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Marriott announces (yet another) new brand – and we try to guess the London conversion

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Like many hotel groups, Marriott Bonvoy appears to have an addiction to launching new brands. Is it time for a weekly ‘hotel brands anonymous’ group? I think this one makes it 32.

Accor staff will laugh when they read this just …. “Just 32? Beginners, we’re well over 40 …..”

This time round, it has announced a sub-sub-brand which is good going. It is called Four Points Express by Sheraton.

Four Points Express logo

Four Points was originally positioned as a budget brand which played off the Sheraton reputation, but with a limited service offering. Clearly the new brand is even more basic “Express”.

Marriott is calling it “affordable midscale”, in the lower 3-star range. IHG’s Holiday Inn Express is seen as ‘upper midscale’ so technically it sits below that in terms of quality, although it’s probably much of a muchness.

Marriott’s developer website cuts through much of the marketing speak:

“Developed specifically for the Europe & Middle East market, Marriott International’s new Four Points Express franchise brand offers a light operational and design model, enabling owners to capitalize on growing consumer demand in the midscale segment, while taking advantage of Marriott International’s powerful operational engines and proven expertise.

Whether for work or leisure, our guests are busy and on the move. They need a comfortable and affordable place to rest and recharge. They expect an easy, uncomplicated stay and don’t want to spend extra on services they don’t need. Clean, comfortable, and in a convenient location, Four Points Express delivers a seamless experience, all for the right price.”

The website goes on to outline the brand requirements which include (and I quote):

  • Food & beverage: Breakfast required, lunch and dinner optional. Retail optional.
  • Guestrooms: 14-22sqm. Quality essentials: good shower, bed, and connectivity
  • Fitness: Allowed if existing
  • Public space: Design signatures
  • Meeting Rooms: Boardroom optional

Looking at the renders, it appears that one of the cost savings will be removing carpets from bedrooms, which I imagine require more maintenance than laminate flooring:

Four Points Express room

Four Points Express seems an odd brand to launch in Europe, where the Four Points brand has very little penetration. There are less than 20 Four Points hotels across Europe in total (including one in the UK) so it’s not as if the existing Four Points brand is over-utilised.

Four Points Express is a conversion brand

Marriott isn’t the only hotel group to push into the midscale hotel segement; IHG also recently announced its own brand, Garner. According to Satya Anand, President, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA),

“Midscale is a resilient industry segment that currently represents almost 1.2 million rooms in EMEA, and 68% of those rooms are unbranded.”

Like Garner, Four Points Express is a conversion brand, meaning there are very few fixed brand standards. This allows hotels to quickly (and cheaply) join the brand without having to make expensive renovations or buy brand-specific furniture such as a prescribed model of bed. Marriott also talks about “competitive terms” in terms of franchise fees.

The UK will be the second country to get a Four Points Express

The brand will make its global debut in the UK when the Four Points Express by Sheraton London Euston opens in 2024, with 201 guest rooms. The first sites will be in Turkey.

Marriott will not disclose the hotel which is being converted. We are told that it will be undergoing a “significant” renovation before opening.

A bit of snooping leads us to believe it could be the NYX Hotel London Holborn, formerly the Grange Holborn Hotel, on Southampton Row. This is only a guess though.

The Grange Holborn had the required 201 rooms before it was converted to an NYX. NYX now claims to have ‘213 rooms and suites’ although some booking sites say ‘201 rooms and 10 studios’. The location roughly fits what we know (“less than 500 metres from Euston Station and one kilometre from Kings Cross and St Pancras International”) and the NYX rooms are relatively small, fitting the Four Points Express model.

That said, the hotel is still operating as NYX so we could be totally wrong (sorry NYX if so!). If it did convert, the renovation would require a substantial DOWNgrading of the current features, which include “eye-catching artwork, large padded leather headboards, teak sideboards, fully stocked mini Smeg fridges, Nespresso coffee machines, and bespoke ‘Dream’ beds” as well as “a 13-metre Greco-Roman indoor swimming pool with retractable flooring to create a private events space, a steam room, sauna, fitness centre, and treatment suites.” This sounds a bit excessive, so we could be totally wrong!

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Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

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Comments (26)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • None of your business says:

    How are you able to speculate this about the NYX. I worked closely with the hotel and their Director of Sales and don’t think they’ll be very happy with what your saying unless you’re 100% sure this will be a rebrand.

    • Rob says:

      It’s a best guess, as the article implies. Nothing more, nothing less.

      It’s the only London hotel with 201 rooms though.

      • Richard says:

        That’s what it implies now that you’ve changed both the title and the wording…

        • Rob says:

          We changed the title as it was admittedly more definitive than the body text was.

  • MKB says:

    The NYX is at least 1.2km from the front of Euston. I think there are other one or two hotels further up the road closer to Euston currently being refurbished iirc.

    • Bagoly says:

      Yes, how about the Imperial or the President (both much less grand than those names imply)

      • Rob says:

        President is 523 rooms, the Imperial is far bigger if you mean the Royal National – in fact, it’s the UK’s biggest hotel at 1,630 rooms apparently.

        • Sara says:

          Not the Royal National, the Imperial that is now closed but was over looking Russell Square, a block down from the Kimpton, but again i believe it had in excess of 500 rooms

  • Bagoly says:

    “Marriott’s developer website” – for a minute I was wondering why you were looking at software development specs! 🙂

    It was news to me that some brands are not permitted to have gyms.
    If only actually has a consistent list of requirements for each brand we could understand the differences between them.

  • Dave says:

    Existing fitness facilities are allowed.
    If it is the nyx hotel then hopefully they’ll keep the swimming pool and leisure facilities. This is a major selling point.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Incompatible with a hotel pitching itself below HIX though surely?

      • Rhys says:

        It’s not a brand standard so it doesn’t matter. Brand standards guarantee minimum requirements everything else is a bonus

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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