Skift Take

Marriott Bonvoy's new AI tool probably isn’t sharp enough yet to be reliable. But as one of the first tools like it by a major hotel brand, it offers an early glimpse at how lodging search could look in the future.

Marriott Bonvoy last month released a new AI tool meant to help users search for vacation rentals under its Homes & Villas by Marriott Bonvoy brand. 

Skift took it for a test run. 

Marriott Bonvoy last year said that it had more than 100,000 listings through Homes & Villas, which it says is focused on the “premium and luxury tier of rental homes.” 

The AI search bar is right at the top of the Homes & Villas webpage, and it invites users to search for rentals in natural language based on their preferences. The tool is available on desktop browsers only, with plans for mobile later. Traditional manual search is still available.

Some third-party marketplaces, like HomeToGo, have released similar tools powered by generative AI. But this release by Marriott Bonvoy is among the first from a major hotel brand.

Theoretically, it would be a big time saver if a user could ask in natural language for certain features rather than having to search manually.

A pop-up window in the beginning, however, gives users the disclaimer that the tool is experimental: “Please forgive any hiccups as we journey towards the best home rental search experience.” 

And there were, indeed, hiccups.

Though there are some kinks to be worked out, this tool offers an early glimpse at one way experts believe hotel search could change in the future. 

See four tests of the tool below.

The First Try: Fail

The very first prompt: “I’m looking for a large rental for 10 people on the beach in Mexico for the first weekend in August.”

It resulted in an error. It said no matches were found, even though another search later found that there were matches.  

A more general prompt worked at a later point during the test, so the error likely was a fluke. 

The Next Try: Better

The prompt worked after removing the dates and asking for a specific city, though it’s unclear exactly why that made a difference. 

The prompt: “I’m looking for a large rental for 10 people near the beach in Oaxaca, Mexico.” 

The results are presented as pins on an interactive map on the left side of the screen, and a list with links for booking on the right.

The results page also includes a collapsable window featuring multiple pieces of AI-generated content about the destination, including information about culture, weather, and activities — visibly showcasing the external AI technology that’s integrated into the website.

Some issues:

  • Even though the prompt was for places near the beach in Oaxaca, Mexico, the results included rentals in inland Mexico City and other places not close to the beach or Oaxaca. 
  • The AI-driven results did not include all the options available. A traditional manual search in that area showed at least one property that had the requested features but was not presented in the AI-driven results. 
  • After specifying dates, the results included rentals unavailable during those dates. This would be OK if the travel plans are flexible, but there’s nowhere to indicate whether they are or are not. 

A More Complicated Prompt 

The prompt: “Show me a home in Valencia that has three bedrooms, is pet-friendly, and is close to the center and traditional Spanish restaurants.”

There was only one result in Valencia. The AI results showed several other options in nearby cities on the beach, which could be useful if the traveler is open to other destinations in that area. 

Some issues:

  • A manual search showed about 40 options in Valencia. Only a few of them had three bedrooms, and of those, none allowed pets. It would be helpful if the website would inform the user if a prompt is too strict.
  • The one result that the AI tool showed in Valencia did not allow pets. Many — not all — of the options in the alternative areas did allow pets, and they all seemed to have three bedrooms.

Another Complicated Prompt

The prompt: “A classic-style villa in southern France with five bedrooms during any time in September, near a winery.”

There were only three options presented, but they all seemed to fit the classic villa theme. 

Some Issues:

  • It seems that the tool is not very good at searching for rentals available for a short stay within a large range of time, which the user may want to do if travel plans are flexible. After asking to complete a search during any time in September, the tool selected Sept. 1-4 without asking. If travel dates are truly flexible, the best option at this point is to clear the dates from the search bar.
  • Only two of the three rentals’ descriptions mentioned wineries. 


This AI search tool is in the experimental phase, but those interested in how hotel search is changing may want to try it. The tool probably isn’t reliable enough yet to use in place of traditional search, but it’s only the beginning.

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Tags: artificial intelligence, future of lodging, generative ai, homes & villas, marriott, marriott bonvoy, online travel newsletter, short-term rentals, the prompt

Photo credit: Pictured: A Marriott Bonvoy Homes & Villas property in South Africa. Marriott International

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