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Take That, Hilton: Marriott Gets into Bed with Schrager in LA
Downtown and Hollywood are about to get an infusion of stylishness overnight stay options, as hotel mega-chain Marriott has announced plans to partner up with Ian Schrager to bring new boutique hotels to LA called Edition.
Schrager, who first danced into the pop-culture spotlight as a co-creator of New York's legendary Studio 54, has made a name for himself since the 80s as a hotelier, and is credited as the innovator of the "boutique" hotel concept. Talks of his partnership with Marriott hit the news in the fall, with this week's announcement naming the first cities that will get a new Edition. In addition to LA, new hotels will be springing up in Paris, Madrid, Miami's South Beach, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Costa Rica, and Scottsdale, Arizona.
The unlikely duo makes for curious bedfellows, but the PR all reads with favorable spin. A November 2007 article in the TimesOnline UK explains: "By combining Schrager’s aesthetic integrity and cachet with its own mass-market experience and organisational muscle, Marriott hopes to attract a younger, wealthier, more fashionable traveller and gain entry into the fastest-growing sector of the market."
Bill Marriott blogged this morning (are we really meant to believe Bill's a blogger?) about attending a party last night in Beverly Hills held in honor of the announcement, and credits his new partner for the idea: "Edition was the brainchild of Ian Schrager. He's the guy who created the whole boutique hotel segment [...] Ian is a creative genius and that's one of the reasons why we partnered with him seven months ago."
Right now two Edition hotels are planned for LA--one each in Downtown and Hollywood--and all of the buildings will have a different style and decor, for which Schrager will design the themes and concepts. The hotels are expected to align with the boutique vision of hip gathering areas and an exclusive nightclub-esque atmosphere, along with innovative and distinct architecture. The Los Angeles outposts are anticipated to be completed in three years, and will each boast about 200 guest rooms. Schrager previously put his stamp on West Hollywood's Mondrian Hotel.