Marriott Acquires Starwood to Form Largest Hotel Chain in World
Marriott International on Friday morning closed on its acquisition for $13 billion of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, which brings together its Marriott, Ritz Carlton and Courtyard brands with Westin, W, St. Regis and Sheraton from Starwood.
In all, 30 different hotel brands will now be under just the Marriott umbrella creating the largest chain of hotels in the world with over 5,800 properties and more than 1.1 million rooms across 110 countries. The numbers equal more than 1 of every 15 rooms around the world.
Marriott passes Hilton Worldwide’s more than 773,000 rooms and the 766,000 that are in the Intercontinental Hotels Group, showed data released by STR, a company that tracks data on hotels.
Now the chain can offer even more choices for the traveler giving them more choices in location, in the type of hotel and a choice in what they want to spend, said Arne Sorenson the CEO at Marriott.
Beginning today, Starwood and Marriott members of the two loyalty programs can link the account into one. Gold elite members of one program automatically get the same gold status in the other one.
Platinum members will be platinum elite members in the other. Silver member in Marriott will be in Preferred Plus the lowest category of Starwood.
Each point at Starwood will equal three points in Marriot Rewards.
Starwood was put up for sale back in April of 2015. The company, based in Stamford, Connecticut struggled to expand as quickly as other rivals particularly in the limited services hotel spectrum, which are properties that are smaller and do not have banquet halls or restaurants.
The hotels are often times located near the highway, airports or office parks in suburbia.
Marriott outbid Anbang Insurance Group based in China to buy Starwood. Antitrust regulators in both the U.S. and Europe quickly approved this sale but the government of China hesitated delaying it for a number of months.
Starwood and Marriott, as with other chains, own very few hotels instead they franchise or manage their brands to individual owners.
The purchase hands Marriott more leverage in corporate travel where often times one giant chain is sought after to house all employees. It will also give Marriott additional power over Priceline and Expedia, the two behemoth travel agencies online that sell rooms for hotels in exchange for commission.