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New Ideas from Marriott: Communal Rooms and Automatic Booze Dispensers

Last week Marriott International gave the public a preview of some of the ideas the hotel megachain is considering for rollout in the coming months.

The sneak peek was given to attendees of the Americas Lodging Investment Summit in downtown Los Angeles.

One of the most talked-about concepts had to do with hotel layout; another had to do with booze.

The layout idea, which is being considered for the Element brand, calls to mind the suites in some college dorms. Under the configuration, a communal living room would be surrounded by a kitchen and four bedrooms. Marriott execs say the rooms could be rented by business colleagues traveling together or groups of friends attending bachelor parties and the like. If Marriott decides to move forward with the concept, there could be one such grouping of rooms on each floor of every Element Hotel. 

Another project in the works: an automatic wine and beer dispenser that can be controlled via smartphone. Guests would simply go to a website and press a drink icon, paying by credit card or redeeming a complimentary offering from the hotel. Within a minute, the machines would oblige.