by Lee Xin Hui | June 29, 2016
With news of Marriot International acquiring Starwood Hotels & Resorts for $13.6 billion and AccorHotels acquiring FRHI Holdings for $2.9 billion breaking in succession, size has been the hot topic for the hotel industry. Yet, it is not the be-all and end-all for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, which has a global portfolio of 638 properties under 13 brands in 52 countries. 

"We have never set out to be the biggest - we want to be the most preferred," shares Carina Chorengel, senior vice president, brand and commercial strategy, Asia Pacific, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts in an email interview with Meetings & Conventions Asia. "Others talk about size, but our focus is all about purposeful and meaningful growth." 

Andaz Singapore opens in 2017.
In Asia Pacific, the hotel's strategy centres on three areas: growing in gateway cities and resort destinations, bringing the Hyatt Place brand to urban markets, and introducing its new brand, Unbound Collection by Hyatt. 

Many of these exciting developments are set to take place in Southeast Asia, which has been one of the key drivers for Hyatt's growth strategy. Last year, the region welcomed 5% more international tourist arrivals as compared to the previous. Other factors like improved visa processses and increases in low-cost travel options made possible by the ASEAN Economic Community - it came into full effect last December - will also further heighten the region's potential according to Chorengel, who is based in Hong Kong. 

Park Hyatt Bangkok debuts year-end.
To tap on the influx of luxury travellers to Indonesia, the hotel is looking to introduce Park Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Andaz and Hyatt Place there. Later this year, Park Hyatt Bangkok will open in the Thai capital. Next year, the first Andaz brand in Southeast Asia will open doors in Singapore while Grand Hyatt Manila is set to open in Bonifacio Global City, the capital city's central business district. 

"We're confident that the Grand Hyatt Manila will cater to the growing demand for high-end hotels and venues in which to hold upscale meetings and events," says Chorengel. 

As evidenced, the group has a singular focus on high-end travellers. According to Chorengel, it may, in fact, soon "be the only multi-brand, multi-national hotel company focused on this segment" with every one of its brands positioned at the higher end of the spectrum. 

This makes having a commitment to guest experiences as important as the new openings.

"We believe you cannot script an experience, so each brand is designed to meet the needs of travellers with a particular purpose of stay, and for that specific destination," shares Chorengel. 

Carina Chorengel, Senior Vice President, Brand and Commercial Strategy, Asia Pacific, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts.
With the Hyatt Place brand, the hotel group aims to meet the needs of corporate travellers by focusing on "style, innovation and 24/7 convenience for a perfectly seamless stay". At each of these hotels, guests can find services at various touch points, including spacious guestrooms with separated sleeping and living spaces; round-the-clock food and beverages, and versatile spaces that are great for business and social events. 

And for those seeking out truly unique and memorable experiences, there is the new The Unbound Collection by Hyatt. Its current portfolio consists of upper-upscale and luxury properties that are distinctive, such as The Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas; the Hotel du Louvre in Paris, France; the Carmelo Resort & Spa in Carmelo, Uruguay; and the Coco Palms Resort in Kauai, Hawaii. Chorengal hints at the possibility of cruise and caravan experiences, as well as properties in Southeast Asia. 

She adds: "With Unbound, we now have a new way to meet the needs of the market, a new way to grow, and a new way to deliver on the high-quality service for which we are known." 

Ultimately, it's about finding the sweet spot. "We are big enough to provide a breadth of experiences around the world, critical mass in high-growth markets, and scalble efficiencies. But we are not too big and are able to remain agile - this means more personal and individual attention to every guest and property," says Chorengel.