By Gail Kalinoski, Contributing Editor
Nearly a year after adding the Hyatt Centric lifestyle brand to its hospitality offerings, Hyatt Hotels Corp. is expanding its reach with two international hotels. The first will open in mid-2016 in Montevideo, Uruguay, and the second will be developed in Tokyo.
Hyatt will also convert three hotels in the United States this year to the upper-upscale lifestyle boutique brand “based on their sought-after locations and due to their unique designs that reflect the hotels’ surroundings and local flair.” Hyatt The Pike Long Beach in California is now Hyatt Centric The Pike Long Beach. Hyatt Escala Lodge at Park City in Utah is Hyatt Centric Park City, and Hyatt Market Street, The Woodlands, in Texas is Hyatt Centric The Woodlands.
They join the hotels that launched the brand in the U.S—Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago and Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami. Both of those hotels were adaptive reuse projects and were the first two announced in February, when Hyatt became the latest hospitality company to offer a full-service lifestyle brand. Hyatt executives said then it was aimed at business and leisure travelers they dubbed “modern explorers.”
As they begin a global rollout of the brand, Hyatt executives are continuing with the exploration theme.
“We are embracing the spirit of exploration and discovery that is at the core of the Hyatt Centric brand and it will continue to guide us as the brand grows in new markets,” said Sandra Cordova Micek, global senior vice president of brands, Hyatt. “The Hyatt Centric brand is created for millennial-minded travelers who are looking for authentic local experiences in the center of the destination. Every aspect of a Hyatt Centric hotel, from quality accommodations to helpful in-the-know-staff, delivers on the brand’s commitment to ensure our guests have everything they need and inspire them to explore the best that the area has to offer.”
Steve Haggerty, global head of strategy, franchising and select service for Hyatt, said the new properties “signal momentum for the brand’s global expansion plans and our foray into the increasingly popular upper-upscale lifestyle segment, setting the stage for additional hotels in prime destinations by the end of this year.”
Hyatt Centric Montevideo will be the first of the international hotels to open. The 178-room hotel will be in the Pocitos neighborhood on River Plate, along the Rambla Republica del Peru and close to the business district and tourist sites, including Ciudad Vieja, the World Trade Center and the Montevideo Shopping Center. It will feature more than 1,100 square feet of flexible meeting space, a restaurant and rooftop lounge.
The Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo, slated for an early-2018 opening, will be the first new-build Hyatt Centric hotel in Asia Pacific. The 164-room hotel will occupy the top 10 floors of the Ginza Asahi Building, a 12-story commercial property being built by Asahi Shimbun in the city’s noted Ginza fashion and entertainment center. It will have dining, a terrace bar, flexible meeting space and a fitness center.
All the locations announced fit Hyatt’s criteria for its Hyatt Centric brand. They are centrally located so leisure and business travelers can explore the area and “get a feel for the local flavor.” Each hotel has its own personality but all have spaces like The Corner, where guests can work, socialize or read local books. They also have bars and restaurants with locally inspired food and signature cocktails.
As of late September, Hyatt’s worldwide portfolio consisted of 627 properties in 52 countries.
In November, the company opened its first dual-branded hotel under one roof—Hyatt Place Denver/Downtown, with 248 guest rooms aimed, and Hyatt House Denver/Downtown hotel, featuring 113 apartment-style suites.