Seeing double

Updated: 2014-07-12 06:54

By Pauline D.Loh (China Daily)

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 Seeing double

The large screen on the front of the Residence Inn/Courtyard building has become a landmark for downtown Los Angeles. Photo provided to China Daily

There are four Marriott brands in downtown Los Angeles, in two buildings. If you are thinking that does not add up, you may want to find out more about the group's strategies in twinning its brands. Pauline D. Loh reports from the City of Angels.

The carpet is a shade of orange fading into purple as you come out of the lift, and as you turn left, it becomes fully mauve while the floor to the right turns a dusky shade of sunset. That differentiates the two Marriott brands that occupy the building.

It is the first new hotel to open in downtown Los Angeles in decades and it houses the Courtyard and Residence Inn brands under the Marriott umbrella. The new building is already a visual landmark, situated as it is across the entertainment hub of LA Live, where the JW Marriot and Ritz-Carlton are already sharing a building, linked by an angled corridor.

At night, the side of the building lights up with an electronic display panel that promises to attract some very high-end advertising dollars with its premium spot - especially when it directly faces LA Live and the Staples Center.

Diane Mayer, vice-president and global brand manager of Residence Inn by Marriott, thinks double-branding is the way to go as the hospitality industry finds its level in the economic whitewaters.

That goes for the China market as well. There are already quite a few Courtyards in both Beijing and Shanghai, flying a little below the radar but serving the long-stay business traveler efficiently, if quietly.

As the luxury hospitality sector saturates in major Chinese cities, Marriott is already doing its homework with bringing in the double brands of Residence Inn and Courtyard, both catering to travelers who need long-stay accommodation for business or for family vacations.

As Mayer says: "It is a matter of 'when' and not 'if'."

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