According to this article (AC Hotels by Marriott Will Open in The U.S. (And With Free WiFi Too!) || HotelChatter) Marriott announced back in June 2013 that they would expand the AC by Marriott brand, currently in Europe only, to the US. The article states, "There's no first location set yet for AC Hotels by Marriott but King said they hope to open the first one sometime in 2014."
Has anyone heard anything about where the first location will be? Does a 2014 opening still look promising?
Has anyone stayed at one of these properties in Europe? What can we expect from this brand in the US?
Yeah, "an exotic bath experience," okay. "A sensuous bath experience," mm-hmm. But "unusual"? That could cover a lot of experiences, not all of which may be appealing. But I think the decor shown looks inviting, and I'm glad to see a desk. Well, okay a suspended slab, but it would work.
I believe they are referring to the glass walls (sometimes frosted glass) on some of the bathrooms. You can't be shy with your roomie!
here are some photos from the Madrid Recoletos property.
An interesting question about an intriguing prospect.
I've stayed in several ACs in Spain and Italy. A few point that you might want to factor in to your final judgement:
1. In their original format, ACs were intended to attract the younger, business-oriented, "modern-in-outlook" essentially urban, market segment. The tourist market was incidental - which is one of the factors that underpins some of the criticisms voiced here and elsewhere since the AC/Marriott joint venture kicked off. One obvious question is: what market segment does Marriott intend to position the US-type AC to attract.
2. ACs are not all the same. The majority in Spain are located in cities, with easy access to train, plane or sea communication centres; this type rarely, if ever, provides a Concierge Lounge; bars and restaurants are limited in scope; exercise facilities are similarly small-scale. The buildings tend to be relatively recent constructions, the rooms distinctly "cool" in style, with blacks and greys the predominant colours, and glass/laminates the main materials. And, as mentioned, bathing arrangements tend towards relatively high levels of transparency. However, the minority differ, being older buildings, with less strikingly modern appearances. A few of these have been added to other Marriott brands, notably Autograph.
3. Elite membership also attracts different returns. In general, upgrades are available - but the number/proportion of higher category rooms is significantly lower. In Spain, I've noticed that free breakfasts are the exception, whereas in Italy they seem to be the norm.
In summary, it would seem that the AC model would offer Marriott an alternative, fairly distinctive product offer in the USA - but, initially at least, its application might be limited to East and West coast, city locations.
arkwright thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences on the AC brand. Having not ever stayed at an AC hotel, just going off your comments and what I have read it seems like the AC brand might have a place in bigger US cities. I was able to find information on what looks like the two of the early AC by Marriott properties in the US:
From the Cincinnati article it appears that the first wave will see 15 AC properties being rolled out in the Americas. Hopefully merb can let us know if she finds out any other 2014 AC by Marriott openings.
It looks like the Four Points on the Magnificent Mile will also be re-branded as an AC by Marriott property.
According to the blog post, "Marriott has plans to bring the European AC brand to Miami, New Orleans, Kansas City and San Diego. - See more at: http://boardingarea.com/loyaltytraveler/2014/01/25/four-points-chicago-rebrand-to-ac-by-marriott/#sthash.ZBvLEdKi.70iIqTin.dpuf
merb and I did some research and we found a few answers for you. Marriott is expecting the first AC Hotels by Marriott property to open in the U.S. towards the end of the year. There are a handful of properties currently undergoing construction, but it is hard for us to determine which location will be completed first. Opening is 2014 is definitely still promising! Hope this gives you some more clarity.