Marriott International signed deals for two new-build all-inclusive hotels in the Caribbean, including the company’s first franchise agreement in the segment.
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica—Marriott International continues its move into the all-inclusive space with two deals signed for new-build resorts in the Caribbean, including its first franchised all-inclusive.
The hotels will be an 800-room Marriott in Jamaica and a 283-room Autograph Collection on Curaçao.
The Curaçao hotel will be Marriott’s first contract for a franchised all-inclusive resort, and the owner is Bastiaan Guis with Pen Resort B.V.
Aimbridge Hospitality will manage the property, which is slated to open in 2024, Laurent de Kousemaeker, Marriott International’s chief development officer for the Caribbean and Latin America, told Hotel News Now in an exclusive interview at the Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference and Operations Summit.
“We’re open to franchising in the all-inclusive platform,” de Kousemaeker said. “We want to manage a good portion of our brand … because we set the standards and ensure the brand is well-positioned, but we’re open to do both.”
The Jamaican all-inclusive, Marriott Hotel Al Amaterra, will be in the mixed-use Amaterra Resort on Jamaica’s north coast, and the owner/developer is Amaterra Group.
“It’ll be the first of many hotels in this destination, and the owner wanted the flagship brand,” de Kousemaeker said.
This property, projected to open in 2023, will mark the third Marriott-branded hotel on Jamaica, which de Kousemaeker said is “a key market” for the company and a top priority for expanding its all-inclusive platform along with Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
The company first announced its all-inclusive strategy in August, which calls for bringing an all-inclusive platform to The Ritz-Carlton, Luxury Collection, Marriott Hotels, Westin Hotels, W Hotels, Autograph Collection and Delta by Marriott brands. Its first announced deal was for five properties in the Caribbean and Latin America comprising more than 2,000 rooms.
Then in October Marriott entered an agreement to purchase Elegant Hotels Group’s portfolio of seven hotels on Barbados’ west coast for $130.1 million. The deal is pending completion, but the company said it plans to renovate the hotels and operate them as all-inclusives under one or more of Marriott’s collection brands and eventually explore sales.
De Kousemaeker said the Caribbean represents a strong growth area for Marriott, with all-inclusives top of the list.
“Revenue per available room grew 9.4% (in the region) in 2018, and this year it will be about 11.9%,” he said, attributing that growth in part to compression but also to Marriott’s Bonvoy loyalty platform.
“Year to date, we’ve signed 10 deals in the Caribbean, which includes 2,800 rooms,” he said.
All-inclusives make up a good amount of that pipeline, but the company also continues to sign deals for other luxury hotels, including St. Regis properties in Aruba and Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic.
Still, de Kousemaeker said he sees “plenty of opportunities” for all-inclusives in the Caribbean. He named “the big three” of Mexico, Dominican Republic and Jamaica, followed by the Cayman Islands, Barbados and the eastern Caribbean islands.
In September, he told Hotel News Now the platform’s reach will go beyond Latin America and the Caribbean as well, with potential to expand globally.
Watch the video below of De Kousemaeker talking about the platform’s growth potential: