Marriott unveils next-generation Courtyard concept

17 Nov 2011 by BusinessTraveller

Marriott International has unveiled a new design for its European Courtyard by Marriott properties, with forthcoming hotels in Aberdeen and Cologne set to debut the new concept.

Business Traveller was among the first journalists to see the prototype of the room at Marriott’s UK headquarters in London, with brand standards including a 42-inch LCD TV, empty fridges rather than minibars, and a stylish oval glass workdesk with ergonomic chair, set on wheels so that it can be moved around the room as desired.

Going forward all rooms and public spaces will be equipped with wifi (there is no wired internet access), and bathrooms will feature large walk-in showers, and a light-reflecting glass door and corner wall.

Lobby areas will feature a 24-hour shop with snacks including salads and sandwiches, seating areas with a “deep blue and green” décor, “media pod” seating booths with individual TVs, and an interactive GoBoard – a touchscreen TV allowing guests to access local information, weather forecasts and maps.

The new prototype Courtyard hotel for Europe has been based around a 170-room property (which can be scaled up or down depending on location), featuring 22sqm rooms, a fitness centre, modest meeting facilities measuring around 47sqm, and an all-day bistro restaurant.

The majority of Marriott’s 900-odd existing Courtyard properties are in the US, and the group said it had adapted the new concept to fit the European market, where there are around 45 properties.

In the past readers have commented on a lack of consistency across the European Courtyard by Marriott portfolio, with newer properties such as the Gatwick airport hotel (click here for a review) standing out over older examples of the brand.

The group will hope that the next-generation concept will go some way to address this, although note that existing properties will be converted to the new design “within their normal renovation cycle”, so it may be some years before all of the European portfolio is updated.

The first new-build hotels to feature the design will be the 194-room Courtyard by Marriott Aberdeen, and the 230-room Courtyard by Marriott Cologne, both of which are scheduled to open in 2013.

Marriott says it is also close to signing agreements for new properties in cities including Belgrade, Amsterdam and Munich.

the group refers to the Courtyard brand as being “upper moderate”, competing against rival brands such as Holiday Inn, Hilton Garden Inn and Mercure.

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Report by Mark Caswell

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