Quietly over the past five years, Marriot International’s Renaissance Hotels has remodeled almost 50% of its 86 North American properties as well as key international locations.
When the project began, the company admittedly described them as a “disparate collection.” No more. With bold designs, at times a touch of whimsy, and always striking drama, the goal is to achieve a distinctive international brand.
In Los Angeles, the company pulled back the curtains on the new design strategy and outlined plans to completely redo the look of its remaining properties as well as 30 some new builds now going up — 10 in North America, 18 in Asia/Pacific, 2 in Latin America, 1 in Europe and 1 in the Middle East. The company plans a similar promotional showcase event this coming February in China.
Heading up the design program are George Fleck, Vice President, Global Brand Marketing & Management, Renaissance Hotels, and Tracy Smith, Senior Interior Design Manager, Lifestyle Full Service, Marriott International
Involved is considerably more than just conventional redecorating. Among other things, the history and culture of the immediate community in which hotel is located play a major role in not only the design but in the fabrics, decorative pieces and art works used. “The goal is to make every stay in a Renaissance Hotel a memorable experience, to elicit an element of positive surprise and give the guest a reason to come back,” the company says. “We want to harness the spirit of every destination.”
Business travelers make up some 80% of Renaissance’s clientele and company is confident that the new designs will contribute to the success of meetings and functions as well as individual stays. While the cost of the work has not been disclosed, Renaissance is quick to point out that the sweeping renovations are not intended to change the brand’s position within the Marriott line-up. “There will continue to be small boutique hotels at one end and the luxury properties at the other, the company says. “Renaissance will remain in the middle.”
Of particular relevance to corporate travelers is the eye-popping interior design focus at major airport properties. Within the past 18 months, for example, public spaces in four hotels at major international airports have been given striking new looks. Involved were the Renaissance Hotels at Los Angeles International, Warsaw International, Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport and the Renaissance Atlanta Gateway Hotel in Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.