1 PRESS RELEASE, FEBRUARY 2012
2 ANTONIO CATALAN, VISION AND LEADERSHIP To understand AC Hotels by Marriott it is essential to understand the figure of its founder and current chairman, Spanish entrepreneur Antonio Catalan, regarded as the best hotelier in Spain in the words of J.W. Marriott Jr himself and in the view of much of the sector. An iconic entrepreneur in both the tourism sector and the economic scene in Spain, his trajectory has been defined by his entrepreneurial spirit and innovative approach to business challenges. Thanks to his management skills, decision-making ability and risk awareness, and together with the efficient team he has surrounded himself with, he has successfully run AC Hotels from its beginnings and continues to do so with the new team that now includes members of Marriott International. Antonio Catalan has dedicated his life to the hotel industry, opening his first hotel at the age of 29 in Pamplona, the Hotel Ciudad de Pamplona, which would be the cornerstone of the hotel chain he founded that still exists today: NH Hotels. In the following years he drove the company s expansion, making it the biggest chain of city hotels in Spain at that time, notable for its ground-breaking model and unique identity. In 1997, after almost 20 years at NH Hotels, Antonio Catalan decided to sell his shareholding in the company and in 1998 he embarked on a new business phase with the start-up of a new hotel venture, AC Hotels, which has now united with the American giant, Marriott International. 2
4 AC HOTELS BY MARRIOTT AC Hotels by Marriott is the new brand that has emerged from the alliance between AC Hotels, the company founded and chaired by Antonio Catalan, and the hotel group Marriott International Inc., headed up by J.W. Marriott Jr. The official announcement of the joint venture between the two companies, whereby Marriott takes over 50% of the management of AC Hotels by Marriott, was made in October The official presentation of the new brand, which currently encompasses 77 hotels in Spain, Italy and Portugal with a total of over 8,000 beds, took place at FITUR in January The outcome of this merger combines the strengths of both companies: the exceptional product and experience of AC Hotels with the global distribution systems and commercial platforms of Marriott International. The agreement arose from the joint objective of turning AC Hotels by Marriott into the leading brand of four-star city hotels in Europe and Latin America. In addition, the hotels in the chain, which are characterized by their high standards of design, comfort and quality, joined the Marriott Rewards program in November 2011, one of the world s biggest loyalty programs in the hotel industry with over 35 million clients, through which the customers of AC Hotels can earn points and exchange them for free stays in 3,600 hotels in over 70 countries where Marriott International operates. 4
5 AC HOTELS, AC Hotels was established in 1998 by its founder and current chairman, Antonio Catalan. The Spanish chain based its growth from the outset on a model that promoted product consistency as the brand s benchmark, guaranteeing the utmost quality in every hotel in the chain with a particular vocation for customer service as its hallmarks. These principles allowed the company to successfully develop its strategy and expand its range, reaching spectacular national coverage in record time. From its first year of operation the chain has enjoyed consistent growth, setting up hotels in all the main Spanish cities and opening up new markets in Europe. All its hotels are a faithful reflection of a very individual, avant-garde and functional style. In short, the trajectory of this young chain comprising modern, urban, functional hotels featuring contemporary, minimalist, elegant designs, cutting-edge technology and highquality service has consolidated AC Hotels as the hotel chain of reference in Spain for both business and leisure customers. Amongst other accolades, the chain has won the Prince of Asturias Award for Business Excellence, was named the best Spanish hotel company by Gran Hotel in 2009 and was chosen by Expansión as the best Spanish hotel company in which to work. 5
6 AC HOTELS BY MARRIOTT, 2011 At the end of 2010, AC Hotels announced it had reached an agreement with the US market leader Marriott International (NYSE: MAR) to form a joint venture to create the brand of AC Hotels by Marriott, with each company holding a 50% shareholding, to manage the hotels in the chain. In January 2011 the new brand was presented in the incomparable setting of FITUR 2011, the most important travel trade fair in Spain, where Amy McPherson, the president of Marriott International for Europe, and Antonio Catalan gave a press conference to introduce the new brand to the specialist media. In June 2011, J.W. Marriott Jr, the chairman and CEO of Marriott International, visited Spain to announce the definitive merger together with Antonio Catalan. At the beginning of 2012, AC Hotels by Marriott had 77 establishments in Spain, Italy and Portugal after placing five of its 5-star hotels (AC Santo Mauro, AC Palacio del Retiro, AC Santa Paula, AC Baqueira Ski Resort and AC Palacio del Carmen) under the prestigious banner of the Autograph Collection, one of the brands in the Marriott International portfolio that includes luxury independent hotels with a unique personality. The alliance between AC Hotels and the US multinational Marriott International marks the start of a new era for the chain, in which its objectives and challenges will be set at an international level. It is thus seeking to reinforce its position in the market by combining the strengths of the two companies, incorporating the successful concept and operating model of stylish fourstar city hotels conceived by AC Hotels and the global sales and distribution platforms of Marriott International, especially Marriott Rewards, one of the world s biggest loyalty programmes in the hotel sector with 37 million users, which AC Hotels joined at the end of The strategic union that has given rise to this new joint brand was an innovative step in the Spanish hotel industry, setting a course to follow in the Spanish tourism sector and demonstrating, once again, the leadership and vision of its founder and chairman, Antonio Catalan. The four-star city hotel model of AC Hotels by Marriott is characterized by product consistency as its quality guarantee. These are highly functional designer hotels that incorporate the latest technologies, offering impeccable service standards and positioned in the most convenient locations for their customers. This product and hotel model has been chosen by the North American multinational to expand in the upper-moderate tier of four-star city hotels, primarily in Europe and Latin America.
7 Marriott Rewards is the biggest loyalty program in the hotel industry with more than 37 million customers worldwide. Having now joined this club, stays at AC Hotels by Marriott establishments will earn points that can be exchanged for gifts, travel and stays in any of Marriott s 3,600 hotels in 70 countries around the world, including such prestigious brands as JW Marriott, Marriott, The Autograph Collection, Renaissance, Residence Inn, Courtyard, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites and Bulgari Hotels & Resorts; not to mention AC Hotels by Marriott. Members of the Marriott Rewards program can earn points or air miles for every euro they spend during their stays in any of the participating hotels. They can also earn points through companies associated with the Marriott Rewards program. Points are accrued in the member s account while air miles are automatically sent to the associated airline s frequent flyer programme. Points can be used to get rewards such as free stays in hotels, air miles, combined packages that include flights, car hire, cruises and a long list of exclusive offers and benefits that can be enjoyed on every trip. Rewarding Events allows members of the Marriott Rewards program to earn points from organizing events in any of the program s affiliated hotels, with the possibility of earning up to 50,000 points on a single event towards courtesy hotel nights. Rewarding Events rewards the organization of all kinds of events, whether this is a conference, business meeting or social occasion. There are three ways of becoming a member of Marriott Rewards, designed to make it easy to join the program in the shortest possible time: by registering directly at the hotel reception; on the website or on making a booking. Members must be individuals (not companies) and may only hold one account at the same time. Once the membership number has been assigned, new members can start earning Marriott Rewards points or miles immediately. 7
8 VALUE PROPOSITION AC Hotels by Marriott combines the principles of both companies and is based on a firm commitment to its customers, making them the focal point of all its services. The new brand enjoys extensive geographical coverage with a presence in a host of highly attractive cities that are the top destinations for both business and leisure travellers. In addition, the product boasts the strength of Marriott International which brings on board commercial skills that are the envy of the global hotel industry, including benchmark distribution and sales platforms and the power of its development division. The value proposition of AC Hotels by Marriott is based on outstanding product quality and broad coverage which is now at the disposal of Marriott clients all over the world. 8
9 THE AC PRODUCT: DESIGN, QUALITY AND INNOVATION A young, cosmopolitan, urban range of hotels, tailor-made for people looking for a fresh way of understanding, feeling and experiencing cities. A product based on meticulous care of every detail, on avantgarde design, on the most exacting quality standards and on a passion for innovation and new technologies. Everything geared towards customer satisfaction. The differentiating strategy of the location of all the hotels and continuous innovation, renovation and maintenance of infrastructures by an in-house design team guarantees the outstanding quality that epitomises the chain. The AC product is based on addressing the needs and desires of its customers in the most efficient possible way, in a constant quest to exceed their expectations. AC Hotels by Marriott is committed to a clear strategy of differentiation in its product and services, strengthening the characteristics that have always defined the hotel chain and investing constantly in new technologies, using them as the medium for recognising and fulfilling customer needs. AC Hotels by Marriott uses the internet and the most cutting-edge technology available as an essential channel for communications, management and direct sales to customers. The incorporation of Marriott International s new distribution channels and marketing tools allows AC Hotels by Marriott to increase its visibility and availability for international travellers wherever they may be, as well as providing information on their tastes and preferences to be able to provide them with tailor-made offers. The staff of AC Hotels by Marriott, a perfect combination of experience and highly qualified young professionals, is responsible for forging long-term relationships with our guests, offering them the highest level of service on the market. The commitment of AC Hotels by Marriott has won the recognition and confidence of customers with a model based on adding value to all its activities, which has translated into the main hallmark of the chain. 9
10 THE AC STANDARD The AC Standard comprises a series of services that together make up the outstanding quality and comfort that identifies all the hotels in the chain. As well as offering these services as a consistent feature of every hotel, wherever they may be, particular attention is given to renovating the hotels with upgraded spaces and new materials of the highest quality. Maintaining the quality of these services, which are enjoyed by every guest of the chain, is the main hallmark of AC Hotels. 10
11 AC ROOMS All the rooms in the hotel chain have a series of characteristics that make them unique and different, a hallmark of quality: four pillows, special reading lamps built into the headboards, free minibar, individual climate control, stateof-the-art televisions, high-speed Wi-Fi, laundry service and 24 hour room service. AC BATHROOMS A wealth of exclusive details combine with impeccable standards to meet the needs of the most demanding traveller. AC LOUNGES All AC hotels have an innovative area that helps to make every stay in the hotel a true pleasure. This innovative and unprecedented concept offers a unique space which is open to every guest; the ideal place for working in the utmost comfort or simply relaxing and winding down. The AC lounge features a reading area, a TV corner, a spacious and comfortable area for working and a bar where you can enjoy a varied selection of dishes inspired by Mediterranean cuisine; quick, simple and healthy to suit every taste. THE AC BREAKFAST The breakfast at all AC hotels is characterized by its wide selection of fresh, high quality, well balanced dishes. You will find a wide selection of fresh fruit and freshly-squeezed orange juice; freshly-baked rolls and pastries; a variety of breads served with butter, jams, honey and chopped fresh tomato with olive oil; home-made sponge cakes; a cheeseboard; a selection of oils; platters of charcuterie; whole and skimmed milk; yoghurts and cereals; fine coffee, and a range of instant hot chocolate and herbal teas to choose from. FITNESS CENTER The fitness centre is perfectly equipped for hotel guests use and is an absolutely essential feature of every hotel in the chain, yet another example of the high level of service that is provided as standard throughout the chain to round off our exceptional product.
12 GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OF AC HOTELS BY MARRIOTT The AC Hotels by Marriott brand has a total of 77 hotels in Spain, Italy and Portugal. The Autograph Collection has five 5-star hotels: AC Palacio del Retiro Hotel, AC Santo Mauro Hotel, AC Santa Paula Hotel, AC Baqueira Ski Resort and AC Palacio del Carmen Hotel. AC Hotels by Marriott can be found in: - 65% of towns with more than 50,000 inhabitants in Spain - 70% of Spanish provinces and 65% of provincial capitals - 14 of the 15 largest Spanish cities - 10 of the 11 biggest cities in Italy and the two main cities in Portugal 12
13 ADDRESS ROOMS TOTAL SPAIN A Coruña AC Hotel A Coruña C/ Enrique Mariñas, s/n 116 Álava AC Hotel General Álava Avenida Gasteiz, Alicante AC Hotel Alicante Avda. de Elche, AC Hotel Ciutat d Alcoi ( Alcoy) C/ Colón, 1 84 AC Hotel Elda Plaza de la Ficia (Avda.Chapí, esq. C/ Rosales) 90 Almeria AC Hotel Almería Plaza Flores, 5 97 Asturias AC Hotel Oviedo Forum Plaza de los Ferroviarios, AC Hotel Gijón Avda. de Oviedo, Badajoz AC Hotel Badajoz Avd. de Elvas, s/n 106 Barcelona centro AC Hotel Barcelona Forum Pso Taulat, AC Hotel Irla C/ Calvet, AC Hotel Victoria Suites C/ Beltrán i Rozpide 7-9 ( antes Avda. Pedralbes, 17 ) 50 AC Hotel Sants Passeig de Sant Antoni, Barcelona Provincia AC Hotel Som C/ Arquitectura AC Hotel Gavà Mar C/ Tallinaires, AC Hotel Martorell Avd. Pau Claris, s/n 92 Burgos AC Hotel Burgos Avda. de la Isla, Cádiz AC Hotel Algeciras C/ Hermanos Portilla s/n. 108 AC Hotel La Línea C/ Los Caireles, 2 82 Córdoba AC Hotel Córdoba Avd. de la Libertad, AC Hotel Córdoba Palacio Paseo de la Victoria, s/n. 162 Cuenca AC Hotel Cuenca Avd. Juan Carlos I, s/n. 81 Gerona AC Hotel Palau de Bellavista Pujada Polvorins, Gran Canaria AC Hotel Gran Canaria C/ Eduardo Benot, Guadalajara AC Hotel Guadalajara Avd. del Ejército, Huelva AC Hotel Huelva Avd. de Andalucia, s/n 65 AC Hotel Nuevo Portil Golf Urb. Nuevo Portil, s/n. 69 La Rioja AC Hotel La Rioja C/ Madre de Dios, León AC Hotel León San Antonio C/ Velazquez, AC Hotel Ponferrada Avd. Astorga, 2 60 Lleida AC Hotel Lleida C/ Union, Madrid Centro AC Hotel Aitana Pso. Castellana, AC Hotel Atocha Calle Delicias 42 (esquina con Calle Méndez Álvaro) 161 AC Hotel Avenida América C/ Cartagena, AC Hotel Carlton Madrid Paseo de las Delicias, AC Hotel Cuzco Pº Castellana, AC Hotel Madrid Feria Via de los Poblados AC Hotel Monte Real Arroyofresno, AC Hotel Recoletos C/ Recoletos, AC Hotel Los Vascos C/ Los Vascos, 27 48
14 Madrid Provincia AC Hotel La Finca Pº Club Deportivo, 1, Parque Empresarial la Finca Ed AC Hotel Alcalá de Henares C/ Octavio Paz, AC Hotel Aravaca Camino de la Zarzuela, AC Hotel Arganda Avd. Madrid, AC Hotel Coslada Aeropuerto Camino de Rejas, AC Hotel Rivas Vaciamadrid C/ Francisco Quevedo, 2 84 AC Hotel San Sebastian de los Reyes Avda. Cerro del Águila Málaga AC Hotel Málaga Palacio C/ Cortina del Muelle, Mallorca AC Hotel Ciutat de Palma Plaza Puente, 3 84 Murcia AC Hotel Murcia Avd. Juan Carlos I, s/n 107 Navarra AC Hotel Ciudad de Pamplona C/ Iturrama, AC Hotel Ciudad de Tudela C/ Misericordia, s/n 42 AC Hotel Zizur Mayor (Pamplona) C/ Etxesakan, 3 73 Ourense AC Hotel Vila de Allariz Rua Fuxon esq. Paseo Do Arnado s/n 39 Palencia AC Hotel Palencia Avd. de Cuba, Pontevedra AC Hotel Palacio Universal (Vigo) C/ Carral, Sevilla AC Hotel Ciudad de Sevilla Avd. Manuel Siurot, AC Hotel Sevilla Forum C/ Luis Fuentes Bejarano, AC Hotel Sevilla Torneo Avenida Sánchez Pizjuan, Tarragona AC Hotel Tarragona Avd. de Roma, Toledo AC Hotel Ciudad de Toledo Ctra. De Circunvalacion, Valencia AC Hotel Valencia Avda. De Francia, Valladolid AC Hotel Palacio de Santa Ana (Valladolid) C/ Santa Ana, s/n. 98 Zamora AC Hotel Zamora Avd. Principe de Asturias, Zaragoza AC Hotel Zaragoza Los Enlaces C/ Pilar Miró, 1 76 ITALIA AC Hotel Arezzo Via Einstein, 4 79 AC Hotel Brescia Via Giulio Quinto Stefana, AC Hotel Bologna Sebastiano Serlio, AC Hotel Firenze Via Baussi, AC Hotel Genova Corso Europa, AC Hotel Milano Via Tazzoli, AC Hotel Padova Via Prima Strada, , Padova. Italia 98 AC Hotel Pisa Via delle Torri, AC Hotel Torino Via Bisalta, AC Hotel Vicenza Via Carducci, PORTUGAL AC Hotel Lisboa Largo do Andaluz, 13B. Complexo Sottomayor 83 AC Hotel Porto Rua Do Estadio, AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION AC Hotel Palacio del Carmen C/ Oblatas, s/n 74 AC Palacio de Santa Paula Hotel Gran Via de Colon, AC Baqueira Ski Resort Avda. Perimetral, s/n. Urbanización Val de Ruda 102 AC Santo Mauro Hotel C/ Zurbano, AC Palacio del Retiro Hotel C/ Alfonso XII, TOTAL AC Hotels By Marriott Autograph Collection 350
15 RESERVATIONS You can make reservations at any AC Hotel in Spain, Italy and Portugal, 24/7, by calling You can also visit PRESS OFFICE AC Hotels by Marriott Press Office Andrea Zarraluqui Tel