In a conversation with Hotel News Now at The Lodging Conference, Hyatt executives said the new Caption by Hyatt brand should have big franchise opportunities in North America and will be managed in parts of the world where franchising is not as common.
PHOENIX, Arizona—Caption by Hyatt, a new lifestyle select-service brand announced on Tuesday, was created to serve a need in the select-service space that brand leaders said is currently unmet: Travelers who want to connect with new people.
During a conversation with Hotel News Now at The Lodging Conference, Heather Geisler, VP of global brands at Hyatt Hotels Corporation, said the company identified a “clear opportunity” through discussions with its owners and operators.
“This is a brand that was shaped and influenced by that feedback, and what we heard from them is that they are continuing to see momentum in the select-service space,” she said.
Gary Dollens, head of product and brand development at Hyatt, said Caption by Hyatt was designed as a global brand that can thrive in both a franchise and managed model.
“We think this is going to be a large franchise vehicle,” he said. “There will also be managed hotels in the brand, and it depends on the part of the world and where you’ve got fewer franchises. But when you look at North America, you’re going to see this as a highly franchised brand with a lot of appeal from a development perspective and an ongoing runway.”
The brand’s global reach will be important to scale, but also is inherent to its concept, he said.
“Some of the things that we liked that we feel belong in this brand, that create what it is, come from other parts of the world,” he said. “This is not something that is North American-centric that we’re going to modify or develop for Europe later or for Asia later. … We’ve put our thought into every aspect of what the brand is.”
Dollens added Caption by Hyatt will fit in “easily” in the top 200 U.S. markets, where it will “layer on top of other brands” without much overlap, as well as throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Caption is designed to connect guests with others on property, so the layout of social spaces is unique, Dollens said.
The entrance design was inspired by co-working spaces. “The transaction isn’t there when you walk in the front door,” he said.
“You don’t want to walk into a transaction every time you walk into the building. … That co-working-inspired space, you don’t know where the carpet stops and the hard surface starts in terms of co-working, food and beverage kind of inspiration, but it works all day through all evening.”
Social spaces will incorporate F&B at all times of the day, “from a barista-inspired coffee house in the day time to great local bar in the evening,” he said.
The brand is meant to welcome people not staying in the hotel, he said.
The idea for the brand was to create “something (guests) want to spend time in,” which “in turn will draw in the outsider as well,” Dollens said.
Social spaces also connect to the outside of the building, he said.
“Where we can do it, you’ll be able to walk up and grab a cup of coffee right there on the street and keep on going down the street,” he said.
Minimizing “pinch points”
Caption is designed to alleviate what brand leaders said are “pinch points for guests” by providing such features as an enclosed bathroom with ample vanity space for toiletries and a spacious shower.
The brand was also designed to make it easy for owners to update and repair as needed.
“As something needs to be replaced, you replace it, and you don’t replace the entire space,” he said.
Dollens added the value proposition for the developer, operator and guest is “something that’s very special and very different.”