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Marriott adds 19 all-inclusive resorts, mainly Royalton

Marriott adds 19 all-inclusive resorts, mainly Royalton

Old Feb 9, 21, 6:52 am
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Marriott adds 19 all-inclusive resorts, mainly Royalton

Just announced:

Marriott International today announced a significant planned expansion of its all-inclusive portfolio through a long-term agreement with Sunwing Travel Group’s hotel division, Blue Diamond Resorts, which has an extensive portfolio of resort properties throughout the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico. The agreement is expected to propel Marriott into the list of top 10 global all-inclusive players by adding 19 franchised resorts totaling nearly 7,000 rooms across six destinations and more than doubling the company’s presence in the all-inclusive segment to 33 properties by 2025. The majority of the properties are expected to be converted into Marriott’s Autograph Collection by mid 2021.

"We are excited to enter into this agreement with Marriott International, and introduce Blue Diamond Resorts’ portfolio of hotels to their Autograph Collection brand,” said Stephen Hunter, CEO, Sunwing Travel Group. “Our luxurious, award-winning hotels will benefit from Marriott’s world-renowned reputation and esteemed travel program, all while bolstering our mission to bring unparalleled vacation experiences to customers.”

The following resorts are anticipated to convert to the Autograph Collection:

Mexico
  • 840-room Royalton Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa
  • 343-room Hideaway at Royalton Riviera Cancun
  • 566-room Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Cancun
  • 332-room Planet Hollywood Adults Scene Cancun
  • 457-room Royalton CHIC Suites Cancun Resort & Spa
Dominican Republic
  • 730-room Royalton Bavaro Resort & Spa
  • 320-room Royalton CHIC Punta Cana Resort & Spa
  • 525-room Royalton Splash Punta Cana Resort & Spa
  • 317-room Royalton Punta Cana Resort & Casino
  • 168-room Hideaway at Royalton Punta Cana
Jamaica
  • 352-room Royalton White Sands Montego Bay
  • 228-room Royalton Blue Waters Montego Bay
  • 140-room Hideaway at Royalton Negril
  • 407-room Royalton Negril Resort & Spa
St. Lucia
  • 290-room Royalton Saint Lucia Resort & Spa
  • 166-room Hideaway at Royalton Saint Lucia
Antigua
  • 294-room Royalton Antigua Resort & Spa
Costa Rica
  • 294-room Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica
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Old Feb 9, 21, 7:37 am
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Ignoring questions over how elite status benefits will work I don't understand why Marriott would brand conversion all-inclusive hotels as Autograph Collection. I could see Delta which was its big conversion brand. Perhaps Marriott Vacations Club as I imagine some all-inclusive properties have a timeshare component to them. It just seems to confuse the Autograph Collection brand, which in many cases had been four-star boutique hotels.
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Old Feb 9, 21, 7:46 am
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IMO Marriott should come up with yet another brand for All inclusive properties rather than use Autograph Collection as the catch all for higher end properties.
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Old Feb 9, 21, 7:49 am
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Originally Posted by escapefromphl View Post
IMO Marriott should come up with yet another brand for All inclusive properties rather than use Autograph Collection as the catch all for higher end properties.
I imagine there will be confusion from guests who become accustomed to all-inclusive Autograph Collection hotels only to find properties elsewhere that aren't all-inclusive.
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Old Feb 9, 21, 7:55 am
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agree with others, can't see the Autograph Collection as these hotels. Even though I try to stay at every AC in the collection, probably not gonna add these to my list of the AC's to stay at (although I will stay at on vacation). Wonder if the Armar House in Cancun already will add the brand to it.
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Old Feb 9, 21, 8:13 am
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I'm not sure there will be that much confusion, it seems from the hotel websites that these hotels will seemingly keep their existing branding and just stamp "Autograph Collection" at the end of it.
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Old Feb 9, 21, 8:19 am
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Originally Posted by CALMSP View Post
agree with others, can't see the Autograph Collection as these hotels. Even though I try to stay at every AC in the collection, probably not gonna add these to my list of the AC's to stay at (although I will stay at on vacation). Wonder if the Armar House in Cancun already will add the brand to it.
Armar House is going to undergo a series of renovations [major on the lower floor guest rooms and restaurants/public spaces, minor on the upper floor guest rooms], back-of-house upgrades to bring it into the Marriott systems and additions [i.e. a huge new spa], and will rebrand as W Cancún when the work wraps up in 2022. It'll be the first W to join the all-inclusive family, and as such will be adults-only. The first remodeled rooms should also be ready by the middle of this year, maybe even when the hotel reopens by May 1st.

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Old Feb 9, 21, 8:38 am
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Nice to see there's finally some options for redeeming Marriott Points at all-inclusives, although I doubt any of these would be worth it, outside of Christmas/New Years stays. Downside is these hotels are all fairly middle of the road for all-inclusives. Would have loved if Excellence or Karisma was joining instead.

Originally Posted by escapefromphl View Post
IMO Marriott should come up with yet another brand for All inclusive properties rather than use Autograph Collection as the catch all for higher end properties.
I'm debating that and think it should instead be a sub-brand (similar to how you can have Marriott/Sheraton Suites) to easily declare it is an all-inclusive that is added to the relevant brand, such as "All-In" (I'm sure Marriott Marketing could come up with something better). So the W Cancun could be labeled as W All-In, some of these could be a Tribute All-In, a higher end Autograph Collection All-In, etc.

Originally Posted by user48640 View Post
Ignoring questions over how elite status benefits will work I don't understand why Marriott would brand conversion all-inclusive hotels as Autograph Collection. I could see Delta which was its big conversion brand. Perhaps Marriott Vacations Club as I imagine some all-inclusive properties have a timeshare component to them. It just seems to confuse the Autograph Collection brand, which in many cases had been four-star boutique hotels.
Can't be vacation club as I believe the Royalton ones have their own timeshare company for these that would not be integrated.
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Old Feb 9, 21, 9:04 am
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This is the perfect example of growth for the sake of growth and money. Autograph Collection was one of the few Marriott brands that was distinctive and had a unique collection of properties, and dumping a bunch of middle-of-the-road all-inclusives will only hurt the brand and its image. Planet Hollywood, unique? Really? Interior decor elements like photos of film reels and director chairs is low-brow and tacky. An 840-room resort is a factory, not a boutique or curated experience. Delta was used as the conversion brand, and I understand the efficiencies behind bringing these hotels in under Autograph for the sake of simplicity and retaining their existing brands, but this reeks of laziness and disrespect for Marriott's own portfolio.

At first, I thought Marriott doesn't care about its customers by virtue of its loyalty programs, but now it's showing that it doesn't care about what its brands stand for either.

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Old Feb 9, 21, 9:21 am
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Originally Posted by khabah View Post
This is the perfect example of growth for the sake of growth and money. Autograph Collection was one of the few Marriott brands that was distinctive and had a unique collection of properties, and dumping a bunch of middle-of-the-road all-inclusives will only hurt the brand and its image. Planet Hollywood, unique? Really? Interior decor elements like photos of film reels and director chairs is low-brow and tacky. An 840-room resort is a factory, not a boutique or curated experience. Delta was used as the conversion brand, and I understand the efficiencies behind bringing these hotels in under Autograph for the sake of simplicity and retaining their existing brands, but this reeks of laziness and disrespect for Marriott's own portfolio.

At first, I thought Marriott doesn't care about its customers by virtue of its loyalty programs, but now it's showing that it doesn't care about what its brands stand for either.

khabah
Their strategy does seem to be just to own as many hotel rooms as possible. With today's focus on shareholders, it makes a certain narrow sense for Marriott simply to aim at being the company one invests in when you want exposure to tourism (primarily US based, obviously).
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Old Feb 9, 21, 9:37 am
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Originally Posted by EuropeanPete View Post
Their strategy does seem to be just to own as many hotel rooms as possible. With today's focus on shareholders, it makes a certain narrow sense for Marriott simply to aim at being the company one invests in when you want exposure to tourism (primarily US based, obviously).
It can be a big tourism company, but part of that is some semblance of brand consistency, even if that consistency is that a hotel will be a 'unique boutique' like Autograph Collection has. I hate that Marriott has 30 brands, but they really need something for the All-Inclusive umbrella they are going to have, now that they expect to have 30ish all-inclusives by the end of the year (more than Bulgari, Edition, Gaylord, or Design combined) and the press release makes them seem eager to add to that.
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Old Feb 9, 21, 9:42 am
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Next strategy: The Big Red Boat and Carnival Cruises.

There's nothing boutique or upscale about an 800+ room all inclusive. Maybe the Autograph Collection label will attract some one time only guests, but the risk is that they'll avoid all Autograph Collection hotels in the future. Profits for Marriott now at the expense of its reputation (whatever happened to the fabled Marriott consistency?) and future bookings in existing Autograph Collection hotels.
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Old Feb 9, 21, 9:48 am
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Why not toss them into GayLord (huge, nondescript pseudo-resorts), or Tribute Portfolio (what the heck are we supposed to do with these? Oh, and they don’t want to offer elite benefits or recognition)?
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Old Feb 9, 21, 10:00 am
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Gaylord could work, but I wouldn't want to see these places added to the Tribute Portfolio. OTOH Gaylord seems to cater to a different crowd/demographic, not people who would go to mass-market beach resorts in Mexico. I associate Gaylord with Branson MO and a middle aged to elderly country music crowd.

BTW, there's a Royalton Hotel in NYC (midtown, roughly at 44th St and 5th Ave) that's a genuine boutique hotel, very stylish and about four star level, at least when their trendy F&B places are open. I stayed here once, and liked it except for the location. There seems to be no connection to these Royalton Hotels. AFAIK the NYC place is independent.
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Old Feb 9, 21, 10:07 am
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People will always find something to complain about If you don't want to stay at any of these properties, nobody is forcing you. For those that like more options, these can serve a wider audience in areas many people want to go for vacations.
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