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Marriott's revamped Courtyard targets Holiday Inn

29 April 2009 by
Marriott's revamped Courtyard targets Holiday Inn

Marriott intends to take the fight to InterContinental and wrestle market share from its rival's established Holiday Inn brand with its newly-revitalised Courtyard brand.

The US hotel giant opened its first "new look" three-star Courtyard by Marriot hotel last week at London Gatwick airport, which will compete head-to-head with Holiday Inn and Accor's Novotel for business travellers.

Further Courtyard's are on the way, with a 181-bedroom Courtyard in Aberdeen having received planning permission and, unusually for Marriott, set to be owned and operated by the hotel company.

Marriott has also signed a management contract for a Courtyard in Belfast and is in negotiations to open another in the Midlands.

Timothy Walton, vice-president for international hotel development at Marriott, said that although trading remained difficult, the company would push ahead with its expansion of the Courtyard brand in the UK.

Walton said "Courtyard will be our main platform for growth in the UK and we'll be looking at sites on city peripheries and main arterial routes into cities.

"Despite the times we opened two hotels this week and have two more under construction, two more signed and two more to follow in the coming months."

In 2007, Marriott terminated its franchise and management contract agreements with 20 hotels it deemed not to be matching up to its operating standards.

The hotel group has since spent £120m refurbishing the remaining hotels in its UK estate and an extra £100m on its flagship JW branded Grosvenor House hotel on London's Park Lane.

It currently operates 56 hotels across the UK, with a 245 room Renaissance hotel at Kings Cross under construction and set to open in 2011 and Lingfield Park Marriott set to open next year.

Marriott launches first new-look Courtyard hotel in UK >>

Marriott admits credit crunch may affect new openings plan >>

IHG defends $1b Holiday Inn revamp >>

Credit crunch delays new InterContinental hotels >>

By Gemma Sharkey

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