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Hotel Innovator Ian Schrager and Marriott International To Create Next-Generation Lifestyle Boutique Concept


Players At Opposite Ends of Hospitality Industry Join Forces to Build and Operate Up to 100 Distinct Hotels Around the World

Marriott International, Inc., (NYSE: MAR) is partnering with Ian Schrager, who invented the concept of the boutique hotel 23 years ago, to create a new brand of as many as 100 hotels that will combine the personal, intimate, individualized and unique lodging experience that Mr. Schrager created with Marriott’s operational expertise on a global scale.

According to J.W. Marriott, Jr., chairman and CEO of Marriott International, the marriage of the premier lodging company worldwide with the pioneer of the lifestyle boutique hotel is an attempt by both to push the boundaries, break new ground and take the hotel industry to a new level. “Nobody has done what Ian has been able to do with his hotels time and again, and he is the perfect partner to help us create and launch a new, modern genre of hotel,” said Mr. Marriott. ”These hotels will be an excellent complement to the Marriott portfolio of brands and allow us to use our global platform and ability to execute to create something completely new, different and original—the first truly global branded boutique lifestyle hotel on a large scale. We expect the brand to set the standard for decades to come.”

The brand, the brainchild of the new partners, responds to new cultural and social imperatives that Mr. Schrager says have emerged. This brand will reflect these changing lifestyles and cater to a vast underserved market of guests expecting and in turn demanding a unique experience not merely a place to sleep. “Together Marriott and I have a new vision and plan to radically rethink and catapult the lifestyle boutique hotel into the present by capturing the spirit of the times,” said Mr. Schrager.

“People today are sophisticated and they understand good design, quality, originality and commitment to excellence. They will not accept something derivative and they want the ethos and soul of a hotel to be authentic and have character. They also expect and deserve impeccable, modern and gracious personalized service that is at the same time luxurious yet down to earth. It is the ultimate balancing act of these apparent contradictions to create a hotel that is simultaneously specific and customized yet universal. We intend to make this type of lodging widely accessible and available for the first time in the key lodging destinations across the globe and to everybody around the world who wants it.”

The hotels will be located in gateway cities throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. The initial list of markets to be explored includes New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Boston, and Las Vegas in the U.S.; London, Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt, Madrid, Barcelona, Milan and Rome in Europe; and Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Bangkok, Seoul and Tokyo in Asia. With an average size of 150-200 rooms, each of the hotels will reflect the best of the cultural and social milieu of its location and of the time. A diverse set of world-renowned architects and designers will be recruited to create one-of-a-kind buildings spanning the complete range of project types, from new construction, to conversions, to dramatic renovations. The partners expect these hotels to be not just the most aesthetically pleasing in their markets but to be the most environmentally responsible as well.

According to Mr. Schrager, the brand’s unifying aesthetic will be in its approach and attitude to the modern lifestyle rather than its appearance, with design and architecture derived from the scale, location and feel of the individual properties. “The brand will be about an attitude, about a feeling rather than a look,” he said. “Sophisticated public spaces, finishes, design and details will serve the experience not drive it.”

The partners will divide responsibilities for rolling out the brand, with Mr. Schrager leading the effort on concept, design, marketing, branding and food and beverage. Marriott will oversee the development process, and operate and manage the completed hotels. In particular, Marriott will use its relationships in the development community to identify appropriate potential development partners and owners in various markets. The partners expect to have at least five firm development deals signed under the new brand by the end of 2007 and 100 hotels open or in the pipeline within a decade.

“The scale of this brand requires the reach, resources and expertise of a global player like Marriott, while the innovation necessary calls for the experience and originality of the category’s most accomplished entrepreneur, Ian Schrager,” said Mr. Marriott.


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