankings are based on feedback from over 398,000 employees at Great Place to Work- Certified organizations. An anonymous Trust Index survey assessed Millennial employees' experience of their managers' competence, respect and fairness in the workplace, meaningful work and other elements essential for an outstanding workplace. Results were compared to colleagues' responses from other generations. Rankings also take into account the consistency of experience for all Millennials, across various job roles and demographic backgrounds.

Marriott International Announces Dynamic New Sales and Marketing Leadership Team to Support its Rapidly Growing Middle East and Africa Portfolio

Marriott - 1 August 2017
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) (www.Marriott.com) today announced the expansion and strengthening of its Sales and Marketing Leadership Team for Middle East and Africa. This bold new initiative comes on the heels of the successful mega merger between Marriott International and Starwood Hotels and Resorts and the fast progressing integration of the two companies. The revamped Brand, Marketing, Sales and Consumer Services (BMSC) Leadership Team comprises of highly experienced professionals from Marriott International and legacy Starwood Hotels and Resorts, bringing together exceptional talent and expertise from both companies and speaks to the company's commitment to support its enhanced footprint and aggressive growth plans in the region.Led by seasoned Marriott International veteran, Neal Jones, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International, the team will provide dedicated support to the company's thriving regional portfolio and will be responsible for driving top line revenue for Marriott International brands, ensuring the regional Sales and Marketing strategy is aligned with the company's vision and priorities.With a current portfolio of over 240 hotels with 54,000 rooms in 30 countries, Marriott International is working towards targeting a projected growth of 150,000 rooms operational and pipeline in 38 countries by 2022 across Middle East and Africa.Commenting on the announcement, Neal Jones said, "The leadership changes we are announcing today are important to foster greater synergies, teamwork, accountability and nimble decision-making critical to lay a strong foundation that will support our ambitious growth plans in the region. I am extremely excited to work together with such a talented and diverse group of leaders who bring with them exceptional domain expertise as well as regional insights that will enable us to create a more vibrant organization that delivers value for all stakeholders.""I am confident that with this, we have the right structure and talent in place to accelerate our lead in the market, drive further innovation and strengthen the positioning of our brands while keeping our loyal and new guests at the centre of everything we do, steering us into the next phase of our growth and success," he added.Marriott's BMSC leadership team for Middle East and Africa has been formed with the following seasoned hospitality professionals currently on board and a Vice President Luxury Brands soon to be announced.Paul Dalgleish, Vice President of Sales & Distribution will be responsible for Property, Market and Area Sales Organisations as well as the Global Sales Organisation, whilst leading the Middle East and Africa Distribution Strategy. Previously Vice President of Sales for Marriott International, Paul has played a key role in the rapid expansion of the Middle East and Africa Region, deploying new and innovative sales strategies, whilst ensuring talent development lives as a discipline priority.Sarah Allen, Vice President of Revenue Strategy & Analysis will be responsible for Property, Market and Area Revenue Management, Remote Revenue Management Solutions and Revenue Management Analysis. Formerly Vice President of Revenue Management, Marriott International Middle East and Africa, Sarah is a Marriott International veteran and has played a key role in moving hotels onto Marriott's Revenue Management platforms implementing processes as well as setting up shared services across the markets to drive synergies. She was also the business leader for the integration of Protea Hotels which was acquired by Marriott International in 2014.Jitendra Jain, Vice President of Digital, Loyalty and Portfolio Marketing will be responsible for the company's award-winning Loyalty Programs, Partnerships, cross-brand marketing of Marriott International's regional portfolio and will lead all Digital Marketing, Platforms and Products. A Starwood veteran, Jitendra previously led the Marketing function for the former Starwood portfolio in the Middle East, where he spearheaded the transformation of marketing processes, talent and culture, cultivating a data-driven and forward-looking mindset leveraging digital, brands and loyalty.Sandra Schulze-Potgieter, Vice President of Premium and Select Brands will be responsible for Brand Marketing and Management for Marriott International's compelling portfolio of Premium and Select Brands and will oversee Restaurants & Bars Marketing as well as Area Field Marketing. Sandra was previously Senior Director, Brand Marketing & eCommerce for Marriott International Middle East and Africa managing Field Marketing, Brand Marketing, Public Relations, Partnerships, Social Media, Digital as well as Loyalty. She was instrumental in positioning Marriott International's lead in Brand Marketing in the region.Sarah Walker Kerr, Vice President of Communications Middle East and Africa will be responsible for devising and implementing the overall Communications Strategy for Marriott International in the region, driving visibility, enhancing the perception of the company and its brands and increasing its share of voice in the media. She will provide strategic counsel to the senior executive leadership team, managing Internal and External Communications, Crisis Communications and Reputation Management as well as Brand Communications. A seasoned communications specialist, Sarah was previously Regional Director of Public Relations Middle East, Africa, India & Japan for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.Raheel Baggia, Senior Director, BMSC Planning and Services will be responsible for Integration and Change Management, Program Execution and Training. Prior to this Raheel served as Director, BMSC Consulting-Middle East and Africa. Since joining Marriott in 2013, Raheel has been working on strategic continent projects both in his previous role supporting BMSC-Middle East and Africa as well as in Europe where he was part of the Global Operations team.

Designing Omaha's First Entertainment District - The Capitol District

Marriott - 1 August 2017
OMAHA, Neb. -- A new district is emerging in downtown Omaha. The Capitol District, a mixed-use development combining hotel, apartments, retail, office, and outdoor entertainment, will open in phases starting in August with the opening of the new premier full-service Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District.An Iconic HotelThe iconic new 333-room Omaha Marriott Downtown, managed by Marcus(r) Hotels & Resorts, was designed by the internationally renowned architecture firm LEO A DALY and is being built by JE Dunn. The 12-story glass building is a significant addition to the downtown skyline, complementing the distinctive roofline of the Omaha Convention Center. The transparent building envelope creates a sophisticated presence along 10thstreet. "At night, the building takes on an elegant glow," said David Hawes, architect with LEO A DALY.The building's "wow" feature, winged corners on its south side, enable breathtaking 270-degree views of downtown Omaha's skyline that are unique in the city. The full-service hotel features over 17,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, hospitality suites, a roof top swimming pool with bar/entertainment area, full-service restaurant and bar and extra-large fitness center.A Social HotspotOn the pedestrian level, the Omaha Marriott Downtown is welcoming and transparent. "We were careful to create as much visual frontage as possible on the street level to allow people to see and be seen," added Hawes. "The high ceilings make the lobby a 'celebratory space' with views to the convention center to the east, and the city skyline to the west.""Hotels are becoming social hubs, places to hang out before and after events, and just popular cultural hotspots in general. We wanted the design to encourage locals and visitors to mingle in a casual but sophisticated environment," said Michelle Holmes, interior designer with LEO A DALY.Marriott was recruited for the hotel expressly because of the full-service chain's social, inviting vibe. "The Marriott brand is based around a 'great room,' and that's exactly what we wanted the lobby to be - a social space for the city," Holmes said.Comprising three main uses - lounge, dining room, and bar - the different portions of the grand lobby spill over into each other to create a cohesive but intimate gathering space.Local materials such as brick and iron bring the warehouse style of the Old Market into a sophisticated space, according to Holmes. Wood paneling hints at Omaha's roots, but is tailored with modern sophistication in keeping with Marriott's midcentury-modern-inspired aesthetic."It's all about layering textures - marrying old and new," added Holmes.A Dynamic Urban hubThe Capitol District forms a critical link between the events district, Riverfront, Old Market, and downtown core, adding much-needed density to the two blocks between 10th and 12th Street, south of Davenport."We wanted to create a vibrant, walkable enclave that is unlike anything else in downtown," said Hawes. "The design invites visitors who may feel isolated in the events district to experience the real Omaha, while also creating a comfortable, active place for residents to live, work, and play."Capitol District will be the first entertainment district in Omaha, taking advantage of a new city ordinance that allows alcoholic beverages outdoors. To complement the wide-open concept, the mixed-use design provides portals to entertainment that celebrates community use.The hotel and 218-unit Capitol District Apartments bookend the District on the east and west, each offering public-facing retail and bar spaces that spill out onto a central plaza, which is designed to serve as a modern town square. The hardscaped plaza, inspired by other great outdoor venues across the country, will have programming year-round, such as ice-skating and outdoor concerts.The buildings embrace the street at their base with strong, linear forms of masonry, glass and steel, "modern in form, but embracing the industrial heritage of the surrounding areas," Hawes added.Development ProgressA third, retail-focused building along the site's north side is under construction and will come online in Spring 2018. The eight-level parking garage has been completed and will connect, via skywalks, to the apartments, retail building and the Omaha Marriott Downtown. The final component, an office and retail building on the south side, is in the works.Progress has been rapid on the Capitol District Apartments, set to open in July. Using a proprietary modular construction system designed and engineered by Prescient, general contractor MCL Construction was able to complete structural work on a floor per week basis to complete the building in record time.More information on the Capitol District Development is available at: http://www.capitoldistrictomaha.com.Views of the project site can also be seen live at: http://www.workzonecam.com/projects/shamrock/capitaldistrict/workzonecam.For more information about the Omaha Marriott Downtown, visit http://www.downtownomahamarriott.com/.For more information about The Capitol District Apartments, visit http://livecapitoldistrict.com.About the Capitol DistrictThe Capitol District is Omaha's newest downtown entertainment district. The District surrounds a technology-smart, modern town square and will feature a 218-unit high rise apartment tower, a full-service Marriott hotel, Class A office space, plenty of adjacent parking and over 20 diverse restaurants and bars - all within walking distance of Omaha's best civic, cultural and entertainment venues and the Riverfront. The Capitol District will connect, invigorate and entertain Omaha. The District will welcome people year-round at all times of day by hosting collaborative events, live music and everyday fun. The Capitol District is being developed by Shamrock Development, an Omaha company that specializes in creating urban mixed-use developments. For more information, visit www.capitoldistrictomaha.com and follow the development on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.About the Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol DistrictLocated in the heart of Omaha's vibrant Capitol District, The Omaha Marriott Downtown is Omaha's newest full-service premier hotel. Within easy walking distance from the CenturyLink Arena & Convention Center and TD Ameritrade Park, the Omaha Marriott Downtown is the ideal venue for business meetings, weddings and weekend getaways. The 333-room hotel offers stunning features and amenities including over 17,500 square feet of flexible meeting and event space, hospitality suites, outdoor roof top swimming pool with bar/entertainment area, Starbucks(r) cafe, extra-large fitness center, parking garage and personalized concierge services. As one of only 55 "Redesigned Marriott" hotels in the world, the Omaha Marriott Downtown features floor to ceiling windows in all its guest rooms and 13 suites with custom furnishings and dynamic cityscape views. In addition to its fine amenities, the hotel offers guests creative culinary dining options at Society 1854 and Burdock + Bitters, sure to take guests on a sensory food and beverage journey. For more information, please visit: http://www.downtownomahamarriott.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.The hotel is managed by Marcus Hotels & Resorts, a leader in the hospitality industry since 1962. Marcus Hotels & Resorts creates asset value for hotel owners through its expertise in management, development and product repositioning, including hotel food and beverage concepts developed by its Marcus Restaurant Group. For more information, please visit: http://media.marcushotels.comand follow the company on Facebook and Twitter (@MarcusHotels).About Leo A DalyEstablished in 1915, LEO A DALY is an international planning, architecture, engineering, and interior design firm. The firm's award-winning portfolio includes projects in 91 countries and all 50 states. With 800 employees in 30 offices worldwide, the firm consistently ranks as a top international design firm. For more information, visit www.leoadaly.com.

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