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We’ve tracked down where Marriott’s London ‘Four Points Express’ budget hotel will be

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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 we’re now at 34.

Accor staff will laugh when they read this just …. “Just 34? Beginners, we’re well over 40 …..”

Last October, it 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 bathroom

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 Turkey, but the second country to get one will be the UK. Four Points Express by Sheraton London Euston will open this summer with 201 guest rooms.

Marriott had been very cagey about the hotel which is being converted, which seemed odd. You may now realise why!

The Four Points Express will be the renovated County Hotel on Upper Woburn Place. It is a stones throw from Euston station and only two minutes walk from the British Library, St Pancras and Kings Cross.

The County Hotel appears to have been one of the worst large hotels in London. Here are extracts from a sample review:

“Avoid! The worst hotel I’ve been to in my life …. The [shared] bathrooms and showers are disgusting, very dirty, have no amentities in them. The room is tiny and dirty. Bed is not comfortable, walls are thin, you can hear everything even with ear plugs.”

To be fair, a different reviewer, ‘William T’, gave his stay ‘6 out of 10’ and it’s listed as a ‘4-night romance trip’. Let’s hope the relationship survived.

It certainly wasn’t expensive. I saw a review from 2022 where the guest had paid just £35 per night – although they still weren’t happy: “I don’t think the place has been decorated since the 70s and outside our room stunk of urine”.

Here are some photos from Hotels.com, where it still has a page (click to read). This is well worth looking at for entertainment value. These are the marketing photographs still being used by the hotel in 2022.

No expense had been, erm, expensed on room decoration:

and

The bar doesn’t seem to have a lot going for it:

…. and neither does the restaurant:

Here’s the good news!

As you can see here:

Four Points Express London Euston hotel

…. renovation is now underway to turn the hotel into the Four Points Express by Sheraton London Euston. We can only hope that it’s a full renovation.

The signs are positive. The owners, Splendid Hospitality Group, also own Hilton London Bankside, which is great (here’s our recent Hilton London Bankside review) and The Grand in York (a very smart five star) so they know how to run good hotels.

But there’s bad news for Bonvoy members ….

There is one snag. Marriott has announced that Four Points Express hotels will have reduced points earning AND reduced elite night earning in Marriott Bonvoy.

You will only earn 5 points per $1 spent (usually 10 points). Perhaps worse, you will only earn one elite night towards status for every two nights you stay. A one night stay will earn NO elite night credits.

These seems odd, especially in London. Moxy EXCEL is around £75 per night much of the time. I doubt Four Points Express will be cheaper than that, but the Moxy gives full elite night credits and full Bonvoy points.

Anyway …. we will check out Four Points Express when it opens in a few months.


How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (June 2024)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

HUGE 60,000 POINTS BONUS UNTIL 3rd JULY and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

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

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (65)

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

  • Paul says:

    I think it’s funny IHG call HIX upper mid scale.

    Most premier inns are a lot better than HIX hotels, apart from the fact Premier inns now close the bar at 10pm).

    • Gordon says:

      10pm? Many Premier inn hotels have a pub attached or adjacent to them with a standard licence that allow the bars to be open from 11am until 11pm. From memory the one on Bath road, Hounslow has a later licence, 12am or even 1am! But I’ve never stayed up that late, as I only ever stay there if I have an early morning flight.

    • Andy says:

      Think it depends which HIX you end-up in the newer ones are really good the older ones less so

    • Blair Waldorf Salad says:

      Same logic as to M&S calling a tent sized top a medium

    • TGLoyalty says:

      You might want to stay at a moxy then … bar continues for residents for quite a while

    • Bagoly says:

      Certainly very different from English “Upper Middle Class”!

  • Lady London says:

    Looks like a bad Ibis, except it’s in an old building.

    If they completely gut it then it could do well.

    Let’s face it they can definitely fill it one way or another. As if it’s poor quality there is enough ridiculous pricing for rubbish in the London hotel market, to give them an umbrella for pricing that’s still quite high even if it turns out to be low quality.

    • David Farmborough says:

      I’ve never been in a IBIS that looked anything like that so you must be confused.

  • Chris W says:

    You’d struggle to find a bed in a 6 bed hostel dorm room for £35 per night!

    That looked like excellent value for that price.

  • TGLoyalty says:

    Just looks like it’ll end up as a travelodge but part of Marriott. If I was 20 again it would be fine. Maybe even now if there was a reason to be in the area for a single night pre Eurostar or something.

    If the room is as per the renders and clean, quiet and the right temperature can’t really complain can you?

  • David says:

    If they are doing proper renovation – and it looks like it needs it – why not go straight to a target brand, rather than a conversion brand.

  • Axel says:

    These express hotels are only one elite nights credit for every two nights stayed. This will annoy the points collector fraternity.

  • tw33ty says:

    Half the points and night credits only one per two nights, o think is be avoiding this unless it was a hotel of last resort.

  • r* says:

    Why would anyone choose to stay there unless its much cheaper than anywhere else if you get no status credit from it? Presumably they hope ppl book without realising?

    • Bagoly says:

      Never stayed there, but the food in the restaurant about 10 years ago was surprisingly decent. (turned up at the Gilbert Scott Bar to find it full)

    • Geoff says:

      Because most people probably don’t care about status etc as they don’t stay with a chain enough for it to be relevant

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

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