JW Marriott to open in Nara, Japan in Olympics year

Marriott International has teamed up with property giants Mori to open the first JW Marriott brand in Japan.

JW Marriott Hotel Nara is due to open in the spring of 2020 – the year of the Tokyo Olympics. The 150-room property will be the first international luxury hotel in the historic city of Nara, about 28km from Osaka.

Marriott will operate the hotel under a long-term management agreement with Mori Trust Group, which began with the signing of three hotels in 2013 and an additional five hotels earlier this year.

Construction of JW Marriott Nara is scheduled to begin next year in time for the 2020 opening. It will be at the centre of Nara and close many of Japan’s oldest surviving palaces, Buddhist temples, and Shinto shrines while also boasting several Michelin-rated restaurants and a world-renowned culinary scene.

Craig Smith, president and managing director of Marriott International, Asia Pacific, said: “Tourism is booming in Japan and the market has seen an unprecedented increase in demand from both domestic and international travellers. We expect this trend to continue through the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo.”

For the conference and events sector, the hotel will be near several amenities including a large convention hall, NHK Broadcasting Hall, and an extensive F&B and retail complex.

Arne Sorenson, president and CEO at Marriott International, said: “Having collaborated with us on nine hotels in Japan, Mori Trust Group has become a significant and strategic partner for Marriott International. “Introducing the JW Marriott brand to the country, and in particular to the historic and culturally rich city of Nara, is an exciting milestone.”

Mori currently has 32 properties offering 7,200 rooms in prime city sites and selected resort areas across Japan. Projects include Toranonmon Hills, Tokyo, which houses Hyatt’s Andaz, and complexes in Roppongi Hills with the Grand Hyatt.  

Marriott International currently has 15 hotels in Japan spanning five brands – The Ritz-Carlton, Marriott Hotels, Renaissance, Courtyard and Autograph Collection Hotels.

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