Here at AFAR, we often debate the merits of staying at a vacation rental versus a full-service resort or hotel. While vacation rentals typically offer more space and creature comforts such as kitchens, laundry, and private yards, hotels deliver amenities—pools, restaurants, spas, housekeeping, the works. Is it possible that Homes & Villas by Marriott International has found the perfect solution to the dispute?
Sometimes vacation rental guests “don’t want to have to do the work that is required of being in a private home all the time, which is cooking every meal and keeping everybody entertained. There are experiences they want to [have] outside the home,” Jennifer Hsieh, vice president of Homes & Villas by Marriott International, told AFAR.
Consequently, Homes & Villas by Marriott International, a premium vacation rental platform launched by Marriott two years ago, has introduced a new pilot program that will give guests who have booked rental homes in certain destinations the opportunity to experience the amenities and receive discounted services at nearby Marriott hotels and resorts during their stay.
The first three destinations being featured are London; Monterey, California; and Punta Mita, Mexico, where vacation rental guests will get vouchers that they can use at the participating hotels. The pilot runs from October 4 through December 31, and if it’s successful—Hsieh thinks it likely will be—additional hotels and destinations will be added to the lineup in 2022.
Through the end of this year, vacation home renters staying in Monterey, California, will be able to use the pool and the Jacuzzi at the Monterey Marriott and will get a 50 percent discount on valet parking and a 20 percent discount on dining at the hotel. They will also be able to book a private dining experience with the hotel’s executive chef, who will come to the rental property to create the meal.
Those who book a Homes & Villas property in London for the remainder of 2021 will get discounted dining and drinks (20 percent off) at several elevated hotel bars and restaurants in London, including the JW Steakhouse at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House London, the Hansom Bar at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, and the Hyde Bar at the Park Tower Knightsbridge, a Luxury Collection Hotel, among several others.
Guests who stay at select vacation rentals in Punta Mita, Mexico, will be able to spend their days at the St. Regis Punta Mita Beach Club, with no minimum consumption charges (which is otherwise standard for day use visitors) and can borrow equipment such as snorkels and standup paddleboards free of charge. They will also get 20 percent off dining, 10 percent off drinks, and 30 percent off at the resort’s spa.
When Homes & Villas by Marriott International was started in 2019, it was a collection of 2,000 homes, which has grown to more than 35,000 homes listed today. The brand experienced a surge in demand during the pandemic as travelers looked for a way to safely get a change of scenery.
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