Marriott Takes Over

Has the pandemic marked the start of Airbnb’s end?

SharadhaR
ILLUMINATION

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Image Source:Michal Mrozek

In my previous article, The Story of Airbnb’s Massive Success, we covered the beginning of Airbnb’s journey, the way it was founded, and how it became entirely synonymous with vacation culture in just a matter of few years. Now, Marriott’s new Homes & Villas stay might be the ultimate checkmate move for Airbnb’s career.

It all began as a simple A&W root beer stand in 1927 by Founders and newlyweds J. Willard Marriott and his wife, Alice, whose main idea was to get their young business off the ground by quenching people’s thirst during Washington D.C.’s hot summers. Good food and good service became the mission and principle behind Hot Shoppes, their A&W franchise. Marriott made a historic transition into the hotel business in 1957. The world’s first motor hotel opened in Arlington, Virginia, under the management of J. Willard Marriott’s son, Bill. Over the next 25 years, Marriott became a diverse global enterprise, and Bill Marriott became a visionary CEO whose leadership transformed the hospitality industry.

Soon after, Marriott started acquiring esteemed companies like Ritz-Carlton, Residence Inn, and also the Renaissance Hotel Group, which increased their presence overseas multifold. Between the years of 1983 to 2009, the company not only started massive projects like Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, TownePlace Suites, and SpringHill Suites, but they also ventured into international waters and the first Bulgari Hotels and Resorts property opened up in Milan, Italy in the year 2004. Soon in 2008 and 2009, Bill Marriott announces the Edition and Autograph Collection of hotels, which primarily consist of upscale and luxurious resorts.

Image Source: Christopher Ott

Homes & Villas is the latest project by the Marriott Group. Homes & Villas by Marriott International is a global home rental offering that was launched in 2019 with a vision to bring Marriott’s 90+ years of hospitality expertise to the home rental market. The main focus is on the premium and luxury tier of rental homes, guaranteeing that Marriott works with a select set of professional home management companies to ensure that every home listed can be serviced at a standard expected of Marriott International. The kind of properties listed under home rentals include private homes, beachfront bungalows, sprawling villas, grand chateaus, cozy cabins, ski chalets, and characterful townhouses, flats, apartments, and penthouses. Oh also, did I mention, you can now rent out castles too! This new development and home rentals project is spoiling the guests with the creme de la creme of choices.

Image Source: Leonard von Bibra

The homes are usually owned by frequent travelers or a family that is often away for weeks at a time and welcomes guests to stay while they are gone. Others are second homes that are rarely occupied by families. What makes it a standard above the normal home renting facilities is the fact that Marriott International guarantees that they only work with professional management companies offering premium and luxury private home inventory and each home is thoroughly evaluated with high curation standards — either in person or digitally — before being listed on their site. All the homes are individually managed by trusted property management partners, who ensure a thoroughly cleaned and maintained home with 24/7 assistance from the local support team during the stay period along with the most premium of linens and only the best of amenities. Marriott International members who are part of the Marriott Bonvoy exclusive group are awarded a special set of points for each stay in the home rentals. The destinations offered are vast and breathtaking. From Barbados in the Caribbean, Costa Brava in Spain to Cape Town in Africa, vacationers are truly spoilt for choice.

Is this the end of Airbnb’s business? Probably not, as the target audience for Marriott International is only a select set of elite member groups. Though Airbnb offers vacation rentals for everybody, the Homes & Villas move by Marriott is definitely going to shake-up the startup’s career, especially during the time of the global pandemic.

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SharadhaR
ILLUMINATION

Freelance Content Writer | Digital Marketer | Brand Consultant Follow Sharadha on LinkedIn- https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharadharavi/