Hotels

Which major hotel chain is entering the homesharing market?

Laine Fullerton

Marriott International, already the largest hotel company around, is entering the world of homesharing.

The hotel giant has officially launched a six-month pilot in partnership with London-based home rental management company, Hostmaker.

And if you perceive the unavoidable rise in the homesharing economy as unsafe or daunting, we assure you that Marriott’s dedication to providing “peace of mind, easy travel and the comforts of home” will calm your fears.

Vacation GIF via Giphy

From this week, travellers can use TributePortfolioHomes.com to book a stay in more than 200 homes in London, with one or two-bedroom homes sitting at an average nightly rate of $280 to $350.

Marriott inherited Tribute Portfolio in its $13.3 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 2016.

And as of next month, guests that book with Tribute Portfolio can earn loyalty points for Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest, and redeem these points for homestays.

Other notable features include 24-hour check-in, in-person welcome facilitated by Marriott’s “Welcome Wizards”, bathroom amenities and a full kitchen.

While joining the likes of Airbnb, Booking.com and fellow hoteliers, AccorHotels and Hyatt, Marriott’s pilot is slightly different as they are using one of their existing brands to market the homes, instead of using the Hostmaker brand or creating a new one.

As per Skift, Nakul Sharma, founder and CEO of Hostmaker said: “Instead of creating a new brand, Marriott has this great collection of brands already.”

“This extension of Tribute Portfolio made a lot more sense to us than trying to create a brand from scratch,” Sharma said.

“It’s a seamless experience for guests when they come onto Marriott’s booking platform.”

Marriott and Hostmaker are working very closely to exercise control over which homes are selected for the collection, ensuring quality and service are upheld.

Marriot chief customer experience officer Adam Malamut said the company handpicked each of the homes participating in the pilot.

“Hostmaker already does an incredible job of curating a great portfolio of homes and within that portfolio, and we added other types of design, safety, and security criteria that meet our standards.”

The same selected homes can be booked via Hostmaker’s own site, Booking.com and Airbnb, but according to Skift, Marriott said guests who book stays through Tribute Portfolio receive an “exclusive experience”.

In comparison to Airbnb’s curated collection of verified homes, Airbnb Plus, these pilot homes will have consistent quality control measures and maintenance carried out by Hostmaker, instead of a one-time inspection and a guest-host review system like Airbnb Plus.

With homesharing no longer in its infancy, Marriott has decided to enter the market now after some time considering it.

Malamut said: “We’ve been thinking about this for a while, and how this type of business affects ours.”

“Timing is about finding the right partner to bring an idea to life that makes sense for our business.”

“That’s what we’re offering here.”



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