Marriott is testing contactless check-in via kiosk as travel begins to return – see how to works

Moxy Times Square Exterior
  • Marriott is testing contactless check-in and check-out kiosks and a “grab-and-go marketplace.”
  • The hotel giant is looking to “blend” contactless amenities with face-to-face interactions.
  • The demand for contactless solutions has been on the rise throughout COVID-19.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
COVID-19 spurred a demand for contactless services, and Marriott is now leaning into this by testing its new contactless arrival kiosks and markets, eliminating the need for face-to-face check-ins or snack purchases, respectively.

Large F&B Kiosk Rendering   credit No Brick LLC for Marriott International
The grab-and-go marketplace.

Stephanie Linnartz, the president of Marriott International, has reaffirmed in a press release that COVID-19 has pushed the need for contactless amenities. This echoes the sentiments shared across several industries, from credit card companies to airlines

The kiosks, which help speed up the check-in process, can already be seen at several Marriott locations.

Moxy NYC Times Sq_Contactless_Kiosk_01   credit Marriott International
Moxy NYC Times Square hotel’s contactless kiosk.

These locations include:

  • Moxy NYC Times Square
  • Courtyard New York Manhattan/Midtown East
  • TownePlace Suites Monroe 

The kiosks will also soon be available at Marriott’s Moxy Miami South Beach location.

 

Guests can also grab their room keys from the kiosks, which are equipped with touchscreens that have “antimicrobial technology.”

Moxy NYC Times Sq_Contactless_Kiosk_02   credit Marriott International
Moxy NYC Times Square hotel’s contactless kiosk.

Upon leaving, guests can also opt to check-out from the same kiosks, eliminating the need for any in-person interactions.

Similarly, the hotel giant is also testing its “grab-and-go marketplace” at two Maryland locations: the Fairfield Inn and Suites Frederick, and the Fairfield Inn and Suites Arundel Mills BWI Airport.

Small F&B Kiosk Rendering   credit No Brick LLC for Marriott International
The grab-and-go marketplace.

Craving a hot breakfast sandwich or a little cup of yogurt? Just head to the marketplace kiosks. These stands will offer a variety of both hot and cold snacks and drinks, including the daily complimentary breakfast.

Payments can then be made directly at the kiosks.

Marriott’s push for contactless services isn’t new.

Moxy NYC Times Sq_Contactless_Kiosk_01   credit Marriott International
Moxy NYC Times Square hotel’s contactless kiosk.

The hotel giant already has contactless features that can be accessed through the Marriott Bonvoy app, including check-ins and outs, the room key, food orders, and service requests. 

The new kiosk offerings “help streamline operations,” according to Marriott.

Large F&B Kiosk Rendering   credit No Brick LLC for Marriott International
The grab-and-go marketplace.

However, the hotel giant won’t be going fully digital, and is instead looking to “blend” contactless options with face-to-face interactions, according to Linnartz.

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Marriott is betting on longer vacations becoming the new normal

Outdoor Patio at TownePlace Suites
TownePlace Suites’ outdoor patio.

  • Travelers have been booking longer vacations since the start of COVID-19.
  • As a result, Marriott has seen a rising demand for its “longer stay hotel” brands.
  • The hotel chain is now growing these brands’ locations and rooms.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Marriott is catering to the COVID-19 trend of longer vacations with a new suite of locations and rooms under its “longer stay” brands.

This desire for extended trips has been growing since people began considering travel again amid COVID-19. And according to a Vrbo survey of 2,200 US-based travelers in December 2020, almost 40% of those surveyed said their next trip would be “at least” a week.

Like other travel providers, Marriott has noticed increasing interest for its “longer stay” hotels, Tina Edmundson, global brand and marketing officer of Marriott International, said in a press release. According to Marriott, this demand stems from both leisure and business travel, with business travelers looking to spend more time out, and leisure “small group” visitors looking for new places to vacation and work remotely.

Now, the hotel giant is looking to capitalize on this travel trend by opening 575 new locations under its “longer stay brands.” These Marriott chains – which include Element Hotels, Residence Inn, and TownePlace Suites – already amount to a combined total of 1,400 hotels.

These long-term oriented offerings mix bigger rooms with extra amenities, including work centers, WiFi, breakfast, and gyms.

Studio Commons at Element Hotels
Element Hotels’ studio commons.

Marriott’s Element Hotel – which was designed to appeal to the “healthy, active traveler who wants to maintain a balanced lifestyle while on the road” – will now be offering “Studio Commons.” This consists of a suite with four bedrooms and a shared living room.

The living room’s dining space can also be used as a communal desk for traveling digital nomads.

The Studio Commons rooms will be available at these six locations:

  • Element Atlanta Buckhead
  • Element Nashville Vanderbilt West End
  • Element Sedona
  • Element Moab
  • Element Bend
  • Element Miami Downtown (opening November)

The hotel giant’s other longer-stay brand, Residence Inn, currently has 870 locations with suites that feature sleeping, leisure, working, and cooking spaces, among other amenities.

Marriott recently opened Residence Inns in several cities, including Marina del Rey, California, and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Upcoming Orlando and Dubai locations are slated to open this month.

One Bedroom Suite at Residence Inn Marina del Rey
Residence Inn Marina del Rey’s one-bedroom suite.

Similarly, Marriott is rapidly expanding its TownePlace Suites – a “reliable experience to stay productive and upbeat,” according to Marriott – footprint with new recently opened locations in Orlando and Albuquerque, New Mexico. TownePlace currently has 450 hotels under its belt and will be opening two more in Cincinnati and Milwaukee by this summer.

Are you a travel industry employee or have a travel industry story to share? Contact this reporter at bchang@insider.com.

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