As Airbnb pushes further into the hotel space, Marriott International is flipping the script by entering the home sharing market.
The world’s largest hotel company is rolling out a global home rental initiative next week. Homes & Villas by Marriott International will offer travelers access to 2,000 premium and luxury properties in exceptional destinations around the world, including 100 markets across the U.S., Europe, the Caribbean, and Latin America.
Marriott’s play at Airbnb’s market share is that these properties are backed by the trusted reputation of the Marriott brand, as “guests navigate an increasingly complex and uncertain set of home rental choices."
The initiative began in 2018 as a pilot in select European cities, called Tribute Portfolio Homes, through a partnership with Hostmaker, a London-based homestay property management company.
Marriott said nearly 90% of guests who booked a home during the pilot were members of Marriott Bonvoy, and more than three-quarters were traveling for leisure with family and friends. Additionally, the average guest stay was more than triple the typical hotel stay. Based on these insights, Marriott increased its selection of accommodations to include spacious homes with one or more bedrooms, large kitchens, in-unit laundry, and more.
The Homes & Villas portfolio will add nearly 40 new leisure destinations for Marriott Bonvoy members to earn and redeem points, including Sorrento, Italy and the Amalfi Coast; North Lake Tahoe, California; and St. Barts in the Caribbean.
In a press release, Marriott said it is “in the process of determining how it will sell Homes & Villas by Marriott International through other channels,” including travel advisors, and “will provide an update in the near future.”
Members of Marriott Bonvoy, the company’s relaunched loyalty program, will be able to earn and redeem points at the homes and villas. They will also have access to Marriott Bonvoy Moments, which are exclusive to Homes & Villas by Marriott International, which will “amplify the memory-making events and activities that take place in homes around the world, like game nights, gourmet cooking, backyard sports, BBQs and more.”
Marriott is launching Homes & Villas by Marriott International with select property management companies that are already managing these homes, including TurnKey Vacation Rentals, LaCure, Loyd & Townsend Rose, Veeve, London Residents Club; as well as current hotel owners and operators, like Mainsail Lodging, and Reserva Conchal.
The property management companies provide guests with a professionally cleaned home, 24/7 support, high-speed WiFi, premium linens and amenities, and family-friendly conveniences upon request.
Marriott said it expects to introduce Homes & Villas by Marriott International in additional markets, as well as increase the number of homes offered in the launch destinations.