HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO Zen Garden

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Marriott’s Luxury Collection vs. Autograph Collection Brands

 

Marriott has soft brands of higher-end curated boutique hotels that you can redeem your Marriott Bonvoy points on. They are the Luxury Collection and Autograph Collection. You can expect unique decors and experiences from both brands, but there are few blending themes that each brand offer. I’ll break down the differences in both of these “Collection” brands.

I also made a comparison of Autograph Collection and Tribute Portfolio, Marriott’s upscale boutique brands.

 

Luxury Level

When comparing Luxury Collection and Autograph Collection, Luxury Collection will be on the upper tier of luxury level with better service. However. Luxury Collection tends to have the classic luxury feel since many hotels associated with the brand are historic hotels. Thus, some of them may feel too stuffy for younger guests, but there are still more modern ones that feel more approachable.

HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO‘s design language creates a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity.

With that said, Autograph Collection have more properties that feel approachable albeit with lesser luxury. They are still upscale, however. So you can expect to pay less Marriott points due to the overall lower assigned Category level.

Mesm Tokyo
Mesm Tokyo is one of my favorite Autograph Collection hotels.

 

Breakfast Policy

Marriott Platinum Elite and up are entitled to daily free breakfast for two guests for both Luxury and Autograph Collection hotels. There’s just a slight difference in how it’s offered in the Welcome Gift.

Luxury Collection’s free breakfast comes from the choice of one following bonuses: points, breakfast, or special amenities.

Palace Hotel San Francisco Omelet Breakfast
Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Francisco Omelet Breakfast

Autograph Collection on the other hand, comes from the lounge access benefit. However, most Autograph Collection won’t have an executive lounge. Thus, the breakfast comes from the lounge “closure”, and it will be provided in the hotel’s restaurant. Guests can still choose the welcome gift of bonus points, food & beverage credit, or special amenities.

AC Hotel Moffett Park Open Toast with Eggs
Open Toast Breakfast- TETRA Hotel, Autograph Collection

 

 Lounge Access

Luxury Collection hotels do not have lounge access for elites to benefit from at all. While Autograph Collection could have one, they’re not very common at all.

 

Marriott STARS & Luminous

Both brands have hotels that may participate in the Marriott STARS & Luminous program. Since Luxury Collection is one-step above Autograph Collection, they fall under the Marriott STARS program. Autograph Collection then belongs to Marriott Luminous program.

Marriott STARS come with bigger benefits compared to Marriott Luminous.

BenefitsMarriott STARSMarriott Luminous
Property Credit$100 per stay$100 per stay, only at some properties
Room upgradePriority, subject to availabilitySubject to availability
BreakfastDaily for 2 guestsDaily for 2 guests
Wi-FiYesYes
Welcome amenityYesYes
Early Check-in/Late Check-outSubject to availabilityNo

Keep in mind that most of the benefits overlap with Marriott elite status, and the extra tangible benefits most likely come from the property credit.

 

AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts and The Hotel Collection

Both Luxury and Autograph Collection may participate in AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts and The Hotel Collection. Luxury Collection hotels are typically in the Fine Hotels & Resorts portfolio, so you’d need an Amex Platinum (personal & business) to take advantage of the benefits.

Many Autograph Collection hotels belong to The Hotel Collection instead, which requires at least a 2-night stay. However, it requires you to at least have an Amex Gold Card (personal & business) instead. Very few Autograph Collection hotels can be found Fine Hotels & Resorts.

In similar fashion to Marriott STARS & Luminous, Fine Hotels & Resorts come with much bigger benefits than The Hotel Collection.

BenefitsFine Hotels & ResortsThe Hotel Collection
Property Credit~$100-125 per stay$100 per stay
Room Upgradesubject to availabilitysubject to availability
BreakfastDaily for 2 guestsN/A
Noon Check-insubject to availabilityN/A
4pm Late CheckoutGuaranteedN/A

The Hotel Collection’s benefits are not as comprehensive as Marriott Luminous, thus there’s really not much reason to go out of your way to use The Hotel Collection when there’s Marriott Luminous.

 

Conclusion

The biggest takeaway on the differences between Luxury Collection & Autograph Collection is that Luxury Collection is typically one-tier above Autograph Collection in terms of luxury. Many Luxury Collection hotels are quite historic, so it may not be to some people’s preference. Autograph Collection hotels can feel more “hip” which can attract younger guests better. However, some of the newer Luxury Collection hotels have approachable luxury that can feel appropriate for guests of all ages.

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