Marriott International’s Autograph Collection has landed its first property in the Bahamas, and it’s a big one: Atlantis Paradise Island.
Executives at Marriott announced they have reached an agreement with Atlantis that will bring the vast Nassau resort into the Autograph Collection in fall 2014. The 3,400-room resort in Nassau will become the collection’s first Bahamas property and its largest hotel.
The Autograph Collection is Marriott’s exclusive portfolio of over 60 independent hotels in key locations across the globe: from a 15-room boutique hunting lodge in the mountains of Colorado to a 19th-century neoclassical palace in Prague and the 2,995-room Cosmopolitan Las Vegas.
In its announcement, Marriott said Atlantis “will operate under a franchise agreement with Marriott and benefit from the company’s global sales and reservations organization, 45-million member Marriott Rewards loyalty program and Marriott.com which generates more than $9.6 billion in gross room bookings annually.”
Atlantis is owned by Brookfield Asset Management and independently managed. George Markantonis, president and managing director of Brookfield Hospitality and Atlantis, said the agreement “could arguably be the single most significant tourism stimulus for the Bahamas in this decade. This strategic and beneficial partnership will help grow visitation of Marriott International loyalists to the country and open a broader channel for guests to visit Atlantis from around the world.”
Good news for Marriott
Marriott executives were equally enthusiastic.
“Having Atlantis Paradise Island join our Autograph Collection is a milestone achievement for the brand and the company,” said Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International. “We are excited to partner with Brookfield and put the full power of Marriott behind one of the world’s most spectacular and popular resorts, while adding to our global resort portfolio in a key destination where we know our guests want to travel.”
Craig Smith, president of Marriott’s Caribbean and Latin America region, said, “This is an exciting time for hotel development in the region, where we have over 50 hotels under development and expect to offer more than 150 hotels by 2017 across ten lodging brands in 27 countries and territories.”
Atlantis is an ocean-themed destination offering a variety of guest accommodations. It has 40 restaurants, bars and lounges; operates the largest casino in the Bahamas; offers extensive meeting facilities; and has a marina. It’s all built around a 141-acre waterscape comprised of fresh and saltwater lagoons, pools and habitats.
Marriott said the acquisition is part of an “aggressive strategy to grow its lifestyle portfolio and inspire many of the world’s premier properties to partner with Autograph Collection.” In 2013 alone, the company opened nearly 26,000 new rooms and signed a record 387 projects with 67,000 rooms, and at year end had more than 195,000 rooms under development across five continents. Marriott has 18 brands in its portfolio, the broadest in the lodging industry. Nearly 25 percent of its properties are in the luxury and lifestyle category, and the company has plans to add more than 200 hotels over the next several years–an investment of some $15 billion.