Marriott International’s AC Hotels by Marriott chain is “absolutely sizzling” in the USA, Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson told Wall Street analysts this morning.

Nearly 30 hotel deals have been signed in the U.S., he said. Another 40 deals are under discussion.

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Last June, Marriott announced that it would start pitching the AC brand to developers in the U.S. The chain was launched in 2011 as a joint venture between Marriott International and the Spanish group AC Hotels. Most of the hotels are currently located in Spain, Italy, Portugal and France.

“That brand is absolutely sizzling in the United States,” Sorenson said. “We (believe) our franchisees will come to invest in that brand in a way that is head turning.”

The first AC slated to open in the U.S. will be the Cotton Exchange in New Orleans. It will open during the October-December timeframe, says AC brand publicist Nina Herrera-Davila. A location in Miami (see cover photo on my blog) will open a few months later.

Readers: Have you ever stayed in an AC hotel? Tell us about your experience.