I was just looking for a hotel in Barcelona and a number of AC Hotels came up on the Marriott website. From a quick bit of research, it appears that these hotels will be joining the Marriott Rewards scheme from 8 November 2011. Has anyone seen an announcement? Does anyone know this chain? I can only assume that they will fit well with the existing Marriott brands, but some 'personal experience' background would be useful. From the AC homepage, the chain covers Spain, Portugal and Italy and should be an excellent extension to the current Marriott portfolio in these countries.
I am hopeful that your optimism re AC Hotels might be totally justified. In principle, the acquisition certainly promises to fill a major gap in Marriott's European portfolio.
And "yes", the new additions - around 85 + of them - are scheduled to become a part of the MR operation from 8th November, 2011.
Following stays in the ACs in Girona, Madrid and Bologna in September, I submitted a post on some features of the new hotels at the end of that mionth. It included pictures of the rooms and common areas, and raised some as yet unanswered questions about the way MR will incorporate the new sites. I suggest you take a look at that and then, if you have further questions, by all means get back to me.
No problem. I'm not sure whether my earlier reply was directed as intended. In case it is still up in the ether...
The easiest way to access my post - "AC Hotels - Marriott Rewards: Some Comments and Questions" - is to go to the "Destinations" page, scroll down to the bottom of the visible list and push the "more" button - which should bring up an earlier page of entries. Repeat this a couple of time and you should get to the page on which my post is listed.
Best of luck,
Greetings! We announced the partnership with AC Hotels back in May, but that they would not be a fully participating brand with Marriott Rewards until November 8th - right around the corner! We're in the end stages of training both on the program and on the new property management systems now -- flipping the switch on 85+ hotels in unison, and in-language, has been a great growing experience for us. One member of our team was on-site at the kick-off of the training university and she reported back that the AC associates are so excited and ready to welcome members to their wonderful properties! I've been to two so far (both in Madrid) and they are FAB! If you're going to an AC property, give the associates a bit of encouragement (it's been like drinking from a firehose for these great folks) and let us know about your experience.
I read yours with considerable interest. As Andy (is he still around?) will tell you, I've taken quite an active interest in the emergence of the AC BY Marriott brand - partly because I am based in Europe, partly because Marriott's presence in Spain and Italy in particularly has been limited, both in numbers and in the variety of sites on offer.
In response to your request for feed-back on early experience, perhaps you might look at the post I submitted a couple of weeks ago - "AC Hotels - Marriott Rewards; Some Comments and Questions". I wrote it after stays at the AC Palau De Bellavista in Girona, the Carlton in Madrid and the AC in Bologna. The general tenor of the article was intended to be complimentary and supportive. I enjoyed each stay; in some respects, I actually prefer the design, style and "feel" of the AC brand to the more conventional JW and Marriott type of establishment. But that is just a personal preference; it is not intended in any sense as a criticism.
I think there are a few unanswered questions about the interface between the new AC establishments and Marriott Rewards. To a large extent, these stem from the current uncertainty about how the new establishments are going to be classified in terms, for example, points awarded; i.e. will each be ranked individually, or will all be deemed equivalent to a Courtyard or Renaissance, or what? I think it might also help to pre-empt future comments if you clarify whether the Concierge or Executive Lounge "concept" is going to figure anywhere in the specification of facilities on offer.
Be all that as it may, I am genuinely optimistic about what is shortly to be added to the Marriott and MR portfolio.
Thanks for the directions to your earlier post ... extremely helpful and comprehensive info, together with useful pics ... thanks. From the pics, the hotel rooms look a bit spartan but, as you say, uncluttered. I see nothing there that would put me off. It would be very useful if someone responded to the points that you raised though!!
Many thanks. This is helpful - as facts and as an indication, I think, of where Marriott and MR will position the AC Hotels within the overall brand range.
The additional information would be welcomed - not least because I think it might help to head off criticisms and complaints that will otherwise emerge as Insiders make greater use of the AC hotels.
The Marriott portfolio has positioned AC as a similar product to Courtyard - and while the member benefits may mirror CY, I find the on-property experience to be significantly different. I personally find the decor to be a bit more upscale -- and definitely on the minimilist / modern side as was previously stated. There is no lounge access because they don't have them. Most of their activity is centered in their lobby, which is more reflective of a moderate hotel European experience.
Members earn 10pts per $1US on room rate only. The benefits you receive on-property will be similar to what you receive at our select service brand.s.
I really like the properties because they reflect the charm of the Spanish culture and community. That said, I've only been to two, so will defer to more widely-traveled Insiders for their perspective.
Michellel (and Andy)
Many thanks for this information. No big surprises - but it will, I think, be very helpful in shaping Insiders' expectations of AC.hotels.
I'd add two small points to your data: one of the AC's in which I stayed provided a free breakfast, the others - both in Spain - didn't; the reverse was true of WiFi access - in Spain it was free (in the lobby), whereas in Italy there was a small charge.
I agree totally with your views on the design and style of the rooms.
Again, my thanks.
A lot of useful info has arrived here whilst I have been distracted ... wife went to Ireland for a week and I had the plasterers in! We were hoping to try out an AC in Barcelona before Christmas but I have a few conflicting priorities at the moment. I am glad that, whilst the benefits will mirror CY, the experience will be significantly different ... CY is not our favourite Marriott brand when visiting the US ... the service has been very patchy.
My feeling is that the general picture emerging from MR etc re AC Hotels is encouraging, but that, as with many Marriott sites, the degree of autonomy they possess makes it difficult, if not impossible, for MR to lay down a hard-and-fast line on what will be on offer, when and where.
We recently stayed at the AC in Milan. The feel was very Italian modern but warm. Whoever designed the 'human factors' deserves an award - the room had everything we needed to work, relax and feel pampered in a very small space. The practicalities of a courtyard combined with the comfort of a JW Marriott. The staff was impeccable. We stayed on points over the weekend and received a view upgrade and breakfast. the hope the brand expands to the US.
Hi Kin ~ so glad you've had a chance to experience our AC properties - I've been to two of them and agree with your assessment completely. They're just lovely and totally reflective of a European personality. I have no inside scoop whatsoever, but so much development is outside the US because America's destinations are already built up with a variety of hotel products.