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Marriott International recently announced the launch of a six-month trial period with UK-based home rental company Hostmaker. This move adds some 200 homes across London to the company’s offerings, which is already 6,500 hotels and 110 million loyalty members. This big move means that Marriott is getting into the homeshare game. According to Wall Street Journal, the hotel chain aims to challenge Airbnb’s massive hold on the market.
Marriott’s customers will soon be able to book homes in 100 markets through the States, Europe, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Housing options vary from an 18th century Irish castle to a six-bedroom London townhouse.
“The launch of Homes & Villas by Marriott International reflects our ongoing commitment to innovation as consumer travel needs evolve,” says Stephanie Linnartz, Marriott’s Global Chief Commercial Officer. “What started out as a pilot a year ago is now a global offering, providing our guests with the space and amenities of a home backed by a trusted travel company, and the very best in loyalty benefits.”
All 2,000 rental properties within the program will be managed by third-party property companies. “These trusted property management companies provide guests a professionally cleaned home with 24/7 support, high speed Wi-Fi, premium linens and amenities, and family-friendly conveniences upon request,” says a Marriott spokesperson.
The company offers more one- and two-bedroom apartment rentals at a higher average price point ($400-$600/night) than that of its main competitor Airbnb ($300 per night). This enables Marriott travelers to earn thousands of reward points while staying at one of its properties. Although positioned as apartments, Marriott’s rental properties offer hotel-like services such as “extra keys, more towels, fans, in-stay housekeeping, portable cribs, and high chairs. Those units also provide 24-hour in-person check-on for late night travelers.
This long-term plan of Marriott marks an effort to combine its luxurious, high-end hotel services with reasonably priced rental properties. Given Marriott’s expertise in the field, this move should prove successful.
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