January 11, 2011 - The Raphael Hotel, Kansas City’s landmark property, is thrilled to announce its official affiliation with the Autograph Collection beginning on February 1, 2011. The Autograph Collection is a portfolio of upscale, independent hotels and resorts, each with a distinctive personality. The Raphael is among the first to become a part of Marriott International’s Autograph Collection in the iconic historic hotel category, taking its place alongside other legendary properties including The Algonquin Hotel of New York City.
The Autograph Collection is a new collection of hotels within Marriott International, Inc.’s global portfolio. It takes an innovative approach to selecting hotels with distinct personalities that promise guests a unique experience. Hotels in the Autograph Collection can fall into boutique arts, iconic historic, boutique chic, luxury redefined or retreat categories.
“We are excited about The Raphael’s affiliation with the Autograph Collection,” said Steve Miller, director of operations for Lighthouse Properties, owner and operator of The Raphael. “We take pride in offering our guests the authentic and unique Kansas City experience. Through our partnership with the Autograph Collection, we can offer our guests even more –– including Marriott Rewards points for stays and an affiliation with other similar independent hotels throughout the world.”
“The landmark Raphael Hotel offers a truly unique experience in the heart of Kansas City,” said Kip Vreeland, vice president of the Autograph Collection. “We are excited to welcome The Raphael to the Autograph Collection, delivering the power of our world-class sales engines while maintaining The Raphael’s unique identity in the center of America’s heartland.”
The Raphael, as part of the Autograph Collection, will be featured on Marriott.com and affiliated with the award winning Marriott Rewards program, where guests can earn points at more than 3,300 hotels in 69 countries. As a member of the Autograph Collection, The Raphael taps into Marriott’s industry-leading global reservations system, and powerful consumer outreach through its leading technology, and sales and marketing platforms which have helped build Marriott into one of the world’s leading hotel operators.
About The Raphael Hotel: The Raphael is a one-of-a-kind boutique hotel patterned after Europe’s small, elegant hotels. It combines the charm and intimacy of a locally significant landmark with highly individualized service. Constructed as Villa Serena Apartment in 1927, the Italian Renaissance Revival style structure was designed to complement the nascent Country Club Plaza. It was reborn The Raphael in 1975 following a renovation that preserved its landmark historical virtues.
The Raphael concluded a multi-year total renovation in December 2009 at a cost exceeding the property’s original development cost in today’s currency. The project’s scope encompassed all new construction in guest rooms, including plumbing, heating, ventilation and cooling as well as new bathroom features and fixtures; completely new guest room decor, including carpet, beds and bedding, furniture, art and amenities; refurbished corridors; the addition of dedicated meeting space, including an executive boardroom that seats 12 and a meeting room that accommodates up to 40 for banquets; a new fitness center and a 24-hour business center; restoration and enhancements to the lobby; refinements to the patio; and a completely remodeled, new concept restaurant, Chaz on the Plaza. Historically significant features, including original wood millwork and travertine marble flooring in the lobby were faithfully restored. A renovation to upgrade the kitchen of its signature restaurant was concluded January 3, 2011 and a makeover of the hotel’s historic lobby will be completed in February 2011.
The Raphael, one of Kansas City’s most highly awarded hotels, is one of 62 hotels cited a top value among Travel+Leisure magazine’s 2011 T+L500 World’s Best Hotels. The nine-story, 126-room property is a member of National Trust Historic Hotels of America and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. More information is available at www.raphaelkc.com.
Autograph Collection is an ensemble of high-personality and boldly independent hotels, each carefully selected for its distinctiveness, style and synchronicity with your unique travel interests. Together, the entire Autograph Collection takes the guesswork out of finding exceptional, distinctive non-chain hotels that are original as who you are and provides you with all the rewards and benefits of a world-class loyalty program. More information is available at www.AutographCollectionHotels.com
About Lighthouse Properties
Lighthouse Properties is a hospitality development and management company owned by the Walker family of Salina, Kansas. In addition to The Raphael, the company has a successful track record developing and operating mid-scale and limited service properties in the Midwest. More information is available at www.lighthousepropertieshotels.com.
Hotel's $10 million Restoration Finished; Built in 1927 as a Apartment
Building Near the Then-new Country Club Plaza in Kansas City /