Marriott International launches home rental initiative

American multinational hospitality company, Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR), has announced the launch of Homes & Villas by Marriott International, a home rental initiative offering 2,000 premium and luxury homes located in over 100 destinations throughout the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America.

‘The launch of Homes & Villas by Marriott International reflects our ongoing commitment to innovation as consumer travel needs evolve,’ said Stephanie Linnartz, global chief commercial officer, Marriott International. ‘What started out as a pilot a year ago is now a global offering, providing our guests with the space and amenities of a home backed by a trusted travel company, and the very best in loyalty benefits.’

Marriott’s expansion into home rentals has been developed as a result of the 2018 pilot under the brand extension Tribute Portfolio Homes. Of the guests who booked a home during the pilot, which was only available in select European cities, nearly 90 percent were members of Marriott Bonvoy, the group’s customer rewards programme, and over three-quarters were traveling for leisure with family and friends. During the pilot, the average guest stay was more than triple the typical hotel stay. Marriott says that these insights, along with its commitment to providing travellers with unique and different accommodations including spacious homes with one or more bedrooms, large kitchens, in-unit laundry and more, played an important role in guiding the selection of luxury and premium homes, as well as the key leisure markets available at launch that complement the core offerings of Marriott’s hotel portfolio.

The introduction of Homes & Villas by Marriott International adds nearly 40 new leisure destinations for Marriott Bonvoy members to earn and redeem points, including Sorrento, Italy and the Amalfi Coast, Italy; North Lake Tahoe, California; and St. Barts in the Caribbean. This curated selection of homes aims to connect travellers to thousands of rental properties around the world.

‘Our approach to home rentals allows us to curate an incredible collection of homes that deliver an elevated travel experience,’ said Jennifer Hsieh, vice president, Homes & Villas by Marriott International. ‘By working with a select group of professional management companies that understand and operate in this dynamic landscape, we are able to focus on what we do best – selecting a breadth of homes in inspiring destinations, setting standards for responsive service and designing a seamless booking experience that helps our guests navigate an increasingly complex and uncertain set of home rental choices.’

Marriott says that starting next week, travellers can search and book homes on the Homes & Villas by Marriott International site – www.homesandvillasbymarriott.com.

Top sun-kissed destinations for family holidays

Are you aching to get away from the drizzle of the UK and feel the sun on the back of your neck? With plenty of sun-kissed destinations perfectly suited to family holidays, we take a look at the locations which could bring you the sunshine you deserve over coming months.

Orlando, Florida (USA)

If you’re looking for a fun-packed holiday with lots days out, Orlando is certainly a good option. Located in sunny Florida, famous for its pleasant climate, Orlando boasts such attractions as Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Studios, SeaWorld Orlando, the Kennedy Space Center and much more.

If your kids are the kind that love Disney movies (let’s face, don’t they all?) the chance to get up close to their favourite characters like Mickey Mouse and Dumbo will be an experience they will remember their whole lives.

For the parents, there’s always the swimming pool to lounge around at, or if you fancy leaving your accommodation there is a great range of golf courses for you to practise your swing.

Consider staying in one of the many villas that have sprung up to cater for the family market and enjoy the sun in what can only be described as a home-from-home.

Ibiza, Spain

You may associate the Balearic island of Ibiza with wild nightlife and never-ending parties but the reality is far different. Whilst active nightlife is one feature of the island, there are plenty of family-friendly resorts located on it too.

Choosing villas in Ibiza can be hard – there are just so many spots to choose from – but wherever you choose to stay you can be guaranteed of a warm welcome. Even the properties themselves are designed to reflect the warmth of the area and are usually painted in a traditional whitewash to reflect the heat of the sun.

The island is perhaps most popular for its beaches, which offer warm waters and cool sands for the enjoyment of parents and children alike. If you’re looking for something a little more active, the island has some great snorkelling and diving activities on offer with the chance to see plenty of wildlife in its natural habitat.

Almeria, Spain

Almeria is known for having the ‘best’ climate in Europe for a sunny break, with an amazing 3,127 hours sunlight a year and mild winters. The region’s scenery is astonishing; the long, deserted beaches are overlooked by rocky outcrops that are starkly beautiful.

You can sunbathe all you like on one of the resort’s unspoilt beaches which are sure to be a walk away from your villa. This is thanks to the popularity of Almeria, which sees reputable brands such as James Villas offer a range of accommodation in the local area.

For a day out and an educational trip for the kids, explore Spain’s Moorish past by visiting the hilltop fort of La Alcazaba, which dominates the skyline of the town. After this you can visit the Cabo de Gata Natural Park, a wild and isolated landscape dotted with picturesque fishing villages.