Worth Mentioning: Brand News

Hotels & Resorts

JW Marriott Hotels and Resorts, The Joffrey Ballet

Traveling is no excuse to take a break from lifting and tucking. Perfect your arabesque on-demand at JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, which offers a series of customized workout videos, Behind the Barre, led by a pair of professionals from Joffrey Ballet.

The program began at JW Marriott Essex and expanded across select locations worldwide this fall. The exercise routine is based on three wellness qualities—calm, balance and invigorate. Workouts include barre, core and stretching exercises, which are designed to be executed in a hotel room.

Inside Scoop: “The benefits of ballet go far beyond the barre to promote discipline and self-confidence, and can enhance any fitness plan.”
–Ashley Wheater, artistic director, Joffrey Ballet

Dream Hotel Group

A sign that Americans are hungry for local color is the recent announcement that the first Unscripted Hotel opened in Durham, North Carolina, in July. Unscripted is Dream Hotel Group’s new lifestyle brand for the progressive, creative traveler.

Each location will tell the story of its city and serve local food and beverage. Unscripted plans to open in Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, Belize, England and the Dominican Republic. They’ll possibly also expand to Phoenix, Orlando, Long Island City, Paris and Central America.

Inside Scoop: “The Unscripted brand is growing at an exponential pace thanks to the tremendous support we’ve already received from the local community in Durham. A lot of these markets are lacking a lifestyle product and we hope to fill that void in the market.”
–Jay Stein, CEO, Dream Hotel Group

Marriott International, Accenture Interactive, 1776

An international hospitality company, a business management consulting firm and a startup incubator are teaming up to host an extensive talent search for the next Uber-for-hospitality. Up to six lucky applicants who entered the Travel Experience Incubator Challenge scored the golden ticket for a three-month boot camp for innovators.

They’ll receive extensive training and mentoring to prepare the perfect pitch on Demo Day, when they’ll share their startups with investors seeking to revolutionize the end-to-end travel experience.

Inside Scoop: “We see The Travel Experience Incubator as a terrific opportunity to fuel promising startups focused on game-changing innovation for the lodging industry.”
–Stephanie Linnartz, global chief commercial officer, Marriott International

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

The redesigned My Disney Experience app now allows Disney Resort hotel guests to check in online up to 60 days prior to arrival. Guests who receive MagicBand bracelets ahead of time can proceed directly to their room without stopping at the front desk. The band or mobile app unlocks the room and enables guests to be notified when the room is ready, as well as make requests and credit card transactions. Meeting professionals can select a MagicBand color to coordinate all attendees. A link to check-in can even be embedded into an event’s app.

Inside Scoop: “As always, world-class guest service is part of the magic of a Walt Disney World meeting. Disney’s Online Check-In provides yet another way to make the experience seamless for both meeting planners and attendees.”
–Amy Pfeiffer, director of national sales for meetings and conventions, Walt Disney World Resort

Raise the Woof

Bravo’s Andy Cohen and his rescue pup, Wacha, teamed with Residence Inn by Marriott and North Shore Animal League America, the world’s largest no-kill shelter, for a pet adoption campaign in August. The hotel brand hosted the “Dog Days of Summer” adoption series in New York City, Miami Beach and Washington, D.C. Dogs were adopted during “Yappy Hour” events. “Wacha is the most important thing in my life—he is my best bud and opened my heart,” Cohen told Smart Meetings. “I can’t think of a better cause to support than pet adoptions, and love working with such a great organization as North Shore Animal League America and a pet-friendly brand like Residence Inn by Marriott.”