Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.


Hyatt Sold Off Its Vacation Rental Management Arm For Up To $50 Million

4 weeks ago

In late September, Hyatt Hotels announced that it was exiting its vacation rental management business while launching an online short-term rental platform soon. Its Destination Residences Management unit was sold to a real estate investor called Lowe, which, through an affiliate, will run it under Lowe and Coral Tree, though no price was disclosed at the time of the announcement.

Now we have the details from Hyatt’s latest quarterly report filing. From the filing, below:

Destination Residential Management—During the three months ended September 30, 2023, we sold our interests in the entities which own the Destination Residential Management business to an unrelated third party for $2 million of base consideration, subject to customary adjustments related to working capital and indebtedness, and up to an additional $48 million of contingent consideration. The contingent consideration will be earned within two years following the sale upon the achievement of certain performance-based metrics and the extensions of certain contracts related to the rental programs and/or homeowner associations. We recorded a $28 million contingent consideration receivable at fair value in other assets on our condensed consolidated balance sheet at September 30, 2023.

The transaction was accounted for as a business disposition, and we recognized a $19 million pre-tax gain in gains (losses) on sales of real estate and other on our condensed consolidated statements of income during the three months ended September 30, 2023. In conjunction with the disposition, we transferred $10 million of cash to the buyer related to advanced deposits. The operating results and financial position of this business prior to the sale remain within our Americas management and franchising segment.”


IDEAS: Hyatt’s Noise-First Plan to Support Guest Wellbeing

2 months ago

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has expanded its partnership online healthcare company Headspace to provide hotel guests and World of Hyatt members with coloured noise content in order to support their wellbeing.

The new content, which was launched in conjunction with World Mental Health Day, includes a sample of exclusive content from Headspace’s colored noise collection, which has been designed to aid listeners in their efforts to drift off to sleep, relax or focus. 

“As a hospitality company focused on care, Hyatt takes pride in raising the bar on wellbeing in a rapidly changing world,” said TJ Abrams, vice president, global wellbeing at Hyatt. 

“Collaborating with industry leaders like Headspace allows Hyatt to better care for our guests, and I have personally experienced the positive, stress-relieving impact of mindfulness content during my recent stays at our hotels.”

The content is now available via the World of Hyatt app and in-room televisions at select properties across the U.S, Canada and Mexico.

Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.


Hyatt to Launch Vacation Rental Platform, Homes & Hideaways

2 months ago

Hyatt said on Thursday it would shift its strategy in marketing vacation rentals. It plans to launch before year-end a short-term vacation rental platform called Homes & Hideaways by World of Hyatt.

Hyatt also said it intended to sell its vacation rental management business — Destination Residences Management — to a company called Lowe, which, through an affiliate, will run it under Lowe and Coral Tree.

The Homes & Hideaways project will spotlight U.S. vacation rentals managed by Lowe, such as a home by the sea in Hawaii or a ski chalet in Colorado.

To book these vacation rentals, customers have to be one of the 40 million members of the hotelier’s loyalty program.

Residences Exterior Grand Hyatt Vail Residences
The exterior of Grand Hyatt Vail Residences, one of the vacation rental properties that will be available through the new Hyatt offering. Source: Hyatt.

The move follows other plays in vacation rentals by major hotel groups, such as Marriott’s Homes & Villas by Marriott Bonvoy and Accor’s OneFineStay.

Hyatt’s CEO elaborated on the company’s broader strategy on Wednesday at the Skift Global Forum (story below).


IDEAS: Park Hyatt New York Debuts Art Installation Created by Hyatt Colleague 

3 months ago

Park Hyatt New York has unveiled a new art installation from local contemporary abstract artist and hotel bellman for nine years, Jeffrey Okyere-Agyei.

Credit: Park Hyatt New York

The “Sankofa” art collection features a mixture of modern abstract art and Ghanaian cloth prints that have been created to highlight Okyere-Agyei’s ‘connection to his Ghanaian heritage while simultaneously representing an important cultural bridge between traditional African art and modern abstract expressionism’.

“My goal with this collection is to express my unique vision of creativity, thus further strengthening my connection between my love of abstract art and my African heritage,” says Okyere-Agyei.

“To be able to continue to tell my story to the guests of Park Hyatt New York, a place crucial to my personal journey, is incredibly humbling.”

Sankofa is a Ghanaian Akan/Twi word and symbol originating from Okyere-Agyei’s native country that represents the idea of gathering wisdom and learning from the past to create a better present and future, and forms part of a larger collection of symbols known as Adinkra created by Ghanaian craftsmen used in textiles and pottery.

Credit: Park Hyatt New York

“As part of what has become a tradition within the Park Hyatt New York family, we’re excited to feature yet another impressive and personal collection from Jeffrey, while also providing a unique and immersive experience to our guests,” said Park Hyatt New York General Manager, Laurent Ebzant.

“It’s an honor to witness Jeffrey’s art process as he creates such thought-provoking art that celebrates his native Ghana, and it’s our pleasure to continue to share his talent with all who walk through our doors. We look forward to seeing what else he has in store for Park Hyatt New York and our guests.”

Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.


Hyatt Hit With Class Action Suit Over Hotel ‘Junk Fees’ Despite Changing Policy

3 months ago

Travelers United’s choice to sue Hyatt over its “junk fee” practices fits into a broader storyline about travel junk fees being in the limelight ever since President Joe Biden referred to travel fees in his 2023 State of the Union address.

Travelers United filed the case in Washington, D.C., whose laws require transparent upfront pricing.

The lawsuit notes that “in or around August 2023” Hyatt began advertising accurate pricing information to consumers looking to book a hotel room. On today, in Skift’s tests, the site displays rates plus resort fees upfront on a traveler’s first search. Hyatt appears to have changed its site to more transparently present resort fees within the past month or so.

But the advocacy group wants Hyatt to pay for the time it didn’t disclose resort fees upfront.

“Since at least 2020, Hyatt has been systemically cheating consumers out of tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars each year by falsely advertising its hotel room rates,” the lawsuit claims (embedded below).

We asked Hyatt for a comment yesterday, but haven’t received a response.

Travel commentator Gary Leff blogged that “This is an industry-wide problem, not a Hyatt problem.”

Lauren Wolfe of Travelers United said yesterday the advocacy group plans to file similar lawsuits against other hotel groups.

Yet broadly, some consumers seem to take the the industry practice of drip pricing in stride. One study found that guests dropped their online ratings by only a small percentage after they faced “surprise” fees and booked anyway.


Hyatt to Debut Its Extended-Stay Brand in Markets It Hasn’t Tapped Yet

4 months ago

Hyatt gave details on Wednesday about the first locations for Hyatt Studios, a brand it unveiled in April. The hotel operator will open the first Hyatt Studios just outside of Mobile, Alabama, and Marysville, California — targeting spots where its other brands aren’t present.

“We’ve learned that when Hyatt guests stay with a competing brand, they appear to do so for one of two reasons: the absence of a Hyatt hotel within five miles or the choice to stay at a lower chain scale,” said Dan Hansen, global head of Hyatt Studios. “By enabling guests to choose a Hyatt hotel in new markets, we grow brand loyalty without intra-brand competition and present more white-space options to developers.”

exterior of hyatt studios source hyatt
A photo illustration of a planned exterior for the new Hyatt Studios brand. Source: Hyatt.

The company’s “upper-midscale” extended stay brand anticipates opening its first new-build property late next year.

In the port city of Mobile, Hyatt is franchising the brand to 3H Group, founded by Hiren Desai. The port city has tourism, manufacturing, aerospace, and the corporate offices of retailers — all likely to have workers and visitors making multi-day stays and preferring non-budget lodging.

In downtown Marysville, Hyatt founded a franchisee in Presidio Hotel Development. The spot isn’t far from the capital of California, Sacramento.

lobby of hyatt studios source hyatt
The lobby of the new Hyatt Studios brand set to open in 2024. Source: Hyatt.
Guestroom hyatt studios hotel brand
A guest room. Source: Hyatt.


Hyatt Pledges to Open 5,000 Rooms in Mexico’s Tulum and Isla Mujeres

11 months ago

Top Hyatt executives said on Tuesday they planned to create hotels and resorts in two destinations on Mexico’s Caribbean coast — Tulum and Isla Mujeres — with about 5,000 rooms together.

Mark Hoplamazian, president and CEO of Hyatt Hotel Corporation, met with officials from the Quintana Roo state of Mexico the day before the start of the International Tourism Fair of Spain (Fitur) in Madrid. Some of the properties will be part of Hyatt’s Inclusive Collection of all-inclusive resorts. Hyatt also pledged to participate in social projects for its workers and employees.

The Mexican Government has been investing in infrastructure works at Tulum airport and Tulum’s main and historic boulevards and bridges. It has also been supporting the creation of the Mayan Train, a 948-mile intercity railway that will traverse the Yucatán Peninsula.

Officials and destination marketers have also created Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism Quintana Roo 2030 to form a strategy with an appropriate balance of growth without overtourism or environmental destruction. One part of the plan includes the opening of new archeological zones.

Quintana Roo currently has 127,399 rooms across 1,331 hotels open.


Hyatt Hotels to Debut Atona Brand in Japan That Distills and Updates Ryokan Concept

1 year ago

For centuries, Japan has offered ryokans, which are minimalist guest houses typically located near onsen, or natural hot springs used for bathing. Hyatt Hotels said Wednesday that it planned to launch a new brand, Atona, that will distill the elements of traditional ryokans while adding some modern comforts.

Hyatt has entered a fifty-fifty joint venture with Kiraku, a company that works to apply capital to help preserve the best of Japan’s cultural and natural assets.

Other companies have recently attempted to modernize and brand the ryokan concept, including Nobu’s hospitality division and Adrian Zecha, founder of Aman Resorts, whose brand is called Azumi.

Independently managed properties are expected to open in 2025. Kenya Hara will be the creative director of the new brand.

“We hope these ryokans will provide guests, both local and from abroad, a special place to experience the still unseen wonders of Japan, while also positively impacting local economies,” said Kou Sundberg, founder and CEO of Kiraku. For more on Sundberg, listen to this recent podcast.




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