Earlier this year, Hyatt Hotels announced that it had acquired Miraval, one the leading destination wellness resorts in the US.
In the press release from Hyatt, CEO Mark Hoplamazian said that wellness is "an area that is becoming increasingly important to our guests” and that Hyatt will extend into "adjacent places beyond traditional hotel stays”.
And hence basically what Hyatt seems to be saying is that wellness in hotels and resorts is an important space for the company to be in and in buying Miraval they will not only be able to help grow that brand but also enhance the wellness elements in its other hotels too.
I can’t help but think that this acquisition is also at least in some way a response to the recent mega mergers between some of Hyatt’s competitors.
However, what’s most interesting is the possibility that this acquisition may just end up being a bigger deal than even Hyatt themselves are thinking. There are two trends at play here that have the potential to merge at some point in the future. If they do, Hyatt will win.
Let's look at the hotel business. It stands to reason that smart hotel brands today are looking for more ways to engage with their guests, not just when they are in the hotel but also when they are not. The more contact a guest has with the brand, the stronger the connection and ultimately the more valuable the relationship – to both sides. We’ve seen this logic for a while now in the strategy of hotels selling their beds, linens and housewares, etc, to their guests. Take the experience home with you and you now have an ongoing connection with the brand.
As people become more educated about their own personal health and wellbeing, they are more focused than ever on wanting to live well. Wellness is no longer what you do when you go away to spa resort for a week or two each year. Instead, wellness is something that needs to be part of your day-to-day lifestyle. This trend also ties in nicely with another push we have seen over recent years to keep people healthy and well – one that Hoplamazian himself referenced in the Hyatt press release – that of corporate wellness.
Wellness is becoming something we do every day. Hotel brands are looking for ways to create ongoing connections with guests, both during their hotel stay and after. And there it is – with the purchase of Miraval, Hyatt is now perfectly positioned to extend its brand into not only the homes, but the day-to-day lives of its guests. Perhaps we should be watching for corporate wellness acquisition from Hyatt at some time in the future to complete the circle?
At work, at home and away – Live Well with Hyatt.
Hey, I think I may have just created the future tagline for Hyatt hotels.
Munday is the regional vice president
at Mandara Spa