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Marriott embarks on global independent hotel expansion

Marriott International has revealed ambitious plans to grow the number of independently owned hotels in its portfolio by nearly 50 per cent by 2019.

Making the announcement at the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference in New York, Marriott said it would actively look to add new hotels to its three collection brands – The Luxury Collection, Autograph Collection Hotels and Tribute Portfolio.

As part of the expansion plans, the Luxury Collection brand is scheduled to debut in three new countries this year, as well as open its first ski resorts – the Cristallo, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa in Cortina, Italy and Hotel Talisa, a Luxury Collection Resort in Vail, Colorado.

Both resorts will feature large spas.

The US-based hotel giant strengthened its position in the independent segment considerably last year with the acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

In total, Marriott now has more than 240 independent hotels operating under its three dedicated collection brands.

Arne M. Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International, said: “We are now able to offer more choices than ever, especially for owners and guests who prefer an independent hotel experience.

“We doubled our portfolio of independent hotels with the acquisition of Starwood and significantly increased our global footprint. The growth projected for the next few years underscores the demand Marriott is seeing for more customised, local experiences."

Each of the three collection brands have a focus on wellness and spas, with many of the hotels added to them being large resorts.

The latest property to join the Tribute Collection – La Posada De Santa Fe Resort in California, US – houses the Spa Sage, which is set among six acres of landscaped grounds and features eight treatment rooms.

Tony Capuano, Marriott’s global chief development officer, added: "We're seeing increased demand for Marriott's collection brands given independent hotel owners realising that Marriott's size and scale can drive significant value to their properties."

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