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The Casa Monica Hotel in St. Augustine, Florida the First Property
to Become Part of the Autograph Collection, the New Marriott
Brand for Independent Hotels

ORLANDO, Fla. and BETHESDA, Md., March 18, 2010 - The Kessler Hotel Group and Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) announced today the Casa Monica Hotel is the first property to become part of the Autograph Collection, Marriott's newest brand featuring independent  iconic hotels and resorts. The 138 room Casa Monica Hotel is located in St. Augustine, Florida and one of seven Kessler hotels joining the Autograph Collection.

Earlier this year, Marriott introduced the Autograph Collection brand, as 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 Kessler, a renowned hotelier and avid art collector, whose independent properties are widely regarded as inspiring and unique. Six additional Kessler hotels are scheduled to join the Autograph collection through the end of April.  

"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."

Casa Monica, the first of seven Kessler Collection properties to join the Autograph Collection, is a majestic, restored 1888 landmark hotel located in America's oldest city.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Casa Monica is St. Augustine's only AAA Four-Diamond hotel.  Restored in 1999, Casa Monica blends a legendary past with contemporary comforts.

"We couldn't be more thrilled about this partnership," said Anthony Lazzara, General Manager, Casa Monica.  "We look forward to working with Marriott to profile the historic Casa Monica hotel and St. Augustine, America's oldest city."

"By welcoming Casa Monica and future Kessler hotels 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."

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 Autograph Collection, Kessler has commissioned the painting of an original work of art from noted expressionist-colorist Jean Claude Roy.  Between March 22 and April 30, 2010, all guests of Kessler Hotels in the Autograph Collection will have a chance to win Roy's original work of art. One winner from each hotel will also be selected to receive a limited edition Giclee of the piece.  

Six additional Kessler Collection hotels will hold the Autograph Collection designation:

  • El Monte Sagrado, Taos, New Mexico
  • Grand Bohemian Hotel, Asheville, North Carolina
  • The Mansion on Forsyth Park, Savannah, Georgia
  • Bohemian Hotel Riverfront, Savannah, Georgia
  • Grand Bohemian Hotel, Orlando, Florida
  • Bohemian Hotel Celebration, Celebration, Florida
For reservations at Casa Monica, please call Marriott Global Reservations at 1-800-MARRIOTT
Richard C. Kessler's Luxury Hotel Collection includes the AAA Four-Diamond Beaver Creek Lodge in Beaver Creek, Co.; the AAA Four-Diamond Casa Monica Hotel in St. Augustine, Fla.; the AAA Four-Diamond Bohemian Hotel Celebration inCelebration, Fla.; the AAA Four-Diamond Grand Bohemian Hotel in Orlando, Fla.; the AAA Four-Diamond Grand Bohemian Hotel in Asheville, N.C.; the AAA Four-Diamond El Monte Sagrado Living Resort & Spa in Taos, N.M.; Kessler Canyon Ranch in De Beque, Co.; the AAA Four-Diamond Mansion on Forsyth Park in Savannah, Ga.; and the Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront in Savannah, Ga.  For additional information about the Kessler Collection, please call 407/996-9999 or visit .

MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC. (NYSE: MAR) is a leading lodging company with more than 3,400 lodging properties in 68 countries and territories. Marriott International operates and franchises hotels under the Marriott, JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Residence Inn, Courtyard, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites and Bulgari brand names; develops and operates vacation ownership resorts under the Marriott Vacation Club, The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club, and Grand Residences by Marriott brands; licenses and manages whole-ownership residential brands, includingThe Ritz-Carlton Residences, JW Marriott Residences and Marriott Residences; operates Marriott Executive Apartments; provides furnished corporate housing through its Marriott ExecuStay division; and operates conference centers. The company is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and had approximately 137,000 employees at 2009 year-end. It is recognized by FORTUNE® as one of the best companies to work for, and by Newsweek as one of the greenest big companies in America. In fiscal year 2009, Marriott International reported sales from continuing operations of nearly $11 billion. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at, and for the latest company news, visit  


Marriott International, Inc.


Also See: Marriott's Global Reservations System and Strong Ecommerce Platform Attracts Seven Kessler Hotels to be First to Join Marriott's New Brand - The Autograph Collection / January 2010
Historic Casa Monica Hotel Making New History in St. Augustine, Florida; Talented Management Team Usher in a New Era for Elegantly Restored Landmark / December 2001

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