Marriott partners with Hostmaker for homestay trial

UK: Marriott is entering into a six-month trial with Hostmaker, a London-based homestay property-management company.

By visiting, travellers will be able to book a stay in London homes that will be considered members of Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio collection.

“The short-term rental industry faces two fundamental issues: products with little quality or brand assurance and a lack of truly professional property management that ensures rentals have been vetted to meet specific standards and comply with local laws,” Marriott spokeswoman Connie Kim said in a statement. “Marriott International will work with Hostmaker to carefully select each property based on exacting design standards. In addition, Hostmaker ensures that the property complies with relevant short-term rental laws in London, including nightly limits and collection of applicable taxes.”

“Instead of creating a new brand, Marriott has this great collection of brands already,” explained Nakul Sharma, founder and CEO of Hostmaker. “This extension of Tribute Portfolio made a lot more sense to us than trying to create a brand from scratch. It’s a seamless experience for guests when they come onto Marriott’s booking platform.”

The check-in process at a Tribute Portfolio Homes property will be facilitated by Marriott’s “Welcome Wizards,” team members who ensure guests don’t encounter difficulty locating a property and provide assistance in setting up once they arrive. Welcome Wizards will also be trained in the local area to provide recommendations throughout London. This position has been implemented to bridge the gap between a traditional hotel welcome and the freedom that homesharing provides.

Marriott will offer full refunds for bookings that are cancelled within 48 hours of booking and 30 days before the check-in date, and a 50% refund for bookings that are cancelled between 7 and 29 days prior to check-in. There will be no refunds for cancellations less than a week before scheduled arrival.

Currently there are roughly 200 Tribute Portfolio Homes properties on offer in London. When the pilot ends in October, Marriott could expand the program to other cities.

Marriott joins the likes of Accor and Hyatt which have invested in homestay companies.

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