With its recent acquisition of Fen Hotels, Wyndham Hotel Group is competitive in the management space in Latin America, and is now the leading hotel brand in Argentina.
PARSIPPANY, New Jersey—For Wyndham Hotel Group, there are two main perks coming out of the company’s recent Fën Hotels buy: a larger presence across Latin America and the addition of a management team in Buenos Aires.
Paulo Pena, SVP and managing director of Latin America at Wyndham Hotel Group, said the acquisition of Fën Hotels “adds management capabilities” in the Latin America region for Wyndham. Prior to the deal, he said, the “Latin America region was franchise business with 166 hotels.”
“In the region, probably 50% of opportunities require management,” he said, “and now with a proven management team and headquarter operations in Buenos Aires, we think we can compete effectively for more management deals.”
Fën’s management team has been based in Buenos Aires for 14 years, Pena said.
With the addition of Fën’s two signature brands, Esplendor and Dazzler, Wyndham’s portfolio has grown to a total of 18 brands. Fën’s portfolio spans six countries, which is a boon for Wyndham, particularly in Latin America.
“So in Argentina, we had a portfolio of 35 hotels, and now this (acquisition) significantly boosts our portfolio in Argentina, and we become the leading hotel brand in Argentina,” he said. “It also gives us very good presence in markets like Montevideo, Uruguay; and Asunción, Paraguay, where we will be the strongest in those two cities.”
Pena said the acquisition also strengthens partnerships that were already in place in Lima, Peru, and allows Wyndham to compete in other regions.
“With 188 operating hotels and a very strong combined pipeline … our existing presence is strong,” he said, “But more importantly, it allows us to compete very competitively for future growth in key markets like Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Peru.”
Two new LatAm hotels, US expansion of Fën brands
Fën currently has two hotels under construction—one in Montevideo and one in Asunción. Pena said these hotels will open under the Wyndham Grand brand.
“As part of this acquisition … we agreed with Fën’s leadership teams that these hotels that hadn’t opened yet, and are set to open in the early part of next year, will now open as Wyndham Grand hotels,” he said.
Pena said Wyndham will also focus on the expansion of the two Fën brands in the United States.
“There currently is a Dazzler in Brooklyn, and we’re to open an Esplendor in Bay Harbor, Miami, in the early part of next year,” he said. “So we will be certainly focused on continuing those and making the existing hotel successful—and the new hotel successful—and we will look at markets where it makes sense within the U.S. and within our brand portfolio for these plans.”
He added that Dazzler and Esplendor, Fën’s midscale and upscale lifestyle brands, complement Wyndham’s existing portfolio. The brands have “established a very loyal following of consumers,” he said, and are very well-positioned in Latin America.