By Mark Chesnut
The Autograph Collection, Marriott International’s new brand of independently named and owned hotels designed to suit the needs of business travel and upscale family travel and vacations, is adding six more hotels, bringing the total count now to 26.
The new brand, which launched in 2010, gives travelers access to a variety of independent luxury hotels even as they maintain loyalty to Marriott’s guest program.
The latest additions all belong to the Padua, Italy-based Boscolo chain. In September, four of the company’s hotels — in Rome, Venice, Prague and Budapest — will join the Autograph Collection. In 2012, two additional properties from the same company — one in Rome and one in Milan — will be added.
The newest members include the recently renovated, 87-room Boscolo Palace Roma, located on Rome’s Via Veneto, which has three meeting rooms, and the Boscolo Prague, a 152-room hotel with seven meeting rooms, housed in the former headquarters of the Czech postal service.
The first four Autograph Collection hotels in Europe, all of which are in Spain, were added in May of this year; they include the AC Palacio de Santa Paula, in Granada, and the AC Santo Mauro and AC Palacio del Retiro, both in Madrid.
Stateside, recent additions to the Autograph Collection include seven hotels belonging to an Orlando-based company called the Kessler Collection, including the El Monte Sagrado in Taos, New Mexico, the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Asheville, North Carolina and the Mansion on Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia. The Autograph Collection also includes large hotels in major U.S. business destinations, including The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the Algonquin Hotel in New York City, and the Grand Bohemian and Bohemian Hotel Celebration, both in the Orlando area.
Marriott’s fast-growing new brand is expected to include up to 40 independent hotel properties throughout the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America by the end of the year.
Mark Chesnut is a travel writer, editor and publisher of LatinFlyer.com, which focuses on business and leisure traveler to Latin America.