As I wrote recently, we are currently living in hotels. We mostly stayed at Hyatts, both because Hyatt consistently treats me well as a globalist member and because I’m on my way to lifelong globalist status.
In a previous post I shared how I stayed at my first Thompson hotel, and it’s a brand that I absolutely love. I have also stayed at a number of Hyatt Centric hotels over the past few months. In this post, I wanted to share my opinion on the brand as I got into conflict.
What are Hyatt Centric Hotels?
The Hyatt Centric brand was launched in 2015, but I recently had my first stint with the brand. Hyatt Centrics are referred to as “upscale lifestyle hotels at the heart of their travel destination”. This is how Hyatt describes the brand concept to potential developers:
“Hyatt Centric Hotels offer developers and owners the opportunity to build strong loyalty in the lifestyle segment.
These upscale, cosmopolitan, and highly customizable accommodations attract select guests who want the best of what matters and nothing of what isn’t – all in the center of a world class destination. “
There are currently 41 Hyatt Centric properties and more are in the pipeline. A majority so far is in the United States. The biggest competitors for the brand are Kimpton and Canopy by Hilton, according to Hyatt.
I wonder if Hyatt has tracked the branding concept a bit since it was launched in 2015. Here are some of the features Hyatt Centrics highlighted when the brand was launched:
- Hyatt Centrics would have a bit of flair – “the artwork, furniture, food and drink will tell a story so that guests can instantly get an authentic feel for the place.”
- Hyatt Centrics would put a lot of focus on common spaces – “The Hyatt Centric brand will be characterized by certain common elements, including spaces like The Corner, where guests can work, socialize and read a curated collection of local books and magazines, and a bar and a restaurant area that creates great conversation and delivers thoughtful, locally inspired food and unique cocktails. “
Here is the brand video released through Hyatt Centric at the time:
My experience at Hyatt Centric
My impressions of the Hyatt Centric brand are based on stays at three Hyatt Centrics, including Miami (Brickell), Fort Lauderdale (Las Olas) and New Orleans (French Quarter). I’ll be reviewing the hotels one at a time but wanted to share my overall feel for the brand because I felt about the same with all of them.
Hyatt Centric Brickell Miami room
I think to roughly summarize my experience with Hyatt Centric:
- As expected, all of the hotels had central locations for their areas, which seems to be the branding aspect that is most consistent
- All three Hyatt Centrics I’ve stayed at have been cookie cutter and boring
- The public spaces weren’t very inspiring – each had a single restaurant, but it’s not designed to be a social space or hub for locals (even after the coronavirus).
- Hyatt Centric ultimately felt like an upscale version of Hyatt Place with a restaurant to me
- While I didn’t find the brand very exciting, I still had good stays at all of the hotels – the globalist treatment was excellent, the breakfasts were good and the staff were consistently friendly
Hyatt Centric Brickell Miami room
And that brings me to a few more general thoughts about the brand and how hotel groups create brands in general:
- Is Hyatt Centric really an upscale brand as Hyatt describes it? In fairness, Hyatt also claims that Hyatt Place is “upscale”. So what about hotel groups that consistently inflate the “class” of their hotels?
- It sounds like Hyatt Centrics’ uniqueness comes from the fact that developers are flexible (especially when converting existing properties at minimal cost) rather than the hotels needing local elements.
- Hotels ultimately create new brands to sell to developers (their real customers) rather than guests, and that’s why there are so many of them
- While Hyatt Centric and Unbound Collection are marketed in a similar way, the properties that actually have some flair appear to be called Unbound Collection, while the more general ones are called Hyatt Centric, although developers have a lot of flexibility in theory
- It’s interesting to me that Kimpton is seen as one of Hyatt Centric’s biggest competitors as Kimptons usually have a lot more character and more restaurants
Hyatt Centric New Orleans room
Would I stay at another Hyatt Centric?
I don’t really care about the Hyatt Centric brand because of the hotels I’ve stayed in. The good news is that they are all part of Hyatt, so the staff have been excellent and the elite recognition has been very good. That’s one reason to see Hyatt Centric versus a competitor. When looking for hotel options in a destination, I always prioritize Hyatts.
Hyatt Centric Fort Lauderdale Las Olas exterior
However, when deciding between full-service Hyatt hotels, I generally think Hyatt Centric is at the bottom of the list of brands I would choose as not much (other than location) makes the brand unique.
Don’t get me wrong, I will definitely stay at Hyatt Centrics in the future, especially if the location, price or upgrade options are right. But in general, the brand isn’t too inspiring.
Hyatt Centric Fort Lauderdale Las Olas Lobby
I finally got the chance to stay with some Hyatt Centrics more than five years after the brand was launched. Hyatt Centric is said to be Hyatt’s lifestyle hotel brand with great locations.
All of our stays ended up being good – we had plenty of space, the staff were friendly and helpful, and the breakfast was pretty good too. The brand as such doesn’t appeal to me though – I found the hotels all to be pretty generic, with limited public spaces.
I’m curious to see if maybe I haven’t picked some of the more interesting properties, or if this is pretty representative of the brand.
If you’ve stayed at a Hyatt Centric, what was your experience like? How do you feel about the brand?