The Unbound Collection by Hyatt targets thoughtful growth

CHICAGO—The Unbound Collection by Hyatt added two new hotels in 2017—Holston House in Nashville, TN, and Spirit Ridge in Osoyoos, British Columbia, Canada—but the brand has plans for much more in the future.

“What sets The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand apart from others is that it offers story-worthy and shareable experiences for the modern traveler and provides them with a one-of-a-kind, authentic stay,” said Sandra Cordova Micek, SVP, global brands for Hyatt Hotels Corp. “The beauty of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand is that each property can maintain its distinct character while being supported by Hyatt’s robust resources, powerful customer loyalty program, and trusted brand recognition and reputation. This is exciting for travelers looking for authentic experiences that provide them with ‘social currency’ to document their adventures.” 

Of importance to the executive is that each of the properties in the collection maintain their individual identities. “As Hyatt continues its focus on being brand-led, it was critical for us to create a dedicated space and brand that expands beyond traditional hotel stays,” she said. “It gives us a new way to express ourselves, a new way to grow and a new way to deliver on the high-quality service for which we are known.”

Take, for instance, an upcoming additions to the collection: the newly built The Eliza Jane hotel in New Orleans, expected to open this month.

“The new hotels under The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand—Holston House and Eliza Jane—are truly distinct, offering guests an opportunity to tap into in the locales’ rich history in their modern day travels,” she said. “Each property has a unique story, designed to inspire guests as they draw on the stay experience to create their own.”

According to the brand, The Eliza Jane hotel will evoke a balance of timelessness with modern style and luxury. The 196-room hotel will offer 50 suites, a fitness center, street-level restaurant, lobby lounge and 1,800 sq. ft. of flexible meeting and event space on the lobby level.

In addition to The Eliza Jane will be The Bellevue Hotel in Philadelphia, which is slated to rebrand from Hyatt at The Bellevue this month. The hotel will offer 172 guestrooms, 30,000 sq. ft. of meeting and event space, and XIX (Nineteen) fine-dining American restaurant; it underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation in 2016. 

Its new design, led by Marguerite Rodgers Interior Design, is a modern interpretation of classic Philadelphia that explores the political, artistic, theatrical and musical history of the city. Drawing on inspiration from the hotel’s location on the celebrated Avenue of the Arts, all guestrooms will feature a contemporary take on 18th-century furnishings, as well as art from local Philadelphia painters and photographers.

Calling it “an icon” in its market, Cordova Micek said, “The Bellevue Hotel has hosted royalty, world leaders, cultural icons and events throughout its 113-year history.”

Likening it to another recent addition that was also a rebranding—Spirit Ridge— the executive said, “Spirit Ridge has a storied past; although just 10 years old, the resort peacefully shares land that has been home of the Osoyoos Indian Band for thousands of years. Rich in culture and historical relevance, the resort’s design embraces the Okanagan First Nations people and celebrates their deep spiritual connection to natural surroundings. The resort is undergoing a $5-million renovation to its property, which will conclude in the spring.”

She continued, “These properties provide guests with experiences, authentic to their destinations, that they won’t find elsewhere.”

The brand is also developing a new hotel in Hollywood, CA, slated to open in 2019. A Hyatt affiliate has entered into a franchise agreement with PNK Group, a subsidiary of S3D Partner, to build a 64-room boutique lifestyle hotel. The hotel will be managed by Interstate Hotels & Resorts.

In addition to its 39 guestrooms and 24 suites, the hotel will include a variety of food and beverage experiences, including a ground-level restaurant, street-front lounge, and rooftop pool deck and lounge. 

Beyond the expansion in North America, the brand will boost its footprint internationally. The Great Scotland Yard Hotel, opening in the fourth quarter of 2018, will be the first for the brand in the U.K. Slated for summer 2018, Nish Palas in Istanbul will open in one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods. In addition to these new openings, the Hôtel Martinez in Cannes, France, the Párisi Udvar Hotel in Budapest, Hungary, and the newly renovated Hôtel du Louvre in Paris are all expected to open under the brand by early 2019, further propelling the brand’s growth in the region.

China is also on the list for the brand. “Aligned with Hyatt’s overall corporate strategy, we are accelerating growth in China and are preparing experiences to cater to this growing class of Chinese travelers, for both domestic and international destinations,” said Cordova Micek. 

These openings are all part of Hyatt’s growth strategy for the collection. “Hyatt is—and has always been—committed to growing with intent; we aren’t all about size for the sake of size,” said David Tarr, Hyatt’s SVP, real estate and development, Americas. “We’re about growing with focus to serve the high end of the market and the places that matter most to them—and we’ve followed that philosophy when growing The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand. As we expand the brand, we’re doing so at an appropriate and thoughtful pace.”

He continued, “The projects we consider must fit the brand ethos: to offer story-worthy experiences for our guests, and provide them with new adventures and authentic experiences. When we consider new projects, a question we always keep in mind is, ‘Will this project enhance the Hyatt brand?’” 

The brand was launched as a travel platform, not just a collection of soft-branded hotels, said Cordova Micek. “The properties that are currently part of the brand’s portfolio are indicative of the range of experiences that can live within The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand,” she explained. “Right now, as it’s still in its initial two years of growth, we’re offering more traditional hotel experiences to build and establish the brand. However, we are already seeing the brand offer experiences beyond traditional hotel stays.” HB