Introducing Hyatt Centric, the latest brand in Hyatt’s portfolio


Last night a few tweets scrolled across my timeline announcing reasonably big news. Hyatt was launching a new brand – Hyatt Centric – and the news was released at a conference in California and spread via tweets rather than a formal corporate announcement. That’s not typical, I suppose, but welcome to the new world, huh?

This morning the press release came out and the news is, to be honest, a bit underwhelming. I’ve read the release a couple times now and all I can think of is Andaz. The Andaz brand launched in 2007 and the line used in the media releases is:

This unique collection of hotels reflects the personality of each locale, and is dedicated to creating natural and vibrant living spaces where travelers can indulge in their own personal sense of comfort and style.

And Kristine Rose, Hyatt’s VP of Brands, describes the Hyatt Centric goal in part:

From the eclectic and fun hotel design to colleagues who are explorers themselves, the Hyatt Centric brand will be the perfect launching pad for our guests to start their experience, whether for business or pleasure, within the destination.

And then I looked at some of the photos and, well, I’m even more convinced.

Image of a "typical" Hyatt Centric room; courtesy of Hyatt
Image of a “typical” Hyatt Centric room; courtesy of Hyatt
Image of a "typical" Hyatt Centric room; courtesy of Hyatt
Image of a “typical” Hyatt Centric room; courtesy of Hyatt

It is not entirely clear to me that the brand dilution is necessary, and Hyatt has said that some existing hotels will rebrand to join the Hyatt Centric portfolio. I don’t really get it, but here we are.

I guess, perhaps, it is supposed to be a slightly toned down version of Andaz based on this quip from the press release:

A focus on simplicity, thoughtfully crafted: Hyatt Centric hotels will provide a simple, welcoming environment that delivers the essentials in the easiest, most streamlined way possible. For example, at Hyatt Centric hotels, room service will be offered as a knock n’ drop service, which will allow guests to enjoy gourmet food in their rooms without formal delivery. Additionally, while each hotel will be custom designed to its market, the Hyatt Centric brand will be characterized by certain common elements, including spaces like The Corner, where guests can work, socialize and peruse a curated collection of local books and magazines, and a bar and restaurant area that will help foster great conversations and deliver thoughtful, locally inspired food and signature cocktails.

There are 15 properties set for the brand launch later this year. It will be interesting to see how the numbers develop from there.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

10 Comments

  1. My guess is this will be a rebrand of the basic “Hyatt” hotels, like the Hyatt Mag Mile in Chicago (former Wyndham), Hyatt Escala Lodge in Park City, etc. Unfortunately will probably come with a category bump at those properties, too…

  2. That second “typical” image looks like a room I had at the Hyatt Times Square – perhaps one that will be rebranded?

  3. I think it would be absolutely awesome to have a slightly more upscale version of Aloft. Starwood has done the W/Aloft split and it’s awesome. I love Aloft and I like W. (I see Andaz/Centric split being similar.) I also love that it’s so destination focused. It feels like they’re bringing the good aspects of hostels to hotels. That’s awesome. That’s something you lose with hotels vs. hostels. The focus on location, location, location with lounges with destination information is wonderful and long overdue. I very much identify with the targeted demographic: a wanderer who pores over top 100 destination lists in spare time, makes must-see lists, loves to travel, love to explore, loves to do open-ended travel, loves great stories. I also love the emphasis on well-designed in-room tech: “guests can enjoy the in-room technologies designed to connect seamlessly with their devices and media”. That’s one of the things I love about Aloft: desks that have outlets on top and a whole plethora of TV inputs, network data jacks, etc, etc. Modern style, relatively inexpensive, very comfortable, super-functional, cool; that’s all Aloft stuff that I love. Add in the lounge and location and destination-focus information and I’m very, very excited about Hyatt taking Aloft up half a star and innovating with destination-focused, hostel-style stuff.

    Do you think we’ll see hotels like Olive 8 convert?

    Excellent concept that I’m very excited about!

    1. The in-room tech stuff is done at most new-build properties and even a number of retrofits today; that’s hardly something to build a brand on.

      Beyond that, I highly doubt it builds on the “local” flavor or character like a hostel typically does. And, more to the point, a hostel gets that feel IME because people choose to spend the hours they are on-property out in the social areas, not in the rooms playing with the latest technology hook-ups. Having a corner with a few local books and some local art doesn’t create that environment.

  4. So, this is Andaz Lite? Still looks more upmarket than aloft, which could be W ultraLight?

    Seriously, how many brands do hotel companies need?

  5. I also question how “local” these hotels will be, unless they’re are retros of some of the boutiques already in the portfolio (do they have those?). The Ace Hotel brand is truly localized, if a bit bohemian.

  6. This is all gimmick and marketing. Nothing new here of any significance. I believe they decided to expand the Andaz portfolio. Giving them a new portfolio name just creates more buzz as you can see with all the bloggers on Boarding Area talking about it. I think everytime Hyatt opens a hotel they should rebrand it with a completely new name. Talk about attention. Some ideas, Hyatt “Yuppie” Seattle, Hyatt “Groovy” Haight-Ashbury, Hyatt “Aristocrat” Bel-Air. . . . .

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