Marriott, Schrager Announce New Edition Hotels

Although it's had a rocky start, Marriott's Edition brand — established with Ian Schrager, who famously created Studio 54 in the 1970s and Morgans Hotel, the world's first "boutique" hotel, in the 1980s — is getting a second chance, as the hotelier plans to open five new Edition hotels by 2015, it announced last week.

Edition, which Marriott describes as a collection of "customized, cutting-edge and one-of-a-kind" boutique hotels — its answer to Starwood's chic W chain — was first announced in January 2008, at which time Marriott said it planned to open nine hotels by 2010. Development was stalled, however, when hotel financing dried up in late 2008 and 2009. Since then, only two Edition-brand hotels have opened — one in Istanbul and one in Honolulu — and the Honolulu hotel has since re-branded, citing legal issues between the hotel's owner and Marriott.

"While the rollout of the Edition brand was slowed by the global economic downturn, we remain strongly committed to this brand and are dedicated to its continued development and success," said Marriott President and COO Arne Sorenson.

Marriott's new Edition hotels will be opened in "major global gateway cities on three continents," according to the company, which said construction already is underway on hotels in London and Miami — both opening in 2013 — as well as Bangkok and Abu Dhabi. Construction on a fifth property will begin later this year in New York, where Marriott is planning to open an Edition hotel in the city's iconic "Clock Tower" building. Additionally, contracts have already been signed for properties in Los Angeles and Gurgaon, India.