Marriott International plans to introduce a “highly customised version of the company’s successful Fairfield Inn & Suites brand” in India, aimed at the business traveller and operating under the name Fairfield by Marriott.
The group has reached a preliminary agreement to form a joint venture with New Delhi-based Samhi Hotels, with which it expects to add around 15 hotels and 2,500 rooms in Indian cities including Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad by 2015.
Marriott wants the brand to cater for the country’s “burgeoning middle class of more than 200 million people”, and has designed a 155-room prototype with features including meeting space, an exercise room, a three-meal-a-day restaurant with buffet, a la carte and private dining options, and a lobby with bar lounge and 24hr shop.
The group has also created two “modern, fresh décor palettes inspired by the rich colours of the peacock and Indian embroidered textiles, and by spices of saffron and turmeric”.
“To design Fairfield by Marriott, we started where we should—with the upwardly-mobile Indian business traveller,” says Shruti Gandhi Buckley, vice president of the Fairfield by Marriott brand. “We believe we’ve developed a hotel prototype that is culturally relevant, meeting our guests’ unique needs around hotel living, dining, and socializing.”
The joint venture, which Marriott anticipates will be formed in the second quarter of this year, is part of the group’s plans to expand from its current 12 hotels in India to 100 properties across seven brands by 2015.
The announcement follows Marriott’s join venture with Spanish group AC Hotels to rebrand around 90 hotels across Spain, Italy and Portugal under the name AC by Marriott (see online news October 11, 2010).
Marriott also has a joint venture with hotelier Ian Schrager to develop the Edition Hotels brand, with the first two properties having opened in Waikiki and Istanbul. For more information on the Edition brand, see First Edition in the December / January issue of Business Traveller.
Report by Mark Caswell