Marriott International has entered a joint venture with Spanish hotel group AC Hotels, which will add more than 90 hotels to the Marriott portfolio in Spain, Italy and Portugal.
The new co-brand will be known as AC Hotels by Marriott and involve 9,100 rooms. It will bring Marriott nearly a quarter of the way to achieving its goal, announced last year, to double its European portfolio from 40,000 rooms to 80,000 rooms in five years.
The partnership will combine the concept of AC Hotel's urban lifestyle properties with a strong emphasis on design and technology, with Marriott's global systems, distribution and sales platforms. All AC by Marriott hotels will be bookable on Marriott.com by May 2011 and will be part of the Marriott Rewards programme by September 2011.
Antonio Catalan, chairman and founder of AC Hotels, said he was thrilled to be partnering with Marriott. "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 and managing director of Marriott International in Europe, said AC Hotels is an ideal partner for Marriott. "Antonio Catalan is an experienced, dynamic partner who understands the market and delivers an exceptional product, perfectly suited for the European lifestyle."
Employing around 2,500 employees, the AC by Mariott hotels include a mix of owned, leased and managed properties.
By Janet Harmer
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