Hyatt has recently completed the acquisition of Two Roads Hospitality. What was the motivation behind the investment? Does this signal a return of focus of Hyatt towards luxury or a continuation of your strategic focus on lifestyle?
We were drawn to Two Roads and its established portfolio of brands – Alila, Joie de Vivre, Destination, Thompson and tommie – because of our shared commitment to deliver distinct experiences. There was also a shared emphasis on care, which was incredibly important from a culture standpoint. Similar to Hyatt’s brands, the Two Roads’ brands are positioned at the high-end of every segment they serve.
Which are the main benefits kindled by this acquisition which sees the addition of five brands, reaching a total of 19 brands?
With the addition of Two Roads, the newly combined portfolio stands at over 800 properties across a balanced portfolio of 19 brands and a robust development pipeline. As part of the acquisition, we also enter 23 markets, allowing us to serve guests and customers in more locations. Furthermore this acquisition allows Hyatt to further build on offering differentiated experiences to our customers and our travel professionals in the luxury and lifestyle spaces.
What are the key differentiators between lifestyle brands and luxury?
For luxury brands, guests expect an elevated level of comfort, rare and intimate experiences, and familiarity while lifestyle brands invite more unique features to spark guests’ curiosity and create a hub for like-minded individuals.
Your only luxury brand Park Hyattseems to have had slower growth / expansion pace compared to direct competitors. What has been your strategic approach towards expanding in the luxury segment?
At Hyatt, we are focused on thoughtful growth and our development strategy is driven by where guests and owners want to be. We have a number of exciting openings over next 18 months for the Park Hyatt brand including Kyoto, Niseko, Auckland, Los Angeles and we welcome back our Park Hyatt Toronto following a multi-million dollar refurbishment. 2019 also marks an important year for Miraval, our luxury wellness brand, with two new Miraval locations opening in Austin and Lenox, Massachusetts and we are excited for the continuous growth of Andaz with Andaz Munich and Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere opening soon.
How has your approach changed (if in any way) towards ownership versus third party management?
Hyatt is uniquely positioned in the market – we have the benefits of a global network but our smaller size allows us to maintain highly personal relationships with owners. This enables our approach to be driven by owner needs and goals.
Which are the biggest disruptors you are facing and what has been your approach?
Traveler preferences continue to evolve at a rapid pace and we focus on guest and customer feedback to inform our offerings. We are also very mindful to listen to the voice of customers around the world at ensure we take into consideration the need to adapt to cultural needs. One size doesn’t fit all
How has the relationship with owners / developers changed (if in any way) in the past years?
Owners are a key stakeholder and we continue to focus on ways to maximize their investment
Your largest portfolio of luxury hotels is presently in Asia. Tell us more
Our luxury footprint has grown extensively over the last 10 years. Asia along with other regions are extremely important for Hyatt and for our owners as we look at strategic and meaningful growth that helps us deliver on luxury and lifestyle experiences for our guests. The openings of Park Hyatt Kyoto, Park Hyatt Niseko and Park Hyatt Auckland and new Alila openings in Asia will demonstrate the importance we place on the Asia Pacific region and how our brand offerings are differentiated.
Besides a top quality product and high standard of service, luxury hoteliers are increasingly striving to achieve a distinct luxury experience in such a way it actually defines their brand DNA. What is your take?
For luxury travelers, a highly personalized experience is key and our luxury properties strive to make each guest’s visit unique. For the Park Hyatt brand we curate rare and intimate experiences – for example, the Masters of Food & Wine program, which is available across all Park Hyatt hotels. Recently, the Park Hyatt brand worked with National Geographic to bring the Park Hyatt brand to life by highlighting the travel experiences and detailing mementos of two World of Hyatt loyalty program members to demonstrate how luxury is personal.
Or simply it could be sitting with our guest relations and helping create a local immersion in the destination. Another way for guests to immerse in their locations is by participating in one of our Andaz Salon series, which provide an opportunity to for guests to partake in culturally-relevant discussions.
Achieving and maintaining a high standard of service has often proved to be more achievable than actually renovating a property in need?
We focus on listening to our customers and tailoring our service for guests along with identifying new offerings that are unique to Hyatt. For Hyatt, the people delivering the brand experience is so critically important in helping us deliver on our purpose – we care for people so they can be their best. We have a wonderful array of hotels around the world, but our colleagues and commitment to distinct experiences are what make a true difference for guests.
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