As the 518-room Warsaw Marriott Hotel ― Marriott's first hotel in the former Eastern Bloc ― celebrates the 20th anniversary of its grand opening,...

As the 518-room Warsaw Marriott Hotel celebrates the 20th anniversary of its grand opening, Marriott International, Inc. has signed agreements to operate two more hotels in Russia.

The two newly signed hotel deals bring the company’s development pipeline in Russia and former Comecon countries to 10 properties due to open through 2012.

The Warsaw Marriott was Marriott’s first hotel in the former Eastern Bloc and was the first western-managed hotel to open behind the then-Iron Curtain. Since then, Marriott’s hotel portfolio in the region has grown to include 24 operating properties and more than 5,500 rooms in seven countries. Six lodging brands are represented: JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton in the luxury tier; Marriott and Renaissance in the full-service, upscale deluxe category; Courtyard by Marriott in the moderate tier; and Marriott Executive Apartments for extended-stay travelers looking for upscale accommodations.

One of Marriott’s two latest Russia hotels will be the 150-room Courtyard by Marriott Kazan, Russia, planned to open in early 2010. The hotel is owned by OOO Dynamics Group and will be situated on Karl Marx Street in the heart of Kazan, in the Republic of Tartarstan. It will be the first Marriott-branded hotel in Tartarstan.

The other newly announced Marriott hotel is Russia will be the 204-room Courtyard by Marriott Irkutsk, Russia, scheduled for opening in 2011. The hotel is owned by OOO Hotel Service and will be located in central Irkutsk near the central square and main regional government buildings as part of a mixed-use development that also includes office space.

When opened, both the Courtyard by Marriott Kazan and the Courtyard by Marriott Irkutsk will have open lobby lounges and bar areas that will open into casual, all-day restaurants that serving a mix of fresh international and authentically local cuisine. For recreation, each hotel will have a fitness center.

Guest rooms at each hotel will feature distinct areas for rest, relaxation and work. Each room’s amenities will include high speed internet access; a flat-screen television; an in-room safe, iron and ironing board; a coffee/tea maker and mini-refrigerator; and Marriott bed and bath linens.

Business services such as an internet library with work stations will be part of the lobby lounge and each property will have a “Grab & Go” mini-market offering sundries and food items.

For conferences and social events, the Courtyard by Marriott Kazan will have a 132-square-meter main meeting room which will be divisible into three sections.

At the Courtyard by Marriott Irkutsk, conference space will total 422 square meters, encompassing a 160-square-meter main meeting room on the ground floor that will be divisible into three sections, making it the largest single room meeting space available in the city. Additional individual function rooms in varying configurations will be available on the ground and first levels.

Marriott International has eight additional properties currently under construction in former Eastern Bloc nations, including the Courtyard by Marriott Budapest and the Renaissance Budapest Hotel in Hungary; the JW Marriott Hotel Almaty in Kazakhstan; the Courtyard by Marriott Bucharest in Romania; and the Renaissance Moscow Monarch Center Hotel, the Courtyard by Marriott St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theatre, the Krasnodar Marriott Hotel and the Courtyard by Marriott Moscow Paveletskaya Station in Russia. All are expected to open by 2012.