Have you heard the rumor that Marriott is about to sell to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority its portfolio of Edition hotels, with properties in London, New York and Miami Beach? Here’s some speculation about what it all means.
01. Is the brand created by Ian Schrager and Marriott finally coming out of troubled waters?
With one operating hotel in Istanbul and seven others in the pipeline, they are still far behind their initial goal of opening 100 properties by 2017. After some legal troubles in the US, a lawsuit in Waikiki, and talks of dissolving the partnership between designer and hotelier, the ADIA deal may prove a healthy turnaround point. But then again, it may be too early to celebrate – it took the JW Marriott brand more than 20 years before establishing itself as a luxury product. Why should the journey of this new brand be easier?
02. Is the new Marriott leadership already taking the company in a new direction?
It was not long ago that Marriott took a few significant steps away from its traditional hotelier mindset. In its headquarters, for the first time since inception, a non-Marriott leader holds the reigns. In the Middle East, its regional leadership has been replaced with strategy consultants of the Deloitte persuasion.
Now there are talks of a deal for a Middle Eastern sovereign fund to purchase a Marriott brand portfolio – and it is unclear to me if the assets sold are merely brick-and-mortar or inclusive of the intellectual rights for the brand. People close to the company fear such moves are representative of a new philosophy. One characterized by a single-minded focus on financial returns – to the detriment of service.
The rumored closing of this deal may be significant for those of you watching and wondering what it means for the future direction of Marriott.– This page has been viewed by 816 members –