Acquisitions & Hotel Openings

Two Kessler Hotels Join Marriott's Autograph Collection

Kessler's Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando and Bohemian Hotel Celebration

BETHESDA, MD / ORLANDO, FL - April 13, 2010 - The Kessler Collection and Marriott International, Inc., are pleased to announce two Orlando hotels, Grand Bohemian Hotel and Bohemian Hotel Celebration, as the newest members of the Autograph Collection.

Earlier this year, Marriott introduced the Autograph Collection, a group of independent hotels and resorts representing upper-upscale and luxury properties with distinctive personalities. To launch the Autograph Collection, Marriott has partnered with The Kessler Collection. Seven Kessler properties will soon all be a part of the Autograph Collection.

"It's exciting to see our vision for independent hotels offering a high level of personalized, intuitive guest service adopted by the internationally respected Marriott brand," said Richard Kessler, CEO, The Kessler Collection. "The global exposure and reservations potential offered by Marriott is outstanding, and I have great confidence in the plans developed for the Autograph Collection. Today it is with great pleasure that I witness two of our Orlando hotels joining this strong brand."

Grand Bohemian Hotel in Orlando offers guests chic luxury with an artist edge and AAA Four-Diamond service in the heart of the city's business and entertainment district. This downtown landmark of music, art and cuisine is home to an unprecedented collection of more than 150 rare works of art.

Bohemian Hotel Celebration is an upscale, charming boutique hotel in Celebration, Florida just minutes from Walt Disney resorts. This AAA Four-Diamond hotel is nestled in a peaceful lakeside oasis and will soon feature a cosmopolitan lobby-lounge and intimate lakeside dining in its new bar and grill concept restaurant.

"The Grand Bohemian Hotel and Bohemian Hotel Celebration will surely resonate with this new and prominent niche of potential hotel guests seeking high-quality, intimate, and distinctive boutique experiences now offered through the Autograph Collection," said Sholeh Kia, General Manager, Grand Bohemian Hotel.

"By welcoming Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando and Bohemian Hotel Celebration and future Kessler properties into the Autograph Collection, Marriott has expanded the experiential offering to our guests around the world, including our 31 million Marriott Rewards members," said Don Semmler, executive vice president of global full service brands for Marriott. "Few hoteliers match Richard Kessler's dedication to the business and passion for the arts. We are pleased to offer our Marriott customers the opportunity to enjoy the truly unique guest experiences his team has created."

The Kessler Collection, based in Orlando, is one of the few remaining family-owned hotel management groups nationally. Founder and CEO, Richard Kessler, a distinguished hotelier and avid art collector, is known for his community-minded focus. Since 2002, Kessler has made significant donations to the Orange County Public School system through the OCPS/Kessler Grand Bohemian Hotel Scholarship Fund to support excellence in teaching in the fine arts. Kessler's collection of independent properties, three of which are located in the Orlando area, are widely regarded as inspiring and unique, delivering a truly unparalleled experience through the use of distinctive architecture, stylish interiors, rare art and progressive music.

Kessler's private art collection boasts more than 10,000 works of art, ranging from oil paintings to glass, wood and bronze sculptures, among other mediums. Thousands of these works of art are displayed in Kessler Collection properties.

To commemorate the new partnership with Marriott International and the prestigious Autograph Collection, Kessler has commissioned the painting of an original work of art from noted expressionist-colorist Jean Claude Roy. All visitors to Kessler hotels in the Autograph Collection before May 1, 2010 will have a chance to win Roy's original work of art. Six winners will also be selected to receive a limited edition giclee of the piece.

Five additional Kessler Collection properties currently hold or will soon hold the Autograph Collection designation:
El Monte Sagrado, Taos, N.M.
Casa Monica Hotel, St. Augustine, Fla.
The Mansion on Forsyth Park, Savannah, Ga.
Bohemian Hotel Riverfront, Savannah, Ga.
Grand Bohemian Hotel, Asheville, N.C.

For reservations at Grand Bohemian Hotel in Orlando, please call 888/213-9110. For reservations at Bohemian Hotel Celebration please call 888/249-4007.

Coming Up In The February Online Hotel Business Review


Feature Focus
Hotel Social Media: Engage, Promote, Personalize and Reward
The evolution of social media continues its rapid advance and integration into hotel operations. No longer condemned by some traditionalists as a "passing fad" or a "nice-to-have" by skeptical accountants, it is now a fully accepted customer engagement touchpoint that must be appropriately funded and professionally managed. And companies can no longer assume that merely having a "social presence" is enough. In order to capture the attention they seek and to achieve the returns on investment they desire, companies have to prove their value to social media users who are educated, empowered, vocal and selective. And the strategies for accomplishing this are diverse and distinct. Reputations need to be monitored and maintained on travel review sites, which are quickly evolving into "real-time" networks. Customer service issues and complaints are more frequently identified and resolved in public social forums. Hotels are obliged to choose which social networks best serve their needs (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus or Twitter) and to utilize them to engage, promote, personalize and reward their existing and prospective customers. Video is becoming increasingly popular as a communication tool and therefore must be professionally rendered, and blogging is now an accepted means to promote brand identity and thought leadership. And finally, effective paid advertising and marketing campaigns need to be devised to target potential customers on social media sites. The February Hotel Business Review will examine all these critical issues and explore how some hotels are successfully utilizing social media strategies in their operations.