Hotels are on a mission to differentiate themselves; whether it's creative food and beverage concepts or day camps for kids, the better and more unique the offerings, the more appealing the hotel.
Today, hotels are constantly perfecting the "experience". It's not just about perfectly decorated rooms or one-of-a-kind art prints; it's about providing an experience you won't get anywhere else.
A few of my favorites (all of which we've talked about in this column on 4Hoteliers) include:
- The personal trainers on the televisions in guest rooms at the Four Seasons Los Angeles, Beverly Hills
- Watching the Hong Kong light show from the highest hotel in the world at the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong
- Looking at treasured pieces of the past in guest rooms, like commodes owned by Marilyn Monroe at Blantyre Resort in Lenox, Mass.
These are just a few of the small, but unique offerings that give hotels a stand out quality, luring guests back time of time. When Marriott's Autograph Collection launched a few years ago, the mission of the portfolio was to ensure hotel had something special to offer customers. As the portfolio grows, so does its uniqueness.
The Autograph Collection is Marriott International's exclusive portfolio of upscale, independent hotels, which all focus on a type of lifestyle or experience. Want to learn about the arts, or take cooking classes? Want a truly romantic vacation, or need to say somewhere that accommodates kids? Whether it's the arts, culture, history or activities, the Autograph Collection of the hotels has the right "experience" for everyone. Now comes word they're bringing that experience to the UK.
Threadneedles, in the heart of London's financial district, and The Glasshouse in central Edinburgh, Scotland, are the newest hotels to join the Autograph Collection.
Threadneedles, London is just minutes from The Bank of England, St Paul's Cathedral, Borough Market, and The Royal Exchange. Its focus on history is what draws travelers here. The lobby's main focal point is an elaborately hand painted stained-glass dome, which dates back to 1856, and the hotel's fashionable restaurant and bar, Bonds, are set in the former main banking hall original Victorian features.
The Glasshouse, Edinburgh, is where arts meet culture. Situated at the foot of Calton Hill and built into the 150 year old façade of the Lady Glenorchy church, The Glasshouse is one of Edinburgh's best known boutique hotels. The Five Star hotel has a roof-top garden that spans two-acres and is dressed in elegantly landscaped gardens. Most of the guest rooms open onto (and provide
access to) the hotel's private roof-top garden. The Glasshouse has been named by Conde Nast Traveller magazine as one of the "Top 50 Hottest Hotels," and winner of the "Most Stylish Hotel" by the Scottish Style Awards.
If you're not sure what type of travel experience you want, head over to the Autograph Collection's Facebook page and test out the "What Does Your Autograph Say About You?" app. You can discover your own personal style and then choose a hotel that fits you.This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from 4Hoteliers.com is not permitted.
Melanie Nayer is a hotel reviewer and expert on luxury travel around the world. She has covered all aspects of hotels including corporate restructures, re-branding initiatives, historical aspects and the best of the best in luxury hotels around the world.
Melanie writes a weekly exclusive column for 4Hoteliers.com