Next-generation Hyatt Place designs, set to appear in the market next year, incorporate new design elements for guestrooms and lobbies, and also a variety of wellness-focused amenities and loyalty privileges.
NEW YORK—Hyatt Place’s latest updates, which brand leadership call “a new generation” of hotels, include new design elements as well as more perks for loyalty members and wellness-focused amenities.
Speaking to Hotel News Now during a break at the recent NYU International Hotel Industry Investment Conference, Hyatt executives shared why it was important to include more than just design updates and where the Hyatt Place brand is headed in the short term.
“As a company we’re always listening to owner feedback and talking to owners,” said Julienne Smith, Hyatt’s SVP of real estate and development.
That owner feedback, along with consumer input, shaped the brand’s new design updates, Jim Chu, global head of development and owner relations at Hyatt, said.
Guestrooms now will have hard-surface flooring and an upgraded 55-inch TV. Mattresses, blackout shades and warm lighting are designed to enhance sleep quality, and the room’s design promotes distinct sleep, work and relaxation zones.
In the bathroom, the vanity is now more generously sized, a feature “based entirely on consumer feedback,” Smith said. Enhanced lighting and shower amenities complete the experience.
Smith said “the bulk of the updates are in the lobby” and public spaces. A big part of that, the executives said, revolves around food and beverage.
“We’re focusing on afternoon and evening beverage programs, highlighting craft beers, microbrews and other local offerings,” Smith said. A redesigned coffee bar and coffee program also are designed to take advantage of local trends and products.
Chu said breakfast is a big part of the brand’s latest updates.
“We’re upgrading and creating a more thoughtful prepared breakfast without adding cost, and making sure we can cater to our weekday traveler,” he said.
Hotels also can opt for regionally focused breakfasts, “like avocado toast and San Francisco sourdough on the West Coast, or biscuits and gravy in the South,” Chu said.
Among several new perks for loyalty members, Hyatt Place will offer free breakfast for World of Hyatt members moving forward, Chu said.
New-generation Hyatt Place properties will have mobile-entry capabilities, and loyalty members will have access to wellness programs through the brand’s app. Certain loyalty program tiers will be able to have flexible early check-in options as well.
“It’s about both looking for a continued great experience for guests, and about creating a different experience and value for World of Hyatt members,” Chu said.
Hyatt acquired spa and wellness brand Exhale last August, and now is ready to roll out related programming. Exhale-branded fitness and mindfulness video programming will be available on guestroom TVs and via the app. Hyatt Place guests also will get preferred rates at Exhale facilities.
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Beyond that specific partnership, Smith said expanded fitness centers in Hyatt Place hotels will reinforce wellness messaging. The company also is working on partnerships with other fitness apps, including a bike-sharing platform.
When it comes to rolling out the new Hyatt Place features, Smith said the company is talking to owners who have hotels in the pipeline now, and the first new-build Hyatt Place hotels with these features “should be open by the end of next year.”
Existing Hyatt Places will convert to the new features as their property-improvement plans or other capital-expenditure spending comes up, she said.
As of early June, 308 Hyatt Place hotels were open worldwide, with about 150 signed or under-contract deals in the pipeline, Smith said.
While some properties are renovations or conversions, the brand now is “largely purpose-built,” she added.
Ninety percent of the pipeline is franchised.
“Our growth strategy is aligned around our purpose and culture at Hyatt,” Smith said. “It’s about organic growth, purposeful growth and partnerships.”