The company, which currently has franchise agreements with three hotels in the UK – St Ermin’s and Threadneedles in London and The Glasshouse in Edinburgh – could have eight hotels by early next year if all goes to plan, John Licence, continental brand leader, Autograph Collection Europe told BigHospitality.
“We’re in discussions. Some revolve around standards and others are based around other improvements, but they are all very positive,” he said.
Potential hotels would be in major UK cities outside London, but the company was also considering rural hotels too, he added.
Licence said, despite being a Marriott brand, he sees Autograph Collection as the antithesis of a brand with hotel owners encouraged to retain the uniqueness of their properties.
Each hotel retains its existing name and logo, yet have integration with a number of Marriott services.
“The difference with us is we’re not a conversion brand. We look for hotels with a real sense of their own identity and character," Licence said.
“The only way people know they are our hotels is there is a small plaque at the entrance and the hotels are of course listed on the Marriott website, but hotel owners are happy because they get access to our sales revenue systems and marketing which allows them to see an uplift in trade.”
Autograph Collection’s UK growth plans are part of its plans to grow across the globe. By the end of the year the company, which currently operates 93 hotels under franchise agreements globally will have 100.