Marriott's pop-up innovation lab further grows Aloft, Element brands

Marriott's pop-up innovation lab

Yesterday Marriott International launched its first pop-up hotel innovation lab, creating an interactive model hotel experience in downtown Los Angeles to crowdsource real-time feedback from the public, furthering the company's futuristic vision.

The lab will let industry professionals, hotel guests, associates and the general public see, touch, taste and hear some of the exciting enhancements being considered for the future of the company's innovation incubator brand Aloft, and eco-conscious, extended-stay brand Element. Among them:

  • With business and leisure travelers looking for more unique spaces, Element is piloting a bold new guest room design that will feature a communal room in the center of four guest rooms, allowing travelers to share a kitchen, dining room and lounge area. This will provide more collaborative space for groups who would like to spend time together in a more private setting.
  • Aloft will be revitalizing its food-and-beverage program with an emphasis on fresh, healthy ingredients such as spinach, quinoa and avocado. Travelers will be able to order customized "pots," a healthy meal in a colorful to-go container with food that reflects regional tastes. A personalized pot can be ordered and paid for at a digital kiosk; guests will receive their pot with a time-stamped, label featuring their chef's emoji.
  • Tech-centric beverage concepts, such as a portable wine cart for Element that automatically pours wine when activated by a guest's hotel room keycard.

"We're excited to unveil Marriott's first-ever, pop-up innovation lab for Aloft and Element – two phenomenal brands that are always evolving as guests, lifestyles and technology change," said Eric Jacobs, chief development officer – North America, Marriott select brands, Marriott International. "We're also eager to collect and utilize feedback from the ownership community, which has expressed tremendous enthusiasm for both brands."

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An interactive model hotel concept in Los Angeles will display the global brands' futuristic vision, while tapping real-time feedback to inspire company's famed innovation process.

Given the importance that Marriott places on incorporating feedback from its hotel owners, franchisees, and loyalty members, every person who passes through the lab will have the opportunity to offer their feedback in real-time through Swurveys, a swipe-able survey. The feedback will be reflected in the Aloft and Element brands as they rollout this intuitive guest experience beginning in the fall of 2017.

"Innovation is embedded in Marriott's values," said Toni Stoeckl, global brand leader and VP, distinctive select brands. "We're driven by creating solutions that elevate, innovate and evolve the guest experience, fueling guest loyalty and maximizing the value of our owners' investments. It's how we stay relevant to guests today and tomorrow, while providing a meaningful competitive advantage to our partners."

The pop-up innovation lab event comes four months after Marriott acquired Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, which conceived of the two brands and witnessed an uptick in signings in the months leading up to the merger.

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