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A frequent and increasingly lazy complaint about Hyatt is that it doesn’t have a particularly large footprint when compared to some of the other big hotel chains and that this makes it difficult to stay “loyal” to the hotelier. Well, Hyatt has clearly taken those complaints onboard (its significant expansion in the last 2 years proves that) and now it is adding a further 3 properties to its European portfolio.
Hyatt has announced that three properties currently operating under the “Story Hotels” brand in Sweden will be brought into the Joie de Vivre brand (now being referred to as the JDV brand) and will be available for bookings from 15 April 2021.
The three boutique hotels – Story Hotel Riddargatan and Story Hotel Signalfabriken in Stockholm, as well as the Story Hotel Studio Malmö – will all retain their individual hotel names and unique identities but will operate as part of the JDV brand that Hyatt took over when it bought Two Roads Hospitality in 2018.
Briana Swift, director of development Europe and Southwest Asia for Hyatt, had this to say about the hotels joining JDV:
“We are very excited to bring these three Story Hotels in Europe under Hyatt’s JDV Hotel brand portfolio and at the same time grow the Hyatt hotel footprint in Sweden. We are focused on thoughtful growth in locations that meet our guests and members needs, and the upcoming addition of three Story Hotels help us fuel this growth in markets like Scandinavia, as we collaborate with owners who want to maintain each property’s unique identity. With their strong design focus and neighborhood feel, Story Hotels will be the perfect representation of Hyatt’s independent collection in Europe.”
Of the two properties in Stockholm, the Story Hotel Riddargatan is considerably more central and within walking distance to a significant number of the city’s attractions…
…while the Story Hotel Signalfabriken is located further to the west and to the north of the center of the city.
Having never visited Malmö I’m not in a good position to comment on the location of Story Hotel Studio Malmö but from what I can see on Google Maps, it looks to be well-positioned for the harbor/port and in an area where there are a good number of other hotels (which usually bodes well).
While all three Story Hotels are existing properties, the wording of the Hyatt press release suggests that all three properties are being refurbished and may, therefore, look and feel a little different to anyone who has visited them before once they’re under Hyatt’s control.
Story Hotel Riddargatan, Stockholm
This is an 83-room boutique hotel which, if reports are to be believed, is one of Stockholm’s original boutique hotels. We’re told that the property will have an industrial design “to represent the building’s former life as an apartment complex, barber shop, and garage” and that it will feature a restaurant (Ling Long) specializing in Southeast Asian cuisine, and two bars (one indoor and one outdoor).
According to the details released, the property’s central location in the Östermalm area gives it excellent access to neighborhood restaurants, cafés, and bars as well as the area’s high-end shopping district.
Story Hotel Signalfabriken, Stockholm
The Story Hotel Signalfabriken is set to feature 83 individually designed guestrooms and a “vibrant” bar and restaurant, which will host regular DJ performances. The property was formerly a fire station and town hall and the building has historical listed property status.
The hotel is located in Stockholm’s municipality of Sundyberg’s and as such, is expected to be targeted at business travelers with meetings in the surrounding areas of Solna, Bromma, and Kista. However, the fact that the property is only 10 minutes away from Stockholm’s city center and that has good transport links (tram, bus, and subway lines) may make this an affordable option for leisure travelers in a city that’s not known for being cheap.
Story Hotel Studio Malmö
When it joins the JDV band, the Story Hotel Studio Malmö will offer 95 “unique” guestrooms, which are being described (by Hyatt) as “creative and playful in their design” as the property aims to reflect Malmö’s image of a young and vibrant city.
The hotel occupies the upper floors of the mixed-use STUDIO building which also houses conference and meeting facilities, corporate offices, retail outlets, multiple restaurants, and a café while the property’s own restaurant and cocktail bar, Kasai in the Sky, offers meals and drinks on Malmö’s highest outdoor terrace with views of the ocean and city skyline.
The STUDIO building’s height (it’s relatively high compared to neighboring buildings but it’s not in any sense high when compared to buildings in major US cities) gives the guestrooms excellent views over the city and the water while its waterside location at Universitetsholmen, and close proximity to Malmö’s central station, means that guests not only have easy access to most of what Malmö has to offer but are also just a 35-minute train ride from Copenhagen – the capital of Denmark.
The addition of these three properties to Hyatt’s portfolio means that the hotelier will have gone from having no properties in Sweden in November 2020 to offering four properties in the country a little over four months later (Hyatt opened the Hotell Reisen in Stockholm as part of its Unbound Collection on 1 December 2020) and that’s very good news for fans of Hyatt.
Back in December, Hyatt said that it plans to add over 20 European properties to its portfolio by the end of 2023 (representing a 30%+ increase in the number of hotels that operate in Europe under various Hyatt brands), in the same month we saw the hotelier add a further 10 SLH properties to the World of Hyatt and we saw it announce that it expects to open 13 new Lifestyle Brand properties in the United States in 2021 so, coming on top of all the other developments we’ve been hearing about (e.g a new Park Hyatt in London) Hyatt is clearly working hard to make sure that it has something offer gusts in as many locations as possible.
Does it have as many properties as Marriot, Hilton, or IHG? No, no it doesn’t. But it’s getting harder by the month to say that it’s hard to stay loyal to Hyatt because of its footprint.
Hyatt will be adding three properties in Sweden to its JDV brand in April 2021. Bookings for these properties are expected to open on 15 April but we don’t yet know what World of Hyatt categories these properties will put into so we’ll have to wait and see before we know if these will be great locations to burn some points.
Featured Image: Story Hotel Riddargatan, Stockholm – Image courtesy of Hyatt