AC Hotels by Marriott debuts in Greater China with Suzhou property opening

17 January, 2023

AC Hotels by Marriott, the design-led lifestyle brand from Marriott Bonvoy, has made its brand debut in Greater China with the opening of AC Hotel by Marriott Suzhou. This marks the introduction of a seventh brand in the group's Select Brands portfolio into the region.

Known as the 'Venice of the East,' Suzhou is an ancient water town filled with elegant waterways, quaint alleyways and peaceful pavilions. The new property is situated in the heart of the city's historic Gusu District.

The picturesque ancient water town of Suzhou is renowned for its postcard-perfect water channels and canals, home to some exquisitely designed Classical Chinese Gardens that strike a balance of function and beauty. This makes it "the ideal destination to debut the design-driven AC Hotels brand in the country," according to Matthew Boettcher, vice president and global brand leader, Distinctive Select Brand Portfolio, Marriott International.

Interior and exterior highlight Suzhou elements

Adding a serene and minimalist touch to the hotel, the exterior design takes cues from traditional Suzhou architecture with its use of whitewashed walls, dark grey clay tile roofs and folds of geometries.

As for the interior design, the hotel has focused on a careful blend of contemporary and traditional elements, allowing for an authentic yet modern decor that belongs to Suzhou. The hotel lobby features a number of art pieces that pay homage to the new Suzhou Museum, designed by world-renowned architect I M Pei.

Guestrooms and suites draw inspiration from town's classical gardens

The hotel is home to 135 guest rooms and suites including five garden rooms featuring a private outdoor garden. Drawing inspiration from Suzhou's classical gardens, the guest rooms are decorated with silk paintings inspired by the ancient city map. All rooms are well-equipped with amenities including, a 55-inch high-definition LCD television, a walk-in shower, and complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi.

Hotel incorporates AC brand's trademark collaborative spaces

The hotel features a range of collaborative spaces, including the AC Kitchen all-day dining restaurant, a signature AC Lounge with an outdoor terrace. The hotel also houses a 50-square-metre multi-functional space, providing versatility for banquets and business meetings and a 24-hour fitness centre.

Marriott doubles Chinese Sheraton properties incorporating brand's design transformation

Earlier this year, CTC reported how Marriott has continued the transformation of the Sheraton Hotels & Resorts brand across the globe, with more than 30 properties displaying the brand's design transformation by the end of 2022.

Greater China now features eight properties with the modernised design concept with Sheraton Xi'an South, Sheraton Ningbo Xiangshan Resort, Sheraton Nanjing Kingsley Hotel & Towers and the soon to open Sheraton Xi'an Chanba joining Sheraton Guangzhou Hotel, Sheraton Mianyang, Sheraton Zhaoqing Dinghu, and Sheraton Chengdu Pidu as transformed Sheraton-branded properties in Greater China.

Sheraton plans to continue its transformation journey in the region with the brand expecting additional hotels to showcase the new modernised look next year with the openings of Sheraton Beihai Resort and Sheraton Lanzhou Anning.

See related CTC report: Marriott doubles Chinese Sheraton properties incorporating brand's design transformation

JW Marriott arrives in Berlin; second property in Germany

Elsewhere in the world and across its portfolio, Marriott has also unveiled its second JW Marriott property in Germany with the opening of JW Marriott Hotel Berlin. The property is owned by one of the leading hospitality investment companies Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company (ARTIC) and represents the conversion of the Hotel Berlin Central District.

Located on the central Stauffenbergstraße street, the 505-room JW Marriott Hotel Berlin is directly adjacent to Tiergarten, one of the largest urban gardens in Germany boasting almost 520 acres of forested ground, tree-lined paths, and sparkling lakes.

Interiors have been led by design practice El Ghoneimi, with references and inspirations from the neighboring Tiergarten found throughout the hotel with a color scheme of dark green and warm browns complemented by bright marble.