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38 posts from November 2011


Marriott’s Area General Manager Awarded New Orleans' Key to the City

GilKey1Marriott’s Area General Manager Gil Zanchi was recently presented with the Key to the City by New Orleans Mayor Landrieu. The Key to the City of New Orleans is awarded on behalf of the citizens of New Orleans to individuals that have made a significant, positive, and lasting impact on the City of New Orleans through a unique service, innovation, and/or contribution; it represents the collective gratitude of the City and honors the recipient for their steadfast commitment to New Orleans. 

Zanchi was recognized for his efforts in helping to bring about the rebirth of New Orleans through the re-opening of the Marriott Select Service and Extended Stay hotels following Hurricane Katrina. Throughout his tenure, he has continued to support the city of New Orleans by serving as board member of a number of local organizations including the Greater New Orleans Hotel and Lodging Association, the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention Visitors Bureau and the Audubon Institute.

Marriott International Announces its 100th Hotel in China

Renaissance Sanya Resort & Spa exteriorUS-based hospitality leader will open one hotel a month in China for at least the next three years.

Marriott International is further cementing its position as a leader in the hospitality sector in China with the signing of its 100th hotel – the 345-room JW Marriott Hotel Shenyang.

Marriott International, which currently operates 56 hotels in China representing The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Renaissance, Courtyard and Marriott Executive Apartments brands, has a pipeline of confirmed projects totaling 44 hotels across it brand portfolio.

China is one of Marriott International’s most important markets outside of the US, and the company is committed to long-term growth and robust expansion throughout the region. It expects to open a hotel in China at the rate of one per month during the next three years.

Commenting on Marriott International’s growth plans, Simon Cooper, Marriott International’s president and managing director, Asia Pacific, said: “China is an incredible market and it is a great endorsement of our operations in the country that we have reached the benchmark of 100 hotels open or under development here. While we have been operating in Hong Kong since 1989, we are a relative newcomer to the mainland, having opened our first Marriott-branded hotel in China in 1998. However, during a relatively short history on the mainland, we have seen solid and consistent growth and are already one of the leading lodging groups in the country.

“Marriott International’s brands clearly resonate with our Chinese guests, and we have taken a very strategic approach to the location and branding of our hotels in the county in order to deliver excellence across our portfolio. Being based in Hong Kong and Beijing enables us to communicate face to face with our owners and customers and to be nimble and responsive to their needs. Asia is a key market for us, and China is the driver of Asia: we are totally committed to the country and to our operations here.”

Marriott International, which has operated in Hong Kong since 1991 - and in Beijing since 1998 - recently became the first international lodging group to move its entire Asia-Pacific HQ to China. As a significant sign of its commitment to the country, the US-based lodging company established a senior leadership team for the region based in Hong Kong, with its own president for the continent so they can be closer and more responsive to their key growth market of China. 

The company, which recently announced free High Speed Internet Access for all of its Marriott Rewards members - its free-to-join loyalty programme – when they stay in Asia, has seen stellar growth among Chinese guests. While membership of Marriott Rewards has increased some 50% in Asia in the past three years, the rate of growth among Chinese guests has been almost double that with China now the fastest growing market in the world for the programme. Marriott Rewards membership is expected to double in China by the end of this year.

Brand offering
Marriott International’s growth in the mainland has been led by its luxury brands, which this month saw The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong voted as the best hotel in the world by readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine. With Ritz-Carlton hotels in Beijing (2), Shanghai (2), Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Sanya and Hong Kong, The Ritz-Carlton is now by far the leading international luxury brand in the country. With new hotels in Chengdu, Qingdao, Tianjin, Nanjing, Wuhan and Dalian set to join an impressive portfolio that includes the world’s tallest hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, Ritz-Carlton is poised to further strengthen its substantial lead in China’s luxury lodging space.

The company’s signature Marriott Hotels & Resorts brand is in great demand with 11 open hotels and 17 signed hotel projects in the pipeline, while the luxury brand JW Marriott is represented by six open hotels with a further four expected to open in the next three years.

Marriott International’s lifestyle brand, Renaissance Hotels, is proving hugely popular in China with 14 hotels, such as the iconic 500+ room Renaissance Sanya which opened in May, and an additional seven hotels in the pipeline; while the company’s mid-range brand, Courtyard, offers huge potential with 10 open hotels and seven in the pipeline.

Marriott International enjoys a leadership position in Shanghai where the company operates 18 hotels across its brand portfolio with an additional five hotels expected to open in the next three years in that city alone.

New to Marriott International’s China portfolio
This year Marriott International has so far signed deals for an additional 26 hotels to join its portfolio in China:
• Courtyard by Marriott Huangshan
• Courtyard by Marriott Hangzhou Canal
• Courtyard by Marriott Boluo
• Courtyard by Marriott Suqian
• Wuxi Marriott Hotel
• Haikou Marriott Resort & Spa
• Changzhou Marriott Hotel
• Shanghai Marriott Hotel Pudong East
• Changxing Marriott Hotel
• Shijiazhuang Marriott Hotel
• Xiangshui Bay Marriott Resort & Spa
• Wuhu Marriott Hotel
• Marriott Dujiangyan Hotel
• Renaissance Shenyang Hotel
• Renaissance Zhuzhou Hotel
• Renaissance Shanghai Caohejing Hotel
• Renaissance Guiyang Hotel
• The OCT Bay, Shenzhen – Marriott Executive Apartments
• The Master Square, Chengdu – Marriott Executive Apartments
• The Imperial Mansion, Beijing Marriott Executive Apartments
• JW Marriott Hotel Shenyang
• The Ritz-Carlton, Qingdao
• The Ritz-Carlton, Wuhan
• The Ritz-Carlton, Dalian
• The Ritz-Carlton, Tianjin
• The Ritz-Carlton, Nanjing
“While our brands and hotels enjoy great distribution and visibility in the key cities, we are also looking at growing our brands in areas outside the key gateway cities,” Cooper continued. “We will continue to expand our luxury and first-class brands, but also believe our Courtyard brand offers us great potential to move quickly into some of these cities. The brand value offering makes it a great choice for guests looking for international quality brands in locations away form China’s main urban centers.”

As a part of its commitment to China, and in line with its own Sprit to Serve heritage and environmental vision, Marriott International launched a social responsibility programme last year called ‘Nobility of Nature’. This is a collaboration between Marriott International and Conservation International to support fresh water conservation and assist rural communities with sustainable business that put less stress on the environment in China. Marriott International has invested USD500,000 seed money to the programme for providing grants, training, resources and community development for local villages in Sichuan Province where the world’s largest fresh water source is located. The Nobility of Nature programme already supports two projects in Pingwu and Yingjing counties. 

Marriott International recently opened a dedicated Global Reservation Sales and Customer Care Centre in Guangzhou. This facility is servicing Marriott Worldwide Reservations, Customer Care and Marriott Rewards for the company’s hotels throughout greater China and is a key component of the company’s ability to better serve its Chinese guests and customers.

Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) for company information. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at, and for the latest company news, visit

NOTE: The statements about the number of hotels that Marriott expects to open in China are “forward looking statements" within the meaning of federal securities laws, not historical facts, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including supply and demand changes for hotel rooms; competitive conditions in the lodging industry; relationships with clients and property owners; the availability of capital to finance hotel growth; and other risk factors identified in Marriott International, Inc.'s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q; any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by our statements. These statements are made as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


Marriott Honors Top Franchisees for 2011

Marriott InternationalPrestigious Partnership Circle Award Given to Four Marriott Franchise Companies.

Marriott International honored top full service franchise partners at their annual MINA Conference held recently at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn Scottsdale Resort & Spa in Arizona. Four companies – E.J. Del Monte Corporation, PCH Hotels and Resorts, White Lodging and Winegardner & Hammons, Inc. – were awarded the Partnership Circle Award, the highest honor Marriott presents to its franchise partners for hospitality excellence. Executives from organizations that own or franchise JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Autograph Collection hotels, Renaissance Hotels and Marriott Hotels & Resorts attended the conference.

[pictured:  back row, L to R:  Jim Fisher, Marriott International; Bob McCarthy, Marriott International; Dave Sibley, White Lodging; J.W. Marriott, Jr., Marriott International; Dave Grissen, Marriott International; Arne Sorenson, Marriott International; Liam Brown, Marriott International - Front row, L to R:  Keith Daub, Winegardner & Hammons, Inc.; Erik Kamfjord, Winegardner & Hammons, Inc.; John Del Monte, E.J. Del Monte Corporation; Deno Yiankes, White Lodging; Steve Solberg, PCH Hotels and Resorts; Bruce White, White Lodging]

Marriott’s Partnership Circle Award honors companies who live Marriott’s vision, share a mutual long-term commitment to the business, fully embrace Marriott’s brand initiatives, focus on associates to create a well-managed and engaged workforce, invest in hotel product and provide outstanding customer service.

“Once again these four repeat Partnership Circle Award winners represent the best of the best from Marriott's full service franchise community,” said Jim Fisher, Chief Owner & Franchise Services Officer, Marriott International. “Their commitment to quality, to their associates and to their guests produces a consistency of excellence that defines them as leaders not just among the Marriott portfolio of brands, but across the North American lodging industry. It is an honor to recognize them again as 2011 Partnership Circle Award recipients.”

Marriott’s 2011 Partnership Circle Award Winners:
E.J. Del Monte Corporation of Rochester, NY, owns a total of 17 Marriott-branded hotels, including the award-winning Del Monte Lodge Renaissance Rochester Hotel & Spa and the completely renovated Rochester Airport Marriott, as well as 15 select-service hotels. A family-owned business for 57 years, E.J. Del Monte has consistently delivered on guest service and has been a true partner to Marriott. 

PCH Hotels & Resorts of Birmingham, AL, owns and operates four Marriott Hotels & Resorts and four Renaissance Hotels in their home state of Alabama. Their properties include the historic Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa and the Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa, which not only consistently deliver on guest satisfaction, but showcase some of the state’s most beautiful cities and resort areas. 

White Lodging of Merrillville, IN, opened the first franchised Fairfield Inn hotel in 1990. White Lodging operates more than 130 hotels across Marriott’s portfolio of brands, including the 1,005 room JW Marriott Indianapolis and the recently approved 1,003 room Austin Marriott Marquis. One of Marriott’s largest franchisees, White Lodging has received Marriott’s Partnership Circle Award nine times. 

Winegardner & Hammons, Inc. of Cincinnati, Ohio, opened the Cincinnati Marriott Northeast in 1996. Since then, the company’s portfolio has grown to include 17 Marriott hotels. Consistent with the Marriott philosophy, Winegardner & Hammons believes in taking care of their associates and has a strong culture of guest service, helping make them a 13-time recipient of Marriott’s Partnership Circle Award.     

In addition to presenting the Partnership Circle Awards, Marriott honored franchisees for their achievements in the following categories: Developer of the Year, Opening of the Year, Conversion of the Year, Best New Product, Best Renovation, Food & Beverage Excellence and Service Excellence. A full list of award winners follows.

Partnership Circle
E.J. Del Monte Corporation
PCH Hotels and Resorts
White Lodging
Winegardner & Hammons, Inc.
Developer of the Year
HEI Hotels & Resorts

Opening of the Year
White Lodging for the JW Marriott Indianapolis

Conversion of the Year
HEI Hotels & Resorts for The Algonquin Times Square Hotel, Autograph Collection

Best New Product
MDM Hotel Group, Ltd. for the JW Marriott Marquis Miami
Nevada Property 1, LLC for The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Autograph Collection

Best Renovation
Lighthouse Lodging Group for the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa

Food and Beverage Excellence
E.J. Del Monte Corporation
HEI Hotels & Resorts
PCH Hotels and Resorts
Sage Hospitality
Winegardner & Hammons, Inc.

Service Excellence

Marriott Hotels & Resorts
Amway Hotel Corporation
Boyne USA
Concord Hospitality Enterprises Company
E.J. Del Monte Corporation
Highgate Holdings
PCH Hotels and Resorts
Pinnacle Hotel Management
Remington Lodging & Hospitality, LP
Stanford Hotel Corporation
Urgo Hotels, L.P.
Winegardner & Hammons, Inc.

Renaissance Hotels
E.J. Del Monte Corporation
PCH Hotels and Resorts
Winegardner & Hammons, Inc.

Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) for company information.

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Residence Inn by Marriott Debuts in the United Kingdom

Residence Inn Edinburgh 2Marriott Opens Residence Inn Edinburgh, the First of the Global Extended-Stay Power Brand in the United Kingdom.

Marriott International, Inc. has opened the first Residence Inn branded property in the United Kingdom, the 107-room Residence Inn Edinburgh. The hotel, operated by Marriott International under a management agreement with Gladedale Ventures Limited, is centrally located in the Scottish capital’s new Quartermile development, the city’s most exciting new address.

ExecuStay Blog and Facebook Sites Aim to Socialize with Extended-Stay Travelers

Discover Extended StayGuest Blogger Shares Secrets for Surviving a Move to New York City.

Marriott ExecuStay, a leader in extended-stay, furnished apartments, is sharing the ups and downs of relocating to a new city through the launch of its Discover ExecuStay™ blog featuring Marriott public relations executive Catherine “Cat” Leitner as she moves to her new home of New York City. The blog, along with the brand’s Facebook page, is an opportunity for ExecuStay to connect and engage with extended-stay travelers.


Autograph Collection Celebrates Debut of First Nine Hotels in Europe With Star-Studded Event in Rome

Laura Barriales and Sete Gibernau at Autograph Collection LaunchLast night Autograph Collection celebrated the official launch of its first nine hotels in the Collection with a special event at the Boscolo Palace Roma, one of the newest hotels to join Autograph Collection. Guests including Italian actress Martina Colombari, Laura Barriales and Sete Gibernau, as well as Autograph Collection hotel owners including Mr. Antonio Catalán (president and founder of AC hotels) and Mr. Giorgio Boscolo (vice president Boscolo Group), mixed and mingled with guests to welcome these first hotels to the Collection in Europe. 


Marriott International Declares Cash Dividend

MARRIOTTBethesda, Md. – Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) today announced that its board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of ten cents ($0.10) per share of common stock.   
The dividend is payable on January 6, 2012 to shareholders of record on November 29, 2011. 

Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) for company information. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at, and for the latest company news, visit

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First Courtyard by Marriott Opens in Siberia

Courtyard by Marriott Irkutsk City Center-lobby208-Room Hotel Located in Irkutsk City.

London – Marriott International (NYSE:MAR) has opened its first hotel in Siberia, the 208-room Courtyard by Marriott Irkutsk City Center. Centrally located within walking distance of the Kirov Square, Angara River and the historic Drama Theatre, the hotel is perfectly situated to explore the sights of Eastern Siberia. Irkutsk, located along the Trans-Siberian Railway, is also 70km in distance from the UNESCO world heritage site of Lake Baikal – the world’s largest fresh water lake.

“We are excited to enter new destinations like Siberia and see great potential for further expansion of our Courtyard by Marriott brand here in Eastern Europe,” said Amy McPherson, president and managing director for Marriott International in Europe.  “This is also the first branded hotel in Irkutsk, an important energy hub of Europe.”

Courtyard by Marriott Irkutsk City Center - deluxe suiteDesigned for to help business travelers maintain balance on the road, the spacious guest rooms are stylish and comfortable offer large well-lit work desks, ergonomic chairs and coffee makers. Health conscious guests can also take advantage of the on-site fitness centre.

The “Grand Courtyard Ballroom” is one of the largest and most modern event venues in Irkutsk and can host events and celebrations for up to 300 persons. For meetings and events, the Courtyard Irkutsk offers five meetings rooms with a total of 395 square metres of meeting space.

Guests can enjoy all-day dining at the Mesto Vstrechi restaurant, with a range of European and Siberian inspired dishes.  The Malachite offers private dining for up to 28 people – an ideal setting for intimate events.  Cedar Bar offers a relaxed atmosphere in which to enjoy drinks and snacks throughout the day and the hotel’s 24/7 market is offers a range of drinks, sandwiches and snacks around the clock.  Complimentary high speed internet is available in public areas such as the hotel lobby, restaurant and bar.

The Courtyard by Marriott brand features hotels with a refreshing environment that helps guests stay connected, productive and balanced. Intuitive services and design accommodate guests’ desire for choice and control and allow them to use the public space and guest rooms to meet all of their needs while on the road. With more than 910 locations in 30 countries, Courtyard is Marriott’s largest brand; 200 additional Courtyard by Marriott hotels will open around the world over the next three years.

The Courtyard by Marriott Irkutsk City Center, along with more than 3,500 Marriott-affiliated hotels worldwide, participate in Marriott Rewards, the guest reward program that allows its more than 33 million members to earn points or airline miles for each dollar spent during each stay.

For more information visit and

Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) for company information. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at, and for the latest company news, visit

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Ed Fuller Named 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner for International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) in Berlin, Germany

Ed Fuller, Marriott International, IncEd Fuller, president and managing director at Marriott International, has been named the 2012 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 15th annual International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF), scheduled for 5-7 March, at the Hotel InterContinental Berlin, Germany. The highly respected IHIF Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an individual who, over his or her lifetime, has made a significant difference in the hospitality industry by their actions, deeds, and great accomplishments.

Fuller, who has announced his retirement from Marriott International in March 2012, led Marriott's growth outside the continental United States from 16 hotels to more than 550 hotels today in more than 70 countries. 

"Ed is a true leader for the industry and his book 'You can't Lead with your Feet on the Desk' is another perfect example of how he sets the standard for the rest of us to follow," stated Jonathan Worsley, Chairman and CEO of Bench Events, co-organizer of IHIF. "He is a true inspiration to us all and we are in awe of the many legendary accomplishments he has made both within Marriott and the industry at large. We congratulate him on celebrating 39 years with Marriott, and we are honored to have him join the elite list of Lifetime Achievement award winners."

The Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is selected by a committee comprised of the IHIF's Patrons, Sponsors, Hosts, and Organizers.

Previous Lifetime Achievement Award winners, in no particular order, include: Isadore Sharpe, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts; Lord Forte, Forte Hotels; Gabriel Escarrer, Sol Melia; Paul Dubrule & Gerard Pellison, Accor; Georg Rafael, Rafael Hotels; Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Carlson; PRS Oberoi, Oberoi Hotels; Kurt Ritter, Rezidor; Jim Sherwood, Orient-Express; Sir David Michels, Hilton International, Michael Hirst OBE, CB Richard Ellis Hotels and Alan Parker CBE, Chief Executive of Whitbread plc.

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You Asked For It – Marriott’s Pumpkin Bread Pudding Recipe

Pumpkin Bread PuddingLast week we posted a photo of the pumpkin bread pudding we made in our test kitchen.  Wow!  We were overwhelmed with requests from you for the recipe.  So here it is.  Let us know how it comes out.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Yield:  1 9-inch pie pan

12 ounces croissants, cut into 2” cubes
1 pint  half and half  
1 cup  heavy cream  
1/4 cup  sugar  
1/4 cup  butter, melted (plus more for pie plate) 
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract  
1/4 cup  honey  
1 each  egg 
1 cup  canned pumpkin  
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon  
Pinch  ground ginger  
Pinch  ground nutmeg  
Pinch  ground cloves  

Cut the croissants into 2 inch cubes. Bake at 325 F until dried out but not browned, about 10 minutes. Let cool at room temperature while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
In a large sauce pan, combine half and half, heavy cream, sugar, butter and vanilla.

Place the saucepan on low heat and add the honey slowly.  Whisk together and bring to a low simmer, be careful to not boil.  In a small bowl whisk the egg, add a small amount of the warm cream and whisk to incorporate.  Next, return the egg mixture to the pot.

Whisk in pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. 

Place croissants in a large mixing bowl and pour the custard over. Let stand 30 minutes, so that the croissants can absorb the custard. 

Mound the mixture in a buttered 9-inch glass pie dish.  Bake at 325 F until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, approximately 30 minutes.

Remove the bread pudding from oven and cool at least 30 minutes before serving.