Marriott Welcomes the First Hotels to the Autograph Collection

March 18, 2010
Grand Bohemian Bar I was recently in Orlando, Florida, and had the chance to stop by one of the iconic, independent hotels in our new Autograph Collection and meet with the owner, Richard Kessler.  He took me on a great tour of his Grand Bohemian hotel and, boy, was I impressed.

Richard is an avid art collector and the lobby has a gallery with original paintings by local artists.  Throughout the hotel, Richard showcases his vast art collection, including many great sculptures from Rome and bright, modern classic art.  Like me, Richard loves deep red and the hotel is filled with plush, red furniture.

The hotel design is dramatic with Italian mosaic vaulted ceilings and Parisian accents in the bar and lobby.  The pool is really sharp with great views of downtown Orlando.

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about the launch of the Autograph Collection, which will one day be comprised of upscale, independent hotels and resorts from many countries around the world.  They will all operate within the Marriott system, but maintain their own unique identities.

My thanks to Richard Kessler, who is our first partner.  Seven hotels from his iconic Kessler Collection, including the Grand Bohemian, will be joining the Autograph Collection as of today.

I hope you’ll check them out and let me know what you think.  I know you’re going to love them.

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

Marriott Welcomes the First Hotels to the Autograph Collection

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My husband is a lifetime Platinum Elite member, so Marriott is always our first (and often only) choice of property. We also own in the Vacation Club and have enjoyed the wide variety of experiences that Marriott provides.
We have stayed at several Autograph Collection hotels and always enjoyed their unique "boutique" eclectic style. Our favourite, hands-down is the often-overlooked Scrub Island Resort and Marina in the British Virgin Islands. We stayed in 2016 for 10 days and it was such a wonderful experience that we vowed to return, despite the challenge of actually getting there. After passing by it on a boat excursion this year, I started planning our trip for next year and was disappointed when I couldn't find availability through the website, but I kept stalking it every month, looking for dates in Feb 2018.
I finally called the hotel itself and was put through to the Scrub Island reservation desk in Tampa where I spoke to a truly wonderful reservation specialist, Monique. Monique caught my excitement, knew the property very well and it was like having a close friend planning my trip with me. When she got me the exact room type and view I was looking for on my ideal dates, I was so excited - and she was happy for me.
Truly, Marriott must be a wonderful company to have employees like Monique. To me, she is Marriott's Employee of the Year!

the hotel looks AMAZING! I'll have to check that out when I'm in Orlando next

Will be empowered to have the same platinum status at these properties?

Dear Mr. Marriott, I just saw a link to the Autograph Hotel through Kyra ***** on LinkedIn. At first I was unsure how to connect the title Autograph Collection to Marriott, then I clicked on the image and was pleasantly surprised to see a new collection of hotels. Interesting concept and I will have to try a few. The Mansion on Forsyth Park in Georgia is my first pick, with 400 works of art in their gallery. Very clever idea.

Dear Bill,

Wow, I am impressed to know that a hotel with an art gallery exits. Here in the orient, I don't know of any hotel that has one. Marriott could probably set another trend in inviting art galleries and art collectors to exhibit in their hotels with possibilities for guests to buy art works and antiques. The addition of the Autograph Collection hotels surely raises the bar and perhaps other areas of interests (besides art, history, spa and lodge, etc.) will be featured by the hotels.

From Marriott, Utah.....I was raised most of my life in Marriott, Utah. I am proud to tell people that it is a little town that was named after the same family that own the Marriott Hotels.

Mr. Marriott, My wife and I attended a seminar on your Mountain Resort property in Park City in 2001. We couldn't afford it at the time. However, we haven't had the opportunity to buy a timeshare with Marriott since that seminar. Is it possible to still buy a timeshare property through Marriott?

Thank you,

Mark Branz

Mr. Marriott:
In my attendance at a most recent Colgate University function which featured Dr. Anthony Aveni perspective of: “The End of Time: The Maya Mystery of 2012” one of the participants stated that at a hotel where her sister works in Cancun is already booked 10 days before December 21, 2012 and 10 days after. In your Autograph Collections will you have such hotels?

How can a hotel get an AAA Four diamond award before it is even opened? I'm confused - I looked at your Grand Bohemian Orlando, due to open next month..and it says that it has this award.

Doesn't give the award much credibility in my mind.

**Editor's Note**
Thank you for your comment, Bill. The Grand Bohemian Orlando was already an existing hotel that previously operated independently. Now that it is joining the Autograph Collection, it will maintain the same identity, but be a part of our Marriott system. Hope this helps answer your question.

Mr. Marriott, when will MVCI begin to handle trades between Marriott properties instead of having to use Interval International? I own 4 Marriott times shares and when I want to swap into a time that is not in my season I have to deposit with Interval and then go through them to get the time slot I want. I would much rather deal directly with Marriott. Any chance of this happening anytime soon?

Paul Joiner

We recently stayed at the Marriott Renaissance Hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma. There were blue "brocade-like" coverlets at the bottom of our beds. We called the hotel desk to see if these were available for purchase, and they said that we could order them on-line at Could you please tell me where we might purchase these.
Thanks so much. toni stone

**Editor's Response**
Hi Toni,

Thanks for your comment and we're glad you liked the coverlets. Renaissance retail items are sold online at

I totally agree with you, the Bohemian is awesome. We use the a lot when in Orlando. So happy it is part of the Marriott brand.

Dear Mr. Marriott,

We celebrate the joining of Marriott with Mr. Kessler and the exciting development of the Autograph Collection. This seems to be a move with a fine future for all involved.

The hotels that will be in the Autograph Collection will, I am sure, be very special places. Because of that I have a company to introduce to you that may have something unique to bring to your new venture that will further differentiate these exceptional establishments.

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What follows is a piece I wrote recently for my clients, "Harnessing the Power of Differentiation," that you and your readers may find interesting:

Every firm is seeking ways to harness the energy of innovation for advantage and differentiation. By doing so, they strive to define a new and more positive future.

The key is to look not for what to do, or how to do it, or when to do it, but “why” to do what.

Look to nature. Why? Because nature is resilient. After every challenge, nature finds new ways to adapt to changing circumstances. Organizations and individuals can innovate successfully and be resilient by learning from nature’s models. We believe nature is the spring from which the best ideas flow. (If you haven’t yet seen the TED conference presentations (at by Janine Benyus on Biomimicry, you will find them a provocative resource for ways that nature is inspiring design innovations).

At Voices of the Earth, we listen to nature. Nature is not separate from us, it is a part of us; nature connects us all. That is why we believe that the innovative designs of the future will include bringing nature into the living, working, healing, and recreational spaces and travel venues we experience. That is why we team with designers to create custom architectural and interior design materials from our fine art underwater imagery. And that is why we help in the creation of spaces and experiences that reflect the truth, wisdom and the forces of nature.

Voices of the Earth is seeking thought and design leaders in architecture and interior design who want to define a new future by harnessing the timeless model of nature’s resilience. By bringing nature into your designs, you can help your clients connect to nature’s power to focus thinking, improve health, engage collaboration, foster creativity and inspire innovation.

Those who understand this, besides differentiating their enterprise, will help create and define a more positive future for us all.

Join with us, and with nature, to create the kind of world you dream of.

Keep Marriott on the move. Let Nature be your inspiration.

Robin Acker Bush
Voices of the Earth

Please give us a list of the seven Kessler hotels that are being brought into the Autograph collection, together with the locations of each. Thank you.

**Editor's Response**

The seven Kessler hotels joining the Autograph Collection are:

* El Monte Sagrado, Taos, New Mexico
* Grand Bohemian Hotel, Asheville, North Carolina
* The Mansion on Forsyth Park, Savannah, Georgia
* Bohemian Hotel Riverfront, Savannah, Georgia
* Grand Bohemian Hotel, Orlando, Florida
* Bohemian Hotel Celebration, Celebration, Florida
* Casa Monica Hotel, St. Augustine, Florida

Bill, sounds great. I've stayed at the Bohemian and you're right it's quite elegant. When you say that the Autograph Collection will operate within the Marriott system, does that mean they will allow guests to participate in all of the Marriott Rewards program benefits?

I'm anxious to stay at these hotels and hope they will be part of the Marriott Rewards program where members can earn points as well as use them for incredible stays.