Hyatt has already opened six properties in 2009, the latest being the Hyatt Regency Ekaterinburg, and the group has big plans for the next couple of years.
The hotel group plans to open 13 more properties this year, including the much-anticipated Andaz Wall Street in August (the third property for the lifestyle brand), with a further 22 hotels opening in 2010.
But the global economic situation has had an impact at existing properties. Andrew Ashmore, vice president sales and marketing Hyatt International (EMEA) says: “Southwest Asia got hit late, quick and hard – the India bombings, the demise of Lehman Brothers all contributed. Russia, Kazakhstan and the Ukraine have also been hit really badly, but Muscat is doing OK.”
The effect of the current economic climate has meant that hotels have seen a greater number of late bookings. Ashmore says: “People are still travelling but they are booking later”.
When Hyatt launched Hyatt Place, its select service brand, in the US three years ago, the concept was a new one, but the idea has been a popular move for other hotel groups as well. One such example is Intercontinental Hotels Group, which has penetrated the UK market with its Staybridge Suites offering in Liverpool and Newcastle, and it may not be long before Hyatt Place comes this way too.
Ashmore says: “I believe there is a market for Hyatt Place in the UK, and the existing US format can work here. I know our development people are looking at a few places. I think if you are going to do a Hyatt Place [in the UK] you need to do at least three or four and we’d be looking at Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Bristol – anywhere where there isn’t already a Hyatt and it makes sense to have one.”
The properties in the US were all existing hotels (Hyatt bought the AmeriSuites hotel chain in January 2005) but Ashmore said that any Hyatt Place in the UK would have to be a new-build. He added that the existing concept would not work in the Middle East.
“The existing Hyatt Place model would be very difficult to put in the Middle East because Middle East expectations of a limited service hotel / select service hotel are very different. For example even Novotel in Dubai has bigger rooms than the hotel brand in the UK, because you just can’t have a 23sqm room in Dubai.”
The way the Hyatt brands are perceived globally has also been a challenge added Ashmore: “We need to educate people about the different brands, especially in the Middle East as people understand the words ‘Grand’ and ‘Regency’ but they do not understand ‘Park’.
“The perception in Europe and Asia of Hyatt is a very positive one. But in the US it’s very different. We worked this out about seven years ago and now our American hotels have really raised the bar and the service is up to Asian standards.”
Hyatt’s upcoming openings are: Park Hyatt Jeddah (May – pictured above), Andaz Wall Street (August), Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Hyatt Regency Phuket, Hyatt Regency Pune, India (all for the summer). Autumn openings include Hyatt Abu Dhabi at Capital Centre, Park Hyatt Casares, Spain, Grand Hyatt Macau, P.R.C, Hyatt Regency Nanjing, P.R.C (all October). December will see the Hyatt Regency Beijing, P.R.C, Grand Hyatt Goa, Hyatt Regency Curacao and the Andaz Fifth Avenue.
For more information visit hyatt.com.
Report by Felicity Cousins
Hyatt openings slated for 2010
- Hyatt Regency Oubaai, George, South Africa (February)
- Grand Hyatt Shenzhen, P.R.C. (March)
- Park Hyatt Hyderabad, India (March)
- Park Hyatt Mexico City, Mexico (March)
- Hyatt Regency Chennai, India 1st Q – 2010
- Grand Hyatt Moscow 1st Q
- Park Hyatt Chennai, India (June)
- Hyatt Regency Danang, Vietnam (June)
- Hyatt Regency Colombo, Sri Lanka (July)
- Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. (July)
- Hyatt Regency Rostov On Don, Russia (July)
- Grand Hyatt Pune, India (August)
- Hyatt Regency Lahore, Pakistan (August)
- Hyatt Regency Minsk, Belarus (September)
- Grand Hyatt Islamabad, Pakistan 3rd Q – 2010
- Hyatt Regency Shanghai, Zhujiajiao, P.R.C. Hk 3rd Q – 2010
- Park Hyatt Phuket, Thailand 3rd Q – 2010
- Grand Hyatt Moscow, Russia 3rd Q – 2010
- Andaz Austin, Texas, U.S.A. 3rd Q – 2010
- Hyatt Regency East Tianjin, P.R.C. (October)
- Park Hyatt Mallorca, Spain (October)
- Hyatt Regency Düsseldorf, Germany (November)