Marriott International is to launch its 11th brand into the UK with the opening of two AC Hotels by Marriott.
The hotels in Salford Quays and Birmingham's Mailbox will be rebranded from the Ramada Manchester, Salford Quays (pictured) and Ramada Birmingham City Mailbox and will be managed by Valor Hospitality. They will be transformed to AC Hotels when the existing licences expire, with completion expected for mid-2016. Valor took over the management of the two hotels, which are owned by MCAP Global Finance, a subsidiary of US-based Marathon Asset Management, in August 2015.
Founded in 1998 in Spain by Antonio Catalán, AC Hotels is a design-led lifestyle brand. Catalán joined forces with Marriott in 2011 to operate the brand as a co-venture.
Brian McCarthy, managing director of Valor Hospitality Europe, said: "We are really excited to have been appointed to manage the first ever AC branded hotels in the UK. AC will be the perfect fit for both locations and we look forward to working with Marriott to deliver a true AC Hotels experience for UK travellers."
Valor said it was experiencing a period of rapid growth with more opportunities in the pipeline, which it will announce in the coming months. It operates independent hotels and resorts and works with brands from global hotel companies including InterContinental Hotels Group and Hilton Worldwide, as well as Marriott International.
Tim Walton, vice president international development, Marriott International, added: "This is a defining moment for the AC Hotels by Marriott brand as we launch its first two UK hotels in thriving cosmopolitan cities.
"These hotels support our strategic development for the brand across Europe and we are so pleased to be working with Valor Hospitality Partners on such high profile projects. This is the perfect opportunity to introduce the stylish and sophisticated AC Hotels experience to our Marriott customers and guests in the UK."
Valor Hospitality Europe is an extension of US-based Valor Hospitality Partners, which operates properties on the east coast of the US, and Valor's sister company, PMR Hospitality Partners, based in Cape Town, which manages a portfolio of properties in South Africa.
Valor Hospitality has 20 hotels in its UK portfolio, while AC Hotels by Marriott operates 80 hotels in Europe and the US.
Marriott International currently has 19 brands: upon completion of its acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, announced last week, it will have 30 brands. In the UK, Marriott operates 63 hotels under nine brands: Marriott Hotels, Renaissance Hotels, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn, Autograph Collection Hotels, Bvlagri, Edition Hotels, and Marriott Executive Apartments. There are also three hotels in the pipeline under the budget Moxy brand, which is set to launch into the UK next year.
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