Marriott formally launches new AC Hotels brand
The Spanish hotel group, AC Hotels, and Marriott International have formally announced their joint venture to manage and franchise a new lodging co-brand across Europe and Latin America – ‘AC Hotels by Marriott’. With the launch, more than 90 existing AC Hotels in Spain, Italy and Portugal will be re-branded as AC Hotels by Marriott and enter into long-term management or franchise agreements with the joint venture.
Antonio Catalan, Chairman & Founder of AC Hotels said; “We are thrilled to be partnering with Marriott. The new AC Hotels by Marriott co-brand combines the strengths of both AC Hotels and Marriott International – AC Hotels’ exceptional product and expertise and the power of Marriott’s engines, global footprint and the power of its development organisation. We see tremendous growth potential for AC Hotels by Marriott and will be aggressively pursuing development opportunities throughout Europe and Latin America.”
Amy McPherson, President & Managing Director of Marriott International in Europe, said; “Marriott could not ask for a better partner than the AC Hotels team. Antonio Catalan is an experienced, dynamic partner who understands this market and delivers an exceptional product, perfectly suited for the European lifestyle. We are thrilled with this opportunity to dramatically grow our presence in Spain, the 4th largest source market in Europe, and deliver a great new lifestyle product to our global customer.”
The 9,100-room AC Hotels by Marriott venture will be a significant driver of Marriott’s European growth strategy. At launch, it will represent almost a quarter of the company’s goal of doubling its portfolio in Europe over five years to 80,000 rooms. ‘AC Hotels by Marriott’ will incorporate the concept and business model of AC Hotels’ urban lifestyle hotel product, characterised by a blend of quality, comfort, design and technology, with Marriott International’s global systems, distribution, and sales platforms, particularly the Marriott Rewards loyalty programmes which have 33 million members.
The partners anticipate that the venture will close in the first quarter of 2011, after receipt of necessary consents and other remaining conditions have been satisfied. Starting May 2011, they expect that all AC Hotels by Marriott hotels will be bookable on Marriott.com. Marriott.com is the lodging industry’s most comprehensive website and the 7th largest online consumer retail site in the world.