Hyatt Introduces The Unbound Collection – Yet Another New Hotel Brand

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Ok, I said this when Hilton introduced their ridiculous-looking “Tru Hotels” and I’m going to say it again: I really wish hotel chains would stop coming up with new hotel brands – it’s gone beyond the point of being ridiculous and has now reached farcical levels.

Between them the 6 largest hotel chains have 94 different hotel brands….

Wyndham – 29 brands
Marriott – 19 Brands
Hilton – 13 Brands
IHG – 12 Brands
Starwood – 11 Brands
Hyatt – 10 Brands (including The Unbound Collection)

…and all that goes to prove is that they have absolutely no idea who or what their target audience is. This is the perfect example of a scattergun approach to marketing – come up with a number of different ideas (or, as is often the case, not-so-different ideas) and hope one or more of them work.

So, let’s take a look at this latest idea from Hyatt.

What Is The Unbound Collection?

According to Hyatt:

The Unbound Collection by Hyatt will include a portfolio of new and existing upper-upscale and luxury properties that will maintain a distinct character while providing guests and owners Hyatt’s award-winning customer loyalty program, robust operational and marketing resources and trusted, quality brand.

I can’t see too much that’s new in that. What else does Hyatt have to say?

The properties within The Unbound Collection by Hyatt – which will include historic urban gems, contemporary trend-setters, boutique hotels, resorts, and more – will have their own individual brand identities, free from constraint or convention. At the same time, the brand will provide guests the freedom from worry by giving them the high-quality that comes with the Hyatt brand.

Right, so Hyatt is clearly going after the demographic that likes to stay at properties like the ones found in Marriott’s Autograph Collection or perhaps Starwood’s Luxury Collection.

What Is Hyatt’s Plan For The Unbound Collection?

Hyatt says that the new brand (which apparently isn’t really a brand because all the properties “will have their own individual brand identities“) will give them the opportunity to grow in new markets and in places where their guests have already shown an interest in staying.

Here a video that Hyatt have released with their CEO & President, Mark Hoplamazian, talking about the Unbound Collection. Be prepared for a lot of marketing speak.

The idea of new properties in new places all sounds very nice and, as Hyatt has one of the smallest footprints of the major chains, properties in new locations is good news. Except that not really what they’re doing right now…at least not with the hotels they’re launching The Unbound Collection with:

Per Hyatt:

The Unbound Collection by Hyatt launches with properties around the world, including The Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas; the Hôtel du Louvre in Paris, France; the Carmelo Resort & Spa in Carmelo, Uruguay; and the Coco Palms Resort in Kauai, Hawaii, which is expected to undergo a revitalization and re-open in spring 2018.

So, to sum up:

  • They’re taking an exiting Hyatt hotel in Austin  (a city where Hyatt already has 2 other city-center hotels and 4 others in the surrounding area) and adding it to the Unbound Collection
  • They’re taking an exiting Hyatt hotel in Paris (a city where Hyatt already has 3 city-center hotels with another hotel on the outskirts) and adding  it to the Unbound Collection
  • They’re taking the Carmelo Resort & Spa (which joined Hyatt in the middle of last year) and adding it to the Unbound Collection
  • The Coco Palm Resort, which was already slated to reopen as a Hyatt property in 2017, has been added to the Unbound Collection and the opening has been pushed back to spring 2018.

Where’s anything new? Sure, the Coco Palms resort will be a new addition to the Hyatt collection because it’s been closed since 1992 but the other properties mentioned are just being reclassified.

Bottom Line

As things stand this is a just a re-branding exercise for a number of Hyatt’s existing hotels and adds nothing to their offering. There’s nothing here to get excited about at the moment.

No new locations have been announced, no new developments have been announced and no concrete announcements have been made about future additions. All Hyatt has said is:

Future hotels in The Unbound Collection by Hyatt will be equally story-worthy, whether it be through a fascinating past, an exclusive location, famous architecture and design, or an award-winning dining experience.

I guess the big question is will Hyatt be trawling through their existing portfolio to find properties that they believe will fit with the Unbound Collection’s loosely defined ideals or will they actually go out and do something interesting? I’m hoping for the latter but, based on the hotels they’ve chosen to launch the brand with, I suspect it will be the former. At least for the time being.


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