I was pretty excited when I saw the announcement yesterday that Hyatt had announced a new brand. Hyatt isn’t as large as their competitors, so when my favorite hotel chain adds properties I take notice
The new brand is called “Unbound” and is meant to consist of unique, independent hotels. The new brand starts out with four hotels:
- Hotel du Louvre, Paris (I’ve heard good things and debated staying there for our most recent Paris trip)
- Carmelo Resort & Spa, Uruguay
- Coco Palms Resort, Kauaui, HI
We’ll be able to earn and redeem Hyatt Gold Passport points at the properties in the Unbound collection. If the current properties are any example, we should also receive any applicable elite benefits, like club lounge access and the ability to use Diamond suite upgrades.
Folks who aren’t big on hotel elite status argue that being loyal to a chain can cause you to miss out on the best properties in a region by sticking with cookie-cutter branded hotels. Hyatt is expressly stating a desire to expand their reach into more unique hotels. Marriott has the Autograph collection. Most of the SPG Luxury collection as well as the Tribute collection are this same style of hotel, where unique or historical properties see the benefit of inclusion in a loyalty program (and customers benefit as well). Some of my best hotel stays (whether associated with a chain or not) are ones that didn’t have a “brand”, including:
Hotel Danieli, Venice: The Doge Palace, built in the 14th century and converted to a luxury hotel.
Equinox Resort, Vermont: Summer home of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln, a quaint resort in a quiet town.
I was excited that this announcement would include a list of new properties. Alas, we’ll have to wait some for Hyatt to announce new additions to the Unbound collection. Where Starwood Preferred Guest is strong in Europe with exceptional unbranded hotels, Hyatt has quite a few countries with no presence whatsoever. Getting the agreements in place to build a new hotel is a long process. Doing the same for a luxury hotel is even more complex. Targeting existing hotels that fit the mission of the new brand should be easier, or at least give Hyatt the ability to increase the size of the collection more quickly.
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