Hyatt’s Newest Hotel Brand: Unbound Collection

Hyatt has just announced their latest hotel brand, called Unbound Collection by Hyatt. This is Hyatt’s first attempt at introducing an independent hotel brand as part of their portfolio, and seems to be almost identical to Starwood’s Tribute Portfolio, which has the slogan “Stay Independent.”

Here’s a message from Hyatt’s CEO, Mark Hoplamazian, describing his vision for the Unbound Collection:

Here’s how the new brand is described in the press release:

Hyatt Hotels Corporation today announced the launch of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, a global collection of unique and independent stay experiences. The Unbound Collection by Hyatt will include a portfolio of new and existing upper-upscale and luxury properties that will maintain a distinct character while providing guests and owners Hyatt’s award-winning customer loyalty program, robust operational and marketing resources and trusted, quality brand.

The properties within The Unbound Collection by Hyatt – which will include historic urban gems, contemporary trend-setters, boutique hotels, resorts, and more – will have their own individual brand identities, free from constraint or convention. At the same time, the brand will provide guests the freedom from worry by giving them the high-quality that comes with the Hyatt brand.

To start, this new brand will have four properties, with the hope of growing beyond that quickly:

Hotel-Du-Louvre
The Hôtel du Louvre, an Unbound Collection property

As I said when Starwood introduced the Tribute Portfolio, I love the concept of independent hotels joining major hotel groups. I really value elite perks, the ability to earn & redeem points, and a consistent guest experience. But at the same time I love something that feels a bit more local and a bit less cookie cutter.

Unbound Collection by Hyatt should give a unique experience while still rewarding your loyalty to Hyatt, which is the best of both worlds.

Hyatt-Carmelo
The Carmelo Resort & Spa, an Unbound Collection property

So why do hotels seem to be coming up with a never-ending list of new brands? Their goal isn’t actually to sell directly to consumers, but rather to sell to investors. After all, hotel chains just manage a vast majority of their properties, and don’t actually own them. They get a percent of revenue, so they obviously have an incentive to create as many brands as possible.

These independent hotel brands have the potential to be especially lucrative for investors, because they can often convert an existing independent hotel to one of these “independent hotel” portfolios without having to spend too much on renovations to conform.

Driskill-Hyatt
The Driskill Hotel, an Unbound Collection property

Bottom line

In general I feel like the major hotel chains have reached a point of saturation in terms of how many new brands they’re coming up with. Hyatt has actually been the most reasonable up until this point with growth, and this is a collection I’m really excited about.

Hyatt-Brands

I think this brand makes a lot more sense than the last brand Hyatt introduced, which was Hyatt Centric. I still don’t know what purpose Hyatt Centric actually serves, since they’re going with a cookie cutter concept while still trying to be “authentic.”

As far as I’m concerned, hotel groups can never add enough hotels which are unique and don’t fit into one of their cookie cutter collections. And that’s the beauty of something like Unbound Collection by Hyatt.

What do you think of Hyatt’s new Unbound Collection?

Comments

  1. Big fan of this. I generally go out of my way to stay at something that’s not “cookie cutter” but still collects points/stays. Familiarity is nice, but for road warriors, sometimes you’re sick of staying in a Courtyard or Aloft or even a full service brand where you are. Brands like this (and Starwood’s Tribute/Marriott’s Autograph) are pretty awesome and a nice change of pace.

  2. @ Lucky — so this is like Starwood’s Luxury Collection, right? If so it does make sense to have a brand for one-off properties like that. Certainly, it makes sense to put Hotel du Louvre in this collection instead of original plans to put it under Andaz.

    P.S. Would be curious to know what people think about The Driskill. I’ve not been there yet but it’d appear to be very popular based on being unavailable a lot of times I’m searching for Austin hotels.

  3. @ Ivan Y:

    I didn’t stay there but was around The Driskill many times during a visit to Austin back in September. Can’t vouch for the rooms, but the hotel is beautiful. Really impressive just walking by and through the lobby. I couldn’t find a small hole-in-the-wall bar nearby and a bellman from The Driskill came outside to help me. Everyone I’ve talked to who knows The Driskill says it’s well worth a stay.

  4. @Ivan – The reason it’s unavailable is because it sits on one of the hottest blocks of downtown Austin (6th St). If there’s any sort of festival/convention/race in town, it’s one of the first get booked. Otherwise, it’s a very very charming hotel with a wonderful bar and great service. Very un-cookie-cutter and a great place to call homebase while you explore Austin.

  5. @Matt/Ivan,
    Live in Austin and can vouch the Driskill is definitely worth the stay. Extremely nostalgic feel to it, each individual room is different, and the bar itself is awesome. Not to mention the location couldn’t be better for a night out on the town.

  6. Appears similar to the Marriott Autograph collection in concept, although it definitely seems more upscale. I’d say the Autograph properties I’ve stayed at have been pretty charming, unique, and boutique, but definitely mid-range.

  7. The most interesting part of this announcement is what the CMO said in the Skift.com article: “Another potentially interesting differentiator in the future, The Unbound Collection could include non-hotel products such as river cruising and alternative accommodations. Nothing has been officially decided, Banikarim told Skift, but it’s something Hyatt is seriously exploring.”

    That is exciting!

  8. The problem I see after many years with Hyatt is if it isn’t a full service Hyatt
    Hyatt won’t take problems seriously when or if they happen
    If they aren’t managed by Hyatt they wont have control over recovering from in house
    Failures or the hotel not upgrading a Diamond member
    While it may be nice to have additional properties I’m not confident that Hyatt will take the
    Relationship seriously other than to grab some revenue from bringing these properties into the fold
    MGM is a good example in Laa Vegas but their properties are reasonably well managed
    other than the downsides resort fees.no breakfast no late checkout and no guarantee of an upgrade if available

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