Marriott Intl sells three EDITION Hotels to Abu Dhabi
Marriott International has sold three hotels (EDITION Hotels – London, New York City and Miami ) to an institutional buyer with an Abu Dhabi government fund the most likely buyer. “We have signed a letter of intent with an institutional buyer,” CEO Arne Sorenson said. The hotels—in London, New York and Miami Beach—are part of Marriott’s Edition brand of boutique-style hotels the company is developing with hotelier Ian Schrager.
The edgier EDITION concept, which often includes lively lobbies and top-notch restaurants, also has proved to be difficult to pull off for traditional brand companies accustomed to building cookie-cutter hotels. Marriott’s strategy for Edition also was tricky because the company, similar to hotel chains, typically relies on third-party developers to build hotels that Marriott manages or franchises. During the downturn, hotel investors shied away from the risk of building a new hotel brand.
Only two of the 10 Edition hotels that Marriott originally announced opened, and one of those, in Honolulu, quickly rebranded after hotel owners there accused Marriott of neglecting the brand. Marriott denied the allegations, but the dustup was a setback for the fledgling brand. Several of the original Edition executives at Marriott also left a couple years ago to go to Morgans Hotel Group, the company Mr. Schrager founded.