New Marriott AC brings with it new vibe downtown - Tucson News Now

New Marriott AC brings with it new vibe downtown

Marriott AC bar lounge area. (Source: Tucson News Now) Marriott AC bar lounge area. (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

For the first time in 40 years, Tucson has a new hotel downtown, at least the first hotel which rises vertically.

Marriott's AC Hotel Tucson Downtown, 151 E. Broadway Boulevard, is eight stories tall and has 136 rooms.

The last time a hotel was built in downtown was 1977, the Hotel Arizona.

The new hotel opens Thursday, Sept. 21, and brings with it a new vibe downtown.

It's not the traditional hotel we've grown up with.

The Marriott AC creates an atmosphere, or as General Manager Grant Bruce said, "We want to live and breathe in our space and they want us to acclimate to it."

Bruce met us at the front door dressed in jeans, a casual jacket and absolutely no tie.

"It's by design," he said. "They (Marriott) don't want our guests to think we're anything other than one of them."

The bar area faces Broadway Boulevard and is designed to welcome people who just walk in from the street to mingle with hotel guests.

"We want people to come in and enjoy an amazing craft cocktail," Bruce said.

The food fare at the bar will be light so guests and locals can enjoy a drink before heading off to one of downtown's many and varied restaurants for dinner.

The Marriott AC design was introduced in Spain and quickly spread throughout Europe before coming to the US six years ago. There are now 20 of them nationwide.

It's an urban design, with sharp lines and an eye for the future.

All of the outlets are not just traditional but also come with multiple USB ports.

The toilets are square like those used in Europe. The hand soap is in the shape of a golf ball because the founder is a golf fan. There is no carpeting in the rooms and the windows are large so the views are large as well.

The swimming deck is on the sixth floor and is designed as a place to relax after a day of work or shopping. It has a second bar and a cooling off pool.

"You can see the design element even showcasing this space," Bruce said. "It's not just your basic patio furniture, we wanted to elevate this experience."

The hotel hired 50 people locally, many of them as housekeepers, although they are called "the style department" because it's not just housekeeping, it's about maintaining the style.

Room rates start at $169 a night but will change as the seasons change.

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