Marriott Chooses Istanbul to Try New Boutique Model

Posted on 11 June 2010

International hotel Chain Marriott International has made a massive testament to Turkey‘s status as one of the world’s leading tourism destinations, and more so to Istanbul‘s growing demand for luxury hotel accommodation.

In 2007, Marriott announced a partnership with Ian Schrager — credited as the man who popularised the boutique hotel concept — to form a new Boutique Chain, namely the Edition hotel chain. The first hotels in the new chain are opening later this year; the first in Waikiki, Hawai opens in October, and the second in Istanbul opens in December.

This will fit in well with the Turkish tourism authorities desire to increase tourism from higher income visitors.

According to statements from Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s president and chief operating officer the venture was delayed by the recession, he said:

“The recession might have impacted the velocity with which we developed the sites. We would have hoped to have a few more projects in the pipeline by now.”

However, Bill Marriott, chairman and chief executive of Marriott, said he is seeing improvements in the global hotel industry.

He said: “Business is getting better. There was little supply coming on the market over the past few years. Now, as demand rises, room rates are coming up.”

The Editions Chain is to be aimed at the very top end of the sector so as to minimise exposure to recession.

“The brand doesn’t depend on the cycle. It will do well regardless,” Mr Schrager said.

Edition Waikiki Beach, designed by Yabu/Pushelberg, includes a private beach “with its own lagoon and imported sand from the neighbouring Hawaiian islands” as well as the “largest luxury ballroom” on Oahu for weddings.

Statements from the firm said that they plan to open Edition Hotels in what they termed “24-hour international gateway cities” including Mexico City, Bangkok and Barcelona.


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