AC Hotels by Marriott joint venture becomes official

BETHESDA, MARYLAND Spain hotel group AC Hotels and Marriott International Inc. have formally announced their joint venture to manage and franchise a new lodging co-brand across Europe and Latin America, to be called AC Hotels by Marriott.

At launch, more than 90 existing AC Hotels in Spain, Italy and Portugal will be rebranded as AC Hotels by Marriott and will enter into long-term management or franchise agreements with the joint venture. All AC Hotels by Marriott hotels are expected to be bookable on by May.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Marriott,” says AC Hotels founder and Chairman Antonio Catalan. “The new AC Hotels by Marriott co-brand combines the strengths of both AC Hotels and Marriott International—AC Hotels’ exceptional product and expertise and the power of Marriott’s engines, global footprint and the power of its development organization. We see tremendous growth potential for AC Hotels by Marriott and will be aggressively pursuing development opportunities throughout Europe and Latin America.”

The 9,100-key AC Hotels by Marriott venture is a significant driver of Marriott’s Europe growth strategy, the company says. At launch, it will represent almost a quarter of the progress toward the company’s goal of doubling its portfolio in Europe over five years, to 80,000 guestrooms.

“Marriott could not ask for a better partner than the AC Hotels team,” says Amy McPherson, president and managing director of Marriott International in Europe. “Antonio Catalan is an experienced, dynamic partner who understands this market and delivers an exceptional product, perfectly suited for the European lifestyle. We are thrilled with this opportunity to dramatically grow our presence in Spain, the fourth largest source market in Europe, and deliver a great new lifestyle product to our global customer.”

AC Hotels by Marriott will incorporate the concept and business model of AC Hotels’ urban lifestyle hotel product, characterized by a unique blend of quality, comfort, design and technology, with Marriott International’s global systems, distribution, and sales platforms, including the Marriott Rewards loyalty program. The combination will permit Marriott’s customers access under the Marriott Rewards program to a portfolio of Spain’s leading business and urban-leisure hotels, enable AC’s guests to earn Marriott Rewards points for travel at Marriott branded hotels around the world, and provide both companies with a platform for future growth.