International hotel brand eyes downtown


Madrid-based AC Hotels by Marriott says its guests “experience essential European-inspired style.” Photo via

An international hotel brand is heading to downtown.

Victoria Martinez Hart, luxury and lifestyle brands global director of public relations for Marriott, confirmed today that AC Hotels by Marriott plans to open a location in Grand Rapids in January 2018. No other details were released by the company.

A potential site for the hotel is the parking lot north of 50 Monroe NW, a location on which Grand Rapids-based CWD Real Estate Investment announced plans for a hotel in 2014. At the time of the original announcement, no hotel brand was attached to the project, but Amway Hotel Corporation was in discussions to manage the facility.

When asked about the site, on the corner of Louis Street NW, CWD managing partner Sam Cummings did not confirm a brand, but said the firm is still planning on further developing the site.

“As this is such an important and irreplaceable site in the center of our city, we continue to work on the best long-term use for the site — and one that properly complements the nearby uses — and the downtown,” Cummings wrote in an email to the Business Journal. “It’s no secret that our partner in the potential hotel aspect of what might go there is Amway Hotel Corporation — but we can’t confirm the certainty of a particular flag or brand at this time.”

CWD purchased the site in April 2012 and said it would be a “mixed-use development,” with other aspects remaining unknown. The original announcement said the hotel would feature between 100 and 130 rooms.

TGI Friday’s left the space in 50 Monroe NW in late November after nearly 20 years in operation.

Amway Hotel Corporation manages the Amway Grand Plaza, JW Marriott – Grand Rapids and the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Grand Rapids.

AC Hotels

The hotel brand operates more than 80 hotels in Europe and North America.

Founded in 1998 in Spain by Antonio Catalan, the brand came to the U.S. with the opening of AC Hotel New Orleans Bourbon in 2014. Marriott acquired the brand in 2011.

Other U.S. AC Hotel locations include Chicago, Washington, D.C., Miami Beach, Cincinnati and Kansas City, Missouri, with a Boston location coming soon.

A 2013 article in Hotel News Now reported there would be 300 AC Hotels within 10 years, according to Brian King, global brand officer for Marriott Endorsed Brands.

The report said AC Hotels are in the same price range as the SpringHill Suites and Courtyard brands, with King saying there is no concern for cannibalization of Marriott business.

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