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35 posts from May 2012


Marriott International Expands Group and Meetings Portfolio with Acquisition of Gaylord Hotels Brand and Hotel Management Company for $210 Million

Gaylord national at nightExpects transaction to be EPS accretive in 2013.

Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Gaylord Entertainment Company (NYSE: GET) to acquire the Gaylord brand and hotel management company for $210 million. The transaction is conditioned on Gaylord Entertainment’s shareholders approving the company’s conversion into a real estate investment trust. If approved, Gaylord will continue to own the existing Gaylord hotels and Marriott will assume management of these properties under long-term agreements.  The transaction will add 4 hotels and approximately 7,800 rooms to Marriott’s portfolio.

Gaylord Opryland at nightGaylord Hotels include Gaylord Opryland® in Nashville, Tennessee; Gaylord Palms® in Kissimmee, Florida near Orlando; Gaylord Texan® on Lake Grapevine near Dallas, Texas, and Gaylord National® on the Potomac in National Harbor, Maryland, near Washington, D.C. Gaylord Hotels are uniquely positioned in the group and family leisure segments with approximately 2 million square feet of meeting and event space. They offer multiple opportunities for recreation, shopping, and dining, as well as entertainment, such as the partnership with DreamWorks ™.

Arne Sorenson, Marriott International president and chief executive officer, said, “We are excited to add Gaylord Hotels to our brand portfolio and are thrilled Gaylord Entertainment selected us to manage their properties.  We have long been impressed with the hotels Gaylord has created, as well as their skill in hosting major meetings and events and attracting the family leisure market.  This is a tremendous opportunity to advance growth and opportunity for both Marriott International and the Gaylord hotel brand.

“Gaylord properties will benefit from Marriott’s economies of scale, including lower costs for central reservations, procurement and other services, plus strong sales, revenue management, marketing and distribution systems, while Marriott will be able to capture even a greater share of the major event market.  Gaylord’s “everything-in-one-place” properties are very attractive to group meeting planners.  As a new REIT owner, Gaylord Entertainment should benefit from improved hotel profitability associated with Marriott’s ability to generate substantial cost savings and incremental demand.”

Robert McCarthy, Marriott International chief operations officer, said, “Both Marriott and Gaylord have well-defined cultures that revolve around putting people first and we expect Gaylord’s ‘STARs’ and Marriott associates will find significant opportunities for career growth in this combination.   Gaylord customers will continue to enjoy the outstanding service for which that brand is known.”

"We chose Marriott – a brand that is a recognized leader in the hospitality industry - due to their  focus on providing the highest quality experience for both group and leisure customers,” said Colin V. Reed, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Gaylord Entertainment Company. “According to a recent survey conducted on behalf of Gaylord in February of over 400 high-quality meeting planners, Gaylord ranked first in all under one-roof offerings and amenities and Marriott ranked as the number one preferred group destination provider overall due to its service standards and wide distribution.”

Upon completion of the transaction, Marriott will operate the hotels under management agreements with an initial term of 35 years.  Marriott International expects to earn an incentive fee in its first full year of management, based on improvement in Gaylord Hotels’ profitability, and further expects the transaction to be accretive to Marriott’s earnings per share by approximately 2 cents in 2013.   

The agreement is subject to the previously mentioned Gaylord Entertainment shareholder approval, which is expected in August, as well as lender consent to amendments to Gaylord’s credit facility and other customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.  The transaction is expected to close by October.

Mr. Sorenson will participate in a conference call Gaylord Entertainment will hold at 10:00 a.m. eastern time today to discuss this announcement.  The call can be accessed at Gaylord Entertainment’s Investor Relations web site at

Note on forward-looking statements: This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of federal securities laws, including our expectations that we will earn an incentive fee from the Gaylord properties in the first full your, for improved profitability at those properties, and for a greater share of the major event market, and similar statements concerning anticipated future events and expectations that are not historical facts. We caution you that these statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including those we identify below and other risk factors that we identify in Marriott International, Inc.’s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q. These risks include changes in market conditions; the continuation and pace of the economic recovery; competitive conditions in the lodging industry; and receipt of Gaylord Entertainment shareholder approval and lender consents. Any of these factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations we express or imply in this press release. We make these forward-looking statements as of the date of this press release, and undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Marriott International, Inc.
Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) is a leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA with more than 3,700 properties in 73 countries and territories and reported revenues of over $12 billion in fiscal year 2011.  The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 17 brands, including Marriott Hotels & Resorts, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Bulgari, EDITION, Renaissance, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels by Marriott, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Marriott Executive Apartments, Marriott Vacation Club, Grand Residences by Marriott, and The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club.  There are approximately 300,000 employees at headquarters, managed and franchised properties.  Marriott is consistently recognized as a top employer and for its superior business operations, which it conducts based on five core values: put people first, pursue excellence, embrace change, act with integrity, and serve our world. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at, and for the latest company news, visit

About Gaylord Entertainment
Gaylord Entertainment (NYSE: GET), a leading hospitality and entertainment company based in Nashville, Tenn., owns and operates Gaylord Hotels (, its network of upscale, meetings-focused resorts, and the Grand Ole Opry (, the weekly showcase of country music’s finest performers for more than 80 consecutive years. The Company's entertainment brands and properties include the Radisson Hotel Opryland, Ryman Auditorium, General Jackson Showboat, Gaylord Springs Golf Links, Wildhorse Saloon, and WSM-AM. For more information about the Company, visit

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Take Off Faster with the Marriott Rewards® MegaMiles Promotion

Marriott Rewards logo Marriott Rewards® members can earn that free flight faster than ever with the program’s popular MegaMiles promotion. Members will earn triple miles with their preferred airline program when they stay at over 3,600 hotels in the Marriott family of brands beginning with their second stay* from July 1- October 31, 2012. 

Participating frequent flier program airlines include: Aeroflot, Air Berlin,  Air Canada, Air China, Alaska Alirlines, Alitalia, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Avianca-TACA, Avios, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern, China Southern, Delta, Frontier Airlines, GOL/Varig, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines (JAL), Jet Airways, JetBlue, Kingfisher Airlines, KLM/Air France, LAN,  Miles & More, Qatar, Singapore Airlines, Southwest Airlines, TAP Portugal, United Airlines, US Airways, Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Enrollment in the Marriott Rewards program and registration for the promotion are required.  Members can register for the promotion any time between now and October 31, 2012.  For more information, terms and conditions or to register, visit or call 800-411-0862 in the U.S. and Canada.  See offer Terms & Conditions.**

Choose from 13 distinctive brands:  JW Marriott®, EDITION®, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Renaissance® Hotels, AC Hotels by MarriottSM, Marriott® Hotels & Resorts, Courtyard by Marriott®, SpringHill Suites by Marriott®, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott®, Residence Inn by Marriott®, TownePlace Suites by Marriott® and Marriott Vacation Club®.  Stays at Marriott Rewards’ exclusive luxury hotel partner, The Ritz-Carlton®, will count toward achievement.

Marriott Rewards has won the Freddie Award for “Best Hotel Rewards Program in the Americas” for 5 years in a row***, and has been named best hotel rewards program by the readers of, Business Traveler, Global Traveler, Executive Travel and BusinessWeek magazines.

For information about Marriott Rewards, guests can call 1-800-450-4442 or log onto

* A “stay” is defined as consecutive nights spent in the same hotel, regardless of check-in/check-out activity.

***In 2010 and 2011 the award was called the Frequent Traveler Award.

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

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Mallorca Marriott Son Antem Golf Resort And Spa Debuts Fresh New Look

Mallorca Marriott Son Antem Golf Resort and SpaStunning Renovation Transforms Hotel Public Space and Guestrooms.

Marriott Hotels & Resorts, the signature brand of Marriott International (NYSE:MAR) has unveiled the finished transformation of Mallorca Marriott Son Antem Golf Resort and Spa following a year long refurbishment. 

The Mallorca Marriott Son Antem Golf Resort and Spa, now with beautifully redesigned guestrooms and public spaces, is located just twenty minutes from the cultural capital and Mediterranean paradise of Palma, its sandy beaches, and airport.  Occupying a serene position nestled in the Mallorcan countryside, the five star resort is a haven for anyone seeking peace and tranquility.

“We are delighted with the results of the refurbishment and look forward to welcoming guests to experience the many changes here,” said Jörg Meile, general manager of the resort.  “We selected warm, inviting colours and contemporary stylish furnishings for the re-design, reflecting a traditional Mediterranean Finca Style.”

The renovation has injected the hotel’s public spaces with warmth, creating a welcoming yet luxurious ambiance.  The heart of the hotel is set to become the new social hub, with a remodeled lobby and lobby bar.  A versatile and multi-purpose space, the new lobby gives guests choice to relax, work, and socialize.  Adding to the ambiance, the Llevant Lobby Bar is a vibrant and inviting setting to enjoy traditional Spanish tapas and superb cocktails.  New open-air chill out lounges on the hotel patios provide the perfect excuse to sit back and watch the day go by.

The hotel’s 142 guestrooms and eight suites have been revitalized with new carpets, curtains, armchairs, lamps, mattresses and bed linen, and all of the balconies have been renovated enabling the marvelous views to be enjoyed in even greater splendor. 

The resort offers something for every age and energy level.  Two beautifully appointed 18-hole golf courses and huge driving range make the resort a mecca for golfers.  The Golf Club itself has enjoyed a number of improvements in recent years, with many areas leveled out and reseeded with Bermuda grass.  Flood-lit tennis courts, and complimentary volleyball and basketball courts, outdoor pool, and 24/7 fitness center, are just some of the other fitness offerings.

Other highlights of the resort include an on-site kids club, and the renowned Spa Son Antem with heated indoor and outdoor pool, Jacuzzis, saunas and offering a wide variety of spa and holistic treatments.  The hotel provides a wealth of dining options, such as the remodeled fine dining restaurant El Olivar serving tastes of the Mediterranean, and La Vista Verde with sun drenched, panoramic terraces for international cuisine.  Meetings and events are expertly catered for with personalized service and expansive meeting space and large ballroom.

To celebrate its new look, the Mallorca Marriott Son Antem Golf Resort and Spa is offering a special “Stay, Wine & Dine” package.

Stay, Wine & Dine

Enjoy a complimentary buffet dinner and bottle of wine in the remodeled El Olivar Restaurant on your day of arrival with a minimum 3 night stay booked before 27/10/2012.  Rates start from €179 for stays between now and 31/10/12.

 Offer includes:

• Accommodation and breakfast in a Double Deluxe Room with a complimentary upgrade to a Pool View room
• Complimentary buffet dinner and bottle of wine in the El Olivar Restaurant on your day of arrival

For more information or bookings, please visit, and enter the promotional code ZJ9 to redeem the “Stay, Wine & Dine” package.

About Marriott Hotels & Resorts
Marriott Hotels & Resorts continues to inspire and provide a balanced life on the road for discerning and high-achieving business and leisure travelers, offering warm, professional service; sophisticated yet functional guest room design; lobby spaces that facilitate working, dining and socializing; restaurants and bars serving international cuisine prepared simply and from the freshest ingredients; meeting and event spaces and services that are gold standard; and expansive, 24-hour fitness facilities. All Marriott hotels participate in the award winning Marriott Rewards frequent travel program that allows members to earn hotel points or airline miles for every dollar spent during each stay. For more information, visit
Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) for company information. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at, and for the latest company news, visit

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The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. Opens Its First Luxury Resort In Japan

Okinawa Ritz-Carlton Suite - Living RoomThe Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa Pioneers Luxury Hospitality on Japan’s Secret Tropical Getaway

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. has opened its first luxury resort in Japan on the tropical island of Okinawa. The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa will pioneer luxury hospitality on an island that has been the secret getaway for generations of Japanese visitors, but remains relatively unexplored by the international luxury traveler.
The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa is the ultimate luxury destination for visitors to an island that is rich in championship golf courses and surrounded by pristine emerald waters that are perfect for waterborne activities. 

The Okinawan concept of hospitality or “gusuku,” which translates as “castle” or “guest house,” has been carefully reflected throughout the property to give it a welcoming sense of place.  The new Ritz-Carlton resort embodies this spirit through its landscaping and contemporary architectural design, which extensively features the Shurijo face motifs, distinctive red clay roof tiles, white walls and holy water ponds.

“We are delighted to be able to bring our first true luxury resort hotel to Japan to complement our city hotels in Tokyo and Osaka,” said Herve Humler, president and chief operations officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.  “We have no doubt that Okinawa has the potential to be a resort island of true international appeal, attracting visitors from all over the world, whether they are visiting the island for business or pleasure.  It really is a hidden gem and the opening of The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa helps to put this destination on the map for discerning luxury travellers.”

Victor Clavell, area vice president, Asia for The Ritz-Carlton added, “our first luxury resort in Japan underlines our commitment to the Japanese market.  The culture of friendship or ‘keion’ on this island blends seamlessly with The Ritz-Carlton promise to offer the finest personal service and facilities in a warm yet refined ambiance.  We anticipate bringing more of the island’s incredible culture to the world.”

The 97 modern guestrooms and two suites of the Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa have balconies or terraces which enjoy sweeping panoramic views that overlook the East China Sea and the Kise Country Club.  Inspired by the spectacular scenery of ancient forests, manicured golf courses and the sea, the luxurious resort has been designed to be in harmony with its natural surroundings.

This new hotel presents a host of exquisite sophisticated restaurants and a bar.  Restaurants include - Chura-Nuhji, an Italian fine dining restaurant; Kise, a Teppan-yaki restaurant featuring local seafood and renowned Okinawan beef; and Gusuku, an all-day waterside dining experience that serves Japanese, Okinawan and international dishes on its outdoor deck.

Located a short stroll through landscaped gardens is The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA, in its own separate enclave.  The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA combines the essence of ancient and modern Chinese, Indian, European and Balinese spa cultures.  It uses the luxury ESPA products that harness the best of nature's essential oils, botanicals and marine supplements.  The exquisite collection of treatments represents complete care, personalisation and the ultimate in luxury.

The Spa features four treatment rooms, four dry treatment rooms, outdoor Cabanas offering Shiatsu or Thai massage.  It also offers the Heat Experience (Steam Sauna, Jacuzzi hot tubs, Stone Sauna with weathered coral tiles).  Two special Retreat Suites are also available (Forest Suite and Ocean Suite) with their own private decks and stone baths.  The spa retreat also houses a Nail Studio, Relaxation Room, Indoor Pool, and the fitness center.

The Spa reception features the use of organic materials in all design points, and the deep forest motif is particularly evident where a display of light creates textural and moving shadows as if under the forest canopy.  Views to the ancient Yambaru Forest can be enjoyed from treatment rooms.

For additional information on The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa please call +81-980-43-5555 or visit

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. of Chevy Chase, Md., currently operates 79 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. More than 30 hotel and residential projects are under development around the globe. The Ritz-Carlton is the only service company to have twice earned the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award which recognizes outstanding customer service. For more information, or reservations, contact a travel professional, call toll free in the U.S. 1-800-241-3333, or visit the company website at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR)

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Marriott Hotels Get Ready for a Right Royal Knees-Up

Diamond Jubilee CelebrationFrom Corgis to Cocktails– Marriott Celebrates the Diamond Jubilee and a Very British Summer.

London – Marriott International hotels across the United Kingdom are preparing to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee and summer in style, highlighting the Best of Britain with fun and frivolous offerings for hotel guests and visitors.

Kicking off the summer-long festivities, Marriott will be celebrating her Majesty the Queen’s big day on June 4th by offering a complimentary Corgi cocktail in their hotel bars to anyone named Elizabeth or born in 1952*. With Elizabeth being the most popular girls name of the last 200 years, Marriott hotels are looking forward to honouring the Queen and celebrating the Jubilee with her namesakes across the country, which numbered 901,000 at last count.

Signature cocktail - The CorgiThe very British celebration will kick off from 1st June with all Marriott’s UK hotel bar staff donning stylish Union Jack waistcoats and ties, the perfect attire for mixing Marriott’s own signature cocktail to celebrate her Majesty – The Corgi. The Corgi, created by head barman Roman Kerr at Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott Hotel is a refreshingly British blend of Hendricks gin, elderflower liqueur, blackberries, raspberries, fresh lime and mint, served over ice in a tall glass.

Priced at £7.50, the Corgi will be available at Marriott hotel bars across the country including Gillray’s at the London Marriott County Hall offering spectacular views of the Thames, the sea-view Conservatory at the Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott and the Chase Bar at the York Marriott Hotel in North Yorkshire, the UK region with over 19,000 Elizabeths – the highest concentration in the UK.  Special limited-edition UK flag mini Pommery POP champaign bottlePommery POP champagne bottles will also be offered at all hotels for £16 each to toast to the celebrations.

With 58 Marriott International branded hotels across the UK, ranging from city centre locations like the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel to rural getaways like Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel & Country Club, Marriott hotels are the ideal place to get into the great British spirit this summer and enjoy expert hospitality, cracking cocktails and the most patriotic bar team in the country.

Elizabeth facts
• Elizabeth has been the most popular name for the last two centuries
• In the last 200 years there has been 1.1 million Elizabeth’s in England and Wales
• Elizabeth is the 26th most popular name of 2012
• North Yorkshire has the highest population of Elizabeths in the UK – 19,200
• There are currently 901,000 Elizabeths in the UK
• The name Elizabeth is of Hebrew origin and means ‘ my God is a vow’
*On 4 June 2012, one complimentary “Corgi” cocktail per guest over age 18 with proof of identification of first name Elizabeth or born in year 1952.

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

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Snow Cones: The Venerable Summer Treat

Snow ConesGetting A Delicious Artisanal Makeover At The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C.

Remember those long ago hot summer days when nothing tasted better or cooled you down faster than a slushy snow cone, frozen mounds packed into little white cone cups. Why not experience that great memory with a very definite adult twist?

No need to chase the snow cone truck down your street, beginning June 1st The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C. Lobby Bar and Lounge will be featuring a revolving menu of libation-tastic snow cones that come in several vodka and herb infused topped flavors including Lemonade Thyme, Strawberry Basil, and Blueberry Mojito. Think granita with an extra flavorful kick – it’s frozen, it’s fun and it’s the drink of the season.

For the junior Ritz-Carlton guest and those who crave this summer cooler with lots of fresh flavor but a little less “kick,” a revolving menu of non-alcoholic versions will be available opening with Cotton Candy.

For more information or reservations for The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C., please call the hotel directly at (202) 835-0500, a travel professional, or visit
# # #

Colleen Evans/Michele Klarman
The Ritz-Carlton Hotels of Washington, D.C. The Ritz-Carlton Hotels of Washington, D.C.
(240) 888 - 6920/(202) 974-4973

The Ritz-Carlton, Montreal to Open as Second Canadian Jewel in the Hotel Company Portfolio

The Ritz-Carlton, MontrealThe Grande Dame of Sherbrooke Street reclaims its place among luxury hotels

Chevy Chase, Md. On Monday, May 28, 2012, the iconic Ritz-Carlton, Montreal will reopen after an extensive $200 million restoration combining the latest amenities with the splendour of the past. The Grande Dame of Sherbrooke Street is back in all her glory.

“We are extremely proud to reopen this emblem of the very best Montreal has to offer," said Andrew Torriani, president and general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Montreal. “The hotel today is a showcase of modern luxury, but it has not lost the discreet charm of the past or the patina of history.”

The Ritz-Carlton, Montreal Restaurant ViewFor Montreal’s mayor, Gérald Tremblay, “The Ritz-Carlton is reclaiming its rightful place here in Montreal and among the guests who stay there. Since it opened in 1912, the hotel has been one of the most elegant addresses in our city and the jewel of the storied Golden Square Mile, close to high-end boutiques, galleries and museums. Our city has changed a great deal—for the better. The reopening of The Ritz-Carlton, Montreal makes a notable contribution to what makes our city different.”

“The Ritz-Carlton, Montreal will achieve a level of luxury that has not been seen before in Montreal," said Herve Humler, President and C.O.O. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC.  "The hotel will put Montreal on the map as a first-tier destination for business and leisure travelers."

A first-class transformation
Under the direction of Quebec architectural firm Provencher Roy + Associés, the iconic Montreal hotel underwent an exhaustive transformation. The building’s facade was preserved and restored, public spaces were renovated and upgraded, and the guestrooms were redesigned to feature the very best in luxury and comfort. The Ritz-Carlton, Montreal now has 98 rooms and 31 suites. The 4,700-square-foot Royal Suite is the largest hotel suite in Montreal.

“The restoration of the hotel and its reconfiguration posed a challenge: that of adopting a contemporary design while maintaining a harmonious dialogue with the original building. We therefore integrated the principles of the celebrated Venice Charter into our concept, as well as recommendations made in the heritage study of the Ritz-Carlton Montreal under the supervision of Jean-Claude Marsan,” said Claude Provencher, the project’s architect.

The building’s façade was preserved and restored, as were the Lobby, the Palm Court, the Oval Room and the hotel’s famed garden. Many decorative details from 1912, such as marble fireplaces in some of the suites, reflect this masterful blend of old and new.

The guestrooms also feature high-tech amenities, such as thermostats that intuitively remember a guest’s temperature preferences upon check-in, and motion sensors that activate lights when guests enter a dark room.

Sophisticated contemporary amenities
The Ritz-Carlton, Montreal offers guests a wealth of amenities at their fingertips. The 10,000 square feet of meeting space are flexible and offer event planners the possibility of accommodating up to 300 people. Guests can dine at acclaimed chef Daniel Boulud’s restaurant, Maison Boulud, in the 130-seat dining room, the 46-seat year-round greenhouse, or on the new terrace on Sherbrooke Street. They can enjoy afternoon tea in the hotel’s impeccable gardens, work out at the gym or take a dip in the new indoor salt-water pool.

“Those who were familiar with The Ritz-Carlton, Montreal before the transformation will find the same attentive service and stately atmosphere, along with the new high-end amenities found in contemporary luxury hotels. Those who are discovering the hotel for the first time will enjoy a unique experience featuring impeccable service in a stunning setting and outstanding comfort,” concluded Mr. Torriani.

About the Ritz-Carlton Montreal
The Ritz-Carlton Montreal is the most prestigious address in Montreal, with 129 entirely redesigned guestrooms and suites, as well as 46 new luxury residences. The hotel’s restaurant was designed by Super Potato, one of the world’s most highly reputed restaurant design firms. Chef Daniel Boulud manages the restaurant operations with his company, Dinex Group. 

The Ritz-Carlton Montreal is located in the heart of the Golden Square Mile, home to Montreal’s elite in the early twentieth century. A symbol of refinement and elegance, the hotel has welcomed some of the world’s best-known heads of state, artists and business magnates. Several of the 20th century’s leading figures have stayed there, including the Queen Mother, Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Richard Nixon, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Brian Mulroney, George Bush Sr., the Rolling Stones and Celine Dion, as well as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who celebrated their first marriage at the hotel.

About The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., of Chevy Chase, Md., currently operates 79 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. More than 30 hotel and residential projects are under development around the globe. The Ritz-Carlton is the only service company to have twice earned the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, an award that originated in 1987. Its purpose is to promote the awareness of quality excellence, recognize quality achievements of companies and publicize successful quality strategies. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company won the award in 1992 and 1999. For more information, or reservations, contact a travel professional, call toll free in the U.S. 1-800-241-3333, or visit the company web site at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR).


Marriott Golf Introduces “Fairways-Fore-FREEdom” Military Golf Program To Honor Nation’s Armed Forces

Marriott GolfDesigned To Support The Men And Women Who Protect America’s Freedom, New Program Provides Free & Discount Golf To Members Of The Military At Leading Resort Golf Destinations Throughout North America.

Marriott Golf, one of the world’s premier golf operators and the golf management organization of Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR), today introduced “Fairways-Fore- FREEdom,” a new military program designed to support the men and women dedicated to protecting America’s freedom.  In celebrating America’s armed forces, “Fairways-Fore- FREEdom” provides active, reserve and retired military personnel with both free and discount golf at over 25 acclaimed Marriott Golf courses throughout the United States.

“As military personnel continue to return home from serving our country overseas, and as we know that many members of the armed forces love to play golf, ‘Fairways-Fore-FREEdom’ is designed to say thank you and offer them special opportunities to enjoy this great game,” said Jim Keane, Senior Director of Operations, Marriott Golf.  “With hundreds of thousands of active, reserve and retired military personnel who play golf, we can’t think of a better way to reward their unmatched dedication then to provide terrific values, along with free golf, at our collection of championship courses.”

The “Fairways-Fore-FREEdom” program commences on Friday, May 25, 2012, in honor of Memorial Day weekend, and runs through Veteran’s Day on Monday, November 12, 2012.  As part of the program, members of the armed forces that present a valid military ID card can take advantage of discounted “twilight” green fees/carts, ranging from just $29 - $69, while receiving a free replay certificate for another day.  The free replay certificates will be valid until December 31, 2012.  The program is available after 3 p.m. any day of the week at participating Marriott Golf courses, and all tee times can be made up to three days in advance.  In some cases, select Marriott Golf properties will even extend the hours that the special offer is available, further enhancing the value of the program and enabling eligible military personnel to experience the Company’s prestigious collection of championship golf courses.

Participating courses in the “Fairways-Fore-FREEdom” military golf program represent some of the country’s premier championship venues, including: Camelback Golf Club, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Desert Springs Golf Resort, Palm Desert, Calif.; Grande Pines Golf Club, Orlando, Fla.; Grande Vista Golf Club, Orlando, Fla.; Hawk’s Landing Golf Club, Orlando, Fla.; MetroWest Golf Club, Orlando, Fla.; Falcon’s Fire Golf Club, Kissimmee, Fla.; Renaissance Vinoy Resort, St. Petersburg, Fla.; Shadow Ridge Golf Club, Palm Desert, Calif.; Starr Pass Golf Club, Tucson, Ariz.; The Rookery at Marco, Naples, Fla.; Wildfire Golf Club, Phoenix, Ariz.; Cattails Golf Club, Kingsport, Tenn.; Toftrees Golf Club, State College, Pa.; Griffin Gate Golf Club, Lexington, Ky.; Kauai Lagoons Golf Club, Lihue, Hawaii; Stone Mountain Golf Club, Stone Mountain, Ga.; Crane’s Landing Golf Club, Lincolnshire, Ill.; Westfields Golf Club, Clifton, Va.; and Willow Crest Golf Club, Oak Brook, Ill.  In total, 25 golf courses located at 20 Marriott Golf properties will participate in the program, which will provide military personnel with arguably the greatest golf values in the country today.

Members of the armed forces participating in “Fairways-Fore-FREEdom” can also take advantage of Marriott Golf Links, the Company’s golfer loyalty program that enables Marriott Rewards members to both earn and redeem points for golf.  Members can earn Marriott Rewards points for rounds of golf and golf retail merchandise purchases.  In addition, members can redeem points for rounds of golf, hotel accommodations, spa experiences, golf instruction, and more. 

The “Fairways-Fore-FREEdom” military golf program, which cannot be combined with any other offer, is based on availability at participating Marriott Golf-managed courses, and certain restrictions may apply.  This offer is valid for active, reserve, and retired personnel from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, National Guard and Coast Guard.  For more information on the program, visit

About Marriott Golf
Marriott Golf manages 61 golf courses at 44 locations in 12 countries, offering more than 1,000 holes of championship golf.  Marriott has been managing golf operations since 1970 and is one of the world’s premier golf operators.  Marriott provides golf management and consulting services to a variety of operational environments including resort, private club, daily fee, golf school and franchises.  For more information, visit  Click here for Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) company information., and

“Live Like A First Kid” At The Ritz-Carlton Hotels Of Washington, D.C.

Ritz-Carlton Georgetown CupcakeEver wonder what it would be like to be the child of the President of the United States or a foreign dignitary? The Ritz-Carlton Hotels of Washington, D.C. have created a package that’s just about as close as you can get to experiencing for 24 hours just how the kids of the First Family and heads of state “roll” in Washington, D.C. – just in time for this election year!

Live Like A First Kid Package
Valid through September 3, 2012
Package priced starting from $4,995 per night

The Live Like A First Kid Package includes:

• Overnight in two bedroom Presidential Suite, the chosen home away from home of visiting celebrities and dignitaries
• Personal “secret service like” detail/escort in chauffeured luxury SUV of Washington, D.C. monuments and attractions with VIP access. Our security detail knows every shortcut and side door and makes sure that his “First Kid” never has to wait in line
• VIP tour of the Newseum – the Newseum will personally tailor a special tour highlighting presidential themed exhibits.  The Newseum’s 14 major galleries and 15 theaters will immerse you in the world’s greatest news stories
• Behind the scenes tour of Mt. Vernon Plantation – see the home of the “First President.” First Kid and guests of Mount Vernon can visit the Mansion, a dozen original structures, Washington’s Tomb, and nearly 50 acres of his extensive plantation, which include beautiful gardens and restored landscapes
• Private tour of Georgetown Cupcake – includes cupcake decorating class, a meet and greet with founders Sophie and Katherine, signed copy of The Cupcake Diaries, DC Cupcake souvenirs, and a dozen gift-wrapped cupcakes to take home. Georgetown Cupcake was founded by sisters Katherine Kallinis and Sophie LaMontagne. Both lifelong bakers, inspired by their grandmothers, Katherine and Sophie opened Georgetown Cupcake in February 2008 as D.C.’s first and only cupcakery. Watch Katherine and Sophie in action in DC CUPCAKES, their new TV series on TLC!
• Private viewing of VIP autograph book signed by heads of state and celebrities which includes signatures, quotes and even cartoon drawings by President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, President Jimmy Carter, President George Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush, Jay-Z, Steve and Terri Erwin, FC Barcelona, and more. Learn the background and history behind these signatures from the hotel’s in-house celebrity and dignitary expert (available only at The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, DC)
• Kids personal yoga class in The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown “Urban Garden” (available only at The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown, Washington, DC)
• Back of the house hotel tour with hotel security to see how the president and heads of state arrive and exit
• Michelle Obama Shortbread Cookie Amenity. Mrs. Obama’s cookies were a big deal at the 2009 inauguration, and around the country – so big, in fact, that this hotel was handing out jars of the cookies to inaugural revelers. The cookies – 8,000 of them – were created by an interesting public-private partnership, which was predictive of Obama administration ideals. Culinary training students from DC Central Kitchen baked the Ritz shortbread cookies!
• Keepsake monogram pillowcases with official Presidential seal
• Full American Breakfast for up to 2 adults and 2 children – in your suite or in the hotel’s restaurant
• Ritz Kids VIP patriotic backpack
• Hotel scavenger hunt with special prize
• Complimentary internet
• Complimentary In-House movie
• Overnight Valet Parking
• 2 p.m. check-out

For more information or to place a reservation for The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C. please call (202) 263-6338, or have your Travel Professional contact the hotel directly.

For more information or to place a reservation for The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown, Washington, D.C. please call (202) 912-4159, or have your Travel Professional contact the hotel directly.

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Marriott International And Sunshine Construction Agreement Set To Resonate Through Local Economy

Marriott International - Akilah InstituteMarriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) and Ethiopian developer Sunshine Construction have announced a deal that will inject ETB 1 billion into the local economy over five years.

Under the agreement, Marriott International will manage two properties currently being built by Sunshine Construction – a Marriott Executive Apartments for extended stay travellers and a quality tier Courtyard by Marriott branded hotel. Both will be located in Addis Ababa and are scheduled to open in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

This marks Marriott International’s first foray into the country and is a sign of the company’s confidence in the market.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) currently taking place in Addis Ababa, Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director of Marriott International Middle East and Africa, said that there is a direct correlation between a country’s ability to grow and the entrance of hotel providers into the market. “Hotels bring new untapped revenue into the market by boosting tourism numbers and dollars, building infrastructure and creating jobs, which all resonate throughout the economy as a whole.”

Marriott International has projected that by 2018, the new Courtyard by Marriott branded hotel’s total revenue will be ETB 242 million (US$ 13 million) per year – equating to ETB 1 billion (US$ 65million) injected into the economy over five years from only one 209- room hotel.

“The fundamental demand generators that drive our industry are alive and well in this country,” Kyriakidis said. “Marriott International’s investment into this region represents the economic realisation for the need for hotels – countries need to invest in infrastructure, accommodation and airports to create jobs to grow the economy.

“By taking on these two properties Marriott International is demonstrating its confidence in the market – that it will grow and that the economy will move forward at a staggering pace.”

As Africa's second most populous country, Ethiopia has 85 million inhabitants and a population forecast to grow at over 2% per year to 95 million by 2015. This is matched by a fast growing economy due to improved agricultural performance. Investments into infrastructure, aimed at increasing tourism numbers that have been hindered in the past by limited hotel capacity, are a featured component of the government’s poverty reduction strategy paper.

Travel and tourism currently contribute US$2.8bn, around 10%, to the annual GDP and this is predicted to rise by 5.4 percent.

“A lack of quality supply of hotel rooms in the market combined with growing airline numbers, a rising economy and a growing urban population give us strong confidence in this city and market,” Kyriakidis said.
In tangible terms, these two hotels will create 208 local jobs over the next five years. Marriott International has a full training programme and is dedicated to up-skilling and hiring the local population to run its properties. Recruits will be trained and immersed in Marriott International’s culture through a partnership with a local training provider that is yet to be named – similar to the Akilah Women’s Institute programme that is currently underway in Kigali, Rwanda, where Marriott International will open a new hotel in 2013.

Through the appropriate training institute, local residents will learn what it means to be part of Marriott International, with training beginning one year prior to the opening of the hotel and ongoing throughout their career.

“These aren’t just jobs Marriott International is creating, these are real career opportunities with real potential for growth,” Kyriakidis said. “Creating these ongoing opportunities and investing in the development of local people on the ground, who will not only learn transferable skills, but in turn pass on that knowledge, will strengthen the Middle Class in this region. The fact that they do this while earning a salary is what will support the growing economy and encourage further growth.”

As well as Ethiopia, Marriott International is focusing its growth on Benin, Gabon, Ghana, Nigeria and Rwanda, with a number of new properties scheduled to open over the next five years. “We are thrilled by the robust expansion of our African hotel portfolio,” said Kyriakidis.

“Africa remains a key market for tourism development because of its increasing economic dynamism and worldwide exposure created by the 2010 FIFA Football World Cup in South Africa. The economic realities indicate further growth potential for the hotel industry, and with these signings and more to come in 2012, Marriott International will be perfectly placed to accommodate the increasing number of visitors to this great continent.”
Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) is a leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA with more than 3,700 properties in 73 countries and territories and reported revenues of over $12 billion in fiscal year 2011.  The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 17 brands, including Marriott Hotels & Resorts, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Bulgari, EDITION, Renaissance, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels by Marriott, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Marriott Executive Apartments, Marriott Vacation Club, Grand Residences by Marriott, and The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club.  There are approximately 300,000 employees at headquarters, managed and franchised properties.  Marriott is consistently recognized as a top employer and for its superior business operations, which it conducts based on five core values: put people first, pursue excellence, embrace change, act with integrity, and serve our world. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at, and for the latest company news, visit

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