Marriott Hotels announced the opening of a 10,000-square-foot Innovation Lab two floors below its Bethesda headquarters that it’s dubbing “The Underground,” to test designs for hotels.
The Fortune 500 company, which has its headquarters at 10400 Fernwood Rd., knocked down the walls of the expansive and unused space below to test for things such as the best positioning of a bed in a hotel room and the layout of a bathroom. In a press release, the company said it will invite customers to the lab through internet-enabled cameras that will allow for feedback.
Visitors can test out guestrooms, lobbies, meeting spaces and food menus. A so- called “war room” offers meeting space so people can show what they like or dislike about potential new looks.
“Marriott is dedicated to transforming the brand to make it relevant for a next generation of travelers – and we want these travelers to be a part of our transformative journey,” Senior Vice President of Architecture & Construction Karim Khalifa said in the release.
Many of the concepts Marriott said it hopes to introduce relate to mobile technology use, as the hotel aims to improve its service to business travelers.