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Hyatt Is Expanding Again – New Luxury Resorts Being Added In $2.7bn Purchase

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Following rumors of a deal late last week, Sunday saw Hyatt confirm that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Apple Leisure Group, a luxury resort-management services, travel, and hospitality group for $2.7 billion.

The transaction is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of 2021 (subject to standard closing conditions) and will see the hotelier expanding its footprint considerably with over 90 new luxury resorts joining its portfolio.

Following Hyatt’s absorption of the Apple Leisure Group properties, World of Hyatt members can expect to be offered “the largest collection of all-inclusive luxury resorts in the world” across Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America and will see Hyatt entering European markets in which, right now, it does not have a foothold.

Amy Weinberg, Hyatt’s senior vice president, Loyalty, Brand Marketing and Consumer Insights has offered up this quote:

“At Hyatt we are always listening to our guests and members, and understand they are craving even more leisure offerings. The acquisition of Apple Leisure Group will expand our luxury getaway options with 100 new luxury resorts to choose from across Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America. It is too soon to know exactly how or when World of Hyatt will come to life within these resorts, however, please know that we are working fast and that we will share more as soon as we have it. In the meantime, we hope our guests and members will enjoy browsing the AMR collection to discover a new destination that’s just right for them.”

Hyatt’s press release is keen to highlight that Spain’s Balearic Islands will be back on the World of Hyatt map (good news for those of us still lamenting the loss of the Park Hyatt Mallorca) and that Greece will be making an appearance too, but a quick look at the portfolio Hyatt is buying reveals that the Caribbean and Mexico are where most of the new properties are located.

Links to the various brands that make up Apple Leisure Group’s portfolio:

Interestingly, Hyatt has said that the purchase of Apple Leisure Group would give it a “footprint in 11 new European markets” but my search of the group’s portfolio has failed to reveal any European properties outside of Spain and Greece. This may indicate that I’ve somehow missed some properties out or it could mean that Hyatt is counting different cities/islands in the same country as separate “European Markets”.

Unfortunately, I suspect that I haven’t missed much at all. The press release on the Apple Leisure Group website clearly states that “ALG’s hotel portfolio consists of over 33,000 rooms operating in 10 countries” and as the portfolios that I’ve seen include properties in Mexico, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Panama, Curaçao, Jamaica, St Martin, Spain, and Greece, that only leaves one country unaccounted for.

Clearly, the addition of 44 properties across Spain and 3 properties in Greece will be very welcome news for World of Hyatt members, but I think that most people reading Hyatt’s claim that it will soon have a footprint in 11 new European markets will be expecting Hyatt to offer properties in 11 European countries that, as of right now, do not feature on the World of Hyatt map. Sadly, I don’t think that this will be the case…although I hope to be proved wrong.

Finally, it’s worth noting that Apple Leisure Group consists of more than a collection of resorts. AMR Resorts is the group’s resort owner but the group also boasts ALG Vacations (a charter flight provider), The Unlimited Vacation Club (a membership program offering preferred rates at properties in Mexico and the Caribbean), Amstar DMC (offering ground transfers and tours with private and luxury options in Mexico and the Caribbean), and Trisept Solutions (a provider of “industry-leading” travel technology). These subsidiaries all appear to offer products and solutions that we don’t usually associate with Hyatt so it will be interesting to see if Hyatt will divest itself of these entities or if it will look to incorporate some or all of them into its business model.

Bottom Line

Hyatt has announced that it is purchasing Apple Leisure Group for the princely sum of $2.7bn. The acquisition will see Hyatt adding close to 100 new properties to its portfolio and will see the hotelier expanding significantly, in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, Spain, and Greece. The acquisition is set to close in the last quarter of 2021 so we won’t see any new additions to the World of Hyatt (as a result of this transaction) before 2022.

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