- Homes & Villas by hotel giant Marriott International offers premium and luxury tier home rentals.
- The offering was quietly brought to South Africa in 2020, with a few Cape Town homes listed to test the water amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Now, Marriott's Homes & Villas have a portfolio of almost 300 properties in South Africa.
- Although Cape Town still has the most stays on offer – and the most expensive – properties in and around Johannesburg and the Ladysmith region of KwaZulu-Natal have recently been added.
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Marriott International's Homes & Villas offering, which provides private home rentals, has expanded its presence in South Africa with a portfolio of nearly 300 properties.
Marriott International is the largest hotel chain in the world, with more than 7,600 properties spread across 30 brands. With Protea Hotels as its dominant brand in South Africa, Marriott commands a portfolio of 49 properties in the country, including its executive apartments offering aimed at longer stays.
The Sheraton, Autograph Collection, Westin, and Design Hotels form part of Marriott's premium offering in South Africa.
The growing popularity among online marketplaces that connect travellers with lodging and vacation rentals – Airbnb's meteoric rise over the past decade being a clear example – has disrupted the traditional hotel market.
In response, Marriott International launched Homes & Villas in 2019. Together with local property management partners, Marriott picks the listed premium and luxury tier homes, ensuring that the properties meet strict design, cleanliness, safety, and amenity standards.
Since its launch in 2019, Homes & Villas by Marriott has grown to include more than 50,000 whole home rentals in 500 destinations around the world.
Marriott began plotting its South African expansion in 2020, after conducting a survey of the home rental market across the country. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic devastating travel and tourism, Marriott tentatively launched its Homes & Villas offering with a small selection of units in Cape Town.
Most of the homes on offer are in Cape Town. In KwaZulu-Natal, stays are mostly centred in the area of Ladysmith, around the Nambiti Private Game Reserve. Johannesburg's portfolio includes homes in Rosebank, Hyde Park, and Sandton.
The most expensive stay on offer is a luxury beachfront villa that overlooks Camps Bay and Clifton along Cape Town's Atlantic Seaboard. One night at the "Cape Luxe" starts from $11,197 or around R170,000.
The five-bedroom villa can sleep up to 10 guests and comes with its own private gym, bar, and infinity pool. Black-out-blinds, air conditioning, and wide-screen TVs are standard in all rooms. En suite bathrooms include freestanding bathtubs, double vanity sinks, and oversized showers.
The next most expensive stay on offer is less than 3km away from the "Cape Luxe". The six-bedroom "Cape Bond", within a kilometre of Camps Bay beach, can accommodated up to 12 guests and, through Homes & Villas by Marriott, costs $6,402 or R98,000 per night.
(Compiled by Luke Daniel)