Marriott Launches Pop-Up Innovation Lab

BETHESDA, MD—Marriott International Inc. has launched its first pop-up hotel innovation lab, creating an interactive model hotel experience in downtown Los Angeles to crowdsource real-time feedback from the public. The lab will let industry professionals, hotel guests, associates and the public see, touch, taste and hear some of the enhancements being considered for the Aloft and Element brands. 

Among them include the following:

• Element is piloting a new guestroom design that will have a communal room in the center of four guestrooms, allowing travelers to share a kitchen, dining room and lounge area.

• Aloft will be revitalizing its F&B program with an emphasis on healthy ingredients. The meals will be customizable in a “pot,” a colorful to-go container, to be paid for at a digital kiosk; pots will be time-stamped and labeled with their chef’s emoji.

• The company is also exploring tech-centric beverage concepts, such as a portable wine cart for Element that automatically pours wine when activated by a guest’s hotel room key card.

“We’re excited to unveil Marriott’s first-ever, pop-up innovation lab for Aloft and Element—two phenomenal brands that are always evolving as guests, lifestyles and technology change,” said Eric Jacobs, chief development officer, North America, Marriott Select Brands, Marriott International. “We’re also eager to collect and utilize feedback from the ownership community, which has expressed tremendous enthusiasm for both brands.”

Every person who passes through the lab will have the opportunity to offer their feedback in real-time through Swurveys, a swipe-able survey. The feedback will be reflected in the Aloft and Element brands as they roll out this guest experience beginning in the fall.

“Innovation is embedded in Marriott’s values,” said Toni Stoeckl, global brand leader and VP, Distinctive Select Brands. “We’re driven by creating solutions that elevate, innovate and evolve the guest experience, fueling guest loyalty and maximizing the value of our owners’ investments. It’s how we stay relevant to guests today and tomorrow, while providing a meaningful competitive advantage to our partners.”

In October, the company unveiled its first M Beta hotel for its flagship Marriott Hotels brand at Charlotte Marriott City Center, a functioning hotel that doubles as a hotel in “live beta.”