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 September Online Hotel Business Review


Feature Focus
Hotel Group Meetings: Demand is Trending Up
Corporations and businesses are once again renewing their investments in people, strategic planning, and training and development. As a result, all indicators point to 2016 being a robust year for the hotel group meetings business. Group demand is strong and rates, especially during peak periods, are trending up. Still, hotels must continue to evolve to meet the changing expectations of group meeting planners and their clients. There are several trends and factors that are driving decision-making which planners have identified as being essential to the process. Though geographic location and room rates continue to be the most important factors when selecting a host property, food and beverage choices are becoming increasingly influential. Planners understand the value of first-class culinary options as these are often used to facilitate networking experiences. Another critical factor is the availability of sufficient bandwidth for high-speed wired and wireless connectivity to the internet. In addition, in an effort to eliminate unsightly and unwieldy power cords, planners are requesting the installation of mobile-device charging stations. These portable charging stations (which do not require devices to be plugged in) can be conveniently placed in common areas or directly in meeting rooms. Finally, there is a greater emphasis on teambuilding activities that are intended to challenge groups, and bring them closer together. Some hotels are offering scenic walking trails, GPS-aided scavenger hunts, kayaking into secluded coves or rollerblading on oceanfront boardwalks, among many other recreational activities. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group business and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.