The development journey of Marriott – the world’s largest hotel chain

Destination Editor
07:30:01 - February 17, 2022


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    The story of the foundation and development of Marriott International began with a 9-seats root beer stand in Washington, D.C. J. Willard Marriott, the founder, and his wife opened the A&W root beer franchise in 1927 to offer refreshing drinks to the city people. Later, the Marriott family added hot food items to the menu and founded the restaurant Hot Shoppes. Since that, Hot Shoppers grew rapidly, becoming a restaurant chain and also providing in-flight food service with its first product being box lunches served to passengers at Hoover Airport.

    In 1957, the company shifted to the hospitality industry with its first Twin Bridges Motor Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. Bill, son of J. Willard Marriott, played a key role in Marriott’s growth in hospitality. Two years after founding the Twin Bridges Motor Hotel under his management, in 1959, the second hotel, Key Bridge Marriott, also opened. In 1969, Marriott entered the international market for the first time with a hotel in Acapulco, Mexico. Marriott was constantly expanding its business when in 1972, the company cooperated with Sun Line, becoming the first lodging company to enter the cruise business. The company also began targeting the business traveler with the launch of the Courtyard in 1983.


    In the late 1980s, Marriott began to shape its growth according to the model: One company, many brands. The company’s pioneering in the hotel industry built the foundation for the company to grow to become the world’s largest hotel chain later. Following the launch of the first Fairfield Inn and Marriott Suites hotels, Marriott became the first lodging company to have a portfolio of brands. The company also pioneered the extend-stay business after acquiring Residence Inn in 1987.

    In 1993, Marriott divided its operations into two, including Marriott International – the hotel management and franchising company, and Host Marriott Corporation – the hotel ownership corporation. The year of 1995 was also a major milestone time when Marriott acquired a 49% stake in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, bringing the historic brand to its hotel portfolio.

    In the following years, Marriott continued to acquire many other companies such as Renaissance Hotel Group, ExecuStay, and launched many new brands, including TownePlace Suites, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels, … and increased its global presence.

    The biggest milestone occurred in 2016 when Marriott International acquired Starwood Hotels & Resorts, making Marriott International the largest hotel chain in the world with more than 1.1 million rooms, 5700 hotels under 30 brands in more than 110 countries.

    Since then, the company has continuously grown its hotel portfolio to 7800 hotels of 30 brands in 138 countries, focusing on every detail to bring great experiences to guests.

    5 core values

    Putting people first

    Founder’s philosophy “ake care of associates and they will take care of the customers.” over the years has made Marriott International a great place to work.

    Pursuing excellence

    Rooted in the founder’s goal of the business of “good food and good service at a fair price”, the dedication to every detail for customers helps Marriott build its reputation for superior customer service.

    Embracing change

    Innovate, challenge the status quo and anticipate customer needs with new brands, new locations and new guest experiences.

    Acting with integrity

    “How we do business is as important as the business we do.”

    Serving our world

    With the spirit of service, Marriott aims to do good things for the community, creating positive and sustainable impacts where they do business.

    The development journey of Marriott – the world’s largest hotel chain


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