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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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Hyatt Announces the First Hyatt-Branded Hotel in Malta

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Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced today that a Hyatt affiliate has entered into a franchise agreement with Bay Street Holdings Limited to develop the first Hyatt-branded hotel in Malta. Located on the scenic coastal destination of St. Julian’s, the 153-room resort is expected to open in 2021 as the ideal destination for every occasion – from seamless business meetings to memorable family vacations.

“We are thrilled to announce plans for the first Hyatt-branded property in Malta, a country rich in historic architecture and now quickly becoming one of the most sought after destinations for business and leisure travel,” said Guido Frederich, Hyatt’s regional vice president development, Europe. “This is a great opportunity to build on the current Hyatt Regency brand presence in Southern Europe, and we look forward to working with the highly experienced developers, Bay Street Holdings, to open a new, exclusive hotel in the area.”

Gaining popularity among leisure guests and high-end business travelers, Malta’s tourist numbers having doubled since 2010. Increasingly, visitors are choosing to stay at the coastal destination of St. Julian’s due to its proximity to shopping, restaurants and entertainment. Hyatt Regency Malta will be located only a short walk from the beach and marina, and less than 20 minutes from Malta’s international airport and the UNESCO World Heritage City of Valletta. Furthermore, the hotel will offer flexible event spaces and a five-story underground car park, providing a stress-free environment for corporate events, social gatherings and weddings.

“We are delighted to be working with Hyatt to bring a new resort offer to St. Julian’s – one of Malta’s most in-demand destinations,” said Albert Galea, chief executive officer, Bay Street Holdings Limited. “At Hyatt Regency Malta, guests will enjoy the seamless, intuitive experiences the brand is well recognized for.”

Through empathetic service that anticipates guests’ needs, the Hyatt Regency brand designs experiences to ensure productivity and peace of mind while traveling. Hotel guests will enjoy a full range of services and amenities, including notable culinary experiences, flexible spaces to work, collaborate or relax, and tools to stay connected and energized for meetings and events.

Hyatt Regency Malta will add to the growing Hyatt Regency brand portfolio in Europe, joining Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée, soon to open Hyatt Regency Barcelona Fira and Hyatt Regency Hesperia Madrid, and recently announced Hyatt Regency Lisbon.

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Marriott International Opens Second Four Points by Sheraton in Tanzania

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Marriott International, Inc. announced the opening of its second Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Tanzania, Four Points by Sheraton Dar es Salaam, New Africa Hotel. The original New Africa Hotel was built as the official residence of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1896. It was used as a hospital during World War I before being converted into a hotel during the British Empire. Sitting at the heart of the central business district of the city, overlooking the Harbor the hotel has since emerged as a landmark and an integral part of the burgeoning city. With the renovation and the rebrand the hotel continues to retain its unique charm, while delivering on the brand’s promise to provide what matters most to today’s independent travelers.

“Four Points by Sheraton Dar es Salaam, New Africa Hotel, is a great addition to our rapidly growing footprint in Africa and further consolidates the brands presence in Tanzania. We are confident that with its blend of stylish comfort and genuine service at a great value, the hotel will meet the rising demand for high-caliber lodging in this fast-growing market and soon emerge as a leading choice among business and leisure travelers,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International.

Designed for the modern traveler with an emphasis on approachable design, the 174 room Four Points by Sheraton Dar es Salaam, New Africa Hotel, features spacious and contemporary rooms including suites. It also offers an all-day dining, a coffee shop and a lounge-bar where guests can experience the brand’s signature Best Brews™ program and watch their favorite sports matches. The hotel also features The Spice Route, a signature restaurant overlooking the Harbor showcasing Pan Asian fine dining.

Other facilities include an outdoor pool and a state-of-the-art fitness center. With 1000 square feet of indoor meeting and banquet space spread across 12 flexible meeting rooms, the hotel is an ideal venue for gatherings of any size including elaborate social events and weddings.

The hotel offers the brand’s defining touches, including the Four Comfort Bed, complimentary bottled water in all rooms, fast and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and an energizing breakfast with freshly brewed coffee that helps guests start the day right.

“Our vision is to offer an uncomplicated travel experience for both business and leisure. Perfectly situated in the heart of the city, the hotel is at the epicenter, steeped in history and surrounded by local attractions,” said Siddharth Chaudhry General Manager, Four Points by Sheraton Dar es Salaam, New Africa Hotel. “We look forward to welcoming our guests with the brand’s signature warm and uncomplicated yet comfortable service.”

Four Points has proven to be a global hit with its distinctive identity and ability to meet the increasing demands of the modern, everyday traveler. The brand is experiencing incredible growth momentum having surpassed the 250th hotel milestone globally. Over the past two years in East Africa alone, the brand has opened Four Points by Sheraton Hurlingham, Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport and Four Points by Sheraton Arusha with Four Points by Sheraton Dar es Salaam becoming the fourth property to open in the region.

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Four Seasons Hotel Sydney Takes Luxury to New Heights

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Dedicated to providing guests with the best travel experience through innovation and improvements to continually set the highest standards in luxury travel and hospitality, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney is excited to announce a multi-million dollar enhancement project that began in late 2018 and continues this year.

The project will see the award-winning Hotel consistently classed by travellers and media experts as one of Sydney’s most luxurious hotels take 517 of its guest rooms through a remodelling with a design that evokes tomorrow’s Sydney and enriches the guests’ overall experience while at the property.  Guest arrival experience will also be elevated with refreshed public spaces, inclusive of guest floor corridors.

“Being the brand’s largest property globally, the planned remodeling of Four Seasons Hotel Sydney is a commitment to the organisation’s investment in Asia-Pacific, and more specifically, Australia,” says Bahram Sepahi, Regional Vice President and General Manager.

The new look rooms are very fitting for a luxury Sydney hotel of this calibre and capture the essence of Sydney itself. The rooms have been designed to be uplifting and also have a local feel about them. Each room will be uncluttered and contemporary, ideally suited to the needs of the modern traveller, leisure guest and business person alike.

The layout of each room will allow guests to make optimum use of the stunning views that take in the city, Sydney Opera House and the unmistakable Harbour Bridge.  Features of the beautifully designed new rooms include up-to-date technology such as large flat screen televisions to help guests relax and be entertained in privacy and complete comfort.

With the project commencing back in October 2018, a scheduled completion has been set for late 2019.  The remodelling proect will not affect the day-to-day operations of the Hotel. It will be business as usual as Four Seasons Hotel Sydney continues to welcome guests and focus on what it does best – providing exceptional and personal service.

All public facilities such as Mode Kitchen & Bar, award-winning Grain bar, spa, pool and Lounge 32 will continue to be available for use during this time.

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