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Marriott’s Autograph Collection is set to reach 50 properties around the world within the next two months.
The group of independently-owned hotels currently has 44 properties on its books with another six due to join within “six to eight weeks”.
Marriott held a UK launch event for the Autograph Collection on Tuesday (July 16) at St Ermin’s Hotel in central London which is one of three British properties, alongside Threadneedles in the City of London, and The Glasshouse in Edinburgh.
Tina Edmundson, Marriott International’s senior vice president of lifestyle brands, said: “It is a collection rather than a brand – as we have properties with their own personality which are independently owned and are unique hotels.
“We launched Autograph Collection in 2010 as Marriott International wanted to find a new customer base, where the guests are looking to stay in an independent hotel offering unique experiences.”
Edmundson said that hotel owners benefitted from being sold through Marriott’s platforms including its website and GDSs, while guests earn points through Marriott Rewards.
St Ermin’s switched to Autograph Collection on May 1, having previously been part of Accor’s M Gallery portfolio.
Steve Eckley, from St Ermin’s owner Amerimar Hotels, said: “We created St Ermin’s as an independent brand. But our previous affiliation was not drawing the level of business we needed to draw.
“Since joining the Autograph Collection business has increased substantially on the American side.”
Marriott is expecting to add further hotels in Berlin, New York, California, North Carolina, New Brunswick in Canada and Costa Rica over the next few weeks to the Autograph Collection.
John Licence, continental brand activator at Marriott, said that hotels in the collection catered for both business and leisure customers.
“It really depends on the location – for example, our hotels in Rome and Venice are very focused on leisure, but in London and Edinburgh they cater for both corporate and leisure, which also true for the hotels in Prague and Budapest,” he said.
Licence added that Autograph Collection was “not a conversion brand”.
“We are looking for hotels with a personality and we want it to have a story,” he said. “We see it as a white label, all we ask the hotels for is a plaque outside and that they accept Marriott Rewards.”
Properties range from a 15-room hunting lodge Kessler Canyon in Colorado to the 3,000-room Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.