If you haven't heard of Marriott's newest hotel brand—AC Hotels— you're not alone. Since it launched in 2011 it's only been featured in Europe: in 79 different locations throughout Spain, Portugal, France, and Italy.
But all of that changed earlier this week when the Bethesda, Maryland, based hotel chain announced it would bring the concept—headquartered in Madrid—stateside very soon. Marriott plans to open 200 new AC Hotels properties within the next decade.
Described on its website as "stylish, urban, cosmopolitan, and tailor-made for people looking for a new way of understanding, experiencing, and feeling the city," the AC Hotels brand caters to the tech-savvy, design-friendly, younger crowd with mid-priced nightly room rates. Guests have access to free WiFi and the AC Lounge (menus of cocktails, small plates, wines, and craft beers) along with the Workspace on Demand app, which allows guests to book a meeting space on their smartphone. Perks at AC Hotels' properties go beyond the expected with free museum passes and breakfast at some, including AC Hotel Valencia in Valencia, Spain, and a spa package with breakfast at AC Vila de Allariz Hotel in Ourense, Spain.
Two other hospitality brands have a similar mission in targeting younger clientele: InterContinental Hotel Group's Hotel Indigo and Starwood's Aloft. Tommie from Commune Hotels & Resorts (the new name for Thompson Hotels and Joie de Vivre) is a new brand announced just last week with two properties to open in New York City in 2015.
Kristine Hansen is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee where she reports on food, wine, and travel topics around the globe for Fodors.com, along with new-hotel openings. She also writes for Wine Enthusiast, TIME, Whole Living and American Way. In 2006 she co-authored The Complete Idiot's Guide to Coffee and Tea (Alpha Books/Penguin). You can follow her on Twitter @kristineahansen or through her web site.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Marriott/AC Hotels