Amazon announces Alexa for Hospitality will launch in hotels in the summer of 2018

June 19, 2018

Alexa for Hospitality
Alexa for Hospitality (Photo courtesy of Amazon)

The following is a press release from Amazon:

Amazon today announced Alexa for Hospitality, a new experience offered by invitation to hoteliers that brings the simplicity and convenience of Alexa to hotels, vacation rentals, and other hospitality locations. Using the Amazon Echo in their room, guests can now ask Alexa for hotel information, contact the hotel to request guest services, play music in their room and more. For hotels, Alexa for Hospitality helps deepen guest engagement through seamless voice-first experiences that offer new ways for guests to access services and amenities during their stay. Alexa for Hospitality is available to hospitality providers by invitation starting today, with Marriott International introducing the new Alexa experience at select properties in Marriott Hotels, Westin Hotels & Resorts, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, Aloft Hotels, and Autograph Collection Hotels starting this summer.

“Customers tell us they love how easy it is to get information, enjoy entertainment, and control connected devices by simply asking Alexa, and we want to offer those experiences everywhere customers want them,” said Daniel Rausch, Vice President, Amazon. “Alexa for Hospitality makes your hotel stay a little more like being at home and gives hospitality providers new ways to create memorable stays for their guests.”

“Marriott has a long track record of innovating for our guests, and we’re thrilled to be among the first to offer Alexa for Hospitality,” said Jennifer Hsieh, Vice President Customer Experience Innovation, Marriott International. “So many of our guests use voice technology in their home, and we want to extend that convenience to their travel experience. Guests of Charlotte Marriott City Center and Marriott Irvine Spectrum will be among the first to experience a curated list of Alexa for Hospitality features. We will be evaluating guest feedback and adoption to inform how we expand the skills, features, and functionality offered through Alexa in our hotels.”

An Enjoyable Guest Stay with Alexa
With Alexa for Hospitality, hospitality providers can enable and customize a range of voice-first features based on their guests’ needs. Using an Amazon Echo in their room, guests can ask Alexa for information like pool hours or fitness center location, request hotel services like room service or housekeeping, call the concierge, and more. Alexa can also be configured by hospitality providers to allow guests to control and adjust in-room devices like lights, thermostats, blinds, and TVs to their individual preferences or ask Alexa to play music from popular services including iHeartRadio and TuneIn. Guests can also be given access to thousands of Alexa skills to check airport wait times, play games, get in a quick guided workout, play white noise to help them fall asleep, and more.

Hospitality providers will also have the option to allow their guests to personalize their Alexa in-room experience. Soon, Alexa for Hospitality will support the ability for Amazon customers to temporarily connect their Amazon account to the Alexa-enabled device in their room. Once connected, guests will be able to play their personal music from services including Amazon Music, Spotify, and Pandora; and listen to audiobooks with Audible. When a guest checks out, Alexa for Hospitality automatically disconnects their Amazon account from the in-room device.

Helping Hotels Deliver Memorable Guest Experiences
Alexa for Hospitality makes it easy for vacation rental companies like RedAwning and boutique lifestyle properties within the Two Roads Hospitality portfolio including Thompson Hotels, Joie de Vivre, Destination Hotels and Alila to manage their property experiences and engage with guests. Hospitality providers can provision Echo devices in just minutes to get up and running quickly. Alexa for Hospitality also supports hardware settings like limiting volume level and administrator notifications if a device goes offline. Hoteliers can also use Alexa for Hospitality to measure engagement through analytics and adapt services based on guest feedback.

Hotels can also customize the deployment by selecting default music stations from iHeartRadio stations that match their brand, adding property contacts to order room service or booking a spa treatment, and connecting to custom skills that only their guests can access. For example, Marriott Hotels guests, at properties where Alexa for Hospitality is deployed, can take advantage of the brand’s partnership with TED by requesting Alexa play a TED Talk on mindfulness, creativity or leadership.

Alexa for Hospitality is built to work with existing hotel technologies, reducing or eliminating the need to retrofit or upgrade existing investments, and works with a range of trusted hospitality solution providers. Features developed by DigiValet, Intelity, Nuvola, and Volara allow guests to make requests like “Alexa, order wine,” or “Alexa, book a spa appointment,” with requests routed to hotel property management systems. Alexa for Hospitality also works with popular guest room entertainment providers including World Cinema and GuestTek for voice control of TV experiences, and in-room control of connected devices using Crestron and Inncom by Honeywell.

For more information visit www.amazon.com/alexaforhospitality.

About Amazon
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit www.amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.

W Hotels Worldwide launches Wakeup Call festival tour

June 19, 2018

Wake Up Call

The following is a press release from Marriott International:

W Hotels announces the global roll out of WAKE UP CALL, the brand’s signature music festival series that will make stops at three W Hotels this year: W Hollywood (Sept 1-3); W Barcelona (Sept 21-23); and W Bali (Oct 4- 6). Combining the brand’s longstanding passion for music with its signature Whatever/Whenever® philosophy, WAKE UP CALL takes the festival experience off the field and onto fabulous hotel grounds. Available exclusively for members of Marriott International’s award-winning Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) and Marriott Rewards loyalty program, anybody is welcome to join the programs and book. Members can check in and then check out performances throughout the hotel – from WET deck parties to DJ masterclasses and live performances – by some of the hottest acts in music today including Phantogram, Charli XCX, Martin Solveig, Gorgon City, Sam Feldt and Angus & Julia Stone. It’s all access (and perhaps a bit of excess), all the time.

W is throwing out the festival playbook and creating an experience that is as fabulous as it is fun. Where the day begins and ends in luxe accommodations (that don’t require surge prices to get back to). Where pools of mud are replaced by poolside performances. Where endless seas of people give way to Instaworthy views of the sea. Think day beds, not day passes. In other words, it’s time for a real WAKE UP CALL.

“Music is a universal language, one we have spoken since day one at W,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “We’ve brought the Whatever/Whenever mentality to recording artists and guests for years – through concepts like our W Sound Suite recording studios and countless performances in W Living Rooms – all to bring people closer to the music they love. Now we are taking our groundbreaking WAKE UP CALL music festival around the world, disrupting the festival scene in ways that only a W hotel stay can.”

W Hotels is bringing this upgraded and elevated experience exclusively to members of SPG and Marriott Rewards. But elite membership is not a requirement—by simply joining the program online guests can quickly gain access to everything WAKE UP CALL has to offer. When guests visit www.wakeupcallfest.com, existing members of either program can log in with their account information to get festival access; nonmembers can quickly sign up through SPG.

THE STOPS
WAKE UP CALL will launch in the U.S. festival capital of Los Angeles at W Hollywood before traveling to the iconic seaside haunt of W Barcelona. From there, WAKE UP CALL will touch down and close out in paradise at the luxe escape of W Bali.  This year’s multi-city tour is an expansion of the inaugural WAKE UP CALL, the first music festival to be held entirely at a hotel, which took place at W Scottsdale in 2016. This year the party is bigger, better and goes longer than ever before.

THE LINEUP
With a mix of big name artists as well as new/next talent, WAKE UP CALL will include performances by: Phantogram, Charli XCX, Chromeo (DJ Set), Betty Who, Léon and Dancing Pineapple Presents: Codeko, Papa Ya (DJ Set), Christofi and Phil N Good at W HollywoodMartin Solveig, Gorgon City, Thomas Jack, Boston Bun and special guest Pete Tong at W Barcelona; and Angus & Julia StoneSam Feldt and Nightmares On Wax (DJ Set) at W Bali, with more to be announced soon. The WAKE UP CALL experience will go well beyond the music, serving up the W experience every step of the way. Festival revelers can expect everything from workout sessions with top fitness masters to exclusive dishes and cocktails created by W chefs and mixologists only for festival goers. WAKE UP CALL combines the pre-party, the main event, and the post-party, all in one perk-filled package. Plus, SPG and Marriott Rewards members can bid for even more exclusive WAKE UP CALL Moments, including 60-minute DJ master classes, in-suite afterparties with featured artists, and off-site adventures curated by festival talent. To book, visit www.wakeupcallfest.com.

WAKE UP AND GO AGAIN
Want it all? Don’t snooze. Presenting WAKE UP CALL: The Complete Set List, a VIP package for the true music-loving jetsetter. Limited to only 1 package, The Complete Set List experience includes: roundtrip airfare to all three WAKE UP CALL festivals, fabulous accommodations, access to all WAKE UP CALL Moments, VIP-only FUEL fitness workout sessions, VIP meet and greets at each festival and more.  It doesn’t get any more “all access” than this. Bidding starts at 250,000 points and launches to members on June 19th. Marriott Rewards members who have linked accounts may transfer points into their SPG accounts to bid on the package.

For tickets and to join SPG and Marriott Rewards, visit www.wakeupcallfest.com. Keep up with us on social using #WAKEUPCALLFEST, @WHotels.

Passing on the party? Have no fear, you can still get close to the music. Tune in to SPG’s YouTube channel to catch live performances from every location, exclusive artist interviews, and so much more. Don’t miss a minute. Watch here – https://www.youtube.com/spg.

About W Hotels Worldwide
Born from the bold attitude and 24/7 culture of New York City, W Hotels, part of Marriott International, Inc., has disrupted and redefined the hospitality scene for nearly two decades. Trailblazing its way around the globe, with more than 50 hotels, W Hotels defies expectations and breaks the norms of traditional luxury wherever the iconic W sign lands. With a mission to fuel guests’ lust for life, W ignites an obsessive desire to soak it in, live it up and hit repeat. The brand’s provocative design, iconic Whatever/Whenever service and buzzing Living Rooms create an experience that is often copied but never matched. Innovative, inspiring and infectious, the brand’s super-charged energy celebrates guests’ endless appetite to discover what’s new/next in each destination, to see more, feel more, go longer, stay later. W Hotels Worldwide is proud to participate in the industry’s award-winning loyalty program, Starwood Preferred Guest®. Members can now link accounts with Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® at members.marriott.com for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer.  For more information on W Hotels, visit whotels.com/theangle or follow us on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

About Marriott Rewards
Marriott International’s award-winning loyalty program – Marriott Rewards – spans 18 unique and iconic global brands and nearly 4,800 distinctive properties. Members of Marriott Rewards® – which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® – can link their accounts with Starwood Preferred Guest® at members.marriott.com for expanded benefits including instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer across portfolios. When members book their stays on Marriott.com or the Marriott Mobile app, they earn loyalty points, enjoy the advantage of exclusive Member Rates, our lowest available rates, and gain an elevated stay experience with free Wi-Fi, mobile check-in and checkout, and Mobile Service Requests wherever available.  The hugely popular Marriott Rewards has won the Freddie Award for “Hotel Program of the Year–Americas” nine consecutive years as chosen by frequent travelers. Marriott Rewards is free to join and has no blackout dates. To enroll and for more information about the program, guests may visit MarriottRewards.com. Connect with Marriott Rewards on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

About Starwood Preferred Guest
Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®) is an innovative, award-winning frequent traveler program that unites 11 luxury and distinctive hotel brands in nearly 1,500 properties around the world. SPG reinvented the hospitality loyalty landscape when it launched in 1999 with its breakthrough policy of no blackout dates, and over the years has continued its tradition of innovation with enhancements such as Cash + Points, Your24™, SPG Lifetime™, SPG Moments and 4 p.m. late checkout when available. SPG also offers the opportunity for meeting and travel professionals to earn rich rewards including Starpoints and elite status through SPG Pro. SPG has an ongoing commitment to meeting the needs of today’s connected global traveler by leveraging must-have mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android that utilize state-aware technology to create a more personalized hotel stay. All of this has helped SPG build a passionate member base among the world’s most frequent travelers. Learn more about the #spglife at spg.comspg.com/pro and spg.com/moments and connect with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. SPG members can now also link their accounts with Marriott Rewards® – which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® – for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer at spg.com/Marriott.

 

Aloft Hotels and Universal Music Group launch Project: Aloft Star Tour

June 13, 2018

X Ambassadors

The following is a press release from Marriott International:

Aloft Hotels, Marriott International’s brand for music lovers and music makers, and Universal Music Group & Brands (UMGB), the brand strategy division of Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, today launched the 2018 edition of Aloft Hotels’ artist discovery competition Project: Aloft Star, and unveiled the first-ever Project: Aloft Star Tour, a five-city tour celebrating UMG’s emerging artists.

Starting today, musicians can enter for a chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime prize that includes1:

  • An opportunity to record a single at the legendary Capitol Studios in Hollywood
  • Mentoring from UMG’s executives which will include help selecting a song to record
  • 500,000 Rewards points2redeemable for Marriott International hotel stays and other rewards

This year’s Project: Aloft Star mentors, the X Ambassadors, will guide the three Project: Aloft Star finalists3 and help them prepare for their finale performance. “We were lucky to have so many wonderful mentors growing up,” said Sam Harris of X Ambassadors. “We’re thrilled to be working with Aloft Hotels to support emerging talent as this year’s Project: Aloft Star Mentor.”

The Project: Aloft Star contest and tour is part of Marriott International’s first-of-its-kind global partnership with UMG, which has evolved to include a focus on developing emerging talent.

“Aloft Hotels has always been the brand for music makers and music lovers, but now through our collaboration with UMG, we’re able to support emerging artists in a more meaningful way than ever before,” said Toni Stoeckl, Global Brand Leader, Aloft Hotels; and Vice President, Distinctive Select Brands for Marriott International. “The opportunity to record a single with one of UMG’s prestigious labels and receive dedicated mentoring from the best in the industry is very rare, and we’re so glad to be able to bring this to emerging talent all over the world.”

“Aloft Hotels is a terrific partner that shares our dedication to the artist community,” said Mike Tunnicliffe, head of UMGB. “At UMG, everything we do starts with our commitment to fostering emerging talent. This year’s Project: Aloft Star Tour not only promotes this competition but also provides our developing artists with an opportunity to reach new fans across the country. We’re thrilled to expand our relationship with Marriott International, and we continue to work together to build progressive long-term campaigns together.”

Tank & the Bangas performing at Aloft Austin Downtown during the 2018 South by Southwest by Southwest Conference and Festivals
Tank & the Bangas performing at Aloft Austin Downtown during the 2018 South by Southwest by Southwest Conference and Festivals (Photo courtesy of Marriott International, Inc.)

Project: Aloft Star Tour
To inspire emerging talent to enter this year’s competition, Aloft Hotels is taking some of UMG’s hottest breakthrough artists on the road, hitting some of the great music cities to host intimate music performances in the brand’s signature W XYZ® bars. The free performances will kick off with Years & Years in Philadelphia on June 23, and will continue in four other locations, including Tank & the Bangas in New Orleans on August 9 and BANNΞRS in Denver on October 17. At each tour stop, fans will be able to collect an exclusive custom memento poster featuring art created by New York designer and illustrator Sophia Chang. The final tour stop will be held in Austin on November 1where the Project: Aloft Star finalists will perform in front of a panel of industry judges that includes representatives from UMG and live music discovery platform Bandsintown, and a winner will be chosen.

Global Footprint
As a truly global hotel brand, concurrent competitions are also running with Aloft Hotels and UMG in the Middle East & Africa and Asia Pacific to find the next big music stars in these regions. As in the Americas, winners in these regions will have the opportunity to record a single with UMG and gain access to mentoring opportunities with UMG representatives. Each region will have their own local celebrity UMG mentors, including names such as Salim Merchant in India and Rachel Liang in Greater China. Aloft Hotels in Europe will also be launching an initiative under the Project: Aloft Star banner to support emerging artists later this year.

Loyalty Member Exclusive Moments
While the tour is open to everyone to join, the best way to experience it will be as a member of Marriott’s award-winning loyalty programs Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) and Marriott Rewards. Special member benefits will include an NYC preview concert and destination packages, all available for redemption with Starpoints and Marriott Rewards points through SPG Moments and Marriott Rewards Moments.

  • Skip the Line: All Marriott Rewards and SPG members will be able to skip the line to get first access to the tour events, ensuring no member misses out on seeing their favorite band or artist.
  • Artist Meet & Greets: All Marriott Rewards and SPG members will be able to attend members-only Meet & Greets with the artists following their performances.
  • Member Preview Concert: On June 14th SPG and Marriott Rewards members who redeemed the experience on either Moments platform will attend an intimate acoustic performance by BANNΞRS and VIP hang-out with X Ambassadors in New York City. The preview concert will give loyalty members a sneak peek at the programming expected during the Project: Aloft Star Tour, including festival-inspired food & tech-driven beverage concepts.
  • VIP Concert Packages featuring a two-night stay at one of the Aloft hotel stops on this year’s tour, artist merch and VIP talent meet and greet will be available for members on the Marriott Rewards Moments and SPG Moments platforms. Loyalty members may also redeem their Starpoints or Marriott Rewards points to attend a VIP experience at the Project: Aloft Star finale in Austin.

Aloft – the Hotel For Music Makers and Music Lovers
Aloft Hotels has been an incubator for emerging musical talent for a decade. All Aloft Hotels around the world host regular live music evenings in their W XYZ® bars with local up-and-coming talent as part of the brand’s Live At Aloft Hotels music program.

Aloft Hotels are in thriving music destinations, welcoming touring musicians with special discounted artist rates, the opportunity to use the W XYZ® bar as a performance space for free, and a musicians’ guide featuring everything from where to dine late-night after a gig, the best nearby affordable recording studio, where to purchase guitar strings, and more to hit the right note for each stay.

UMG and Marriott International Partnership
Since UMG and Marriott International first started working together in 2015, the global partnership has grown to encompass Marriott’s expanded portfolio and has come to life through concerts showcasing UMG’s premiere talent at Marriott properties across the globe, most recently at an emerging female-led artist showcase at Aloft Austin Downtown during the 2018 South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals.

Project: Aloft Star Americas Contest Details

  • Starting June 12 until August 20, unsigned bands and artists across North America and in select countries in Latin America, are invited to upload up to two original songs (in video or audio format) along with a photo through alofthotels.com for consideration by a panel of judges from UMG, Aloft Hotels and live music discovery platform Bandsintown.
  • The panel will select three finalists to progress to Phase II of the competition where the finalists will receive a mentoring session from X Ambassadors.
  • From September 17 through October 22, fans and music lovers are encouraged to vote for their favorite of the artists.
  • All three finalists will perform at the Project: Aloft Star finale at Aloft Austin Downtown on November 1. The winner will then be chosen from a combination of the public vote and the panel of judges’ scores.

For full details about the competition in all four regions, to enter the competition, or to find out about the Project: Aloft Star tour and sign up for tickets, please visit www.alofthotels.com.

Entry Period: No purchase nec. 18+. Ends 8/20/18. For Rules visit alofthotels.com.

About Aloft Hotels
With more than 125 hotels now open in nearly 20 countries and territories around the world, Aloft Hotels, part of Marriott International, Inc., delivers a fresh approach to the traditional staid hotel landscape. For the ‘always on’ next generation of traveler, the Aloft brand offers a tech-forward, vibrant experience and a modern style that is different by design. Aloft is proud to participate in the industry’s award-winning loyalty program, Starwood Preferred Guest®. Members can now link accounts with Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® at members.marriott.com for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer. For more information, please visit www.alofthotels.com and follow along on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

About Marriott International, Inc.
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,500 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 127 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com. In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.

About Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group (UMG) is the world leader in music-based entertainment, with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising and audiovisual content in more than 60 countries. Featuring the most comprehensive catalog of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world. Committed to artistry, innovation and entrepreneurship, UMG fosters the development of services, platforms and business models in order to broaden artistic and commercial opportunities for our artists and create new experiences for fans. Universal Music Group is a Vivendi company. Find out more at: http://www.universalmusic.com.

1 In the Americas – prizes in EuropeMiddle East & Africa and Asia Pacific will vary.
2 In August 2018, you will be able to combine your Marriott Rewards account with your SPG account, so you’ll have one account with one member number, one profile, one log-in and one points balance, and you will be able to redeem points at any of our more than 6,500 hotels across 29 hotel brands.
3 In the Americas – EuropeMiddle East & Africa and Asia Pacific will have different local mentors.

Moxy Hotels’ first Chicago location opens in River North area

May 10, 2018

Moxy Chicago
Moxy Chicago (Photo courtesy of White Lodging)

The following is a press release from White Lodging:

The dynamic River North neighborhood of Chicago welcomed a new hotel brand to the neighborhood today, Marriott International’s playful Moxy Chicago. Developed by White Lodging and Friedman Properties, and managed by White Lodging, the 156-bedroom hotel, situated on the corner of Grand Avenue and LaSalle Drive, fully embraces modern fun-hunting travelers with its spirit and style.

“Moxy flips the conventional hotel experience on its head, and we’re excited to bring this vibrant concept to Chicago for the first time with the opening of Moxy Chicago Downtown,” said Vicki Poulos, Senior Global Brand Director, Moxy Hotels. “We want to give guests and locals alike license to play with us – whether that’s taking part in trivia night, or enjoying some of the fun programming we have at all of our hotels that captures the flavor of the city we are in.”

Moxy offers a new way of traveling which is smaller in concentration, yet not a reduction in experience. The brand caters to today’s free-spirited traveler who is looking for a hotel with friendly service and premium comforts in an environment that allows them to connect with relevant and authentic local experiences. Moxy’s creative brand identity aims to engage business and leisure travelers with a warm, thoughtful and playful guest experience.

Designed by Texas-based Flick Mars and global integrated design firm DLR Group, the public and private areas follow Moxy’s design-forward sensibility with tech-enabled bedrooms and vibrant lobby, lounge and bar spaces. Exceptionally efficient guest rooms provide everything travelers need and nothing they don’t. These thoughtful modifications make room for things that matter more, like the 49″ Smart TV and a sumptuous bed with fine linens and exceptional pillows.

In the lobby, guests will discover industrial-chic communal spaces filled with a warm and engaging mix of modern and vintage-inspired furniture and light fixtures.

Bar Moxy in the lobby will be the hub of the hotel, serving as the “front desk” where guests check in, receive their room key and sip a complimentary ‘Got Moxy’ signature cocktail. The bar will also be the place to drink, eat, and socialize where the energy will build throughout the day. The morning features a laid back vibe and is the only place in River North to get the local premium coffee. During the day it is a place to linger, work, and meet, but later, it will become “the place to be” for happy hour and features a curated music program into the evening with activations including spinning DJs and the Moxy SoundOff booth, featuring live podcasting and psychic readings.

Moxy Chicago Downtown will be home to Zombie Taco, which is a 24-7 food truck inspired concept with global flavors serving tacos, healthy bowls, burritos, and other fresh, made-to-order items. Zombie Taco will be the ideal stop for lunch, the perfect fuel to keep the night going, and everything in between. Need your taco to go? Try the walk-up window located on LaSalle for quick convenient service. For those looking for other food options, head to Moxy Pick-Ups in Bar Moxy for locally roasted coffee, baked goods, freshly prepared grab-and-go items, and locally sourced snacks from unique brands.

The hotel is the 29th Moxy Hotel to open globally and the seventh Moxy Hotel in the United States.

For additional information visit www.moxyhotels.com or https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/chiox-moxy-chicago-downtown/. Follow us at @MoxyChicago and @ZombieTacoChi #AtTheMoxy.

About Moxy Hotels:
Moxy Hotels is Marriott International’s new millennial-focused brand that debuted in September 2014 with the opening of the Moxy Milan. A boutique-hotel concept for the next-Gen traveler, Moxy is a fresh and innovative brand combining stylish design and approachable service at an affordable price point. With tech-enabled rooms, vibrant lobby spaces and warm, modern service, Moxy aims to surprise travelers with a thoughtful, spirited and fun guest experience. Moxy Hotels is proud to participate in the industry’s award-winning loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®. Members can now link accounts with Starwood Preferred Guest® at members.marriott.com for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer. To learn more about Moxy Hotels, visit www.MoxyHotels.com.

  • Follow Moxy on Instagram
  • Watch Moxy on YouTube
  • Engage #AtTheMoxy
  • Watch the Moxy Manifesto video here

About Marriott International, Inc.
Marriott International, Inc. is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,500 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 127 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com. In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.

White Lodging Services Corporation, established in 1985, is one of the leading hotel ownership, development, and management companies in America.  An innovative trendsetter, the organization’s portfolio includes convention, urban lifestyle, and suburban select service hotels. White Lodging operates more than 90 premium hotels, 30 restaurants and 30 brands — including Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt, and InterContinental Hotel Group — in 19 states. Success knows no boundaries at White Lodging, where associates and leadership have consistently earned superior guest satisfaction scores, top market share and industry-leading profit margins while recruiting the best, brightest, and most passionate professionals in every discipline for three decades. For more information about White Lodging, visit www.whitelodging.com, or connect on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

Friedman Properties, Ltd.:
Friedman Properties, Ltd. owns, leases and manages a portfolio of 50+ buildings totaling over 4 million square feet including office, retail, residential, parking, event and hospitality space. Partnering with restaurants, hotels, artists, entrepreneurs, and civic leaders, Friedman Properties has transformed River North into the city’s most desirable 24-hour live/work/play destination. Since the 1970’s, their progressive approach to ownership in River North continues to guide the company’s development in projects throughout the city and suburbs. Innovative design, creative leasing, and excellence in tenant service put Friedman Properties’ buildings among the best that Chicago real estate has to offer. For more information about Friedman Properties, visit www.friedmanproperties.com, or connect on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

 

Renaissance Hotels details renovations and new openings for 2018 to 2020

April 25, 2018

The following is a press release from Marriott International:

The dynamic design strategy guiding Renaissance Hotels has hit its stride.  The brand revealed today significant momentum in its growing global portfolio and investment by its property owners in marquee renovations around the world.  This year, nearly half of the brands hotels in North America are scheduled to complete dramatic transformations, from to Newport Beach, with the brand also slated to debut in 16 new neighborhoods globally in the next 12 months, including Chelsea, Philadelphia, Warsaw, Taipei and Hangzhou.

AC Hotel New York Times Square opens

April 24, 2018

AC Hotels

The following is a press release from Marriott International:

Times Square remains the beating heart of Manhattan, and now travelers can be at the center of the action while still having space to reflect with the opening of the new AC Hotel New York Times Square.

The Midtown hotel melds an urban vibe with classic elements that hark back to the brand’s Spanish roots. The entrance lobby is 23 feet high with a large, open staircase to the lower level illuminated by a skylight shed roof. Its 290 guest rooms will offer an oasis in the midst of the bustle of NYC with a sleek and classic modern style. With options like floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies, guests can enjoy unparalleled city views.

AC Hotel New York Times Square features two food and beverage experiences. The beloved NYC restaurant Boqueriawill bring its lively Spanish tapas and signature convivial spirit to 260 West 40th Street, adjacent to the new AC Hotel lobby. The restaurant features a location-specific breakfast menu, a large rotisserie, and time-honored favorites like Pan Con Tomate, Pulpo a la Plancha, and Paella de Mariscos from Catalan chef Marc VidalCastell, a year-round rooftop lounge will be open to guests and locals alike when it debuts in May 2018, serving up views of NYC’s iconic skyline along with shareable plates, Happy Hour rituals and cocktails, including the brand’s signature Gin & Tonic.

“We are delighted to introduce New York City to the AC brand’s ‘New Way to Hotel,'” says Corry Oakes, President/CEO of OTO Development, the Johnson Management company that developed and operates the new hotel. “In addition to intriguing architectural details, local artwork in common spaces, and dynamic culinary options at Boqueria and Castell Lounge, what guests will truly appreciate is having space to breathe in this city that never sleeps.”

AC Hotel New York Times Square brings travelers the best of contemporary European architecture infused with the design-forward spirit of the NYC Fashion District, as interpreted by Helpern Architects. Visitors are drawn into the elegant, double-height lobby via a granite-paved plaza; as they enter through the pleated glass façade, they become immediately aware of the signature materials such as Venetian terrazzo, quarter-sawn dark walnut millwork, and the dark patina of statuary bronze that makes the whole area glow. The modern-day grand stair that wraps top to bottom of the lobby and the large, open well-lit space make for the perfect backdrop for the property’s impressive art installations.

“With the Spanish heritage of the AC Hotels by Marriott brand, our design-driven hotel brings new inspiration to the city,” says Benjamin Britton, General Manager of AC Hotel New York Times Square. “We provide everything essential you need – and nothing you don’t – creating a seamless, tranquil and frictionless experience for our guests, whether they’re traveling for business or leisure.”

The AC Hotel in Times Square has developed signature programming, with attention to detail at every step – each one crafted to encourage guests to slow down in this hectic city. With elements such as lavender sachets at turndown (freshly made each day) to help promote better sleep, guests will feel taken care of but not fussed over. Other amenities include a 24-hour fitness center, 3,365 square feet of event space, and an AC Market featuring locally sourced items such as Hell’s Kitchen Hot Sauces.

“At AC Hotels, everything is done with intention while creating harmony – we believe if we have time to make it, we have time to make it beautiful,” said Benoit Racle, Global Brand Leader, AC Hotels by Marriott. “We are so pleased to welcome AC Hotel New York Times Square to the AC Hotels family as our first New York City property, and to be able to offer visitors and locals in Manhattan a tranquil space in the heart of the city to relax, reflect and reset.”

The purposeful design of AC Hotel New York Times Square features a collection of artwork by a mix of local and well-known artists. Ranging from sculptures to abstract painting, these expressive pieces are visible in shared spaces to inspire guests during their stay – one could almost call it a private art gallery. Guest room walls feature photography of New York City’s unique and iconic architecture such as Fulton Street Station and the Oculus.

This new AC Hotel is perfectly positioned near the Garment District and only a half-block from the Times Square public transportation hub.

The hotel is the first of two planned for the European-inspired AC Hotels by Marriott brand in Manhattan this year, with a second property expected to open in the Financial District later in 2018.

For more information, visit www.ACHotelTimesSquare.com and follow the hotel on Facebook and Instagram.

About AC Hotels by Marriott
AC Hotels by Marriott®, a lifestyle brand that celebrates a new way to hotel complemented by a European soul and Spanish roots, boasts more than 120 design-led hotels in 15 countries and territories. Design-driven AC Hotels by Marriott® edit away the unnecessary to remove friction, providing thoughtfully designed moments of beauty, allowing guests to focus on what’s important to them. The properties modern design for modern business include buzzing AC Lounges, the perfect place for locals or visitors to get work done in style or to enjoy handcrafted cocktails and tapas.  High-design guest rooms and public spaces with sleek furnishings and intuitive technology features such as the Media Salons and AC Libraries inspire and connect. AC Hotels by Marriott® is proud to participate in the industry’s award-winning loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®. Members can now link accounts with Starwood Preferred Guest® at members.marriott.com for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer. For more information, visit ac-hotels.com. For more information, visit http://achotels.marriott.com and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Moxy Hotels opens first Netherlands location in Amsterdam

April 23, 2018

Moxy Hotels
Filmmaker Ari Fitz and model Ralph Souffrant at the opening of Moxy Amsterdam Houthavens, the brand’s first hotel in The Netherlands. (Photo courtesy of Marriott International, Inc.)

The following is a press release from Marriott International:

TV personality Koen van Dijk, actress Holly Mae Brood and world-class Dutch DJ La Fuente were among the faces joining Moxy Hotels, Marriott International’s experiential hotel brand, on April 19, 2018, when they hosted an irreverently nautical Coming Out Party to celebrate the brand’s entrance to The Netherlands. Inspired by the city’s waterways and the hotel’s dockside location in the regenerated Houthavens area, a former lumber yard and still a working dock, the Moxy Crew lowered the gangplank and hosted around 400 guests who walked the plank and ‘Played On’ #atthemoxy.

The party for Moxy Amsterdam Houthavens brought out the playful character of both Amsterdam and the Moxy brand through a series of Land & Sea-inspired experiences including ‘playrooms’ where guests were encouraged to leave their inhibitions at the door and indulge their rebellious side.

Land truly met sea in the entranceway where guests were invited to hop aboard a boat filled to the brim with Amsterdam’s famous florals. In the ‘Wet and Wild’ adult-only pool party, the area was transformed into a secret satellite bar with Moxy lifeguards serving guests in the pool. Meanwhile, the ‘Into the Woods’ playroom lured guests into a lumberjack-inspired lair through a tunnel of branches and vines revealing a ‘tableau vivant’ immersive performance.

“Through bold programming and fun local partners that speak to the dynamism of the location, Moxy created an unforgettable party that spoke perfectly to modern travelers and the local creative community,” said John Licence, VP Premium and Select Brands, Europe at Marriott International.  “Amsterdam is renowned for its irreverent and playful spirit, making it an ideal destination for Moxy Hotels to make a splash.”

DJ Wantigga got the party started with his electronic hip-hop tracks whilst headliner DJ La Fuente kept guests and local VIPs dancing into the early hours. Local distiller Bols served guests cocktails with cheeky Amsterdam twists including the Red Light Negroni, a nod to the city’s risqué side, which was served in an actual light bulb.

Also unveiled at the party was the latest edition of #BlankCanvas, Moxy’s global brand programme that calls on international emerging artists to submit works for the opportunity to debut their art at new Moxy hotels. Artist Kristel Steenbergen was on hand to present her winning mural – The Amsterdam Jungle. Kristel brings the bustling capital to life by illustrating the fashionable and modern culture of Amsterdam juxtaposed as a jungle. The design moves left to right, from day to night, to tell the story of a day in the life of the many personalities residing in Amsterdam, portrayed by different animals. For those looking for a lasting reminder of the #BlankCanvas mural and their Moxy experience, local tattoo parlour Ink District was on hand to ink guests with designs taken directly from Kristel’s artwork.

Amsterdam is a city that pushes boundaries—it’s a city after our own heart as Moxy throws the traditional hotel rulebook out the window,” said Vicki Poulos, Global Brand Leader, Moxy Hotels. “Our Coming Out party is our way of signaling to travelers and local Amsterdammers that when you come to Moxy, your experience will be a true flavour of the spirit and edginess of the city you are in.”

Moxy’s fun, inclusive and playful spirit is reflected in the combination of bold design and edgy style where communal engagement is at the center of the experience. The Moxy Amsterdam Houthavens experience kicks-off with a bright, airy and buzzing lobby. The full-service bar is the hub of activity in the lobby doubling as the hotel’s physical check-in desk, where guests are greeted with a complimentary ‘Got Moxy’ cocktail upon arrival.

The Living Room is another center of activity, giving guests ways to work and play hard. Sealed concrete floors, walls lined with intriguing art referencing local culture creates a high-energy yet cozy space for fun gatherings, special events or cocktails. The hotel’s event space on the top floor features panoramic views of the Houthavens dock yard and cheeky design touches.

The 24/7 B&F (Beverage & Food) self-service concept gives guests access to what they want, whenever they want it, in a smart and fun way. The Grab’n’Go station offers lots of options for food and drink including fresh juices, coffee, paninis, and salads.

Many of the 120 contemporary bedrooms have sweeping views of Amsterdam’s famous waterways and offer a functional, flexible and uncluttered design as well as 43″ flat-screen TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi, abundant USB ports, and MUK toiletries.

Guests looking to re-energize can head to the hotel’s gym, The Athletic Club, offering everything from retro pink punching bags and gymnastic rings to modern fitness equipment as well as an array of training sessions led by experts in strength and conditioning, kickboxing, yoga, Pilates, and more.  The Athletic Club also features a swimming pool, sauna and wellness centre.

Moxy Amsterdam Houthavens marks the brand’s debut in The Netherlands. The Moxy brand continues to advance its strong presence with plans to expand into more than 40 new destinations in both fast-growing and established markets in Europe in the next three years, as well as multiple destinations in the U.S. and Asia.

About Moxy Hotels
Moxy Hotels is Marriott International’s new experiential, design-driven, brand that debuted September 2014 in Europeand has since introduced locations in BerlinNew Orleans, the United KingdomVienna, etc. A boutique-hotel concept for the modern traveler, Moxy is a fresh and innovative brand combining stylish design and approachable service at an affordable price point. With tech-enabled rooms, vibrant lobby spaces and warm service, Moxy aims to surprise travelers with a playful, spirited and fun guest experience. To learn more about Moxy Hotels, visit www.MoxyHotels.com.

2018 Venice Food & Wine Festival: talent lineup announced

April 17, 2018

Missy Robbins (Photo courtesy of Bravo)

The following is a press release from Marriott International:

JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts and FOOD & WINE are thrilled to announce the addition of notable talent for the inaugural Venice Food & Wine Festival in Venice, Italy, including award-winning singer and songwriter Emeli Sandé, who will headline the festival’s grand finale concert. Culinary legends, Michelin-starred Chef Missy Robbins, food artist, baker and owner of Flour Shop Amirah Kassem, and Chef and Food Stylist Camille Becerra, have also joined the impressive roster of celebrated and established epicureans.

Tickets are available to the highly-anticipated Venice Food & Wine Festival, which will take place at JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa from May 3-6. Hosted by FOOD & WINE Editor-in-Chief Hunter Lewis, the festival will join celebrity chefs, renowned winemakers, and epicurean insiders for a spectacular three-day weekend showcasing the finest Italian cuisines, wines, and spirits, with a focus on local Veneto traditions and the magnetism of the Venetian islands. Guests will have personal access to internationally-celebrated chefs and wine and spirits experts including:

  • Michelin-starred chef Giancarlo Perbellini and chef Federico Belluco of JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa’s Michelin-starred Dopolavoro restaurant
  • James Beard Award-winning celebrity chef, author, restaurateur and 2004 FOOD & WINE Best New Chef Scott Conant
  • Michelin-starred chef and owner of Lilia Missy Robbins
  • Food artist, baker and owner of Flour Shop Amirah Kassem
  • 2002 FOOD & WINE Best New Chef and James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur Fabio Trabocchi
  • James Beard Award-winning chef Jonathan Waxman
  • Chef and food stylist Camille Becerra
  • James Beard Award-winning chef Melissa Kelly
  • Award-winning Italian chef Caterina Ceraudo
  • Co-owner and beverage director of Spirited Award-winning 2017 Best American Cocktail Bar Columbia Room and 2016 FOOD & WINE Best New Mixologist JP Fetherston
  • Wine expert Anthony Giglio
  • FOOD & WINE’s Executive Wine Editor Ray Isle
  • FOOD & WINE’s Editor-in-Chief Hunter Lewis

With leading sponsors such as illy caffè, Barilla, San Pellegrino, Aromatherapy Associates and Electrolux, Venice Food & Wine will feature enriching gastronomic experiences including: ‘Mercado di Rialto,’ a market-themed lunch with live music and lawn games; ‘The Feed,’ a lunch experience inclusive of Instagram and photography tips; ‘Saluti After Dark,’ a daily after hours party with crafted cocktails accompanied by whimsical Flour Shop treats and live music at Rose Bar; ‘Bocce & Bubbles’ tournament and al fresco lunch at the Villa; ‘Michelin-Starred Masters’ dinner party; ‘Curds & Whey’ ricotta-making demonstration; ‘Grown in Veneto’ farm-to-fork dinner; ‘Summertime Risotto & Spritz’ demonstration; ‘The Invention of Italian Cocktails,’ mastering the art of making the perfect cocktail; and interactive culinary workshops led by notable culinary personalities at Sapori Cooking Academy.

“Venice Food & Wine’s newest talent additions will bring an exciting dynamic to our distinguished roster of culinary figures. We are thrilled to showcase the craft of these internationally-acclaimed personalities so all of the festival attendees can experience The JW Treatment,” said Mitzi Gaskins, Global Brand Leader, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts. “Through JW Marriott’s exclusive partnership with FOOD & WINE, the festival will highlight modern Italian cuisine with the magical JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa as the backdrop.”

Tickets to the Venice Food & Wine Festival are available online and can be purchased by visiting www.jwvenicefoodandwine.com. JW Marriott would also like to thank additional sponsors including Agroittica, Domori, Ferrari, Steelite International, and Umana along with our many festival participants.

About JW Marriott

JW Marriott is part of Marriott International’s luxury portfolio and consists of beautiful properties and distinctive resort locations around the world. These elegant hotels cater to sophisticated, self-assured travelers seeking The JW Treatment™ – the brand’s philosophy that true luxury is created by people who are passionate about what they do. JW hotels offer crafted experiences that bring to life the brand’s commitment to highly choreographed, anticipatory service and modern residential design, allowing guests to pursue their passions and leave even more fulfilled than when they arrived. Today there are nearly 80 JW Marriott hotels in over 25 countries and territories. JW Marriott is proud to participate in the industry’s award-winning loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®. Members can now link accounts with Starwood Preferred Guest® at members.marriott.com for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer. Visit JW Marriott online, and on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

About FOOD & WINE

FOOD & WINE is the ultimate authority on the best of what’s new in food, drink, travel, design and entertaining. FOOD & WINE has an extensive social media following on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Snapchat. FOOD & WINE includes a monthly magazine in print and digital; a website, foodandwine.com; a books division; plus newsletters, clubs, events, dinnerware, cookware and a restaurant partnership, Chefs Club by FOOD & WINE. At Food & Wine, we inspire and empower our wine and food obsessed community to eat, drink, entertain, and travel better—every day and everywhere.

Marriott International unveils unified Loyalty programs with one set of benefits

April 16, 2018

Marriott International Loyalty
(Image courtesy of Marriott International, Inc.)

The following is a press release from Marriott International:

Marriott International announced it will introduce one set of unified benefits across Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) for its members in August 2018. This will create an incredibly rich hospitality loyalty program in which members will earn more points faster than under the prior programs — on average 20% more points for every dollar spent. For the first time, members will have access to book stays and earn or redeem points among 29 participating global brands comprising 6,500 hotels in 127 countries and territories. Additionally, the Moments experiential platform is expanding, with more than 110,000 experiences in 1,000 destinations from must-see attraction tickets and tours for purchase with cash by all guests, to once-in-a-lifetime events only available to members using points, including the new bespoke Moments Live event series.

“We listened to the travel aspirations of our members and set our sights on unlocking the full potential of our loyalty programs,” said David Flueck, Senior Vice President of Global Loyalty, Marriott International. “We are excited to announce that this August, our members can enjoy one set of benefits across our extraordinary portfolio of hotels from iconic full and select service, to extended stay, to unique boutiques and luxury brands. We hope to inspire our members whatever their travel passion, whether it is resorts featuring overwater bungalows, peaceful secluded island settings, ski-in / ski-out mountain resorts, towering hotels with picture-worthy views or even former palaces converted into hotels.”

Beginning in August, members will be able to combine their separate Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and SPG accounts into a single account spanning the entire loyalty portfolio. The Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) names will continue to live on under the new set of unified benefits until a new program name is introduced in 2019.

Also beginning in August, travelers will have the ability to book stays across the entire portfolio for the first time on Marriott.com, SPG.com and the Marriott and SPG apps, or by contacting customer engagement centers.

“There are no more important customers than our loyalty members,” said Karin Timpone, Global Marketing Officer, Marriott International. “With good news for our members, we decided to announce the new benefits now and launch them as quickly as possible, so members could take full advantage. At the same time, we will continue to introduce more exclusive member experiences throughout the year on our Moments platforms.”

The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort (Photo courtesy of Marriott International, Inc.)

Achieve Elite Status and Earn Points Faster
In August, members will be able to earn and redeem across the entire portfolio of participating hotels and earn elevated benefits and elite status faster with new elite tiers. For example, earning Silver elite status after just ten nights and Gold elite status after just 25 nights will become standard in all three programs. With Platinum elite status earned after 50 nights and Platinum Premier elite status earned after 75 nights, these tiers will become easier to attain for Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards members and align with SPG’s current offering.  In addition, all Platinum Premier members surpassing 100 nights and $20,000 of spend will enjoy the highest level of personalized service – the popular ambassador program – along with all the other benefits in that tier. Members who have achieved Lifetime status will continue to have their status recognized.

The breakfast offering for Platinum and Platinum Premier members will be expanded to 23 participating brands, including Courtyard, AC Hotels by Marriott, Protea and Moxy, as well as  resorts. For certain brands, members will receive free breakfast or an on-property food and beverage credit for breakfast or other dining options.

Under the unified benefits, a single points currency will be introduced. In August, SPG members will see their points balance triple. SPG, Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards members will all earn ten points for every dollar spent at all brands except for Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites and Element which will be five points per every dollar spent. With bonuses, elite members will earn even more for stays. In August, all members will begin earning points for food and beverage and qualifying incidentals on their folio, rather than just the room rate.

Simpler to Redeem Points
To make it easier for members to redeem points, all hotels throughout the loyalty portfolio will have no blackout dates for points redemptions. In addition, a Free Night Award chart with peak, standard and off-peak pricing will be adopted for all hotels. The chart, which will launch with standard pricing in August, will add off peak and peak in 2019.

More Mobile Features
Members will enjoy a significantly improved digital and mobile experience. When members book directly on Marriott.com, SPG.com or any of Marriott’s mobile apps, they will be able to choose from all 6,500 participating hotels, and also take advantage of exclusive member-only rates and free Wi-Fi. In addition, members will be able to check-in or check out, receive Room Ready Alerts chat directly with hotels using Mobile Requests and where available use their smartphones as their room key on all of Marriott’s mobile apps.

To learn more about program changes and benefits, please go here.

Accelerate Earning Points and Accessing Benefits with New, Refreshed Co-Brand Credit Cards
Marriott and its credit card partners JPMorgan Chase and American Express will offer new and refreshed co-branded credit cards in the U.S. later this year that will provide card members with more benefits across the entire loyalty portfolio. On May 3, Chase will launch the new Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card, and in August, American Express will introduce the new Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card. These new products will offer valuable perks and more ways to earn points when using the cards to pay for stays worldwide.

The new Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card will give card members six Marriott Rewards points per dollar spent at participating hotels, two points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases, an anniversary free-night certificate for any property up to 35,000 points, guaranteed elite status and much more.

The new Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card will offer card members six points per dollar spent at participating hotels, three points per dollar spent on airfare and at U.S. restaurants, and two points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases. Card members will also receive $300 annually in statement credits for on-property purchases, a free night award up to 50,000 points, automatic Gold elite status, a $100 fee credit for Global Entry, Priority Pass Select membership and more.

Members can choose to keep their current cards, or they can apply for, or upgrade to the new cards.  Card members with the existing consumer and small business Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Card, the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card, and the JPMorgan Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card can continue to enjoy the benefits of their current cards and the exciting changes that will be announced soon. Finally, we will be announcing changes to cobrand cards in Canada, Japan, The United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates at a later date. To learn more about the new and refreshed cards visit here.

The WET Deck at W Shanghai - The Bund.
The WET Deck at W Shanghai – The Bund. (Photo courtesy of Marriott International)

Increased Access to Unparalleled Experiences
Research shows today’s modern travelers value experiences over things. Marriott’s greatly expanded experiential offerings on Moments can be purchased with cash and do not require a hotel reservation. As an added benefit, Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) members will earn points every time they purchase one of the new experiences. The 110,000 new Moments experiences in 1,000 destinations are in addition to the 8,000 exclusive, member experiences that only can be redeemed with points on Marriott Rewards Moments and SPG Moments.  In the future, all Moments experiences will be available to be redeemed with points.

Experiences range from destination tours and day trips like shark cage diving in Gansbaai, South Africa, to once-in-a-lifetime events. These include exclusive member concerts, VIP experiences to coveted sports events like the Super Bowl and music festivals like Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, as well as hands-on master classes and meet & greets with some of the world’s top athletes, musicians and chefs, including among others, actor and musician Jared Leto and his band 30 Seconds to Mars, chef Daniel Boulud and Lewis Hamilton, the four-time Formula One™ World Champion and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport driver.

Marriott is also announcing Moments Live, a collection of premiere musical and culinary events powered by Marriott’s partnership with Universal Music Group (UMG) and its newest partnership with LITV Entertainment Group. The series kicks off with a selection of:

  • VIP access and exclusive performances throughout Keith Urban’s recently announced Graffiti U World Tour.
  • Access to intimate, thoughtfully crafted events with superstar chefs and well-known musicians in picturesque settings.
  • Exclusive, VIP access to music and culinary themed events in Napa Valley, such as private festivals Live In The Vineyard and Live In The Vineyard Goes Country.

In the coming months, Marriott will provide members with information about how and when in August they can begin combining their loyalty accounts.

The information above represents a summary of the upcoming changes to Marriott’s award-winning loyalty programs and is subject to the full terms and conditions of the programs that will be available to the public at the time the changes become effective.

About Marriott International, Inc.
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,500 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 127 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com. In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.

Hotel Zachary opens in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood

April 12, 2018

Hotel Zachary in Chicago
Hotel Zachary in Chicago (Photo courtesy of Dave Burk Photography)

The following is a press release from the Walsh Group:

A new boutique, lifestyle hotel has opened adjacent to historic Wrigley Field. Hotel Zachary at Gallagher Way blends classic elements with modern aesthetics and draws inspiration from its landmark neighbor.

Built by Walsh Construction, the seven-story, 238,000-square-foot hotel development includes 173 guestrooms and a variety of Chicago-based retail and restaurant offerings.

The design of the hotel pays homage to its namesake, Zachary Taylor Davis, the Chicago Architect who designed Wrigley Field in 1914. Hickory Street Capital, owner of Hotel Zachary, worked closely with Davis’ family throughout the entire development process to ensure his legacy was celebrated. Stantec Architecture and Studio K Creative designed a modern version of the early 20th century architecture.

Walsh served as the general contractor and began demolition of an existing structure in March 2016 and later broke ground in July. Walsh and design team members worked over the next 21 months to deliver the new hotel ahead of schedule in March 2018.

“We championed the soft skills on this project; we were a partner everyday with our customer to make sure their goals were achieved,” said Project Manager, Nehal Desai. “We are very proud of the product we delivered and the relationships we developed along the way.”

Hotel Zachary is the latest addition to Walsh’s portfolio of hospitality projects. The firm has recently completed other hotels in Chicago, including the 17-story renovation of the historic Chicago Motor Club into a Hampton Inn, as well as a Hyatt Centric Hotel, Hilton Garden Inn and Cambria Hotel in Chicago’s loop district.

“The entire Walsh team worked safely and produced a high-quality product that becomes part of the fabric of the Wrigleyville experience,” said Jeff Pezza, vice president of Walsh Construction.

About The Walsh Group
Walsh Construction is part of The Walsh Group, a 120-year-old company providing design, build, finance, operation and activation services. The Walsh Group operates as Walsh Construction, Archer Western and Walsh Canada across 18 regional offices. The company is ranked as the 11th largest contractor in the United States according to Engineering News-Record. Connect with The Walsh Group at www.walshgroup.comLinkedInTwitterFacebook; and Instagram.

UPDATE: Hotel Zachary is now part of Marriott International and is now called Hotel Zachary, Chicago, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel. More information can be reached at the hotel’s current website.