Fairfield by Marriott to conquer Europe with first hotel in Copenhagen

8 min reading time

Published on 30/04/24 - Updated on 13/05/24

Fairfield Copenhagen Nordhavn

On Thursday 25 April 2024, at a press conference in Copenhagen, Marriott International group opened the Fairfield by Marriott Copenhagen Nordhavn, the brand's first hotel in Europe, and unveiled its many expansion plans in Europe as well as the Middle East. This first prototype, designed by OCCA Design Studio, will set the standard for future Fairfield by Marriott properties across Europe. A look back at the history of the brand and the creation of the hotel.

With over 1,290 hotels already open worldwide and more than 450 projects underway, Fairfield by Marriott is the second largest Select brand in the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio. Fairfield hotels offer a clean, timeless and contemporary aesthetic. Their design fuses creative elements inspired by nature and Fairfield's rural heritage with a light, modern Scandinavian style.

"We are also a gateway brand. And what does that mean? Well, that means as guests stay with us, we are generally the first brand within the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio that they stay at. And then maybe they go and experience other brands in the portfolio, but they're having their first experience with Marriott Bonvoy out of Fairfield." - Mary Garris, Global Vice President of Classic Select Brands, Marriott International

Story of the Fairfield brand

The Fairfield brand embodies a philosophy of simple, down-to-earth hospitality. In the early 1950s, John Willard and Alice Marriott found solace in their country home, Fairfield. There they enjoyed the simplicity of life, enjoying the serenity of the surroundings in the company of family and friends. These experiences inspired Marriott to create the Fairfield brand in 1987, rooted in the essence of their beloved retreat. Embracing values of warmth, family bonding and simple comfort, Fairfield embodies a welcoming haven.

 

The brand's three values

Mary Garris, Global Vice President of Classic Select Brands at Marriott International, reiterates the company's commitment to providing a simple stay for every occasion. This commitment is underpinned by a set of core brand values that serve as guiding principles to ensure this promise is delivered to guests.

  • Firstly, there is the 'seamless' value, which focuses on offering customers a stress-free experience that is seamlessly integrated into their routine. Whether it's promoting productivity during the stay or facilitating restful sleep, the aim is to keep travellers on the move.
     
  • Secondly, the 'trusted' value underlines Marriott's heritage and reputation, focusing on the reliability and quality assurance guests can expect from Fairfield. This assurance is reinforced by the Fairfield Guarantee, which ensures that any customer dissatisfaction will be promptly addressed to put things right.
     
  • Finally, there is the 'optimistic' value, which embodies the warm, welcoming atmosphere and friendly service that guests encounter in Fairfield establishments. Combined with comfortable and stimulating spaces, this optimistic approach aims to create an inviting environment for guests to enjoy their stay.

Fairfield by Marriott Copenhagen Nordhavn, a superior mid-range hotel

The hotel is located on the waterfront in Århusgadekvarteret, a district renowned for its concentration of creativity, with a multitude of architecture and design companies, as well as local restaurants and cafés. The Nordhavn (North Port) district represents one of the largest urban development projects in Northern Europe, with an ambitious vision of becoming entirely sustainable, carbon-neutral and powered by renewable energy sources. Based on the concept of the 'five-minute city', public transport, residential areas, local amenities, green spaces and the seafront promenade are all within easy reach of the hotel in less than five minutes.

The hotel has 222 rooms measuring 17 m² (with distinctions based on bed types - twin or queen), 20 of which have sea views, and features a spacious lobby for relaxing or working as well as a fitness centre. The public areas are versatile and flexible, while the Social Market offers free breakfast. In addition, the grocery shop is open 24/7.

Hall

Two hotels under the same roof

The Fairfield by Marriott Copenhagen Nordhavn shares the same building as the Residence Inn Copenhagen Nordhavn, which opened at the same time. The concept of bringing dual-branded hotels together under one roof is known as 'dual-branding'. It allows guests to choose the brand that best suits their needs, while offering additional facilities and services that might not be available in a single-brand hotel. Each hotel retains its own identity, but guests benefit from shared facilities and enhanced offerings, such as an expanded fitness centre.

Copenhagen, a logical and strategic location for the brand

Fairfield chose Copenhagen as the location for its first European hotel for a number of reasons. Firstly, the city is important because it matches the history and heritage of the Fairfield brand. The influence of nature, which played a key role in the creation of the brand, resonates strongly with Copenhagen's focus on sustainability and its natural environment. In addition, the city enjoys an outstanding reputation in key European source markets, as well as being an attractive destination for US travellers.

The partnership with Core Hospitality strengthens Fairfield's entry into Copenhagen, leveraging the expertise of a trusted collaborator. In addition, the absence of a classic Select brand like Fairfield in Copenhagen has diversified Marriott's portfolio in the city. While lifestyle brands such as Moxy and AC by Marriott have been successful in Copenhagen, Fairfield fills a gap by offering a more traditional, yet accessible hotel experience. This expansion is not only aimed at the Nordic countries, but also attracts travellers looking for accommodation in this dynamic part of Europe.

How do you adapt the Fairfield brand to European tastes?

"We tried to bring a little bit of everything from Northern European Scandi design to warm southern European hospitality." - Kate Mooney, Founder of OCCA Design Studio

Working with Danish studio Mette Fredskild Design and architects Henning Larsen Architects, OCCA Design Studio adapted the design to incorporate the essence of the Danish concept of 'hygge', which evokes a sense of comfort and well-being.

To meet the challenge of creating a prototype for the European market, OCCA Design Studio adopted a global approach. Recognising that Europe is a continent of 44 countries, each with its own cultural and design influences, the team endeavoured to incorporate elements from all horizons.

Drawing on the Scandinavian heritage of design and furniture, as well as the warm hospitality of Southern Europe, OCCA Design Studio has endeavoured to combine these diverse influences in a harmonious way. Every aspect of the prototype, from the colours and textures to the choice of furniture, has been meticulously selected to celebrate the rich tapestry of European cultures and climates.

Room

The 'social kitchen' at the Fairfield by Marriott Copenhagen Nordhavn hotel, where breakfast is served, illustrates the infusion of diverse European cultures. Inspired by the open kitchens of Italian designers, the space captures the essence of southern European warmth. By integrating this concept into the heart of the hotel's design, surrounded by a coherent mix of European furniture, influences, colours and materials, the social kitchen becomes a focal point that links the overall ambience of the hotel. This space is one of the pillars of Fairfield, which offers breakfast to its guests. Although lively in the morning, the space transforms into a versatile venue in the afternoon, ideal for group meetings, family gatherings or weddings. The aim is to create a hospitable atmosphere reminiscent of home, where guests can feel at ease and use the space in a relaxed way.

Cuisine

With extensive experience of developing projects across Europe, including Italy, Spain, France and Germany, OCCA Design Studio had a deep understanding of the region's diverse design preferences and hospitality traditions. Drawing on its established supply chain across Europe, the team ensured that the prototype reflected the different tastes and influences prevalent across the continent.

For the Fairfield by Marriott Copenhagen Nordhavn hotel, OCCA Design Studio incorporated Danish elements such as iconic furniture brands and subtle nods to Danish nature. The design is inspired by European landscapes, with references to flora and fauna and a colour palette that evokes the serene ambience of European forests. Overall, the design celebrates both Danish heritage and Europe's diverse cultural and natural landscapes.

What are the differences between Fairfield hotels in the United States and those in Europe?

The main differences between Fairfield rooms in Europe and those in the US are aesthetics and room size. In the US, rooms tend to be slightly larger to meet market expectations, and around 15-20% are suites with separate work and living areas. In terms of breakfast, although both regions offer complimentary breakfast, specific offers may vary according to local preferences. However, overall, Fairfield maintains consistency through its Fairfield Guarantee and many of its programmes. Overall, the main difference between the two regions is the aesthetics of the rooms.

"We took this American brand and made it Nordic, made it Danish." - Sanne Faergsted, Director of Operations, Core Hospitality

Expansion plans in Europe and the Middle East

The brand's expansion continues in Europe and the Middle East, with a further 17 openings planned in these regions. Highly anticipated Fairfield by Marriott openings in Europe are planned in key affaires and leisure destinations, including Fairfield by Marriott Warwick (UK), a 142-room hotel ideally located for motoring enthusiasts close to the British Motor Museum; Fairfield by Marriott Graz (Austria), which will have 200 rooms in the heart of the city; and the 165-room Fairfield by Marriott Karlsruhe (South West Germany). Future expansion plans also include France, the Netherlands, Turkey, Italy, Poland and Spain, as well as the brand's arrival in the Middle East in 2027, with the opening of its first two hotels in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

 

Conférence de presse
Seated, from left to right :  
Mary Garris, Global Vice President of Classic Select Brands, Marriott International
Piotr Stempkowski, Senior Director, Select Brands, EMEA, Marriott International
Kate Mooney, Founder, OCCA Design Studio
Sanne Faergsted - Director of Operations, Core Hospitality

    Marriott International

    Marriott International

    Hotel Group

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