Marriott and Renaissance Hotels Offer Holiday Travel Deals in Time for Christmas Market Season

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Take a pre-holiday break and find the spirit of Christmas shopping past.

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Just in time for Christmas shopping season, Marriott and Renaissance hotels are offering packages to make it easy for you to trade crowded shopping malls and canned music for the traditional Christmas markets and historic attractions of Germany and Austria. This is where Christmas traditions began, and each year, from the third week in November until Christmas Eve, medieval and modern town squares come alive with lights, hand-made crafts, daily musical performances and the aroma of hot chestnuts and gingerbread biscuits.

Most Marriott and Renaissance hotels are within walking distance to the outdoor Christmas markets, where shoppers sip cups of warm Glühwein (mulled wine) and stroll past ancient wooden pavilions piled high with hand-blown glass ornaments, toys and other locally and regionally made crafts.

The following Marriott and Renaissance hotel packages can be booked beginning September 1, by visiting http://www.marriott.com or by calling 1-866-254-2256.

  •     The Leipzig Christmas Market, known for its 200 wooden stalls and the largest Advent calendar in the world (2,800 feet square), celebrates its 240th anniversary this year (November 26 through December 24, 2007). Located within walking distance of the market, the Marriott Hotel Leipzig offers its Musical Weekend Package, in cooperation with the Gewandhaus (concert hall). Priced from €109 euros (USD$150) per person in a double room, the package includes two nights' accommodation and breakfast for two, ticket(s) for a Christmas concert at the Gewandhaus zu Leipzig, welcome drink in the hotel's lobby bar (5TEN20), and a three-course, candlelight dinner on the evening of your choice. The package is valid around Gewandhaus events on December 17, 19, 21, 22, 24 and 26, 2007.
  •     Six Cologne Christmas markets are open from November 26 - December 23, including the impressive market at the Cologne Cathedral (with the biggest Christmas tree in Rhineland) and the oldest market on the Neumarkt. The Cologne Marriott Hotel offers a Christmas Weekend Package from €179 (USD$242) including a delicious breakfast buffet in "Fou, the crazy brasserie."
  •     The Frankfurt Christmas market is one of the most beautiful, with elaborate and creative decorations in the market and surrounding areas of Roemergerg and Paulsplatz and a huge Christmas tree from November 26 - December 21. Musical performances include a daily carillon from the balcony of the Nikolaichurch and International Christmas Advent concerts each Friday to Sunday. The Frankfurt Marriott Hotel offers its Christmas Market Package for €169 (USD$228), including deluxe room, full breakfast for two in Brasserie ICI, transport by tram to the Christmas market, one mulled wine per person in a commemorative Christmas cup with a Frankfurter pastry.
  •     Dusseldorf is one of Germany's top fashion and shopping cities year-round, but Dusseldorf Christmas markets spring up in the old town and on Schadowplatz -- transforming the city into a Christmas wonderland between November 22 and December 23, 2007. Here find typical German hand-made items, such as carved wooden nutcrackers from Saxony or hand-blown glass from the Bavarian forest. The Renaissance Duesseldorf Hotel, a 10-minute tram ride from the markets, offers a Christmas Shopping Package priced from €99 (USD$137) per night, single or double, valid for arrival on Friday or Saturday from November 22 to December 23. The package includes deluxe accommodations in a double room, rich American breakfast and a welcome Christmas stollen cake in your room.
  •     Munich is a great base from which to explore scenic Bavaria by train, including historic King Ludwig's Castle, the well-preserved medieval city of Regensburg, and Germany's "winter sports capital" Garmisch. The Munich Christmas market (November 30 - December 24), dating back to the 14th century, takes place on Marienplatz in the heart of the city, where alpine Christmas music can be heard live daily from the town hall balcony and a "heaven workshop" offers free activities for children. The Courtyard by Marriott Munich City Center, just steps from the Marienplatz, offers Stay for Breakfast Package from €129.00 (USD$174) including accommodations and breakfast for two adults and children 12 and under. The Munich Marriott Hotel and Renaissance Munich Hotel, both offer Stay for Breakfast weekend rates during the period from €109.00 (USD$147) per night.
  •     The Hamburg Christmas Markets (November 26-December23, 2007) are staged in many of the city's central squares. One of the most impressive, opposite the town hall, is within walking distance to the Renaissance Hamburg Hotel, which is offering its Stay for Breakfast Package starting from €209 euros (USD$288) per night, including deluxe room and breakfast for up to two adults and two children aged 12 and under. The Marriott Hamburg Hotel, a five-minute walk from the Hamburg Christmas market at Town Hall and just next door to the Gaensemarkt (November 26 - December 24), offers a rate of €269 (USD$$371) per night for the same package.
  •     Most notable of Vienna Christmas Markets is at the Baroque Schoenbrunn Palace from November 24 - December 26, 2007. Just steps away from the Palace, the Courtyard by Marriott Wien Schoenbrunn, offers its Vienna Christmas Market Package for €155 (USD$208) per person, including deluxe accommodation for two nights, a welcome "hot punch," one three-hour historical city tour and dinner in the "La Corte" hotel restaurant. Stay for Breakfast Packages are available at the Renaissance Wien Hotel (€141 or USD$190) per night, per room, for two people and children under 12; the Vienna Marriott Hotel (from €199 or USD$268), per night, near the Christmas Market at City Hall from November 18 - December 24; and the Renaissance Penta Vienna Hotel (€120 or USD$161), within walking distance to two famous Christmas Markets (at Castle Belvedere, November 24 - December 23, and the Christmas market at Karlsplatz from November 24 - December 23).

For dates and locations of Christmas shopping markets throughout Germany, consult the Christmas Market brochure at the German National Tourist Office Web site at http://www.germany-christmas-market.org.uk/cities&dates2.htm

MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC. (NYSE: MAR) is a leading lodging company with nearly 2,900 lodging properties in the United States and 68 other countries and territories. Marriott International operates and franchises hotels under the Marriott, JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Residence Inn, Courtyard, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites and Bulgari brand names; develops and operates vacation ownership resorts under the Marriott Vacation Club, Horizons by Marriott Vacation Club, The Ritz-Carlton Club and Grand Residences by Marriott brands; operates Marriott Executive Apartments; provides furnished corporate housing through its Marriott ExecuStay division; and operates conference centers. The company is headquartered in Bethesda, Md., and had approximately 151,000 employees at 2006 year-end. It is ranked as the lodging industry's most admired company and one of the best places to work for by FORTUNE®. The company is also a 2006 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR® Partner. In fiscal year 2006, Marriott International reported sales from continuing operations of $12.2 billion. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at http://www.marriott.com.

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