Lonely Planet Writer

How one hotel group is adapting to the Airbnb era

The world of travel accommodation is rapidly changing. Where once we simply had the choice between motels, hotel and B&Bs, now, a diverse range of options all over the world are available to holiday-makers, backpackers, day-trippers, remote workers and business-people. With that in mind, established hotel brand Marriott International has taken a step into the home-sharing market, launching a six-month pilot partnership with London-based home rental management company, Hostmaker in order to provide hand-selected vacation listings that suit specific needs.

Couple drinking coffee using laptop on bed
Users who book accommodation through Tribute Portfolio Homes can benefit from special perks and services. Image by Caiaimage/Rafal Rodzoch

Called Tribute Portfolio Homes, the new venture allows travellers to log onto a website to choose from over 200 homes in London, each of which has to be carefully selected by Marriott and Hostmaker. All of the homes featured on the site have one or more bedrooms, fully-fitted kitchens and laundry facilities, and adhere to specific standards of safety, design and service sought by Marriott (as well as providing the possibility to request special family items for younger children). Guests staying in accommodation through Tribute Portfolio Homes also have access to additional services and amenities, including 24/7 dedicated phone support and a personal check-in and welcome experiences.

Big Ben, London
The site currently includes over 200 properties in London. Image by TangMan Photography/Getty Images

“We will not take a home unless it meets the design criteria that we have; we help design the homes and we have relationships with the homeowners. We offer this up front to owners if they are looking for it, and we advise them on how their home would be even more attractive if they were setting it up for a homestay. None of our competitors really offer this,” said Nakul Sharma, CEO of Hostmaker.

The average nightly rate for a one or two-bedroom home in the pilot programme is between £200 ($280) to £250 ($351), and members of the Marriott brand’s loyalty programme will also be able to earn points on home stays.

More information on booking properties through Tribute Portfolio Homes is available at the official website.