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Growth in former SPG Full Service Brands under Marriott

Growth in former SPG Full Service Brands under Marriott

Old Aug 1, 19, 10:29 am
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Growth in former SPG Full Service Brands under Marriott

Since the merger of Starwood and Marriott, there has been a significant increase in properties being developed under the higher end former SPG Brands

For example, we have the W Costa Rica, the W Panama, the W Amman, the W Brisbane that have all opened. On the LC side, we have the Solaz and the Jaffa.

From a numbers perspective, looks like the numbers are:

31 W Hotels under development (an increase of 40 percent from the current numbers)

https://hotel-development.marriott.com/brands/w-hotels/

27 St. Regis under development (an increase of 50 percent from the current numbers)

https://hotel-development.marriott.com/brands/st-regis/

19 Luxury Collection under development (an increase of 15 percent from the current numbers)

https://hotel-development.marriott.c...ry-collection/

Thankfully, with the combination of programs, the legacy SPG brands have really been able to get a kickstart with they have a higher number of people to draw from since the person who stays in the Fairfield Inn in Durango or Birmingham is now more likely when visiting Tel Aviv, Cabo, or Brisbane to stay in a the Jaffa, Solaz, or W.
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Old Aug 1, 19, 6:35 pm
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I understand the growth of Ws because there's no directly equivalent Marriott brand. I kind-of understand the growth of St. Regis because the service offering and our elite treatment is different to Ritz Carltons even though the hardware could be considered equivalent.

What I don't understand is how they now decide which brand a new hotel comes under when there are broadly equivalent brands from both legacy groups. For example, Luxury Collection or Autograph. What is the criteria for deciding which brand will be applied to a new joining hotel? I consider LC to be a stronger brand but that's because I'm legacy SPG and am more familiar with it so I may not be correct. Does the continued support of LC mean they plan for Autograph to eventually die out?

More mysterious, how do they decide Sheraton or Marriott which, as brands (if not individual hotels), I consider interchangable? For example, the conversion of the Pan Pacific in Manila to a Sheraton. I've stayed there. It would not be out of place in the portfolios of Sheraton, Marriott, Westin, or Renaissance. Where is the decision made that this is best suited to the Sheraton brand? Simply because it's old and tired and features dated wood and marble? Plenty of legacy Marriotts like that as well.

These questions torment me.
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Old Aug 1, 19, 6:38 pm
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I wouldn't consider some Ws to be full service.
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Old Aug 1, 19, 7:39 pm
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Just FYI Autograph is more comparable to Tribute. Luxury Collections are generally more distinctive.

Think of Marriott Group as being a bit like Coca Cola: you want lots and lots of different options to crowd the others out and to ensure you have the lion’s share of attention of any developers looking for affiliation. It doesn’t really mattter their brands don’t really occupy logical market segments any more (there’s a different philosophy here than SPG which was always more consumer focused).
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Old Aug 1, 19, 8:23 pm
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Originally Posted by EuropeanPete View Post
Just FYI Autograph is more comparable to Tribute. Luxury Collections are generally more distinctive.

Think of Marriott Group as being a bit like Coca Cola: you want lots and lots of different options to crowd the others out and to ensure you have the lion’s share of attention of any developers looking for affiliation. It doesn’t really mattter their brands don’t really occupy logical market segments any more (there’s a different philosophy here than SPG which was always more consumer focused).
Good observation. Let me suggest one thing: Your analogy should be Pepsi, not Coke, given that we're talking about Marriott .
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Old Aug 1, 19, 8:27 pm
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Originally Posted by EuropeanPete View Post
Just FYI Autograph is more comparable to Tribute. Luxury Collections are generally more distinctive.

Think of Marriott Group as being a bit like Coca Cola: you want lots and lots of different options to crowd the others out and to ensure you have the lion’s share of attention of any developers looking for affiliation. It doesn’t really mattter their brands don’t really occupy logical market segments any more (there’s a different philosophy here than SPG which was always more consumer focused).
I don't think Tribute properties are generally comparable to Autograph properties but agree LC properties are generally more distinctive than either. Marriott didn't really have a brand equivalent to LC, although there are a couple of Autograph properties that would probably qualify.

In terms of which brand, I don't think Marriott is the one making the decision but think its mainly the developers trying to figure out the best business case. Seems to me new W's are increasingly focused on resort areas. Why a developer would want to be an StR rather than an RC -- I don't know. But I think the Coca Cola analogy is good one. Some people like Coke. Some people feel strongly about Coke Zero over Diet Coke. Some people think there is a difference between Diet Coke and Coke Light ...
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Old Aug 1, 19, 9:38 pm
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Maybe I should have used Marriotts and Renaissance and Sheratons and Westins as a better example - I don't have RevPAR's to hand just now to compare. The Tribute Hotel brand was pretty new at the acquisition, and I think my experiences were generally with some of their better hotels. Ultimately though, both were broadly 4-ish star equivalent hotels, whereas (outside of the US at least) the Luxury Collection are generally 5* or equivalent hotels as well as being obviously carefully curated over time (either the city's "grand" hotel or significant architecture, or the leading local resort, etc.). Nonetheless, I'm gad the rough point was understood
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Old Aug 2, 19, 1:28 am
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IMHO I don't like W hotels as long as they don't have an Executive Lounge.
To my personal travel purposes, Marriott or Sheraton are far better, so I hope they will develop these "old" brands too.
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Old Aug 2, 19, 1:38 am
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
I don't think Tribute properties are generally comparable to Autograph properties but agree LC properties are generally more distinctive than either. Marriott didn't really have a brand equivalent to LC, although there are a couple of Autograph properties that would probably qualify.
...
Somehow I got the impression that Autograph Collections fall between Luxury Collections and Tribute Portfolio and some properties overlap with these two.

With plenty of brands, Marriott try to cover whole segments, even the niches for developer to consider.

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Old Aug 2, 19, 6:02 am
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I find the Autograph Collection to be poorly defined. As an example, the Hotel Beaux Arts in Miami could easily be a Luxury Collection property, whereas the Q&C in New Orleans could almost be an Ace.
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Old Aug 2, 19, 7:04 am
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This is pretty standard MBA strategy 101 stuff. A big company with expertise in operations at scale buys a prestige brand and then starts pumping up the volume using their existing economies and resources. "Class to mass". Question is always whether, or to what extent, the quality declines.
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Old Aug 2, 19, 12:15 pm
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Originally Posted by kaizen7 View Post
Somehow I got the impression that Autograph Collections fall between Luxury Collections and Tribute Portfolio and some properties overlap with these two.
Yes. That seems to be how Marriott wants us to see these three brands — and how future properties are likely to be branded.
Originally Posted by kaizen7 View Post
With plenty of brands, Marriott try to cover whole segments, even the niches for developer to consider.
Yes. When Marriott acquired Starwood, Marriott gained a number of brands that fill gaps in its brand structure. That means Marriott has more brands to offer to hotel developers/owners.

Luxury Collection is a soft brand above Autograph Collection, while Tribute Collection is now positioned as a soft brand below Autograph Collection.

Element and Aloft are hip alternatives to Residence Inn and Courtyard, respectively. Marriott already had AC Hotels as a hip alternative to Courtyard, but Aloft and AC Hotels take different approaches.

Four Points is now being used as a conversion brand for select-service properties.

Marriott probably wouldn't have so many full-service brands if the company were designing its brand structure from scratch. Then again, Marriott can franchise a Marriott Hotel, Sheraton, Renaissance, Le Méridien, and Delta Hotel in close proximity to each other.

Edition has been off to a slow start. With W Hotels, Marriott has a well-established brand in this market space.


Originally Posted by acrophobia View Post
I find the Autograph Collection to be poorly defined. As an example, the Hotel Beaux Arts in Miami could easily be a Luxury Collection property, whereas the Q&C in New Orleans could almost be an Ace

Before the merger, Marriott only had Autograph Collection as a soft brand for properties that wanted their own distinct personalities. By definition, such "collection" properties don't have the consistency of a traditional brand — or the boring sameness, to put it another way. It also meant that some properties were higher on the star scale than others.

Now, with three soft brands, Marriott and hotel developers/owners are in a better position to pick the most appropriate soft brand. Most of the properties that have opened since the merger were probably already underway before the merger. I don't expect a lot of existing Autograph Collection properties to re-brand to a different collection, but a few might in the long run.

Even then, there will be the perception issue. Guests have different opinions of what the physical attributes of high-end hotel should be. Some guests value opulent decor, while other guests value quirkiness.
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Last edited by Horace; Aug 2, 19 at 12:33 pm
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Old Aug 2, 19, 3:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Horace View Post
Before the merger, Marriott only had Autograph Collection as a soft brand for properties that wanted their own distinct personalities. By definition, such "collection" properties don't have the consistency of a traditional brand — or the boring sameness, to put it another way. It also meant that some properties were higher on the star scale than others.
Well, I’ve personally never had a problem with the “boring sameness” of StR properties, but I do catch your drift. From what you’re saying, it almost sounds like Autograph properties should be thought of as more akin to Design Hotels, which were always wildly inconsistent, ranging from “service is so last generation” to properties that could potentially have been Luxury Collection.
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Old Aug 3, 19, 10:19 am
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Someone's "boring sameness" is another's familiarity
For me, StR brand does give a familiar feels for hotel ... just like McDonalds ... I can expect certain level of "big mac" served in these St Regises.

Luxury Collections hotels is another brands that I frequently stays. Its more adventurous type as each Luxury Collections are uniquely different from others.

Interesting about EDITION, does it really share the same space as W ?
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Old Aug 3, 19, 10:26 am
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Originally Posted by kaizen7 View Post
Someone's "boring sameness" is another's familiarity
For me, StR brand does give a familiar feels for hotel ... just like McDonalds ... I can expect certain level of "big mac" served in these St Regises.

Luxury Collections hotels is another brands that I frequently stays. Its more adventurous type as each Luxury Collections are uniquely different from others.

Interesting about EDITION, does it really share the same space as W ?
Marriott puts them both in the luxury lifestyle category, but is is pitching EDITION as a more mature version of W with cleaner/more minimalist spaces and a streamlined theme across their properties - things like a grand staircase in their lobbies, wood paneling across hotels, the signature faux fur throw on the beds and feature dining/entertainment venues. W is meant to be more playful, louder and colorful, but Marriott is trying to clearly position them below EDITION both in look and price.

I haven’t stayed in an EDITION yet, but I’m not quite into the fact that they all look so formulaic and that they can skimp on Elite benefits because someone in a Bethesda conference room decided that they’re too cool for school... plus I generally find Ws to have more personality and have had many great experiences with them across the world.

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