Marriott is betting on longer vacations becoming the new normal
  • Travelers have been booking longer vacations since the start of COVID-19.
  • As a result, Marriott has seen a rising demand for its “longer stay hotel” brands.
  • The hotel chain is now growing these brands’ locations and rooms.
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Marriott is catering to the COVID-19 trend of longer vacations with a new suite of locations and rooms under its “longer stay” brands.

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This desire for extended trips has been growing since people began considering travel again amid COVID-19. And according to a Vrbo survey of 2,200 US-based travelers in December 2020, almost 40% of those surveyed said their next trip would be “at least” a week.

Like other travel providers, Marriott has noticed increasing interest for its “longer stay” hotels, Tina Edmundson, global brand and marketing officer of Marriott International, said in a press release. According to Marriott, this demand stems from both leisure and business travel, with business travelers looking to spend more time out, and leisure “small group” visitors looking for new places to vacation and work remotely.

Now, the hotel giant is looking to capitalize on this travel trend by opening 575 new locations under its “longer stay brands.” These Marriott chains – which include Element Hotels, Residence Inn, and TownePlace Suites – already amount to a combined total of 1,400 hotels.

These long-term oriented offerings mix bigger rooms with extra amenities, including work centers, WiFi, breakfast, and gyms.

Marriott’s Element Hotel – which was designed to appeal to the “healthy, active traveler who wants to maintain a balanced lifestyle while on the road” – will now be offering “Studio Commons.” This consists of a suite with four bedrooms and a shared living room.

The living room’s dining space can also be used as a communal desk for traveling digital nomads.

The Studio Commons rooms will be available at these six locations:

  • Element Atlanta Buckhead
  • Element Nashville Vanderbilt West End
  • Element Sedona
  • Element Moab
  • Element Bend
  • Element Miami Downtown (opening November)

The hotel giant’s other longer-stay brand, Residence Inn, currently has 870 locations with suites that feature sleeping, leisure, working, and cooking spaces, among other amenities.

Marriott recently opened Residence Inns in several cities, including Marina del Rey, California, and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Upcoming Orlando and Dubai locations are slated to open this month.

Similarly, Marriott is rapidly expanding its TownePlace Suites – a “reliable experience to stay productive and upbeat,” according to Marriott – footprint with new recently opened locations in Orlando and Albuquerque, New Mexico. TownePlace currently has 450 hotels under its belt and will be opening two more in Cincinnati and Milwaukee by this summer.

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