I’m starting to become a fan of Marriott’s Autograph Collection of hotels. They’re very different from what we’ve come to expect from Marriott (i.e they’re interesting and they don’t all look the same) and they’re in some pretty cool locations.
St Ermin’s Hotel in London is a great example of what the Autograph Collection can offer – a charming hotel in a period building, a boutique feel, good service from well trained staff and in an great central London location. And the prices, for London, aren’t too bad either.
The latest information from Marriott lists 83 Autograph Collection hotels worldwide (although the list isn’t up to date as the latest addition, The Press Hotel in Portland, has yet to be added) so more hotels are always welcome and Marriott appears to be obliging.
Marriott has announced that the Swiss boutique design hotel “The Hotel” in Lucerne, Switzerland will be joining the portfolio on 8 July this year.
The hotel’s website indicates that the property opened as a hotel in 2000 but the building dates back to 1907. They have just 30 guest rooms (Marriott Rewards redemptions could be tricky!) each of which has been designed in its own “unique” way with ceiling art and individual colour compositions.
The word “unique” can cover a multitude of sins and, a quick look at some of the hotel website’s photos, proves my point very nicely. Take a look at this “deluxe studio” for example:
That’s hideous! I wouldn’t get a minute’s sleep in that room. It’s dark, gaudy and I have no idea what’s going on on that ceiling but it needs to go.
The “Corner Junior Suites” look a little better – the bright red has gone and the ceiling looks less in-your-face, but the room still looks dark.
I’ll concede that it looks better in this picture…
The “Garden and Park Loft Suites” are better still but I’m still not a fan of the ceilings.
Lastly, the “Penthouse Junior Suites” appear to be the least objectionable…primarily because no one is staring down at you from the ceiling and the furniture doesn’t look more suited to a bordello than to an upscale hotel.
The dining options look impressive with the hotel boasting 5 restaurants and a coffee shop – that’s a lot for a property with just 30 rooms! Asian food features highly with 4 of the 5 restaurants offering various versions of Asian cuisine with the 5th restaurant offering simple Italian fare (pizzas and pastas).
The TripAdvisor reviews are also impressive – clearly I’m in a minority when it comes my feelings on the interior decor – with the hotel ranking 7 out of 69 hotels in the city.
With just 30 rooms there was never going to be good news on the price front and, as you can see below, the price/night for a long weekend in August is pretty steep.
Thanks to the way TripAdvisor displays prices you have to look carefully to see the lowest price of $381 (ignore the site that shows $326/night as that price wasn’t available when I clicked through).
Things look better in early October….
But that appears to be about as good as the prices get.
I have to confess that I was more excited about the addition of a new hotel to the Autograph Collection before I saw the design of the rooms…..but then I appreciate that everyone’s taste is different. Would I pay $400+/night to sty at this property? Probably not but, for some, it may be something they enjoy.
The most important thing is that it’s good to see Marriott continuing to add properties to the portfolio. More properties means more choice for us, the consumers, and more choice is almost always a good thing.