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Is Marriott Turning Residence Inns over to Sonesta?

Is Marriott Turning Residence Inns over to Sonesta?

 
Old Apr 21, 16, 9:44 pm
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Is Marriott Turning Residence Inns over to Sonesta?

It looks like Marriott has sold many Residence Inns to Sonesta. Is the brand going away? I love staying at RIs.
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Old Apr 21, 16, 10:05 pm
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I don't believe so because new properties are still coming online, but I do suspect there have been either some brand requirement changes or upon renewal, franchisee are choosing to change flag and the Sonesta ES group is making a strong pitch.

I haven't seen any good news or publicity coming from RI including the demolished evening reception and all of the ad dollars appear to be going into Springhill and Fairfield.

I also think Hilton Homewood does a much better job than RI in concept execution.

Rasheed
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Old Apr 21, 16, 10:32 pm
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Originally Posted by afCAMEO View Post
It looks like Marriott has sold many Residence Inns to Sonesta. Is the brand going away? I love staying at RIs.
Marriott does not own hotels. It owns brands. Marriott chooses not to tie up capital in real estate. The actual hotels are owned by companies that choose to own hotels.

One of Marriott International's 19 brands is Residence Inn, positioned for extended stay guests. Residence Inn has nearly 700 locations, with more opening all the time.

Comparatively tiny Sonesta International Hotels Corporation decided to launch its own extended stay brand. The company announced Sonesta ES Suites in May 2015. I just took a look at the Sonesta ES Suites website. I think I counted a grand total of just 27 locations.

Hotel owners reflag their properties for two main reasons: Either a hotel loses it brand because it no longer complies with brand standards, or a hotel owner thinks that affiliating with a different brand will be more profitable.

Marriott has not "sold many Residence Inns to Sonesta." Owners of some Residence Inns, some Staybridge Suites, and probably some other extended stay hotels have reflagged to Sonesta ES Suites.
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Old Apr 22, 16, 2:33 pm
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If memory serves right, a large pension trust or REIT (I believe it was from Pennsylvania) bought the Sonesta brand a few years back and immediately converted some of its assets to the Sonestsa brands (Staybridge Suites Orlando became the first Sonesta, Intercontinental Houston converted to Sonesta and so on.)
I suspect that some more franchise contracts have now come to an end and the owner decided to turn them over to the in-house brand instead of paying a premium fee to retain the Marriott branding. I suspect we might see some more of the older (appartment-style with exterior corridor) Residence Inns are going to disappear over time as has happened with the first wave of Fairfield Inns (some of which converted to Ramada about 10 years back) in the past.
Can you name those properties that have converted?
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Old Apr 22, 16, 3:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Muerz View Post
If memory serves right, a large pension trust or REIT (I believe it was from Pennsylvania) bought the Sonesta brand a few years back and immediately converted some of its assets to the Sonestsa brands (Staybridge Suites Orlando became the first Sonesta, Intercontinental Houston converted to Sonesta and so on.)
I suspect that some more franchise contracts have now come to an end and the owner decided to turn them over to the in-house brand instead of paying a premium fee to retain the Marriott branding. I suspect we might see some more of the older (appartment-style with exterior corridor) Residence Inns are going to disappear over time as has happened with the first wave of Fairfield Inns (some of which converted to Ramada about 10 years back) in the past.
Can you name those properties that have converted?
That's basically it. I just did some quick Googling.

RMR Group, located in Newton, Mass., manages Hospitality Properties Trust and owns Sonesta International Hotels Corporation (among other things).

According to the Hospitality Properties Trust website, "Hospitality Properties Trust is a lodging and travel center real estate investment trust, or REIT. As of December 31, 2015, we have invested approximately $8.6 billion in 302 hotels and 193 travel centers located in 45 states, Puerto Rico and Canada."

Hotels owned by Hospitality Properties Trust are affiliated with many different brands. Relatively few are affiliated with Sonesta.

Sonesta's extended stay brand, Sonesta ES Suites, is a new brand. When I looked at the website for this brand, it appeared that quiet a few of them were originally old-format Residence Inns, with outside entrances and two-story penthouse suites.

I would not be surprised to see more Hospitality Properties Trust properties switch to Sonesta brands, but I can also see them remaining with more established brands when that is working well.

Marriott switched its standards for new Residence Inns to buildings with elevators and interior hallways many years ago, but there are still plenty of the old ones left. I agree that they're likely to be phased out. Expectations for security and accessibility have changed.

In any case, the concerns of the OP are unwarranted. Yes, some former Residence Inns are now branded as Sonesta ES Suites, but that's not an indication that Marriott is dumping Residence Inn.

Last edited by Horace; Apr 22, 16 at 7:18 pm
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Old Apr 27, 16, 1:58 am
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Thanks for all the replies. I'll miss those penthouse suites in Tucson and Middleburgh Heights, both of which have gone to Sonesta, nice little perk to have, and convenient if traveling with more than one other person
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Old Apr 27, 16, 9:52 pm
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Slightly OT but I like the exterior room access of the older style RIs. They feel more like cottages or bungalows that way. RIs with interior corridors feel like every other 2-1/2 star chain motel (albeit with a studio suite).
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Old Apr 29, 16, 11:41 pm
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Another OT however the Sonesta ES Suites have been some of the nicest rooms I have stayed in compared to Residence Inn.

The program leaves much to be desired though.
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Old Apr 30, 16, 10:38 am
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Originally Posted by darthbimmer View Post
Slightly OT but I like the exterior room access of the older style RIs. They feel more like cottages or bungalows that way. RIs with interior corridors feel like every other 2-1/2 star chain motel (albeit with a studio suite).
I'll second that. Love the penthouse upgrade, well worth hauling your stuff up the exterior stairs.
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Old Mar 1, 18, 12:26 pm
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Well, there goes a room style that my half-brothers and parents loved back in the day. I never experienced it-the inside hallway RI hotels tend to be the way of the future. Even though the Asheville location and the one near Louisville airport (it's not the one my parents stayed at back in 1992) are all from the late 1990's, at least they were new enough to keep the RI name.

According to my father, the reason why a lot of the outdoor hallway RI hotels are getting taken by Sonesta and a few other brands is because the Penthouse Suite is obsolete. Expensive to maintain, plus if you cook in those kinds of rooms (not that I ever tried, but you can), smoke rises easily. And the fact the inside hallway RIs tend to copy off a 2.5-star hotel...not exactly.

Just my overall observations. Sonestas have also taken over the exterior hallway Summerfield Suites (and the ones that Hyatt refused to work with-Staybridge had some involvement with them)-those are the ones where the main building has a second floor with rooms-which definitely does scream retro.
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Old Mar 1, 18, 2:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Will Stonehocker View Post
Well, there goes a room style that my half-brothers and parents loved back in the day. I never experienced it-the inside hallway RI hotels tend to be the way of the future. Even though the Asheville location and the one near Louisville airport (it's not the one my parents stayed at back in 1992) are all from the late 1990's, at least they were new enough to keep the RI name.
There are still plenty of older Residence Inns with the old floorplans.

As already noted, Marriott is not "turning Residence Inns over to Sonesta." But as also already noted, the owners of some such properties are switching to the Sonesta ES Suites brand -- especially when the property owner is the same company that owns the Sonesta ES Suites brand.

Originally Posted by Will Stonehocker View Post
According to my father, the reason why a lot of the outdoor hallway RI hotels are getting taken by Sonesta and a few other brands is because the Penthouse Suite is obsolete. Expensive to maintain, plus if you cook in those kinds of rooms (not that I ever tried, but you can), smoke rises easily. And the fact the inside hallway RIs tend to copy off a 2.5-star hotel...not exactly.
Residence Inn was acquired by Marriott in 1987. Initially, the brand standards continued to call for clusters of residential buildings with outside doors, including 2-story penthouses that were reached by outside stairways.

Around the mid-1990s, Marriott changed the standards for new construction to inside hallways and the elimination of 2-story penthouses. There were probably a number of reasons why Marriott chose to make the change, including accessibility, maintainability, security, liability, and evolving guest expectations.

For more than 20 years, the Residence Inn brand has grown to have primarily the "new" configuration.

I'm not sure it's correct to say, "outdoor hallway RI hotels are getting taken by Sonesta and a few other brands is because the Penthouse Suite is obsolete." It seems Marriott is happy to collect franchise and marketing fees from owners of older Residence Inn properties that maintain their properties properly.

Originally Posted by Will Stonehocker View Post
Just my overall observations. Sonestas have also taken over the exterior hallway Summerfield Suites (and the ones that Hyatt refused to work with-Staybridge had some involvement with them)-those are the ones where the main building has a second floor with rooms-which definitely does scream retro.
The Sonesta ES Suites brand is now slightly over five years old. Clearly, there are business people who are betting that they can be more successful if they don't pay franchise and marketing fees to Marriott. Perhaps having a well-known brand is less important in the extended stay segment.
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Old Mar 1, 18, 6:07 pm
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FWIW, Chase Suites took over an old school RI in Tampa (Rocky Point) that I just adored and stayed at for 3 years before that. Too bad.

Tampa, Fl Hotel - Chase Suite Hotel Tampa
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Old Mar 1, 18, 10:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Horace View Post
There are still plenty of older Residence Inns with the old floorplans.
Yup, and I'm staying in one of them tonight, in fact! Plus 2 out of the last 3 RIs I've stayed at were the old, cottage-style architecture.

Around the mid-1990s, Marriott changed the standards for new construction to inside hallways and the elimination of 2-story penthouses. There were probably a number of reasons why Marriott chose to make the change, including accessibility, maintainability, security, liability, and evolving guest expectations.
Agreed. All those exterior entrances and stairwells add cost to maintain and insure. Plus, they deprive the property of receiving accessibility ratings and under the ADA and local building codes may need to be retrofitted with elevators if/when natural wear-and-tear reaches the point of requiring extensive renovation.
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Old Mar 2, 18, 6:55 pm
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Originally Posted by joshua362 View Post
FWIW, Chase Suites took over an old school RI in Tampa (Rocky Point) that I just adored and stayed at for 3 years before that. Too bad.

Tampa, Fl Hotel - Chase Suite Hotel Tampa
Chase Suites? What the hell is that?
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Old Mar 2, 18, 6:57 pm
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Originally Posted by darthbimmer View Post
Yup, and I'm staying in one of them tonight, in fact! Plus 2 out of the last 3 RIs I've stayed at were the old, cottage-style architecture.



Agreed. All those exterior entrances and stairwells add cost to maintain and insure. Plus, they deprive the property of receiving accessibility ratings and under the ADA and local building codes may need to be retrofitted with elevators if/when natural wear-and-tear reaches the point of requiring extensive renovation.
Back when my father lived in Plainsboro, there was this Residence Inn that was the debut style. It is now ran by Sonesta. My dad didn't stay there, but his company AT&T used to land people there.
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