Marriott Hotels and ‘idea engine’ TED have joined forces to create guest rooms with ‘interactive, mind-bending activities’. Jenny Southan reports

Available to book this summer at Marriott Hotels Properties in San Francisco, Bangkok and London, the new partnership with TED’s educational arm TED-Ed, sees the creation of its “first-ever immersive experience outside of a TED conference”.

Aimed at “sparking curiosity and enriching the experience of global travellers”, the rooms feature “interactive, mind-bending activities” that are “integrated into the Marriott Hotels guest room design”.

Recommended for people aged seven and up, reservations for The Curiosity Room by TED can be made now for stays starting from July 15 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis.

Following the inaugural launch in San Francisco, guests will also book the discovery-based room at Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park and London Marriott Hotel County Hall later this summer, with stays starting on August 15 and September 15, respectively. Each room experience will be live for three months at each location.

Recent social listening research conducted on behalf of Marriott saw a significant year-over-year uptick in searches for #themedrooms (+106 per cent) and “hotel rooms” + themed (+65 per cent), suggesting consumers are craving more distinct and inspiring hotel experiences.

The idea is that guests “embark on the adventure” immediately upon entry to the room. Marriott says: “The entire room is a puzzle box waiting to be solved. Puzzle elements have been seamlessly hidden within the décor; solving them all will lead guests to a grand finale and series of surprises and rewards. The puzzles have also been customised to the three destinations, featuring and celebrating local landmarks, culture, and more.

“Guests will uncover hidden messages, hunt for puzzle pieces, and experience elements of the room in unexpected and delightful ways. The room’s Curiosity Journal serves as the guide and connection to the one-of-a-kind in-room journey, with hints available in case guests need a helpful hand. When the final challenge has been completed, guests receive a certificate of completion and can celebrate with a complimentary dessert in the hotel’s restaurant.”

Jason Nuell, senior vice-president of premium Brands for Marriott International, says: “Marriott Hotels has always been a place where guests can be inspired at every corner of their experience and we’ve taken that to the next level with TED’s award-winning, educational arm TED-Ed.

“This one-of-a-kind adventure further fosters the notion for our guests to stay curious in their travels, opening their minds beyond a typical overnight stay and propel them to explore the destination with renewed desire to learn something new.”

Taking inspiration from each hotel’s respective destination, rooms feature art from illustrator and artist Caleb Morris, who founded “Welcome to the Neighborhoods” – an art series focused on creating unique connections between people and cities all over the world.

In addition,guests will discover various “moments of wonder”, as well as a guide of local travel recommendations curated by Marriott Hotels and TED, that encourage further exploration beyond the guest room – from the striking architecture of San Francisco to the culture of Bangkok and rich history of London.

Guests will be able to take home some mementos, such as the travel guide, to leave a lasting impression of the trip, while everyday items such as “keys” unlock clues to help guests progress through the immersive space.

Reservations for the Curiosity Room by TED are available now for the stay dates below:

“Watching millions of people view and share TED-Ed’s educational animated videos online every day is a profoundly rewarding experience for our team of creators,” says TED-Ed’s founding and executive director, Logan Smalley.

“What really excites me about our partnership with Marriott Hotels, though, is that it will enable families throughout the world, for the first time ever, to experience a totally unique version of TED-Ed in person.

“I think everyone who participates will gain, in the most tantalizingly fun way possible, a deeper understanding and appreciation of TED-Ed and their destination, and I’m grateful to Marriott Hotels for making that possible.”

Marriott Hotels has a longstanding, global partnership with TED. The relationship began in 2016 by distributing TED Talks and TED Fellows Salons, blogs, and original quotes to hotel guests worldwide, and has continued to elevate every year with new elements of the partnership.

Travelers staying at Marriott Hotels have access to custom content expertly curated by TED, with selected themes that are topical and relevant to guests including innovation, travel, entrepreneurship, and much more. Specifically, new TED-Ed content will now be available at hotels with video-based lessons that vary by subject and age.