What Is Hyatt Centric?

Hyatt is introducing a new brand of hotels, called Hyatt Centric. Hyatt Centric is marketed at “the modern explorer,” whatever that’s supposed to mean.

Hyatt Centric’s marketing

First of all, here’s a three minute marketing video about Hyatt Centric:

Am I the only one that found that video painful to watch? I’m all for marketing and targeting a demographic, but I was legitimately on edge after watching that video.

And while I get what they’re going for here, does anyone really identify with their definition of a “modern explorer?”

Hyatt-Centric-1

They want people to self-identify with the stated demographic they’re going after, but to me it couldn’t sound any more pretentious

What is Hyatt Centric?

Hyatt Centric seems to me somewhere between Hyatt Place and Andaz in terms of what they’re going for. Or perhaps comparing it to other brands, somewhere between aloft and Element. Or perhaps just more like Kimpton in general.

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The Hyatt Centric concept will apparently focus on three core elements:

An authentic entryway to the destination: At Hyatt Centric hotels, guests will know they can rely on an experience inside that will serve as a launching pad to exploration outside. Each hotel, located in the heart of interesting destinations, will offer a unique and modern take on its location. The artwork, furniture, food and beverages will tell a story, allowing guests to immediately get an authentic feel for the location.

A focus on simplicity, thoughtfully crafted: Hyatt Centric hotels will provide a simple, welcoming environment that delivers the essentials in the easiest, most streamlined way possible. For example, at Hyatt Centric hotels, room service will be offered as a knock n’ drop service, which will allow guests to enjoy gourmet food in their rooms without formal delivery. Additionally, while each hotel will be custom designed to its market, the Hyatt Centric brand will be characterized by certain common elements, including spaces like The Corner, where guests can work, socialize and peruse a curated collection of local books and magazines, and a bar and restaurant area that will help foster great conversations and deliver thoughtful, locally inspired food and signature cocktails.

A human touch in a digital world: Hyatt Centric hotels will offer a balance of advanced digital capabilities but with the understanding that these experiences are even more beneficial when combined with a human touch. While guests can enjoy the in-room technologies designed to connect seamlessly with their devices and media, a staff of knowledgeable associates will be on hand to aid guests in their discovery of the destination – particularly useful for business travelers with limited time for exploration. “There’s no substitute for a live conversation with someone who can tell you firsthand about that interesting café you found on your smartphone,” said Rose.

More simply put, Hyatt Centric will:

  • Offer free wifi for all guests (which all Hyatt properties do now, for that matter)
  • Allow pets
  • Offer local bath amenities
  • Have a strong emphasis on communal space, as well as food & beverage

Hyatt Centric locations

It seems Hyatt is moving at full speed with the new concept, and by summer 2015 they plan to have locations in:

  • Long Beach
  • San Francisco
  • Santa Barbara
  • Key West
  • Miami
  • Atlanta
  • Chicago
  • New York
  • Houston
  • Park City
  • Washington DC
  • Paris

Hyatt-Centric-Locations

Given the timeframe it’s clear that these aren’t newly built hotels, but rather conversions. And it actually seems like in most cases, existing hotels are simply being rebranded as Hyatt Centric properties and that there’s not that much “converting” happening.

For example, here’s a picture Hyatt Centric uses on their website:

Hyatt-Paris

And here’s a picture the Hyatt Paris Madeleine uses on their website:

Hyatt-Paris-1

Here’s a picture Hyatt Centric uses on their website:

Hyatt-Long-Beach

And here’s a picture the Hyatt The Pike Long Beach uses on their website:

Hyatt-Long-Beach-1

Here’s a picture Hyatt Centric uses on their website:

Hyatt-Herald-Square

And here’s a picture I took at the Hyatt Herald Square New York:

Hyatt-Herald-Square-New-York-07

Anyway, I could match them all up, but it basically seems like at least initially Hyatt is rebranding existing properties as Hyatt Centric, as opposed to building new properties.

New hotel brands aren’t designed for customers

Here’s something I think most people don’t think about. Why do hotel chains have so many brands nowadays? Yes, ultimately they’re designed to target as many demographics as possible.

But more importantly, keep in mind that the hotel chains aren’t really directly selling to consumers, but rather selling to franchisees. The more “concepts” they can come up with, the more they can potentially sell new and existing business partners on investing in hotels. So the marketing almost isn’t targeted at us, but rather at Hyatt’s business partners.

Hyatt Centric bottom line

I commend Hyatt for adding some unique hotels to their portfolio lately. These hotels are both new builds as well as takeovers from other brands. Many of these properties don’t fit into the “traditional” Regency/Grand/Park concept.

It seems like Hyatt Centric is basically a collection of all the (good) misfits. While the advertisements show large rooms, I wouldn’t expect that to be the case across the board. For example, the rooms at the Hyatt Herald Square are stylish, though under 200 square feet each.

Hyatt-Herald-Square-New-York-17

Ultimately I welcome Hyatt introducing more hotels that don’t fit into the Regency/Grand/Park cookie cutter design. It’s nice to stay at a somewhat unique hotel while still receiving the usual elite benefits.

That being said, I think Hyatt was building those hotels anyway, so they’re simply trying to group them together with the new Hyatt Centric brand. For those Hyatts which are converting to Hyatt Centrics, I would expect most of the changes will simply be minor (staff training, food & beverage, etc.), rather than overhauls.

What do you think of Hyatt Centric?

Comments

  1. So essentially, Hyatt Centric = Hyatt Unregency in non-suburban locations.

    Because if the office-park-bound Hyatt Deerfield or Hyatt Lisle in suburban Chicago becomes the Hyatt Centric, that’s just going to be beyond silly.

    I expect the new Hyatt in downtown Chicago that’s currently under reconstruction (a gut rehab of an office building) to be a Hyatt Centric. That makes a little more sense, but the name is still dumb.

  2. The video wasn’t *great*, but it certainly wasn’t “painful”. I think it would be absolutely awesome to have a slightly more upscale version of Aloft. Starwood has done the W/Aloft split and it’s awesome. I love Aloft and I like W. (I see Andaz/Centric being similar.) I also love that it’s so destination focused. It feels like they’re bringing the good aspects of hostels to hotels. That’s awesome. That’s something you lose with hotels vs. hostels. The focus on location, location, location with lounges with destination information is wonderful and long overdue. I very much identify with the targeted demographic: a wanderer who pores over top 100 destination lists in spare time, makes must-see lists, loves to travel, love to explore, loves to do open-ended travel, loves great stories. I also love the emphasis on well-designed in-room tech: “guests can enjoy the in-room technologies designed to connect seamlessly with their devices and media”. That’s one of the things I love about Aloft: desks that have outlets on top and a whole plethora of TV inputs, network data jacks, etc, etc. Modern style, relatively inexpensive, very comfortable, super-functional, cool; that’s all Aloft stuff that I love. Add in the lounge and location and destination-focus information and I’m very, very excited about Hyatt taking Aloft up half a star and innovating with destination-focused, hostel-style stuff.

    Do you think we’ll see hotels like Olive 8 convert?

    Excellent concept that I’m very excited about!

  3. Any thoughts on price point or what category these hotels might be in? Will the conversions stay in their current categories?

  4. yeah, trying too hard. i get they want to advertise the restaurant and bar scene…but last I checked “explorers” just use the hotel as a place to sleep. otherwise they’re out “exploring”.

  5. First gut feeling: we want hipsters. we want you to be a hipster.

    I most agree with the one post. Trying to be too cool. But it does allow Hyatt to have some additional pieces (and promote as such) with the new “lifestyle” brands continuing to come about.

  6. @ MS — It’s anyone’s guess, though I don’t necessarily think there’s a reason they’d switch categories.

  7. It’s almost like they are going for an upscale Ibis. Smaller hotel rooms that you would consider staying in.

  8. Hyatt’s Olive 8 in Seattle immediately came to mind when I saw the description, as did the Pike in Long Beach and the Bellevue in Philadelphia (former PH). The HYATT “Un-regency” properties are a weird mix between bland and worthwhile, but right now the brand offers no hint of what lies within. Indeed, the HYATT brand’s lack of a logo always made it smell like a placeholder to me.

    Haven’t been by the Hyatt Arlington in a while, but that’s the only non-branded Hyatt in this area.

  9. This is aimed squarely at the Millennial traveler in my opinion. Starwood has always been a bit more cutting edge in respect to brand diversity and to me this is Hyatt’s ‘hipster’ venture. Hilton and Marriott seem to have varying price entry and service points without a specific concept. (Maybe I’m missing something) I’d be interested in checking one of the new ‘Centric’ proprieties out (even tho I’m neither a hipster nor a millennial!) purely to see how they compare to other hotels at a similar price point.

    @Ben – Are you planning on reviewing any once they come available?

  10. @ David — Definitely. I just stayed at the Hyatt Herald Square which will be a Hyatt Centric, though my guess is that the changes will be quite minor.

  11. Do you know when it is bookable? Sometime back I tried to book Paris Madeliene and it was NOT bookable with points … now it is for 25000 points but nothing shows the Centric brand. Booked PH Vendome for 30000 points when I couldn’t book Madeliene … would you switch? How do you compare the two. Never stayed at either!

  12. @ BFD — Well I don’t think the dates for the rebranding are set in stone yet, but if you book the hotel and it transitions your reservation will of course be honored. That being said, I do think it’s worth the 5,000 point premium for the Park Hyatt Paris, personally.

  13. So happy you said that because I have always wanted to stay at the PHV! And I am certainly not a Millennial traveler … in fact this trip to Paris is to celebrate our 40th wedding Anniversary! Thanks

  14. Two Hyatt’s being built in DC right now — one two blocks from my condo, the other two blocks from my office. I assume one and/or both of them will be Hyatt Centric.

  15. I wonder if the demographic description isn’t so much about targeting those people (if they exist), but targeting people who want to be that person or hang out with that person. Like how W Hotels in theory targets cool young attractive urban sophisticates, but in reality a lot of cool young urban sophisticates can’t afford to stay at W Hotels, so the actual clientele often ends up being middle-aged business travelers who want to imagine they could hang out with the cool young urban sophisticates.

  16. jfhscott, in the midst of our sophisticated analysis of marketing (which I admit I very much enjoy!), it’s easy to forget the pleasure that I will receive from “trying the new Hyatt Centric!” just because it’s new and we as humans enjoy new and different things. The simple fact that I’m not walking into yet another Hyatt Regency will increase my enjoyment of the property.

  17. If they would have toned down marketing-speak, the video wouldn’t be too bad.

    With regards to Houston, currently there are only two centrally-located hotels: Hyatt Regency (Downtown) and Hyatt House (Galleria). Regency is a business location so doesn’t fit the bill and Hyatt House is too regular/business-centered to be a good fit.

    So I think they they’ll change a brand of a new hotel that is being constructed in Galleria area that was originally supposed to be under Hyatt Place banner. That hotel will be next door to Hyatt Regency that’s also under construction. Both are slated to open 4Q 2015.

  18. @BFD: PHPV is much nicer than Hyatt Madeleine.
    While the rooms at PH are small, they are luxurious. Hyatt Madeleine is quite dated, the rooms have these 90’style wooden closets. The bar is nice though.

  19. What is the difference between a Hyatt Regency and a Hyatt “Un-Regency” (as someone above called it)? I never could figure out what those non-Regency/Grand/Park Hyatts where really supposed to be or why they existed in the portfolio as a distinct entity.

  20. @ Eric — Simply put, back in the day Hyatt was trying to brand most properties as a Regency, Grand, or Park. They’re realizing that the hotels somewhat lack an identity, and as a result are introducing non-branded hotels which are a bit more unique.

  21. @Lauren where in DC are these two new Hyatts being built? Can’t find anything on the web about that.

  22. I don’t think the demographic will change at some locations. People currently choosing to stay at the Hyatt the Pike in Long Beach find it more intimate than the Hyatt Regency down the street.

    Yes, Marketing should have left the “man purse” out of this promotional video.

  23. Please, please, please, please, please let the DC hotel be the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill. I have to go there every January for Mid-Atlantic Leather (if that’s your thing, or you might think it’s your thing, or you’ve never been to something like it and want a unique experience…do it) and the hotel needs help. It’s fine, and I’m happy to pay the $325/night for a suite (or use a DSU), but lord knows an update is overdue. It’s particularly painful to have to stay there when there are so many other hotels priced at [relatively] reasonable rates…the Mandarin, St. Regis, Park Hyatt, Ritz Carlton, the Willard…the list goes on. Anyway, here’s to hoping! And yeah, if–anywhere in the darkest corners of your soul–you’ve ever wanted to experience walking around the hallways of a hotel with little to no clothing on (or watch others do it), then give it a try.

  24. Now that it’s Fall, Hyatt finally updated their Centric page, which had promised a list of locations “coming Summer 2015”. I hope the brand gets > 2 locations, although I’m also reading that Philly is acquiring one… that will probably be a while considering they have to demo a parking structure first.

    I was hoping for something new in SF and/or DC soon. Oh well.

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