Wyndham enters upscale extended-stay with WaterWalk

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is expanding into the upscale extended-stay segment, launching a strategic relationship with WaterWalk. The deal adds 11 hotels and more than 1,500 rooms to the Wyndham ecosystem, rebranding them under the newly created WaterWalk Extended Stay by Wyndham brand, the 25th in the company’s portfolio.

Located in key markets such as Phoenix and Tucson, AZ; Jacksonville, FL; and Wichita, KS, the offerings complement Wyndham’s existing economy and midscale extended-stay brands and cater to guests seeking a local, yet elevated stay with the comforts of home, according to the company.

“In the last year, guest demand for the extended-stay segment reached record highs, which has been underscored by demand from owners and developers looking for new opportunities to partner with Wyndham,” said Chip Ohlsson, chief development officer, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. “Our vision is to offer the industry’s most robust portfolio of extended-stay brands, and the addition of WaterWalk marks an important step in that direction—helping ensure we have an offering in every segment, for every owner and for every guest.”

WaterWalk was founded in 2014 by the late Jack DeBoer, an extended-stay trailblazer who not only pioneered the segment but created some of its most well-known and successful brands, including among others, Residence Inn and Candlewood Suites. Today, his granddaughter, Mimi Oliver, serves as WaterWalk CEO.

Positioned in the upscale segment, WaterWalk offers its LIVE|STAY model. STAY units are fully furnished and cater to guests looking for a traditional extended-stay, residential-like experience, while LIVE units are unfurnished and allow guests to create a long-term space. The flexibility of the model is one of the brand’s strategic assets as units can transform and adapt in real-time to market and customer needs.

WaterWalk’s current portfolio consists of 11 hotels throughout the U.S. Newer hotels leverage the brand’s Gen 2.0 prototype, which combines efficient design and low operating costs, according to the brand.

“WaterWalk’s success is the culmination of decades of experience in extended-stay combined with a relentless pursuit for driving innovation and delivering exceptional guest experiences,” said Oliver. “We believe WaterWalk is our best brand yet and our decision to bring it into the Wyndham portfolio is a pivotal moment in its evolution, one we believe will lead to enhanced efficiencies, performance and growth—all thanks to the Wyndham Advantage.”

WaterWalk marks Wyndham’s third extended-stay brand, joining ECHO Suites Extended Stay by Wyndham and Hawthorn Extended Stay by Wyndham. ECHO Suites launched in 2022 and has more than 265 economy new-construction hotels in its development pipeline, half a dozen of which are nearing completion. Hawthorn in 2023 saw 30% growth in its midscale conversion and new-construction development pipeline.