Hyatt’s relatively small footprint in the select-service space means it has plenty of room to grow. That’s true, too, for the company’s expansion of what it calls “adjacent spaces,” which offer guests experiences, such as spa and wellness, outside of the hotel.
ATLANTA—Hyatt has “a lot of catching up to do” with its select-service brands, according to Julienne Smith, SVP of development in North America, but the company sees that as a good thing.
“We have a unique challenge, which is a good one, particularly here in the (U.S.) and also in our global markets in that we have open road in a lot of markets,” Smith said during an interview at the recent Hunter Hotel Investment Conference.
“Before that, we were luxury and full service only,” Smith said. “We now have around 350 select-service hotels worldwide but mostly in the U.S., so that leaves a lot of markets open and available for development. So rather than trying to put our 12th or 13th hotel brand in a marketplace, we might be putting in our first, which is from a lot of standpoints a really good investment thesis. From a pipeline standpoint, we see that continuing to grow because we’re so small.”
Another focus for Hyatt going forward will be developing “adjacent spaces,” Smith said, which was the strategy behind the company’s $215-million acquisition of spa and wellness provider Miraval Group in January. She added Hyatt previously considered acquiring luxury serviced home rental pioneer Onefinestay, which was ultimately purchased by AccorHotels in April 2016.
“There’s a lot of interaction that can be done with a hotel guest outside of an actual hotel,” Smith said. “The purchase of Miraval is a step toward that direction. Wellness is a hot topic … (and) a piece of the business that’s only going to grow from our viewpoint. … So I think you’ll see more of that to come.
“We’re hyper-focused on that high-end traveler, and the high-end traveler is very interested in wellness.”
To hear more from Smith about Hyatt’s development plans and outlook for 2017, watch the video below.