His name is Antonio Catalán. He got his start running a gas station his dad owned. From there he went on to open his first hotel in his homeland at age 29. That hotel spawned the NH Hotel Group with 380 hotels in 29+ countries. But, about 20 years ago he had a disagreement with the current management group, sold his shares and left the company he founded.
With a lot of experience, a tidy sum of money, and a bigger-than-life passion for hospitality he started AC Hotels. In 2011 he partnered with Marriott. And using my Marriott Rewards points is how I discovered the hotel in PDX.
I love the story, the “pivot”, the passion, and most of all the hotel we stayed at in Portland (see my picture below). I wish I thought of their tagline, It’s a New Way to Hotel, but it certainly rings true in our experience. AC Hotels will be our new first choice.