Impressions Of Hyatt Centric Hotels

Filed Under: Hotels, Hyatt

As I recently wrote about, we’re living in hotels at the momentWe’ve been staying primarily at Hyatts, both because Hyatt consistently treats me well as a Globalist member, and also because I’m working my way towards lifetime Globalist status.

In a previous post I shared how I stayed at my first Thompson property, and it’s a brand I absolutely love. In the past several months I’ve also stayed at a few Hyatt Centric properties, so in this post I wanted to share my take on the brand, because I’m conflicted.

What are Hyatt Centric Hotels?

The Hyatt Centric brand launched in 2015, but I only made my first stay with the brand recently. Hyatt Centrics are described as “upper-upscale lifestyle hotels in the center of their destination.” Here’s how Hyatt describes the brand concept to potential developers:

“Hyatt Centric hotels represent an opportunity for developers and owners to build strong loyalty in the lifestyle segment.

Upscale, cosmopolitan and highly customizable, these properties attract selective guests who want the best of what’s essential and none of what’s not — all at the center of a prime destination.”

There are currently 41 Hyatt Centric properties, with plenty more in the pipeline. A majority so far are in the United States. Hyatt states that the biggest competitors for the brand are Kimpton and Canopy by Hilton.

I can’t help but wonder if Hyatt backtracked a bit on the brand concept since it was first introduced in 2015. Here are some of the features of Hyatt Centrics that were highlighted when the brand launched:

  • Hyatt Centrics would have a bit of flair — “the artwork, furniture, food and beverages will tell a story, allowing guests to immediately get an authentic feel for the location”
  • Hyatt Centrics would have a big focus on communal spaces — “the Hyatt Centric brand will be characterized by certain common elements, including spaces like The Corner, where guests can work, socialize and peruse a curated collection of local books and magazines, and a bar and restaurant area that will help foster great conversations and deliver thoughtful, locally inspired food and signature cocktails”

Here’s the brand video that was published about Hyatt Centric at the time:

My experience staying at Hyatt Centric properties

My impressions of the Hyatt Centric brand are based on stays at three Hyatt Centrics, including in Miami (Brickell), Fort Lauderdale (Las Olas), and New Orleans (French Quarter). I’ll be reviewing the hotels individually, but wanted to share my overall feeling about the brand, because they all left me feeling roughly the same.

Hyatt Centric Brickell Miami room

I guess to broadly summarize my experience with Hyatt Centric:

  • As expected, the hotels all had central locations for their areas, which seems to be the aspect of the brand that’s most consistent
  • All three Hyatt Centrics I stayed at were rather cookie-cutter and bland
  • The public spaces weren’t very inspiring — each had a single restaurant, but it’s not something that’s designed in such a way that it’s going to be much of a social space or a hub for locals (even post-coronavirus)
  • Hyatt Centric ultimately felt to me like a more upscale version of Hyatt Place with a restaurant
  • Even though I didn’t find the brand to be very exciting, I still had good stays at all of the properties — Globalist treatment was excellent, breakfast was good, and the staff were friendly across the board

Hyatt Centric Brickell Miami room

And that brings me to a few more general thoughts on the brand, and on how hotel groups go about creating brands in general:

  • Is Hyatt Centric really an “upper-upscale” brand, as Hyatt describes it? In fairness, Hyatt also claims that Hyatt Place is “upscale,” so what’s with hotel groups consistently inflating the “class” of their hotels?
  • It sounds like the uniqueness of Hyatt Centrics comes down to developers having flexibility (particularly with converting existing properties at a minimal cost), rather than some requirement for the hotels to have local elements?
  • Hotels ultimately develop new brands to be able to sell to developers (their real customers), rather than to guests, and that’s why so many of them exist
  • While Hyatt Centric and Unbound Collection are marketed in similar ways, it seems like the properties that actually have some flair are branded as Unbound Collection, while the more generic ones are branded as Hyatt Centric, despite developers in theory having a lot of flexibility
  • It’s interesting to me that Kimpton is viewed as one of the biggest competitors of Hyatt Centric, because Kimptons typically have much more character and more dining options

Hyatt Centric New Orleans room

Would I stay at another Hyatt Centric?

Based on the hotels I stayed at, I feel rather indifferent about the Hyatt Centric brand. The good news is that they’re all part of Hyatt, so the staff were excellent, and elite recognition very good. That’s a reason to seek out Hyatt Centric over a competitor. When I search hotel options at a destination, I always prioritize Hyatts.

Hyatt Centric Fort Lauderdale Las Olas exterior

However, when deciding between full-service Hyatt properties, I generally think Hyatt Centric would be towards the bottom of the list of brands that I’d select, given that there’s not much (other than the location) that makes the brand unique.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll absolutely be staying at Hyatt Centrics in the future, especially if the location, price, or upgrade opportunities are right. But in general the brand isn’t too inspiring.


Hyatt Centric Fort Lauderdale Las Olas lobby

Bottom line

I finally had the chance to stay at some Hyatt Centrics, more than five years after the brand was launched. Hyatt Centric is supposed to be Hyatt’s lifestyle brand of hotels with great locations.

All of our stays were ultimately good — we had lots of space, the employees were friendly and helpful, and breakfast was quite good too. However, the brand as such doesn’t excite me — I found the hotels to all be quite generic, with limited public spaces.

I’m curious if I maybe just didn’t select 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?

Comments
  1. “Is Hyatt Centric really an “upper-upscale” brand, as Hyatt describes it? In fairness, Hyatt also claims that Hyatt Place is “upscale,” so what’s with hotel groups consistently inflating the “class” of their hotels?”

    This is a long-running industry standard thing that has as much to do with comparison within the industry as marketing in a confusing way to consumers. This is generally how hotel brands are grouped within these classifications:

    https://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Media/Default/Images/chainscales.pdf

    Holiday Inn Express is ‘upper midscale’ while Homewood Suites, Marriott Courtyard and Hilton Garden Inn are ‘upscale’. Hard Rock and Embassy Suites are Upper Upscale!

  2. I stayed at the one in Key West and it was an absolute dump and super expensive. The rooms were dark, musty and looked nothing nicer than a Holiday Inn. Never again.

  3. I think based on how Hyatt presented this brand they had oversold it but I think “cookie cutter” is a bit too harsh of an assessment. The main elements of a hotel are there but it felt… like they tried to do something like “stylish mainstream” by going a little beyond formulaic with their furnishings. They’re not… like “specifically tailored” to the location or try to give you a sense of history or try to be a boutique hotel. My best description would probably be “Hyatt tries to woo the Aloft crowd by restraining itself.” My thoughts were based on 2 stays, 1 in Minneapolis and 1 in Milan.

  4. I’ve avoided because I read a review about one in Miami with a strange bathroom design lacking in privacy. How were the bathrooms set up, traditional door you can close for privacy?

  5. @ Kate — We had an ADA suite there that had a sliding door between the bedroom and bathroom, so wasn’t an issue for our room. I don’t see anything from the pictures online that suggests any of the rooms lack privacy in the bathrooms? Are you talking about the Brickell property?

  6. Isn’t this a general thing with the large chains? Apart from the brand of shower gel, most people would struggle to tell them apart.

  7. Fully agree with your remarks based on my stays at two Hyatt Centrics in Europe.

    They don’t seem upper-upscale to me. I find them to be both lower in price as well in quality than Kimptons in comparable locations.

  8. Why does the Hyatt Centric Brickell Miami have pictures of Havana in its lobby? I get the large Cuban community in Miami and South Florida, but come on. Why not have pictures of Miami in a Miami hotel?

    Hyatt Centric reminds me of a Doubletree or Delta. Older, full-service properties that often get converted from independent or a different brand but don’t get fully renovated or rebuilt to the standards of a more flagship brand like Hyatt’s Hyatt Regency, Marriott’s Marriott or Westin, or Hilton’s Hilton.

  9. Stayed at Hyatt Centric the Pike at Long Beach in January 2020, before Covid. It was in a nice shopping area. Unfortunately they were undergoing renovations, so the lobby looked awful at the time. The room appeared modern and had a nautical theme. It was good for a short stay, but like you said it was not exciting, but good for my business trip.

  10. They are upper upscale when the starting measurement is the rotting motel that rents by the hour and can’t even make the brand standards for the lowest hotel chain.

  11. IIRC when Hyatt launched Centric, they rebranded a few hotels that had been in the generic “Hyatt” category (as opposed to “Hyatt Grand”, “Hyatt Regency”, etc.) and put them into Centric, so I got the impression it was an attempt to put a more specific brand around that generic category — although a (very) few hotels still exist as plain “Hyatt” too, for whatever reason. It sort of seemed like a Renaissance Hotels concept, or a slightly higher-end Four Points, where it was basically leftover middle-of-the-road hotels that weren’t quite cookie-cutter enough to be in one of the more rigidly defined brands.

    Personally, I wouldn’t avoid them, but I also wouldn’t seek them out, and would just go in with no particular expectations.

  12. Enjoyed the Mountain View property! But would agree with most of your description…will probably stay at the Portland property because of Mountain View

  13. We recently stayed at Hyatt Centric Key West and our experience was the polar opposite of @Jeff, which doesn’t mean we both aren’t right. As a Globalist our room and stay were top notch. Having stayed in 5 or 6 Hyatt Centrics, one thing they’ve seemed to have in common is fantastic locations if one wants to be in the thick of the action. Ultimately though, if my room is subpar it absolutely negatively impacts the experience. Couldn’t agree more on the cookie-cutter aspect. I thought the Las Olas image was taken at the New Orleans HC (which is my least favorite HC to date).

  14. Timely article — considered booking a ski weekend at Hyatt Centric Park City, a ski in/ski out property. With rates for a prime holiday weekend next January starting at $899, 30k points seems like decent value (especially w GSU into Large 1 BR Residence), but is a Centric experience worth Park Hyatt point levels?

    Would value any feedback!

  15. @FNT Delta Diamond – I think you hit the nail right on the head in your description of Hyatt Centric properties. I’ve had the same experience.

  16. @Kate. You must be referring to the Centric South Beach. The shower is between the bathroom and the bed area and the “wall” separating them is just lightly frosted glass. I don’t recall there being a screen you could lower.

    My idea of Centric after staying at seven different ones…all are indeed in a central location in trendy areas of town (with possible one exception…Park City, which is great in ski season but not so much any other time of the year). The new builds seem to have a minimalist contemporary styling with smallish rooms and even smaller bathrooms. Conversions don’t seem to fit that mold at all, for example New Orleans and especially Park City. The Centric Park City is a long shot outlier and would be a much better fit for the Destination Resort brand (or maybe Unbound) if that had been part of Hyatt when PC was rebranded.

    I really don’t think of them as cookie cutter. I kind of like them overall and would often prefer them over a Regency, but definitely not over an Andaz or Thompson, unless the price was right.

  17. I’ve stated at the Hyatt Centric in New Orleans many times and for me, it’s all about the location (French Quarter). Is the hotel memorable – no, is the hotel outstanding – no, is the hotel bad – no, it’s just meh and it is what it is. Location, location, location.

    I will say that availability using either points or cash + points is generally pretty good. For that, I’m thankful!

  18. Agree about brand assessment. Centric Tokyo is nice (we had the view suite), but I attribute that to Tokyo than the brand.

    Centric Long Beach… I would not stay at again. Pick the nearby Regency; better view, lounge access, parking that makes sense…

  19. Stayed at the Philadelphia Hyatt Centric and it was excellent. Perfect location, interesting rooms and common spaces. Highly recommend. Good Globalist recognition. Competitive prices.

  20. Just came back from Peru, where my family stayed at the Hyatt Centric San Isidro Lima. My impression is that it is on par with its IHG brother Indigo. Impressive food!

  21. I 100% agree the top benefit to the brand is the location – the Centric Mag Mile in Chicago is fantastic for that reason. Service was above average, the room was large and spacious (via a globalist upgrade), and the lobby area had a cool communal space built around the concept of a library. That said, nothing that was particularly memorable about it, other than it being in a fantastic place to go out and explore the city easily.

  22. I’ve stayed at the Centric South Beach. Was happy with it — nothing spectacular, but reasonably priced. Not on the beach, but across the street and had a partnership with Loews to use their beach facilities.

    @Kate/@Mark — I didn’t have a glass partition in my bathroom. A normal bathroom that wouldn’t create awkwardness if multiple people were in the room.

    The article does reveal you have been traveling a bit since you returned to the US — Florida, New Orleans, plus Texas and Nashville from your previous article.

  23. Centric South Beach is good, particularly partnership with Loews for beach chairs, towels etc across the street. Great location. Rooms are small though. We had no issue with the bathroom/room separator.

    Also stayed at Centric Key West. Location also great, and sunsets from the small pier are awesome. Really enjoyed our stay there.

    But Centric is definitely not upscale and definitely not the same category as a Kimpton (which is upscale). They are a bit contemporary with some individual character, so for me they don’t have an easy comparable, but I’d equate the level of “luxury” as being similar to a refreshed Marriott – which I view as midscale.

  24. Centric is totally all over the place, but I tend to like them. HC Guatemala City has a fantastic restaurant and an amazing heated rooftop pool. Same with HC Santiago. HC Chicago Magnificent Mile, meanwhile, is like an old Hyatt Regency without the spacious atrium. Great location, cheap, but totally bland.

  25. I’ll echo the love for HC Key West. I’ve stayed a couple times and it’s always been great.

    I think the HC French Quarter is probably the best points hotel in the Quarter. It’s certainly not dumpy, and it doesn’t have the convention feel of the Westin or Marriott.

    Guatemala City is another standout. Actually a fairly beautiful property in a great location with a nice restaurant and great Globalist recognition.

    Personally, I’m a fan of the brand.

  26. I’ve only stayed at the New Orleans location and it’s my go to place when in NOLA. Location is great and the hotel was always buzzing with activity pre COVID. I think if you go back when things are more normal you may see a different vibe. Regarding NOLA there’s too many fabulous eateries outside the hotel. I also think the room you get does make a difference.

    I always try to get the larger king room off the pool. Believe me it makes your stay very different compared to just a regular room. I also like the tall ceilings and color palette although it may need to be refreshed a little. Based on my experience I would try another Hyatt Centric.

  27. It’s like the bastard child of Westin and Crowne Plaza—bland and forgettable. The HC Loop Chicago is devoid of personality.

  28. Agreed with @CS

    It’s all about the location in the French Quarter. Nothing else. The hotel is meh. Is it a Park Hyatt/Andaz? No. Is it a Motel 6? No. For being in the room 6-7 hours only, it’s perfect. Centric’s remind me of a nicer Hyatt Place.

  29. I enjoyed the Hyatt Centric Woodlands (Houston) as a welcome respite from the oppressive heat and humidity of the Galleria or downtown areas of Houston. It definitely felt more like I was living amongst the local community as located in a shopping / lifestyle enclave near several local parks. Weekend hotel events and the restaurant seemed to be popular with nearby residents as well.

  30. I know exactly what you mean. You will def appreciate the international Centric locations a bit more.

    HC Guatemala City sells it perfectly. You know it’s an HC due to location + upscale feel w/ spacious high-end rooms– even the basic ones.

    BUT! You can also tell you’re in Central America w/ the colorful flair. Very classy not at all kitschy– beautifully crafted furniture w/ Mayan accented decor. Top notch food selections, amenities & service of course.

    I stay in a lot of Hyatts as well and confidently recommend you try this one out.

  31. I’m also in the Centric >>> Regency camp…appreciate the newness, bit more style, full Glob breakfast vs. a watered-down lounge one, more central locations, etc.

  32. I stayed recently at Hyatt Centric Guatemala City and it was very nice, it reminded me of W Hotels.

  33. Opposite the US Centrics, those I’ve stayed in abroad have been excellent. HK’s was fantastic– nice and functional rooms plus great service.
    I long-connected there from India to Sydney and had Delhi Belly during my stay. I couldn’t have asked for a better place during that time and highly recommend it, especially for a different area than most hotels.

  34. I’ve stayed several times at the Hyatt Centric in Mountain View. It is a nice newer hotel and very clean. I believe it was purposefully built as a Hyatt Centric. Food was good, it’s near a dog park and is dog friendly, and there’s a nice outdoor dining area which worked well for covid conditions. Service was just OK, but you don’t really get that at any silicon valley hotels. It is clearly intended as a business hotel for people visiting Google, etc. It is light years better than the Hyatt House in Belmont – that place is a dump.

    Ad an aside for silicon valley travelers, the Grand Hyatt SFO is beautiful but overpriced. The Crowne Plaza Foster City is surprisingly nice and good with upgrades for IHG members.

    I would not seek out Hyatt centric brand per se, but I would definitely choose it over a Hyatt place or Hyatt house especially as a globalist where you get free breakfast anyways

  35. Agree with Robert W

    I stayed at the Philadelphia location during last fall and had a nice stay. The rooms were freshly renovated and the rates were cheap (~$135 all in, obviously Covid impacted). Would gladly stay again if priced right, with the caveat that my expectations wouldnt be for a Park Hyatt.

  36. Sometimes all I want is a hotel with an inoffensive design, in a central location, and Hyatt Centric fits the bill.

  37. I think I’ve only ever stayed in about 3 Hyatt properties. Their footprint in Europe is pretty rubbish, no credit card earning option outwith the US and overpriced whenever I’ve looked at them. Lots of better options to be had!

  38. Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo and Hyatt Centric Kanazawa (both in Japan) seem to look very different from Hyatt Centric hotels in US Ben had stayed at.
    After Japan is open again and COVID-19 pandemic is finished, please come here to try them!

  39. Yea I would be interested to hear your thoughts about the Centric in Tokyo. I have heard decent things about that property, although I have never tried it. Based upon your observations I will probably opt for something like an andaz or thompson or maybe even something like a HGI or Courtyard assuming the locations are reasonable.

  40. Hyatt is an all around terrible brand for aesthetics. All their rooms in their 5 star portfolio are bland/placid/boring except Vienna and Sydney (which has the glass bathroom walls that I hate). It makes no sense why people recommend the Hyatt in Buenos Aires over the Four Seasons. The point of staying in a hotel on vacation is to enjoy the room and atmosphere. Hyatt is too plain to enjoy.

  41. I actually LOVE the Hyatt Centric Times Square. Yes, perfectly located for Broadway visits but the staff there have consistently been outstanding. Have stayed there on an annual NYC visit for about 5 years.

  42. @Jackson – I’m sure you haven’t been to the vast majority of PH and Alila to be any source of authority. Plus your idea of style is probably all the tacky faux gold and bling at Trump hotel properties.

  43. Re: Park City HC

    When skiing , you should always expect to pay a steep premium for anything that is close to “ski-in, ski-out”, especially if that coincides with walking distance to restaurants. This saves you the expense of renting and parking a car, or spending a good chunk of your vacation chilling on a local city bus. The brand has very little to do with it.

  44. @Ted Are you sure the HC Mountain View is dog-friendly? When I’ve looked it says no pets allowed. Did they charge a fee?

  45. @jm – hmm it was dog friendly when I stayed there last summer. There was a fee but I don’t recall what it was exactly. Maybe they have changed their policy? I would recommend to call then directly to confirm

    P.S. – ask for a room on too floor (6th floor) – much quieter. Hardwoods transmit all noises from floors above

  46. The first Centrics I stayed at gave me a really good impression of the brand.
    Centric Tokyo Ginza is fantastic! Amazing location, great decor, good size room, well designed (and obviously great service, this is Japan!). This hotel is so nice they bumped the Category twice since it opened.
    Then I stayed at the Centric Gran Via Madrid and was also very impressed. Old building completely renovated, very nice design…
    But after that, I stayed at Centrics in the US (SF Fishermen’s wharf and Santa Barbara) and it was clear those hotels weren’t in the same league. They were rebranded, a bit ran down, no special design, just boring.
    So it’s definitely a weird inconsistent brand. I was expecting nice, very upscale modern design hotels after my first 2 experiences but ended up disappointed after my subsequent stays. They’re all “central” locations though that’s for sure, but I don’t know what else the brand stands for, and I will definitely do more research before booking them, especially if other Hyatt hotels are around.

    Can’t wait to try the Centric Kanazawa, being brand new and in Japan, should be really nice

  47. I just stayed at the HC Downtown Portland. Hotel decor was pretty “Portland”, especially the lobby but also a bit garish with too much ombre and clashing patterns. I stayed at HP Fairbanks right before and thought that was more tastefully designed (but the hotel walls were way too thin there). It was a nice stay in Portland though because the room had a good amount of space, bed was very comfy, the location was great, and the service was great.

  48. We’ve been staying at Key West Centric for many years. The location is great. As small as it is, it has a beach, not common in Key West. Great restaurant on the water. Great service. We get the usual Globalist perks. Having said all that, I still don’t know what makes it a Centric. It was a regular Hyatt. Then, they changed the name to Centric. I haven’t been able to find one thing different after the name change.

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