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March Madness® Inspires Travel Experiences

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Marriott International is gearing up for game day in its third year as the Official Hotel Partner across all 90 NCAA® championships. The is a multi-year partnership with Marriott International, NCAA, Turner Sports and CBS Sports. As Spring signals the start of March Madness®, fans will prepare to travel to this year’s Men’s Final Four® championship in Minneapolis from April 6-8 and the Women’s Final Four® championship in Tampa from April 5-7. Across the country, Marriott International hotels will welcome students, alumni, families and fans as they cheer on their favorite teams throughout the tournament.

Marriott International offers loyalty members elevated sports, food, music and entertainment experiences through Marriott Bonvoy Moments. Members have the opportunity to use their points to bid on exclusive Moments at the Men’s and Women’s Final Four® games, including the Ultimate Men’s Final Four Weekend Experience in Minneapolis and the Ultimate Women’s Final Four Weekend Experience in Tampa.  One package is available for each Men’s Final Four and Women’s Final Four including tickets, VIP access and overnight accommodations.

“We are passionate about the spirit of community and comradery felt by so many when traditional boundaries are broken through sports. This resonates with our hotels, as we too place a strong focus on serving all guests around the world,” said Steve Heitzner, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Marriott International, Americas. “March Madness® and NCAA® represent more than a collegiate competition and we feel honored to be the meeting place for so many fans, students, alumni and athletes to continue the celebration after that final buzzer rings.”

“This is always one of the most exciting months for our collegiate athletes and their fans who travel near and far to watch our NCAA tournament games,” said Ellen Lucey, NCAA director of championships and alliances. “We are excited to have Marriott International as our corporate partner as Marriott supports our student-athletes and their achievements. The synergies between our brands are strong, which allow us to create memorable experiences for our colleges and universities and our fans.”

As fans travel from Louisville, Washington, DC, Anaheim and Kansas City to Minneapolis, Marriott International hotels look forward to being the home base for the many emotional moments experienced during March Madness®. In addition to the games, here are a few reasons why hosting cities are some of the top places to visit this Spring.

Louisville, KY isn’t just home of the Kentucky Derby’s Churchill Downs, but it also has an incredible art scene, booming with charming local shops. Those who stay at the Aloft Louisville Downtown, a modern hotel with retro-inspired interiors, can explore the best of the city. Those musically inclined can stroll down to Fourth Street Live! and enjoy live music by new and seasoned artists.

Anaheim, CA appeals to travelers of all ages and those planning to visit Disneyland® Resort and beyond. Anaheim Marriott is located in the city’s resort district offering the perfect location to explore. Guests can also head to the beach to try surfing or sailing and enjoy that California sunshine.

Washington, DC welcomes visitors to explore its many vibrant neighborhoods.  Experience the District through the eyes of a local and go beyond the traditional sites on The National Mall. The luxurious JW Marriott Washington, DC on the famed Pennsylvania Avenue is located near the Capital One Arena, making it a prime home base for gameday travelers.

Kansas City, MO is a hotspot for some of the best barbecue, has a prominent jazz heritage, and fountains galore – there are more than 200 fountains throughout the city. Between the Sweet Sixteen® and Elite Eight® games, fans can hunt down as many fountains as they can or hit up some barbecue hotspots including the famed Joe’s Kansas City Barbecue, born out of a gas station. Sports fans can rest their heads after the big game at The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center.

Tampa, FL is hosting the Women’s Final Four® games, and is a city to watch over the next couple of years. The city boasts many new areas to explore like Sparkman Wharf which uses shipping containers for shops and restaurants, the new Tampa Riverwalk, a 2 mile stretch – brought more to life within the last year, including Armature Works, an upscale European food hall, as well as Water Street which is close to the championship games. Part of the National Register of Historic Places, the century-old Historic Federal Courthouse has been transformed into Le Méridien Tampa in the arts and entertainment district of downtown.

Minneapolis, MN is not only an unexpected foodie haven but it is also the host of the Men’s Final Four® championship. This year, in partnership with Marriott International, Buick will bring its fan favorite “Grab A Buick” fleet of vehicles to the Twin Cities in record numbers, providing fans free transportation during the Final Four® Festivities. The “Grab A Buick”  will shuttle fans around and allow them to experience the new Buick lineup while exploring all that the Twin Cities has to offer. “Grab A Buick” hubs will be set up at more than 10 Marriott International hotels, the Mall of America and local hot spots around the city to enhance the fan experience. Travelers can check the Final Four App for additional details. After the excitement of the Final Four® games, sports fans can rest easy at the W Minneapolis – The Foshay, which merges Art Deco decadence with modern urban chic and take in 360-degree views of the city from the 30th floor observation deck.

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Hotels & Resorts

Mandarin Oriental To Debut At Costa Navarino In Spring 2023

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Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and TEMES S.A., a leading developer and operator in high-end tourism and real estate, will introduce the first Mandarin Oriental property in Greece, at Costa Navarino – the prime sustainable destination in the Mediterranean – in spring 2023.  

Mandarin Oriental, Costa Navarino will be located at Navarino Bay, an integrated resort area at Costa Navarino, in the region of Messinia, southwest Peloponnese, amidst a breathtaking 140-hectare natural landscape, overlooking the historic Bay of Navarino. 

The beachfront luxury resort will feature 99 guest rooms, including 48 spacious earth-sheltered pool villas, all with outdoor terraces and stunning sea views, along with five restaurants and bars. Crafted by renowned Greek architects, Tombazis & Associates Architects and K-Studio, the unique design is aligned with Costa Navarino’s sustainable principles, featuring planted roofs blending into the natural topography of the land and the use of local materials.

Additionally, this ultra-premium resort is set to feature a 1,500 m2 spa and fitness center with a stunning 25 m indoor-outdoor pool and sweeping sea views, complemented by state-of-the-art heat experiences and Mandarin Oriental’s signature wellness therapies in specially designed indoor treatment rooms and outdoor pavilions.

“We are delighted to be opening our first property in Greece in Costa Navarino and look forward to sharing this striking combination of unspoiled landscape, olive groves, pristine beaches and authentic Greek culture in the region with our guests,” said James Riley, Group Chief Executive of Mandarin Oriental. “We are pleased to partner with TEMES, the group that has been responsible for the creation of Costa Navarino as a bourgeoning tourism destination.”

“Mandarin Oriental is renowned for delivering exemplary service and exclusive experiences in some of the most noted properties around the world,” said Achilles V. Constantakopoulos, Chairman of TEMES. “We are proud to have the Group bring their hospitality expertise for the first time to Greece, signifying the further growth of Costa Navarino, which is becoming a top international destination to visit and to live”.

Navarino Bay is already home to The Bay Course, an 18-hole signature golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones II, as well as the award-winning earth-sheltered Bay Clubhouse, which harmoniously blends into the lush landscape, overlooking the Bay of Navarino.

Guests of Mandarin Oriental, Costa Navarino will also benefit from the destination’s other resort areas, and experience a vast range of outdoor activities, from biking and hiking to rock-climbing, tennis and water sports, as well as three more signature golf courses. Additionally, a variety of dining venues and leisure activities are available across Navarino Dunes and Navarino Waterfront.

Moreover, Mandarin Oriental, Costa Navarino will be adjacent to Navarino Agora, an open marketplace with retail, artisanal street food, open-air cinema, and authentic local experiences by day and night.

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Marriott International Signs Agreement to Debut W Costa Navarino

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Set to welcome guests this summer, W Costa Navarino will bring detail-driven design and inspiring energy to the new Navarino Waterfront

Marriott International, Inc. today announced it has signed an agreement with TEMES S.A., a leading developer and operator in high end tourism and real estate, to debut the W Hotels Worldwide brand in Greece with the opening of W Costa Navarino. Expected to open in summer 2022, W Costa Navarino is anticipated to mark the latest addition to the ever-expanding W Escapes portfolio in Europe following locations in Spain, Switzerland and Portugal.

The new W Escape will be located in Navarino Waterfront, the newest integrated resort of Costa Navarino – the prime sustainable destination in the Mediterranean. The 13-hectare beachfront destination is located in Messinia, southwest Peloponnese. Designed by renowned Greek architects, Tombazis and Associates Architects, W Costa Navarino is inspired by the region’s traditional residential areas and set to use local, natural materials such as stone, wood and reed. The distinctive interiors will be led by London-based MKV Design. The Escape is expected to feature 246 stylish rooms, suites, and villas, many with private pools staged in the Bay of Navarino with stunning Ionian Sea views.

‘‘We are thrilled to build on our fantastic relationship with TEMES S.A. to open W Costa Navarino, strengthening Marriott International’s presence in this Mediterranean paradise,” said Candice D’Cruz, Vice President – Luxury Brands, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International. “Joining our portfolio of coveted W Escapes around the world, W Costa Navarino will add a distinct take on modern luxury to Navarino Waterfront. We look forward to welcoming free-spirited travelers to this new luxury playground.

W Costa Navarino is set to offer five dining venues including a destination beach club overlooking a long sandy shore, designed by Athens-based K-Studio. The ‘Culinary Square’ is the hotel’s playful take on a deli food market with individual outlets creating a socially driven destination for all day dining. Other planned amenities include a sunset bar and the signature W Living Room. Guests will also be able to enjoy experiences and dining at neighbouring venues in Costa Navarino including the new Navarino Agora, an open marketplace with retail, street food, open-air cinema and exciting programming throughout the day and night.

“W Costa Navarino will generate a unique energy encouraging free expression and connection between a diverse mix of people, whilst respecting and honoring authentic experiences and cultures. In this important chapter for the growth of the destination, we believe W Costa Navarino will significantly contribute to our vision in further establishing Messinia as a top international destination to visit and to live,” said Achilles V. Constantakopoulos, Chairman TEMES S.A.

Tennis courts and a water sports hub are part of the vision for guests to enjoy at W Costa Navarino, along with access to the destination’s four signature golf courses and an array of outdoor programming including biking, hiking, rock-climbing and sailing.

There are currently two Marriott International properties in Costa Navarino— The Westin Resort Costa Navarino, offering travellers and families countless well-being activities and The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort, offering exquisite architecture, butler service and epicurean experiences.

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5 Reasons To Go Offline at Four Seasons Resorts in Bali

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Free WiFi is expected at five-star hotels nowadays, and as such it’s a standard inclusion for guests of Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay and Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan. But the paradox of the internet and social media can be a very anti-social holiday where our phones never leave our sides. Here, we present five exclusive Four Seasons experiences that will inspire you to be in the moment. Ranging from water blessings to high-flying yoga and surf tours, you’ll be disconnecting from the internet and reconnecting to each other and the wonderful world around you.   

Can You Keep A Secret? This exclusive temple tour is not on anyone’s bucket list. We ask guests to help us keep it that way, by resisting the urge to post the temple on social media. If you agree, our guide will take you on a scenic three-hour tour from Four Seasons Sayan in an open-air vintage VW through nearby yet untouched rice farming villages. Visit historic sites include a secluded water temple where you are welcome to bathe, or simply to enjoy the serene and undiscovered atmosphere far from selfie sticks.

Learn to surf in the sheltered confines of Jimbaran Bay or take a boat trip to explore Bali’s world-class breaks with Tropicsurf’s coaches and guides. On-site at Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay, the Tropicsurf philosophy is based on small groups (maximum four people) and avoiding the crowds to take your surfing to the next level, faster. For the ultimate adventure, take Asia’s only heli-surfing tour to ride uncrowded waves in pristine conditions off the east coast of Java.

Bali is home to thousands of beautiful Hindu temples. We invite you to go beyond the most famous landmarks and explore hidden gems like the Goa Gong 9th century cave temple. Open to visitors by appointment only, this natural archaeological site is nearby Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay. Our resort priest Ajik Ngurah will be your guide to explore the cave’s shrines and stalactites, and can also arrange a melukat water purification ritual. Not something you want to be holding your phone for!

Discover the beauty of the Ayung – Bali’s longest river and part of the ancient UNESCO World Heritage-listed subak irrigation system. Our guided Four Seasons Private Rafting Adventure takes you through easy rapids flanked by virgin jungle, rice terraces and majestic gorges. Hop out of your raft and let yourself float down a quiet and calm stretch of the river, gazing up into the canopy overhead. Make a riverside landing directly at Four Seasons Sayan, where we’ll be waiting to welcome you back home. 

Experience the intimacy of Trust Yoga, the newest addition to the inspiring wellness program at Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay. Head to the ocean-front yoga pavilion and partner up with your soul mate, a friend or relative. Take turns being guide and flier, with postures that both require and build trust, strengthening your bond to each other and extending your practice. Our yoga instructor will lead each couple through this joyful 75-minute class, adapting postures to suit all levels. A fun way to connect emotionally and physically to someone special in your life, and a reminder that the best connections are human connections.

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