Skip to main content


Now entering the fifth year of its partnership with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, W Hotels has cemented its commitment to diversity and inclusion in standing with the LGBTQIA+ community at one of the world’s largest celebrations of pride. 

“Authentic self-expression, inclusivity and the creation of a safe space for all has been at the heart of the W brand since its inception over 20 years ago”, said Sean Hunt, Area Vice President Australia, New Zealand and Pacific at Marriott International. 

This years’ Mardi Gras marks a milestone year for W Hotels as the first year where festival goers will be able to experience the festival from a ‘W’ home base right in the heart of Sydney – with the world’s largest W Hotel, W Sydney, having opened its doors in October last year. 

Across Marriott Bonvoy’s hotels in Sydney, occupancy will finish above 90% for February – bolstered by tourism around the Mardi Gras festival in combination with a huge concert calendar peaking around the Taylor Swift Sydney events, a busy meetings and events season in the Sydney CBD and ICC and cruise ship arrivals/departures. In particular the Sydney hotels have seen an increase of close to 15% from arrivals from the USA for February compared to 2023. 

W Sydney will act as a hub for inclusive pride expressions throughout the festival with a number of events for hotel guests, travellers and locals. From meaningful conversations about building inclusive spaces in art with digital artist Samuel Leighton-Dore and independent artist and dancer KeiynanLonsdale, with a line up of Pride Sounds music events including an OutHaus Poolside session with Josh Harrison and weekly DJS. 

Marriott Bonvoy Members will also enjoy exclusive access to VIP experiences via the Marriott BonvoyMoments platform – from access to the sought after Mardi Gras After Party, VIP viewing of the Mardi Gras Parade, or the ultimate parade experience onboard the W Hotels float in the Mardi Gras Parade alongside 80 W Hotels talent. 

The float this year will celebrate the values that W Hotels and their guests stand for and serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of standing together in the fight for equality and inclusion – take a stance. Samuel’s digital artwork will also be displayed on the float’s LED screen for all to see. 

W Hotels have long been committed to making a real difference in the LGBTQIA+ community and initiating tangible change both within and outside the organisation. This year W Hotels have partnered with Qantas for their regional grants program which gives 9 winners across regional Australia the chance to experience a 2 night stay at W Sydney during Mardi Gras parade weekend to take part in a range of Mardi Gras events and festivities they may otherwise not have the chance to.