Marriott International launched a six-month trial period with U.K.-based home rental company Hostmaker, adding some 200 homes across London to its offerings.
Travelers can log onto TributePortfolioHomes.com and book a stay in more than 200 homes in London, each of which has been chosen specifically by Marriott and Hostmaker.
These homes, adhere to Marriott’s exacting standards regarding safety, design, security, and service. Guests who stay in them also receive additional services and amenities, such as 24/7 dedicated phone support and an in-person check-in/welcome experience. Guests can also earn loyalty points for both Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest, and redeem points for homestays as well.
Marriott isn’t the first major hotel chain to expand its portfolio with homeshare options: In August 2017, Hyatt invested in vacation rental company Oasis, adding 2,000 homes to its 700 hotels; Meanwhile, AccorHotels acquired luxury homeshare leader Onefinestay in 2016 for $168M, adding 10,000 rentals.
But what Marriott is doing here differs somewhat slightly. For one thing, Marriott is using one of its own existing brands to market the homes, and not using the Hostmaker brand or creating a new brand. AccorHotels, for example, combined all three of its homesharing acquisitions — Onefinestay, Squarebreak, and Travel Keys — into the Onefinestay brand. Hyatt houses Oasis under its own soft brand, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, but still uses the Oasis name to market the home rentals.
Another distinguishing factor of this experiment is the immediate loyalty tie-in. Hyatt extended its World of Hyatt loyalty program to include Oasis in March, months after announcing its initial investment in Oasis. It took AccorHotels nearly two years after its initial acquisition of Onefinestay to add it to its LeClub AccorHotels loyalty program.
One thing is sure, logistics and differences between managing homes and hotels will be crucial. Airbnb is not staying still neither; in fact, in February it announced its own selected, curated collection of verified homes, called Airbnb Plus.
Not every Hotel chain is entering the homesharing business though; Marriot’s competitor Hilton, will not enter it according to its CEO.