Today Marriott announced that it will be expanding its presence in Spain via the Autograph Collection. The Autograph Collection is a line of boutique or independent hotels that Marriott partners with to bring into their reservations system, started last year. The benefit is that Marriott Rewards members now have even more places to earn and redeem. Furthermore, Marriotts can be on the bland side, and the Autograph collection nicely spices up their offering. Being able to redeem and earn at these swanky properties is a great perk! As an avid skier, I’m really looking forward to trying out El Monte Sagrado in Taos, NM some time in the future. The Autograph Collection’s expansion to Europe begins with four of the AC Hotel Group’s properties in Spain:
- AC Santo Mauro, Madrid
- AC Palacio del Retiro, Madrid
- AC Palacio de Santa Paula, Granada
- AC Baqueira Hotel & Spa, Baqueira
I haven’t been to Spain in nearly ten years, but I would love to go back. Granada was one of my favorite cities, and there weren’t any great options for redeeming, regardless of which loyalty program you chose. The AC Palacio de Santa Paula looks like a fantastic place to visit!
As much as I think it is great that Marriott is opening up a unique line of properties, I think they really need to get the staff trained at these places. I have stayed at two Autograph Collection hotels thus far, and at neither of the two properties was my status recognized, and service has been spotty overall. Judging from some of the threads in Flyertalk, I was not alone. Marriott needs to keep these properties unique, but it should also work to provide the same experience that MR elite members are used to.