Renting villas through Marriott and converting 10 floors of RXR Realty’s Rockefeller Center for Airbnb “urban lodging” are the latest moves that show disruption of the sector has a way to run.
Global hotel giant Marriott is vying to take on Airnbnb in the lucrative home sharing market with the launch of its own rentals platform.
Homes + Villas by Marriott will offer an initial 2,000 “premium and luxury homes” in more than 100 destinations across the US, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America.
Marriott will launch a new website next week, called www.homesandvillasbymarriott.com, where customers will be able to browse and book. The hotel giant said the scheme will provide customers with “even more choice of accommodations that suit a range of travel needs around the world”.
Stephanie Linnartz, global chief commercial officer of Marriott International, said: “The launch of Homes + Villas by Marriott International reflects our ongoing commitment to innovation as consumer travel needs evolve.
“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.”
Marriott’s entry into this sector came to fruition when it conducted a 2018 pilot under the brand extension Tribute Portfolio Homes.
During the pilot, the firm offered a range of homes in select European cities. It said 90% of guests were members of its Bonvoy scheme, three quarters travelled with family and friends, and the average guest stay was three times longer the typical hotel stay.
Members will be able to earn points based on the amount they spend and redeemable on stays at participating hotels around the world.
The scheme will add nearly 40 new leisure destinations for Marriott Bonvoy members, including Sorrento, Italy and the Amalfi Coast, Italy; North Lake Tahoe, California; and St Barts in the Caribbean.
Homes include a four-bedroom cottage on six private acres of California wine country, a six-bedroom villa in Sorrento, an oceanfront villa in Anguilla with a private beach, an 18th century Irish Castle and a six-bedroom townhouse in London.
Marriott will run the initiative with selected property management companies at launch, including TurnKey Vacation Rentals, LaCure, Loyd + Townsend Rose, Veeve and London Residents Club. They will provide professional cleaning services, 24/7 support, high-speed Wi-Fi, premium linens and amenities and family-friendly conveniences.
The firm said it will “introduce Homes + Villas by Marriott International in additional markets as well as increase the number of homes offered in these launch destinations”.
In New York, RXR has teamed up with Airbnb to create “high-end apartment-style suites” occupying 10 floors of the office building 75 Rockefeller Plaza, part of Rockefeller Center.
RXR said the 200 “individually curated and custom-designed hotel suites within the space will be designed to feel like luxurious and comfortable apartment style suites, complete with fully stocked kitchens.”
Facilities will include check-in services, tech-enabled access, security systems, culinary experiences, cultural programming, meeting and event space, collaborative working areas and common areas, and access to a ground floor restaurant and bar next to the lobby.
Scott Rechler, chairman and CEO of RXR Realty, said: “With the lines between business travel and leisure travel becoming increasingly blurred, RXR and Airbnb are offering a travel experience that immerses guests in a dynamic, thriving community in the heart of Rockefeller Center that’s vastly different than anything else in the market today.”
Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, added: “When we launched Airbnb over 10 years ago, it was immediately clear how people opening their homes could make guests feel like locals.
“With this new partnership with RXR, we hope to provide that same unique feeling, in the form of new spaces in the heart of Midtown Manhattan and elsewhere so that everyone can enjoy an authentic New York experience.”