Marriott sales representatives will work more closely with
travel professionals to better delineate its Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis luxury
brands from each other in the wake of the company’s $13 billion acquisition of
Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
Marriott will work with travel agents and other industry
professionals at positioning Ritz-Carlton more for guests looking for luxury
accommodations as a jumping-off point to explore a destination, while St.
Regis, a former Starwood brand, is being positioned more for guests searching
for iconic properties that serve as destinations in themselves.
“The Ritz-Carlton truly facilitates the destination experience
in extraordinary ways, creating indelible moments for its guests, where we help
them discover the best of the locale,” said Tina Edmundson, Marriott’s global
brand officer. “We see our St. Regis guests looking more for status and
Jennifer Wilson-Buttigieg, co-president of Valerie Wilson
Travel, said, “Ritz-Carlton is a phenomenal brand that has received great
recognition not only from travel advisers but from their clients.
“With St. Regis, it’s all about bespoke service and
destination, and it’s at a price point that is more discerning,” she added. “So
it absolutely makes sense as a part of this acquisition to better differentiate
and delineate between Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis.”
Wilson-Buttigieg said that her agency hadn’t yet been
contacted by Marriott in regards to the brand-delineation efforts.
As of Sept. 30, Marriott had 92 Ritz-Carlton hotels and 37
St. Regis properties. Tthe company oversees both Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis
hotels in about 20 destinations, including New York, San Francisco, Cairo,
Moscow and Beijing.
New brand categories
Marriott, which boosted its brand total from 19 to 30 with
the Starwood acquisition, has meanwhile grouped its brands into two categories
to better differentiate its more traditional hotels from ones with a more
As a result, Marriott has divided its sectors into Classic
and Distinctive categories.
For instance, within Marriott’s luxury brands, Ritz-Carlton
and St. Regis are considered Classic while W Hotels and Edition are
Distinctive. In the upper-upscale sector, Marriott and Sheraton are Classic,
while Le Meridien, Westin and Renaissance are Distinctive.