Marriott invests in new hotels for ‘renaissance of travel’

The new Westin London City hotel

Pent-up demand after over a year of lockdown and restrictions will lead to a new “renaissance of travel”, according to Marriott International. The hotel group is set to open many new hotels this year in some of Europe’s main cities, with a particular focus on the combination of hospitality and wellness.

“Flexibility and innovation are the future of our business,” said Satya Anand, chairman, EMEA, Marriott International. “We are optimistic on a swift recovery. As soon as the UK announced its roadmap for re-opening, our bookings shot up by 163%.”

In August the Westin London City is set to open, with 222 rooms and an 8,000 sq ft spa as well as an indoor swimming pool, fitness studio, business centre and ballroom.

The new hotel is located on the site of the redeveloped Queensbridge House on the North Bank of the Thames, just a stone’s throw from St Paul’s Cathedral and right opposite Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

‘W’ to target Italy in September

In September the W brand, targeted at a younger clientele, will make its debut in Italy with a new hotel that takes up two period buildings in Rome’s celebrated Via Veneto. The 162-room hotel has a restaurant and a rooftop terrace with views over the centre of the Italian capital.

In May, Marriott will also re-open its JW Marriott Resort & Spa hotel in Venice and the Cristallo, part of its Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, in upmarket holiday resort Cortina d’Ampezzo.

The group is introducing its JW Marriott brand to Spain, opening its first hotel in Plaza de Canalejas in central Madrid. The restored period building will have 139 rooms including two floors of suites, each with its own outdoor terrace.

The focus will be on wellness, said Jenni Benzaquen, senior vice president and managing director design, EMEA, Marriott International: “JW Marriott encourages guests to be mindful and present and we believe the brand is particularly suited to today’s luxury traveler who seeks enriching, rejuvenating escapes, paired with rich culture and exceptional service.”

Aside from the UK, Italy and Spain Marriott International is planning to open new hotels in other promising markets including Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Hungary and Dubai.

Marriott has not waited for the end of the pandemic: in 2020 it opened 50 new hotels with over 13,000 rooms under its various brands which include The St.Regis, The Luxury Collections, Bulgari, JW Marriott and W Hotels.