Marriott International has announced a new prototype design for its four-star Courtyard by Marriott brand across Europe, which it plans to grow significantly across the continent.
The brand - the 11th largest in the world with 900 properties predominately in the USA - intends to open around 10,000 rooms in Europe by 2015. The typical hotel will have 170 bedrooms. There are currently 43 hotels operating under the brand in Europe and up to 20 properties could open in the UK over the next four years.
One of the first hotels to debut the new design will be the 194-bedroom Courtyard by Marriott Aberdeen, which is set to open in 2013. It will be the second Courtyard hotel to be launched in the UK, alongside one already open at Gatwick Airport. While most of the hotels will be owned and operated by a third party, the Aberdeen property is being developed and will be managed by Marriott.
Key elements of the new-look brand, which is largely aimed at the business traveller, are bedrooms with a Mediteranean (blues and greens) or Alpine (gold, violet and pewter) colour palette, moveable glass work table, extensive plug points, 42in LCD TV, and bathroom with light-reflecting frosted glass door.
The public space incorporates an open bar/lounge/bistro operating a core menu supplemented by local dishes, an interactive GoBoard screen featuring local news and information, and a 24-hour market for sandwiches, salads and travel essentials.
Amy McPherson, president and managing director of Marriott International in Europe, said that the new design is intended to be more economically viable and efficient, costing 15-20% less than current Courtyard hotels to build and operate.
"Within the mid-tier hotel category our research has shown that European guests are looking for fresh, simple, contemporary design as well as great value," she said. "As 70% of our business in Europe comes from Europe, it is critical we adapt our brands to be locally relevant and meet the needs of European travellers."
Last year Marriott International announced plans to double its number of hotel rooms in Europe from 40,000 to 80,000, across eight brands.
By Janet Harmer
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