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Marriott's New Boutique Hotel Chain: EDITION

Marriott's New Boutique Hotel Chain: EDITION

 
Old Jan 29, 08, 6:21 am
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Marriott's New Boutique Hotel Chain: EDITION

There's an article in today's Washington Post about this announcement to be made in Los Angeles today - the new chain will be called "Edition". I'd like to try them out (as long as they participate in Marriott Rewards).

Maybe someone with more time than I have right now can post a link to the article?
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Old Jan 29, 08, 7:01 am
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A link requires a login, so here is the Article.

With 'Edition,' Marriott Goes Boutique

By Michael S. Rosenwald
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 29, 2008; Page D01

Bill Marriott and Ian Schrager, two of the unlikeliest business partners in lodging history, finally have a name for their new boutique hotel chain: Edition.

The announcement of the name, scheduled for today in Los Angeles, comes seven months after the pair revealed their partnership on the roof club of Schrager's eclectic Gramercy Park Hotel in New York, and nearly 10 years after Marriott International rival Starwood launched its boutique W Hotel concept to much fanfare.

Marriott said in an interview that the name took several months to work out and ultimately emerged from Schrager's team, which is not surprising given that the 75-year-old chief executive has said his Bethesda-based company didn't have the creative chops to enter the boutique space on its own.

"I like the name," Marriott said. "You can use it as the new Edition or the 14th Street Edition or the Wall Street Edition. Anything you want to put in front of it ties in with the name."

Schrager, the proprietor of the Studio 54 nightclub who later became the creative godfather of boutique hotels, said Edition clicked because of the idea behind the entire project -- that each hotel, while similar in sophistication and atmosphere, would be designed to fit in with the local surroundings and culture.

"Each city, each location will be its own separate edition," Schrager said.

Schrager and Marriott are to also announce today the first nine locations for what both parties hope will eventually be a collection of more than 100 Editions. The first Edition is to open around 2010 in Paris, followed shortly after by South Beach in Miami.

The District will get an Edition in the 18th Street corridor, though no details on timetable or location were available. There will be two Editions in Los Angeles -- one in Hollywood, the other potentially at the $2.5 billion L.A. Live project, where there are also plans for two other high-end Marriott properties. Chicago is on the list, as are Scottsdale, Ariz.; Costa Rica; and Madrid.

Marriott's entry into the boutique business comes after some of its rivals are already established in the space. But the company has sometimes sought to sit on the sidelines and watch what others do first, then come in and dominate by sheer scale and pinpoint execution.

Boutiques are important for Marriott because they create a younger buzz than traditional business or leisure travel do. The hotels also have high room rates and rake in good money spent on fancy meals, drinks and entertainment.

The designs for Edition are still in the preliminary phases, but Marriott said the hotels will "look like they were invented by Ian Schrager and not by Bill Marriott, and that's why we got him." Marriott and his company have been known, for the most part, for classic design. Schrager's Gramercy Park Hotel is described on its Web site as "Bohemia reinvented for the 21st century."

The combination of two such differing sensibilities brings to mind a question that many in the hotel world have been asking for months: Just how are Bill Marriott and Ian Schrager getting along?

Schrager admits, "On the surface we may not look the same." Marriott is a devout Mormon, a spinner of Glenn Miller tunes and an old-fashioned gentleman. Schrager is none of those things. On the balconies of his Studio 54 nightclub, people did more than just drink. He can be volatile. He spent time in prison for tax evasion.

Marriott said: "It's been fine. He's been very cooperative, very thoughtful."

And Schrager said: "Everyone said this would be the partnership from hell, that we would never get along. But my DNA is similar to Bill Marriott's. He's a perfectionist. He loves what he does. He wants to be involved with something really special."

And they need each other. With Schrager, Marriott gets not only a burst of creativity but also credibility in the boutique hotel market. With Marriott, Schrager gets scale and the opportunity to take his creative powers around the world.

"The pundits will be proven wrong," Schrager said.
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Old Jan 29, 08, 8:33 am
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New dress on an old goat.
It would be nice if MI spent the $$$$ they waste on this PR cr#p on improving their training programs and making their customers feel like they were important to them.
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Old Jan 29, 08, 9:28 am
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Originally Posted by bigguyinpasadena View Post
New dress on an old goat.
It would be nice if MI spent the $$$$ they waste on this PR cr#p on improving their training programs and making their customers feel like they were important to them.
Maybe customers who don't seem to have the ability to ever feel important should take their business elsewhere.
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Old Jan 29, 08, 11:50 am
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Originally Posted by bhatnasx View Post
Maybe customers who don't seem to have the ability to ever feel important should take their business elsewhere.
That's been Marriott's strategy for a while now
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Old Jan 29, 08, 2:25 pm
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Hmmmm. Sounds okay to me, but I wish the creative energy was being applied to the two mainline brands instead of spawning a new one with a few hotels. There are a lot of Renaissances out there in bad need of a facelift - but could fill a bit of a creative niche...
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Old Jan 29, 08, 3:04 pm
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Originally Posted by bhatnasx View Post
Maybe customers who don't seem to have the ability to ever feel important should take their business elsewhere.
So you don't think a Company should strive to make its customers feel valued?
How very odd!
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Old Jan 29, 08, 5:53 pm
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Originally Posted by GrizShel View Post
I'd like to try them out (as long as they participate in Marriott Rewards).
I previously posted the following quote from a Wall Street Journal article, that did not appear in Marriott's press release. The article appeared at the time of the initial Marriott press release announcing the Marriott/Schrager partnership.

"As with Ritz-Carlton, which Marriott acquired in 1998, there will be no overt evidence of Marriott's involvement, says Marriott Chief Financial Officer Arne Sorenson."

That doesn't bode well for the inclusion of Marriott Rewards. And, of course, Marriott has opted not to include Marriott Rewards at either its Ritz Carlton brand (other than redeeming points) or its Bulgari brand.
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Old Jan 29, 08, 7:02 pm
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Originally Posted by ohmark View Post
That doesn't bode well for the inclusion of Marriott Rewards. And, of course, Marriott has opted not to include Marriott Rewards at either its Ritz Carlton brand (other than redeeming points) or its Bulgari brand.
Which is why I won't likely be staying there. Sadly, Marriott hasn't learned from SPG who is happy to let us earn points at their high end brands.
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Old Jan 29, 08, 9:13 pm
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Memo to Marriott:

It would be nice if you got flat screen TVs into the FS properties this year (2008). Your competitors are way ahead of you on this.

I was at SFO Marriott over New Years - the TVs there were in just terrible shape.
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Old Jan 29, 08, 11:12 pm
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Can Marriott please worry about more important things than launching a new brand?

How about eliminating blackouts for award reservations (ala.. Starwood and now Hilton)

How about upgrading the online booking process for an award.

How about ensuring that the properties you do have abide by MR guarantees & policies?

Get your act together
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Old Jan 30, 08, 6:18 am
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This would appear to be a good move for Marriott. They're going to bring in customers who otherwise would patronize other brands, unlike fixing Renaissance which mainly draws guests who would otherwise stay at a FS Marriott (my opinion).

I, for one, don't expect to spend a lot of nights in Editions particularly if they follow the W model very closely (tiny rooms, snooty attitude, faux-hipster coolness). So as long as Marriott has the corporate resources to continue focusing on what currently makes them my chain of choice while also expanding into a new market, I'm happy.

After all, when they announce a new hotel somewhere it's not like we all come out and say "Well I wish they would put flat-screen TVs in the current hotels before opening new ones." From what I've seen Marriott is doing a major refurb across the FS properties. They've also begun in earnest to set Renaissance apart with some unique touches.

Good luck, Marriott. I hope Edition does what you want it to do.
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Old Jan 30, 08, 7:01 am
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Originally Posted by DJ_Iceman View Post
This would appear to be a good move for Marriott. They're going to bring in customers who otherwise would patronize other brands, unlike fixing Renaissance which mainly draws guests who would otherwise stay at a FS Marriott (my opinion).

I, for one, don't expect to spend a lot of nights in Editions particularly if they follow the W model very closely (tiny rooms, snooty attitude, faux-hipster coolness). So as long as Marriott has the corporate resources to continue focusing on what currently makes them my chain of choice while also expanding into a new market, I'm happy.

After all, when they announce a new hotel somewhere it's not like we all come out and say "Well I wish they would put flat-screen TVs in the current hotels before opening new ones." From what I've seen Marriott is doing a major refurb across the FS properties. They've also begun in earnest to set Renaissance apart with some unique touches.

Good luck, Marriott. I hope Edition does what you want it to do.
I find your response very rude, and your sarcasm is uncalled for.

I spent 159 nights in FS properties last year (2007), and saw, at most, 2 whole FS properties with flat screens. You might want to do your research in the future.
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Old Jan 30, 08, 7:49 am
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Originally Posted by freeupgrade View Post
I find your response very rude, and your sarcasm is uncalled for.

I spent 159 nights in FS properties last year (2007), and saw, at most, 2 whole FS properties with flat screens. You might want to do your research in the future.
I found the remark merely a counter argument, not rude at all and made some valid comparisons with the W brand. I think you are being a little too sensitve.

As for those flat screens, until they get rid of that crappy On Command system and get programming that can take advantage of the wide aspect ratio, the flat screens are an annoyance rather than a feature.
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Old Jan 30, 08, 6:17 pm
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Originally Posted by freeupgrade View Post
I find your response very rude, and your sarcasm is uncalled for.

I spent 159 nights in FS properties last year (2007), and saw, at most, 2 whole FS properties with flat screens. You might want to do your research in the future.
It wasn't meant to be rude or sarcastic, and I'm sorry you perceived it that way.

I spent less time than you in FS properties but apparently was lucky enough to be at more properties that have done the upgrades. I certainly spent a lot of time staring at old-style CRT televisions, but I know that Marriott is rolling out new TVs and frankly that's not a deal-breaker to me either way.

P.S. You're platinum premier with Marriott (with 159 nights in FS properties last year), diamond with Hilton, and platinum with Starwood? Yikes! I hope you're not wasting money on a mortage or rent, because you're not spending enough time at home to make it worth it!

But can we get back to talking about Edition, please?
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