The Herman Trend Alert
May 2, 2018
If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em
Though you may have thought Marriott with 6500 locations and over 110-million-member loyalty program, could not get bigger, they, too, have just taken the first step into the homeshare market. In an announcement last week the lodging giant, Marriott International announced it has launched a six-month trial period with United Kingdom-based home sharing company Hostmaker. This move adds about 200 apartments and other homes around London to its massive portfolio.
Hand-picked and stunning
Chosen by Marriott and Hostmaker for their beauty and location, these remarkable rentals also feature "safety, design, security, and service". Take a look at their site, TributePortfolioHomes.com. It will remind you of the other homesharing sites, like Airbnb, Homeaway, and VRBO.
Not the first
However, Marriott isn't the first major hotel brand to experiment in this way. Last year, Hyatt invested in Oasis, a vacation rental company, and added 2,000 homes worldwide to its 700 hotels. Renaming their program the "Unbound Collection", Hyatt members are able to earn and spend points in big cities where previously a Hyatt-presence had been missing. For instance, now, they have coverage in cities like Barcelona and Rome. But Hyatt is not the only one.
In 2016, the owner of the Fairmont, Sofitel, and Raffles brands, Accor Hotels went so far as to acquire the top luxury homesharing site Onefinestay, thus adding 10,000 heavily vetted rentals with hotel-level amenities to their offerings.
Why book with Marriott?
If you're looking for a full home in central London, the Marriott-offered apartments appear to be good value with availability; some of the full apartments are even priced under $200/night which for London in the summer is extraordinary. Plus, if you are a loyal Marriott guest, like we are, you will appreciate the opportunity to earn thousands of hotel points in their new combined program. The apartments have hotel-like services and amenities, like 24-hour in-person check-in and instant check-in with a full refund if you cancel more than 48 hours before. Moreover, you can get extra keys, more towels, fans, in-stay housekeeping---for an additional fee---and even portable cribs, and high chairs. We agree with journalist Laura Dannen Redman writing in Conde Nast Traveler, "Marriott's foray into vacation homes looks promising, and actually gives Airbnb a run for its rentals."
Why, of course, Hilton will jump on the band wagon, though some of their luxury resort properties may feel the competition. We think it just makes sense for all of the majors to get their piece of this lucrative market. They are well-positioned to capitalize on their competitive advantage by offering their brand followers these home-sharing experiences with hotel amenities and points sweetening the deals.
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