I was all happy last night as I sat on my big, comfy sofa with a handful of Oreos and a tall glass of milk. Feeling that content made me think about going away for the weekend and staying at a Marriott hotel, a place where I usually feel like I can get real value for my money.

I'm sure that Marriott International (NYSE:MAR) investors are feeling like they had been given the perfect cookie and a cold glass of milk after seeing the company's second-quarter earnings release this morning. For a company that was recently eking out 3% revenue growth each quarter, Marriott appears to have gotten over the proverbial hump. Second-quarter revenues increased an eye-popping 19% from last year and were 8.2% better than the analyst's consensus revenue estimate. This good fortune also trickled down to the bottom line, as the company's earnings of $0.67 per share trounced the consensus estimate of $0.61 (and was 29% better than last year's $0.52 a share).

So how does a hotel company increase its revenue available per room 13% and record a 6% increase in occupancy (to 74%) in one quarter? The answer starts with a burgeoning renewal in international travel. More and more international customers have been pouring into the Marriott hotels throughout the United States. This foreign-tourist injection has benefited the chain both on our shores and foreign soil, as travelers have seemingly decided that it is once again safe to travel across borders.

If I'm comparing what I eat to where I stay, then I suppose a piece of salmon would be the equivalent of a Hyatt or Intercontinental (NYSE:IHG) hotel, a napoleon for the Hilton (NYSE:HLT), filet mignon would be like staying at the Four Seasons (NYSE:FS), and the Wyndham (NYSE:WBR) hotel chain (where I blissfully said "I do" to my beautiful wife) would have to be a piece of creamy cheesecake. With published reports indicating that U.S. hotels have experienced double-digit room revenue in the past few weeks, look for this positive trend to continue throughout the summer. Because of this surge, I see Marriott, which is projected to grow earnings at about 15% over the next five years, and the other major public hotel chains being quite attractive investment targets from here.

Need to get away? Then plan your next vacation at the Fool's Travel Center, or visit the Travel & Vacation discussion board for the latest trip buzz.

Fool contributor Phil Wohl spent more than 12 years on Wall Street and now concentrates his writing on more fictional characters. He has no stake in any firm mentioned above.