Marriott International Kick-Starts New Global HQ in Maryland

Article published at: Sep 20, 2022
Marriott International Kick-Starts New Global HQ in Maryland
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Marriott International has opened its global headquarters in downtown Bethesda, Maryland. The 21-story, 785,000-square-foot, LEED v4 Gold-certified building is the new workplace for corporate associates, supporting over 8,100 hotels in 139 countries and territories worldwide.

Marriott’s new HQ campus, which includes the new Marriott Bethesda Downtown at Marriott HQ hotel next door, is designed to enable connectivity, collaboration, growth, ideation, and well-being through diverse and dynamic spaces and state-of-the-art technology. The new building will also serve as a global hub for Marriott’s research and development operation, featuring its Innovation and Design Lab, a test kitchen and beverage bar, as well as “model” hotel rooms in the adjacent Marriott hotel, where new concepts, design elements, service approaches, and amenities will be tested for potential use across the company’s portfolio of 30 brands.

Offices line the core interior of the building, so each associate workstation comes with a view outside through floor-to-ceiling windows, and every desk will have access to natural light, a sit-stand desk and an ergonomic chair. Informal, mixed-seating collaboration stations line the windows on each work floor. More formal meeting rooms with the latest technology, writable surfaces, and video capabilities are also available for larger meetings.

Marriott has created an associate growth center, located on the top floor of the new headquarters, and named for the company’s long-time CEO and executive chairman of the Board, J.W. Marriott, Jr., who is now the company’s chairman emeritus. The J.W. Marriott, Jr. Associate Growth Center will host a multitude of live and virtual experiences, including leadership development programs, skill development curriculum, featured speakers, new hire orientation and networking events.

Building amenities include a 7,500-square-foot health and fitness center; a Wellness Suite which includes a lactation space, meditation rooms, massage chairs and treadmill desks; wellness, medical resources and health advisors; and a nearly 11,000-square-foot childcare center for up to 91 children (from infant through age five), with approximately 6,600 square feet of outdoor covered space for all-weather play.

Marriott’s Design Lab spans 8,400 square feet. Room27, the main Design Lab space, is named after the year of the company’s founding in 1927. It will be co-located with the F+B Design Studio, a nearly 4,400-square-foot fully functioning test kitchen and bar space, designed for onsite educational presentations, virtual F&B demonstrations and testing the latest trends in culinary and beverage innovations from hotels around the world.

The Marriott Bethesda Downtown at Marriott HQ, located directly next door, will serve as an extension of Marriott’s Design Lab, containing 13 sample “test rooms,” each customizable to reflect different brands. Dubbed Floor57 after the year the company first entered the lodging business, these active rooms are ready to deploy design, technology, and new product and service offerings with customers and other key stakeholders.

The company intends to name the outdoor public plaza between the hotel and new headquarters building Sorenson Plaza, in honor of the company’s late CEO, Arne M. Sorenson, who passed away in 2021. A portion of the main lobby is also open to the public. The lobby features a public café, which offers interior and open-air seating that extends into the plaza, and a “Cabinet of Curiosities,” a collection of historic items from Marriott’s past and present. This space leads into the main lobby of the building, serving as an entryway for associates, besides a food and beverage, retail, and future pop-up space for special events.

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