HotelChatter: So. Is Marriott's Autograph Collection seriously planning to take over the (hotel) world?
Amanda Altree: Well, when you have a good thing going… Why stop now? (We gave an audible little chuckle here.)
HC: We’ve noticed that Autograph Collection has been expanding quite rapidly in the US and Europe (case in point: St Ermin’s and Threadneedles in the UK) and now there’s a new Japan property and a BC one in the pipeline. What’s the growth strategy for the Collection?
AA: Our new hotel in Japan, The Prince Sakura Tower in Tokyo is the second Autograph Hotel in Asia (we also have The Stones Hotel in Bali) and it’s really just the beginning of our growth in the region, but our growth strategy is simply to seek the right hotels in the right locations. There’s a growing segment of travelers, especially among millennials, who appreciate and seek enrichment and local cultural elements from the hotels they choose – making Autograph Collection a perfect fit.
HC: What does Autograph Collection look for in a property that it's considering for the brand?
AA: We always look for elements of distinction and ask ourselves does this hotel offer an experience someone will remember and want to share with friends? Choosing a hotel is actually a little like choosing your friends – we choose ones that make us feel really special, introduce us to new things and tell really great stories. Autograph hotels have to be great quality but they also need to have some personality, something that will leave an imprint with the guest.
HC: What’s coming next? Any insider news that we can share with avid hotel fans?
AA: Well, we have over 15 hotels signed currently so lots of exciting new destinations. We’ve got Autograph Collection hotels coming soon in Milan, Chicago, Boston, Palm Springs, San Diego, and Panama.
Well, there you have it. We foresee a world full of Autograph Collection hotels.
[Photos: Marriott Hotels & Resorts]