The takeover of the EDITION Hotel Waikiki early Sunday morning by the hotel's owner and affiliated partners was illegal and a blatant violation of Marriott's contractual agreement with the owner, Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) said today.
"This is a deeply unfortunate, regrettable and illegal event. The owner and its partners raided the hotel literally under cover of night, forcibly taking over the property and threatening our employees with dismissal unless they immediately agreed to a change of management. We will aggressively and vigorously pursue all remedies against the owner and its partners in this illegal act," said Arne Sorenson, Marriott's president and chief operating officer.
The company said that the hotel's owner had knowingly, wrongfully, and materially breached a long-term management agreement with Marriott with 29 years remaining. Marriott has demanded that the owner's partner vacate the hotel and return control to Marriott. Marriott will also seek substantial damages from the hotel's owner and its partners for their conduct in damaging the operation and reputation of the hotel, Marriott and the EDITION brand.
The company reiterated its strong and deep commitment to the EDITION brand, citing glowing reviews of both the Waikiki EDITION and Istanbul EDITION hotels by major media and customers. The Waikiki EDITION was included on the Conde Nast Traveler 2011 Hot List of the World's Best Hotels and the Travel + Leisure 2011 World's Best New Hotels. The company also said it has invested over $400 million to open two new EDITION hotels in prime gateway destinations, London and Miami Beach, over the next two years.
Marriott is actively pursuing development projects for the EDITION brand in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC, Mexico City, and Bangkok.
For the immediate future, reservations cannot be made at this hotel through normal Marriott channels, including Marriott.com and Marriott's voice reservations phone numbers. For existing reservations or other questions, guests should contact Marriott Customer Care at 1-800-559-9352.
Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.
Hard to know for sure what happened when a dispute breaks out this way. Opening bias: brand name, bookings and the entire business belong by default to the brand name owner. However, sometimes something unusual really does happen and at first blush we do not know. Unusual local behaviour is worth understanding before judging. The article does not say what happened and rather says what happened after.