Marriott isn't pronounced the way you think it is

Marriott International, with 7,000 properties around the world, just reached that number with the opening of the St. Regis Hong Kong. The stunning, 27-story luxury hotel in Wan Chai, steps from the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, is an example of the company’s strategy to focus on its luxury brands.

Marriott is the family name of the company’s founder who started in 1927 with an A&W Root Beer stand and moved into the lodging business in 1957 with a motor hotel in Arlington, Virginia. The rest, as they say, is history — and Marriott International is now a global enterprise with 30 brands, including Tribute Portfolio, their newest collection. Vibrant social scenes and unique character describe the new brand which just opened The Dalmar in Fort Lauderdale and The Sarasota Modern in Sarasota.

Also in the Sunshine State, Tampa Marriott Water Street is in the midst of a major renovation that will open its back patio to the Riverwalk with an exciting new restaurant. Nearby, a JW Marriott is under construction and promises to be an elegant addition to the neighborhood.

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And after all this time and many stays at their hotels, I have just learned from a member of the Marriott team that the company name and family name, pronounced correctly, should rhyme with “chariot.” Most of us have been saying MarriOTT, as if we were going to talk about an “otter,” like that cute swimming animal. Now we know.

Marriott International’s 125 million loyalty members have recently become part of the company’s newly launched program, Marriott BONVoY, which replaced Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) with new benefits and a name that means “good travel” as in “Bon Voyage.” That shouldn’t be too difficult to pronounce.