Marriott strives to set apart its luxury brands

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St. Regis is being positioned as a brand of iconic properties that serve as destinations in themselves. Pictured, the St. Regis Dubai.
St. Regis is being positioned as a brand of iconic properties that serve as destinations in themselves. Pictured, the St. Regis Dubai.

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 connoisseurship.”

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 modern flair.

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.

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