My “Travel Made Easy” posts are meant to provide easy access to new destinations, hotel groups or airlines, with a quick summary and links to more in-depth information you might be interested in about the brand. Today’s post provides all you need to know about Marriott Hotels, their brands, the experience you can expect at their hotels from JW Marriott to Courtyard or Residence Inn and the Marriott Rewards program to earn points for free stays and more!
The Hotel Group: With the acquisition of Starwood, Marriott become the largest hotel company in the world by number of rooms. They now have more than 1.1 Million rooms at over 6,000 hotels in more than 110 countries worldwide. While they became more global with the acquisition of Starwood, they still have more than 78% of their hotels in the Americas. Those properties belong to 30 brands – a mind boggling number few travelers will be able to differentiate. The biggest ones are the limited service brands Courtyard, Fairfield Inn and Residence Inn! But Marriott now also has the largest percentage of luxury hotels at 6.1%, offering more high-end hotels than IHG or Hilton! You can find more details in the Marriott Facts & Figures!
The Experience: With 30 brands, the experience will vary greatly. To make it a little easier, Marriott has grouped their brands into “classic” and “distinctive” style, in addition to the service level and price category! At the top are full-service luxury hotels, like the “classic luxury” Ritz Carlton (Average Daily Rate ADR $351/night) or JW Marriott (ADR $235) brand. The mainstay Marriott (ADR $172) brand are full-service “classic premium” while Le Meridien or Westin (ADR $199) offer “distinctive premium” hotels. As you move down the ranks to limited service hotels like “classic” Courtyard or “distinctive” aloft hotels, you’ll get nice rooms without the many services. If you are looking for a home away from home, you should check out “classic long stay” hotels like Residence Inn. Click on any of the brand names to find out more about the experience you can expect at those hotels!
At any of the Marriott brands you are likely to find some of the most consistency in the industry – Marriott is managing brand standards more tightly than their competitors and we can hope to find that at the (former) Starwood brands as well. Chances are if you like one Marriott or Courtyard hotel, you’ll like other properties of the brand as well. And that’s something you can’t say about Wyndham Hotels or Best Western!
Click on any of the brand names to find out more about what experience to expect at any of the brands!
The Rewards Program: With the large number of hotels and variety of brands, there should be places to earn and redeem points for everybody. The focus on the Americas makes it best suited for frequent business travelers in the US who want to take occasional trips abroad or want to earn at mid-priced hotels and redeem at one of the many luxury hotels! The partnership with United and the ongoing integration make Marriott Rewards more attractive and the great Marriott Rewards credit card is another incentive to check out the program! For US based travelers, it’s a good primary program with IHG Rewards or Accor LeClub as back up programs for international travel!