Marriott International had an idea for Coachella in 2017 that no hotel brand had ever attempted before. The brand provided festival attendees and Marriott Rewards members with a chance to stay in one of eight safari-inspired tents. Each tent was created to look and feel like rooms from some of the company’s portfolio of lifestyle brands, including Moxy Hotels and Aloft Hotels.“Everything we are seeing now is all about the experiences,” said Ed Horne, evp of Endeavor, which partnered with Marriott on its 2017 activation at Coachella as well as the latest effort. “It is all about elevating the experience and sharing that out socially and digitally with your friends and followers.”
Instead of paying with real money for the yurts, Marriott opened a bidding platform on SPG Moments on Starwood’s website—Marriott acquired Starwood Hotels & Resorts in September 2016—and let members bid for the rooms using their accumulated loyalty points. The yurts went for as many as 822,500 points.
The activation was a major hit. So much so that Marriott decided to return to Coachella in 2018 for an equally exciting opportunity. Instead of tents, Marriott is offering guests a chance to stay in yurts, a circular tent, decked out with all the essential music festival necessities including Wi-Fi, a private restroom and shower, a stocked minifridge and 24-hour security. Marriott is modeling this year’s yurts on W Hotels & Resorts locations in Dubai, Barcelona, Bali and Hollywood.
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