Marriott International today launched a six-month home sharing pilot in London in collaboration with Hostmaker, a London-based home rental management company for homeowners who want to list their properties as short-term rentals. Marriott worked with Hostmaker to select about 200 homes throughout the city that align with the aesthetic and service values of its Tribute Portfolio brand. The homes are branded as Tribute Portfolio Homes.
In a statement released by the company, Marriott said that the short-term rental industry faces two fundamental issues: lower-quality products or little brand assurance, and a lack of professional property management to make sure rentals are vetted, meet certain standards, and comply with local laws. As part of the new partnership, Hostmaker—which normally provides home rental services like developing descriptions, taking property photos, cleaning, and guest services—will also ensure that the Tribute Portfolio Homes comply with relevant short-term rental laws in London, including nightly limits and collection of applicable taxes.
Hostmaker was one of the finalists selected as part of a Travel Experience Incubator program launched by Marriott International in 2017 together with Accenture and 1776, a global incubator and network for start-ups. For the pilot, Marriott worked closely with Hostmaker to identify homes based on their overall design, functionality, and location. While Hostmaker is typically responsible for overseeing the safety and security of the properties, as part of its partnership with Marriott, Hostmaker has further enhanced its compliance standards in order for properties to be included as Tribute Portfolio Homes.
The Tribute Portfolio Homes have one or more bedrooms, a full kitchen, and in-unit laundry. Guests will pay for the home accommodations when they book, and the cancelation policy is stricter than a hotels’—a full refund for cancelations within 48 hours after booking and 30 days prior to check-in; a 50 percent refund if cancelled seven days or more prior to check-in; and no refund for cancellation less than seven days in advance of check-in. The homes will provide pre-arrival housekeeping and interim cleaning at varied rates depending on the size.
Marriott said that guests of the Tribute Portfolio Homes will have access to 24/7 support and will have an in-person welcome/check-in experience. The London homes can be booked directly through a new website—TributePortfolioHomes.com—or through links on Marriott’s or Starwood’s website, and guests will receive immediate confirmation of booking. The company’s loyalty members will earn points for their stay and will be able to redeem points at the London homes starting in May 2018.
“The pilot is aimed at making sure that Marriott provides our guests the best possible experience for all their various travel needs and this latest offering will be complementary to our current portfolio of accommodations,” the company stated. “We understand that our guests–at times–may need a little more room and some of the amenities of home while traveling with family or in groups–and Tribute Portfolio Homes will have options designed to meet those needs.”