Seven boutique resorts chosen for luxury hotel collection

Hotel giant Marriott has confirmed the seven properties that are to headline its new Autograph luxury hotel brand.

All seven hotels are members of the Kessler Collection, a luxury boutique chain specializing in inspiring places. All are based in the US, although Marriott intends for the Autograph collection to become global, adding a further 18 properties by the end of 2010. Three are based in Florida, two in Georgia, one in North Carolina and one in new Mexico.

Among them are the El Monte Sagrado green ski resort in New Mexico, and St Augustine, Florida's Casa Monica, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Mansion on Forsyth Park, a restored Victorian mansion complete with art collection, cooking school, and spa is one of the two properties from Savannah, Georgia that will join the collection.

The Autograph brand was announced in November 2009 as a way for travelers to book independent hotels using Marriott's booking network, but allowing the hotels to retain their own distinctive personalities and management style. The elite hotels will participate in the Marriott Rewards program and will be featured on Marriott.com and other Marriott literature.

Top-tier hotel collections are a popular way for large chains to broaden their appeal outside of their traditional business markets. In 2006, Hilton launched the Waldorf=Astoria collection, whilst Starwood's Luxury Collection consists of more than 75 properties around the world.

First Properties - the Marriott Autograph Collection

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

Website http://www.marriott.com/

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