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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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The Luxury Collection Debuts in Cyprus With Parklane, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa

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The Luxury Collection®, part of Marriott International Inc., today announced the opening of Parklane, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Limassol. Owned and operated by Parklane Hotels Limited, the property marks Marriott International’s entry into Cyprus – and the first international luxury branded resort in the country. Parklane joins an ensemble of over 100 Luxury Collection hotels and resorts in more than 30 countries and territories, offering world travellers indigenous and intimate, local experiences.

“We are excited to put Cyprus on the map for our Global Explorers as our newest property in the region,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection. “With a deep-rooted history that today can still be experienced by visiting iconic landmarks such as the medieval Limassol Castle, paired with modern architecture and cultural happenings, the vibrant coastal city of Limassol is one of the most up and coming destinations in the world today.”

A 15-minute drive east from Limassol – the storied city on the southern coast of Cyprus – Parklane is situated on 100,000 square metres of lush, landscaped gardens and boasts a 300-metre pristine sandy beach. Upon arrival, the resort welcomes guests via a picturesque lane that snakes through a verdant grove of locally grown olive, citrus and palm trees. Each of its 274 guestrooms and suites, designed by Harrods Interiors, presents bright, open-plan living with a fresh and contemporary finesse, many featuring terraces with commanding views of the Mediterranean Sea and the rolling Troodos mountains beyond. The 52 suites, some set over two storeys with sleek architectural flair, entice with teak-decked private pools.

For guests seeking privacy and tranquillity, the resort boasts an adults-only wing comprising of 16 Lifestyle Suites and a swimming pool. Each suite celebrates expansive views of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea, with some also featuring private pools.

“From our recent opening in the storied city of Yerevan to a debut in the historic country of Cyprus, The Luxury Collection continues to offer a gateway to the world’s most exciting and desirable locations,” said Jenni Benzaquen, Vice President, Luxury Brands – Europe, Marriott International. “We are thrilled to welcome our newest Luxury Collection hotel in Europe and our first hotel in Cyprus, offering an extraordinary opportunity for our guests to discover this vividly beautiful island, crystal blue waters and unique cultural offerings.”

Locally Inspired Cuisine

Culinary enthusiasts will be enthralled by the variety of cuisine offered at the resort, from fine dining to light poolside bites. Fresh fish and local seafood from the surrounding region are at the heart of the innovative menus, which are full of native flair. Guests can enjoy Cypriot grill dishes made using a traditional wood-burning oven and barbecue pit as well as cocktails or local wines at Dafne, Italian fare served al fresco at Il Teatro, Mediterranean seafood served in unique settings arranged as small islands floating in a pool at Islands and can indulge in a casually elegant evening at The Grill.

Parklane will also offer special immersive experiences for guests to discover the rich food and wine culture of Cyprus with its series of Epicurean Journeys. Designed and spearheaded by the hotel’s Head Sommelier, the weekly wine tasting will celebrate of the diverse flavors of the region and showcase wine as an integral part of the traditional Cypriot diet. Under the expert direction of the hotel’s culinary professionals, the island’s sacred coffee ritual will be showcased to guests who can prepare their own authentic coffee in a traditional copper pot cooked slowly in sand.

Immersive Experiences

One of the hotel’s hallmark experiences for guests seeking a restful retreat is the 3,000 square metre Kalloni Spa. This luxurious space takes its cues from the sea, from its two outdoor and two indoor seawater pools to its relaxing and revitalising Thalassotherapy menu. These cutting-edge treatments draw on seawater and the marine environment for their many benefits to health and well-being. The spa is also collaborating with a number of brands such as VOYA, which focuses on organic, seaweed-based beauty products and treatments, and Biologique Recherche for its clinical and raw ingredient treatments.

Additional spa features include a barbershop where treatments are tailored using Gentlemen’s Tonic products, a Carol Joy hair salon, and a state-of-the-art Parkfit gym that will boast Excite Engaging Cardio, Selection Pro and Connected Strength equipment.

For junior explorers, the spirit of adventure is very much alive at Parklane, where a pirate ship with water jets and slides, and a two-storey princess castle crown the enviable 3,000 square metre Park Kidz. A dedicated restaurant and mini football pitch will keep young guests entertained when not splashing in the pool or playing games at beach. Aspiring footballers can also enroll at the seasonal Parklane Football Escapes academy, which offers an exceptionally rare opportunity to train with former international football stars during school holidays. Weeklong courses will be available for children aged between five and fifteen to train for up to two hours a day, in complete personalized kit, under the guidance of UEFA licensed coaches and English Premier League football stars including Rio Ferdinand and Bobby Zamora.

Additionally, the resort is also home to three tennis courts, three outdoor and one indoor swimming pools and a PADI diving centre, with horse riding and golf courses close by.

Inspiring Meetings

Parklane’s corporate offering has undergone a multi-million-euro investment, elevating the resort’s credentials as a highly desirable destination for meetings and events throughout the year, as well as a leading venue for Cyprus. Ultra-modern facilities include seven meeting rooms that can be converted into 11 professional conference spaces. The 800 square metre Diamond Ballroom, complete with a built-in stage, can hold up to 600 people, be split into two sections and tailored to meet the requirements of any large event.

Treasured Destination 

Parklane’s Luxury Collection Concierge team will invite guests to explore Cyprus and its most famous destinations with a bespoke tour from the hotel’s Head Concierge. The island boasts several deeply historical sites, such as the Ancient Amathus Archaeological Site, just 11 kilometres east of Limassol and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which dates back to 1100 BC. The Head Concierge will share stories and secrets from ancient times that have shaped and enriched the history of the island.

A visit to the spectacular treasured Lefkara Village, located at the foot of the Troodos Mountains, will tell the story of Leonardo da Vinci’s visit in 1841. Leonardo himself was so impressed by the skills of the embroiderers, he is said to have bought one as a gift for Cathedral in Milan where it featured in his celebrated painting, The Last Supper.

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Mandarin Oriental Announces New Hotel And Residences In Istanbul

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Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has announced that it will manage a second luxury hotel in Istanbul, Turkey. The project, which also features branded residences, is scheduled to open in 2022.

The new development comprises three standalone towers and is located in the exclusive Etiler residential area, close to the city’s central business district.  One of the towers will house Mandarin Oriental Etiler, Istanbul with 158 guestrooms and suites and 16 serviced apartments. The remaining two towers will house 251 luxurious Residences at Mandarin Oriental. UNStudio from Amsterdam has been appointed as the master planner and architect.

The hotel will have three restaurants and bars, and a selection of adaptable meeting spaces with outdoor areas and terraces, ideal for hosting both business and leisure events. There will also be a spa and fitness centre, offering the Group’s award-winning signature wellness programmes as well as locally inspired treatments. The hotel will have both an indoor and outdoor swimming pool.

The Residences at Mandarin Oriental will feature some of the most exclusive homes in the city, providing owners with extensive private gardens and impressive views of the Bosphorus. Owners will also enjoy Mandarin Oriental’s legendary service and direct access to the hotel’s facilities.  In addition, there will be a full suite of bespoke resident facilities, including two outdoor swimming pools with city skyline views, a fitness centre and six beauty treatment rooms.

The owners and developers of the project are Astaș Holding A.Ş and Yapi & Yapi.  This is the Group’s third venture in Turkey with Astaș Holding A.Ş who is the owner of the Group’s two other Turkish properties – the award-winning Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum and Mandarin Oriental Bosphorus, Istanbul which is scheduled to open in 2020.

“We are delighted to be announcing a second Mandarin Oriental property in Istanbul, together with an exciting luxury residential project. We look forward to extending further the Group’s presence in one of the world’s most historic and vibrant cities,” said James Riley, Group Chief Executive of Mandarin Oriental. “Operating two complementary hotels in a single city is something that the Group has already done successfully in Hong Kong and will soon do in London. We believe there is room for more than just one Mandarin Oriental hotel in certain select destinations around the world.” he added.   

“Having strengthened our successful collaboration with Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group in Bodrum, and through the upcoming opening of Mandarin Oriental Bosphorus, Istanbul it is our intention to establish this second Istanbul property, uniquely located in the prestigious district of Etiler, as one of the world’s most impressive addresses. The project is slated to cater to a discerning clientele who enjoy this legendary city so rich in history and culture, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia,” said Astaș Holding A.Ş, and Yapi & Yapi’s Board of Directors.

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Luxury meets Elevated Glamour for Events at Beverly Wilshire

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Beverly Hills, home of fashion, luxury, and red carpet events. And Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel certainly has its own share of the action by hosting over 153,000 guests at events every year. From weddings to bar mitzvahs and galas, the trusted nine person team has over 115 years of experience. Read through some of the many ways they can “wow” guests at your next event:

The dedicated Catering team can transform any space. Take for instance during awards-season when they transformed the Rodeo Alleyway into a marvelous Red Carpet entrance,  perfect for celebrities and royalty alike!

The recently $1 Million renovated Grand Ballroom boasts a beautiful room complete with new mirrors and lighting, as well as a new stage curtain and chandeliers, reminiscent of the Hollywood Regency style.

Only Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel features two rooftop terraces, overlooking the Hollywood Hills from the Royal Suite or the legendary Drive from the Rodeo Terrace.

38,351 sq ft is the total event space amongst our 13 function spaces; 14,300 of that makes up our Grand Ballroom which happens to be one of the largest in the city, holding up to 880 people.

The recently renovated Le Grand Trianon was once transformed into an ice skating rink.

Lined with lush greenery, the Rodeo Terrace is the most requested space for weddings, providing breathtaking views of Rodeo Drive to create lasting memories and magical “I Do’s”. 

Explore the legendary glamour of Beverly Hills at Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel and ignite the imagination with matchless event options.

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