Marriott Launches 'Foodie' Website.
By Melanie Nayer ~ Exclusive Column
Wednesday, 9th November 2011
Ever leave a restaurant still salivating over your meal? Whether it's a traditional Thai steak salad from Phuket or the sushi pizza from Los Angeles, those culinary creations can be the catalyst for repeat hotel guests.

Bottom line: Good food leaves a lasting impression. As many hotels have put more focus on their food and beverage concepts, it's becoming more important to give potential guests a glimpse of what they'll see, smell and taste when they check-in.

With thousands of restaurants and bars in its repertoire, Marriott International is hoping to keep hotel guests and locals in the hotel, thanks to new a food and beverage website just launched from the hotel company.

The new Restaurant & Bar Showcase website1 highlights some of the hotel company's most famous restaurants, including those with celebrity chef partners or historical significance, as a way to introduce hotel guests and locals to the food concepts Marriott creates.

"The primary reason and motivations behind the site was to help create awareness and market our operations with the public and industry by "showcasing" our restaurant and bars, to show that we have passion for what we do," said Jeremy Dodson of Marriott. "We want to be able to illustrate that we are making aggressive headway in getting back to our roots; being known for food and beverage and developing destination restaurants."

The Restaurant & Bar Showcase will highlight restaurants at JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels & Resorts and Renaissance properties. You'll be able to make reservations at these restaurants via OpenTable.com or other booking sites, as well as share the restaurant info on Facebook and Twitter. The hope, according to Dodson, is that the website will help undecided travelers make a decision on where to stay.

"We want guests when making hotel reservations to became regular visitors to the Showcase Site, looking to see if there is a restaurant in that market helping them make decisions on on where they might stay and hopefully dine," said Dodson. "We want the public to recognize that we have relationships and partnerships with world class third-party operators such as BLT and Gordon Ramsey, again solidifying Marriott as a Food and Beverage Company and an attraction to great operators."

As for what restaurants are highlighted, that's an ongoing discussion. Dodson says the website will be updated quarterly, but don't expect to see seasonal menus or one-on-one interviews at this point.

"We want to concentrate on creating awareness with our restaurants globally," said Dodson. "We have created strict criteria that the restaurants and bars must meet to be included in Marriott's Food & Beverage Showcase. Future updates might include signature menu items, recipes and possible demonstrations similar to that of the cocktails."  

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Here's a list of the current restaurants featured on the Restaurant & Bar Showcase website:

  • 606 Congress at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront;
  • SolielK, featuring seasonal California dishes and Altitude, named by Playboy Magazine as one of the hottest bars in the US, both at the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter;
  • Rita's Kitchen and Laurent Tourondel's iconic BLT Steak, both at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona;
  • Brasserie Lipp at the JW Marriott Mexico City;
  • High Velocity, the popular sports bar with a 120- foot wrap around video screen at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country;
  • Rock-and-roll chef Kerry Simon's LA Market at the JW Marriott Los Angeles at  LA LIVE; 
  • Chef Dean Max's Latitude 41 at the Renaissance Columbus in Ohio;
  • Mercat A La Planxa at the historic Renaissance Blackstone in Chicago;
  • Chef Melissa Kelly's award-winning Primo Restaurant, which features fresh ingredients picked from the hotel gardens at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes and the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resorts;
  • Summer Winter, Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier's restaurant at the Boston Marriott Burlington truly embodies the farm-to-table mantra.
  • The Berlin Marriott's hot Catwalk Bar featuring mixologist Lynn Stark's tea infused cocktails;
  • London's Grosvenor House: A JW Marriott Hotel's authentic American steakhouse JW Steakhouse;
  • Le Relais Du Parc at the Renaissance Paris Le Parc Trocadero;
  • Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey's maze at the London Marriott Grosvenor Square;
  • Pinxo at the Renaissance Paris Vendome;
  • The historic Saddle Room at The Shelbourne Dublin – a Renaissance Hotel.
  • Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant Dynasty at the Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View in Hong Kong;
  • Food Street at the China Hotel – A Marriott Hotel in Guangzhou celebrating the best of Chinese cooking;
  • Fratelli Fresh, the Renaissance Mumbai Hotel & Convention Center's Italian restaurant, which uses its own garden to incorporate the freshest ingredients;
  • Kabuki, the JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa's dramatic Japanese restaurant; the JW Marriott Beijing's sophisticated Loong Bar known for its Dragon Iced Tea; 
  • Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong's R Bar, which is a social hub from morning till night;
  • Shakahari at the Pune Marriott in India, which offers authentic Asian cuisine from Thailand, Japan and China;
  • Tsu and Nami, the JW Marriott Bangkok's sushi and teppanyaki bars linked by a sake bar in the middle.
1 - www.marriott.com/food-and-beverage/hotel-restaurants-and-bars.mi

Melanie Nayer is a hotel reviewer and expert on luxury travel around the world. She has covered all aspects of hotels including corporate restructures, re-branding initiatives, historical aspects and the best of the best in luxury hotels around the world.

Melanie writes a weekly exclusive column for 4Hoteliers.com
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