First Marriott Hotel


Marriott Corporation was founded by John Willard Marriott, Utah ’26, in 1927 when he and his wife, Alice Marriott, opened a root beer stand in Washington, DC.

It wasn’t until January 16, 1957, that the company opened its first hotel, the Twin Bridges Motor Hotel, in Arlington, Virginia. The motel’s original design had six two-story buildings and 365 rooms, each with exterior entrances, two double beds, and a black and white television. The rates were $8 per night plus $1 for each person, with a maximum charge of $12, which compares to about $126.75 today. Guests would check in with the clerk, located outside, so the clerk could see how many guests were in each car. Each guest would then be escorted to their room by a clerk riding a bicycle.

Over time, Marriott became a global enterprise and transformed the hospitality industry. Today there are over 7,989 Marriott properties worldwide, with over thirty brands. Marriott International is the largest hotel chain in the world by the number of rooms, with roughly 1,400,000 rooms in 131 countries and territories.