When Marriott created Moxy hotels, they were looking to compete with Airbnb for millennials. But several owners of Moxy hotels have turned on Marriott and choose to sell their best rooms through Airbnb.com, skipping Marriott’s distribution channels entirely.
I wrote about the Moxy Portland Downtown selling its suite only through Airbnb. Since then, that listing has been taken down. Once revealed, Marriott couldn’t have taken kindly to the practice. But this isn’t the only hotel doing it.
- Suite at the Moxy Uptown Minneapolis promoted as “Exclusive to Airbnb” along with their Penthouse Suite
- A regular old guestroom at the Moxy Downtown Minneapolis this isn’t exclusive to Airbnb, just another distribution channel for them.
- A standard Queen at the Moxy Boston Downtown
- A King room at Moxy Oakland
If you create a product for Airbnb guests, then that’s the platform where you’ll find your customers, right? Rather than Marriott.com?
Personally I don’t like hotel rooms without desks, but it’s not just Moxy owners turning to Airbnb for distribution.
- A Fairfield Inn in New York City describes itself as offering a “private room in bed and breakfast” I mean, Fairfields do provide breakfast I suppose.
I really don’t begrudge this one, because the hotel owner has the gall to ask $500 a night plus Airbnb fees for a 215 square foot room to stay in a Fairfield Inn. If they can find a sucker for that deal, more power to them I suppose. Meanwhile this Fairfield Inn as well.
- Studio King Suite at the SpringHill Suites Pittsburgh North Shore for $270 per night. They aren’t going to run into Best Rate Guarantee problems at that price!
- Junior Suite with Two Double Beds at the Marriott Courtyard Waikiki that’s a room that should be in the upgrade pool for Bonvoy Platinums and above, if hotels ever decided to follow Marriott rules for upgrades. (If Marriott can’t even keep their hotels off Airbnb, what odds do customers have that they’ll keep commitments?)
- The TownePlace Suites in London, Ontario because if Marriott is just where franchise operators get their ‘leads’ (guests) why limit themselves to fishing in the Marriott pond? You can also book the TownePlace Suies Albany, Downtown at Airbnb.
And lest you think it’s only Marriott’s lower-end brands unloading room inventory on Airbnb, sometimes to the exclusion of selling the same rooms through Marriott channels, would you be surprised to learn that the St. Regis New York is bookable at Airbnb and that they undercut Marriott.com pricing there?
The St. Regis is available for booking the night of April 5, 2022 – the first date I picked at random:
According to the Airbnb listing, “The $587.00) room is similar to a Deluxe room at St Regis NYC (~430 sq/ft).” Marriott prices the deluxe room type at about $100 more than a base room. Here’s their prepaid listing for the same night:
Marriott has their own homesharing platform to compete directly with Airbnb, but Marriott hotels list at Airbnb and not Marriott Homes & Villas, and in some cases pull their room inventory from Marriott entirely to sell suites through Airbnb. Do these room bookings even go into their property’s system with revenue reported out to Marriott for calculating fees?
What I find perhaps most striking is nobody at Marriott corporate thought to Google “airbnb+[Marriott brand]” to suss this stuff out? What are they paying these people for?