a room with a bed and a desk

It’s a couch! It’s a bed!

If Marriott has its way, hotel guests may soon spend less time looking out the window deciding between birds and airplanes, and more time focusing their attention on the centerpiece of any hotel room — the bed.

The global hotel marketing giant with more than 8,000 global properties has been at the forefront of “synergy” and “efficiency” of late, aka cutting costs for its hotel owners and the latest idea must be applauded for its audacity.

With many loyalty programs perks already “enhanced”, Marriott is finding new room for growth by potentially making one room into two. How? Well, that’s something you’ll have to see to believe. For city dwellers, it’s not hard to imagine.

The Marriott Couch Bed?

People regularly walk into hotel rooms these days and say “geez, there’s just too much space in here”, so Marriott has an idea to relieve people of those woes.

First there was the “Murphy Bed”. Then, Terrence Conran did one better and envisaged a studio apartment where a couch could seamlessly transform into a bed and back, and now Marriott wants to turn hotel beds into sofas, and vice versa again.

Marriott is testing a mechanical device where with the press of a button, a hotel bed would fly into the sky and in its place, transform into a sofa. Nope, no need for all that extra floor space or heavens forbid, having a separate sofa and bed.

The move would allow Marriott to add rooms to preexisting properties, thanks to the reduced need for floor space. This would allow the company to impress the people who actually own their hotels — correct, it’s not usually Marriott — with increased revenue potential for each square foot.

There’s A Market For This

Japan practically trademarked the “pod” style of hotel where guests stay in what’s effectively a large cupboard drawer.

On the budget end of travel, space is not often the greatest demand and if Marriott can find a suitable way to make this concept fun, there will be huge buy in. Concepts along these lines already exist, but it’s fascinating to see Marriott’s potential vision.

Would this roll out to midscale and upscale properties? I certainly hope not. Ritz “lite” room doesn’t really have the same ring to it that “Moxy lite” does.

If this were purely about space and a new budget brand, there could be a lot of excitement, but with Marriott it’s almost always about maximizing revenue, so don’t be surprised if the price of your favorite hotel remains the same, but you end up saying “honey, they shrunk the room” upon arrival!

And let’s hope no one accidentally hits the button while you’re on a Zoom, too.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. What happens if a parent is taking a shower and two kids are playing around in the room. One of them runs around and taps every switch in sight, lowering the bed onto the other who is sitting/napping on the sofa. Pandemonium (and injury) ensues. Lawsuit?

  2. Interesting idea but it won’t drive additional revenue. If Marriott wants to increase profits they should abandon hidden fees and surcharges which drive customers to other hotels.

  3. As a Group Planner who books thousands of sports teams & tournaments annually – I do see a decent amount of potential for this in rooms with only 1K bed. Add one of these in there for when a second bed is needed for families – and now all of your rooms can be sold on the weekends.

    I wouldn’t cut the room size in half.. I’d just add one to all rooms with a king bed only to increase the opportunity to sell them more frequently.

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