Hyatt To Get New Options in Mexico and the Caribbean

Fresh off their strategic partnership with MGM Resorts in Las Vegas to partner up with the 12 participating M Life hotel properties there, and also a deal to grow in Paris and the South of France, Hyatt has entered into a deal to invest in Playa Hotels and Resorts.

Hyatt will spend $100 million for a 20% ownership stake and $225 million for convertible preferred stock in Playa, a privately held hotel-investment company.

…Playa’s hotel portfolio will include 13 resorts totaling about 5,800 rooms across the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Jamaica. Playa will sign franchise agreements with Hyatt for six of the 13 resorts, which will operate under Hyatt brands after renovations are completed.

Under the agreement with Hyatt, Playa will have certain rights to operate Hyatt-branded all-inclusive resorts in five Latin American and Caribbean countries on an exclusive basis through 2018.

Hyatt noted the first two all-inclusive resorts, located in Mexico, will be introduced later this year. Four additional resorts in Jamaica, Mexico and the Dominican Republic are expected to be introduced in 2014 and 2015.

Hyatt has addressed its weakness in the Vegas market, made a small but valuable play for Europe, and now this deal fills their gap in the Caribbean market which has been another area of weakness.

Gold Passport members will soon have new all-inclusive resorts at which to earn and burn points.

I frequently argue that Hyatt Gold Passport is the most rewarding of the major hotel loyalty programs — for points earning and redemption, for reasonably-priced confirmed suite upgrades with points for all members, for Diamond confirmed suite upgrades, and also with the most generous top tier breakfast benefit.

But the weakness is in their coverage, they are roughly half the size of Starwood Preferred Guest and orders of magnitude smaller than Priority Club, Hilton, and Marriott. Nonetheless they’e been addressing these shortcomings quite well over the past six months indeed!

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Given that they’ve now addressed this shortcoming I wonder if they will follow the big chains with a similar devaluation…

  2. How have they addressed the European market? Travel there 10x per year for business. Rarely see one. Never affordable <$250/night.

  3. If we could use the 2 free nights from the Hyatt CC at the all inclusive resorts that would be amazing.

  4. @ABC several Paris properties and Nice/Cannes. Hyatt’s lower end and less expensive properties certainly can’t be found in Europe or Australia but they’re adding coverage

  5. Really like the Hyatt program and have enjoyed my SPG platinum match. That said it was *really really* hard to hit 12 nights with Hyatt (when I had 50 to spend) throughout Asia and Europe. Usually better Starwood hotels or certainly similar for much cheaper. In fact, virtually the 12 stays I wrangled up apart from one were probably better off with SPG but I wanted to hit the requirement.

    They still have some really glaring problems to fix.

    They are virtually non-existant in the Canadian market compared to SPG. They need to follow SPG’s model where points based stays are considered actual stays, and that includes the use of Diamond upgrades on points stays. That I think is the most aggravating thing that those can’t be applied to. Clearly the aspirational properties one would save points to use them at.

    It’s a fantastic program for US based travellers, but it really isn’t applicable to anyone outside the US.

  6. @Brian – Some good points but remember that you can use 50% more points for a suite on an award stay compared to 100% more at Starwood, so this helps with inability to use confirmed suite upgrade certs on points stays. I wouldn’t say Hyatt is only useful in the US. They’ve really grown in India for instance I think their presence is big enough there for scale. But it isn’t much in Canada for sure, and I don’t expect that’ll be a huge growth market for them.

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