Hyatt & Small Luxury Hotels Of The World Announce Partnership

I am really excited about this development, even though the details are still limited.

Hyatt and Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) have announced a new loyalty partnership. The launch of the partnership is scheduled for the end of the year, so we don’t yet have many details, but I imagine they’ll be sharing more details in the coming months and weeks.

With this partnership, World of Hyatt members will have the opportunity to earn and redeem points, as well as earn elite night credits, when staying at SLH properties. It would appear that these benefits will be available when booking an SLH stay through a Hyatt booking channel.


Grossarler Hof in Austria, an SLH property

SLH has more than 500 independently owned luxury hotels around the world, though it hasn’t yet been announced how many of those properties are partnering with Hyatt. I imagine it will be up to the individual hotels whether or not they want to participate in this, so it will be interesting to see how many hotels join as part of this partnership.

Like I said, there’s a lot we don’t know yet:

  • Will World of Hyatt members earn the same number of points at SLH properties as they do at Hyatt properties (five points per dollar, plus elite bonuses)?
  • Will redemptions at SLH properties follow Hyatt’s traditional award chart, or will each Hyatt point be worth a certain dollar value towards a redemption at an SLH property (hopefully the former)?
  • Will there be any elite perks or reciprocal status opportunities between Hyatt and SLH (SLH does have three membership tiers)?

I love the concept of this partnership so much. SLH has some stunning, boutique properties, and being able to earn and redeem Hyatt points and stay credits at these properties will be awesome.


Hayfield Manor in Ireland, an SLH property

Hyatt’s biggest weakness is how small their global footprint is, so having more properties at which points can be earned and redeemed, as well as being able to earn elite nights at more properties, is great. I especially love that these are all unique properties — all else being equal I’d much rather stay at a unique hotel than a cookie cutter property.

This partnership is very similar to what Starwood has with Design Hotels, where select Design Hotels have a marketing partnership with Starwood. With this you can earn and redeem points, as well as receive elite night credits for stays when booking through a Starwood channel.

I can’t wait to see the full details of this partnership, as this would definitely cause me to stay at some SLH properties. Their hotels have often tempted me, but the lack of association with any mainstream loyalty program has largely prevented me from staying at them.

What do you make of the new partnership between Hyatt and SLH?

(Featured image courtesy of Hotel Le Strato)

Comments

  1. More options is always great. What is really going to determine if it’s worthwhile is what the redemption rate will be like.

    Personally I don’t find much value in most “luxury” hotels. I don’t know much about SLH locations but I find that luxury usually just means higher price and nicer decor.

  2. Details are obviously important but conceptually this would be a lot more useful to me than an acquisition of NH or Radisson.

    I’d be more interested in the earning/credit side of the partnership than the award side, I feel like I have plenty of award opportunities with the current Hyatt portfolio, more earning options would be most useful.

  3. Finally, now that someone has moved towards the soft collections, expect the others (LHW, Preferred, Discovery, Relais & Chateaux) to become targets as well. Most of those soft collections have high end properties that are over 5 times what Hyatt, Hilton or IHG can muster. Hilton and IHG could really use these and Hyatt could add some more, it needs them.

  4. Starwood (now Marriott) is the largest shareholder (74%) of Design Hotels AG. Hyatt has no stake in SLH, as far as I know. It’s very different relationship. But certainly more interesting.

  5. As you say, seems similar to design hotels partnership with Starwood/Marriott, which I think is fantastic. So, I’m all for this.

  6. @Kalboz…pretty straight forward:
    1. Go to the Choice Privileges section of the Choice Hotels website.
    2. Click on “Use Points” at the top of the page.
    3. The last entry on how to use the points for free night says to use them at Luxury hotels and there you will find Preferred listed. Click on “Preferred Hotels”
    4. On the next page you can look up what hotels participate and what the cost in Choice points is for a redemption.
    5. Follow steps from there.

  7. I quite like these independent hotel collections and have stayed at a number of Preferred LUX’s and LEGEND’s, LHW’s, Relais et Chateaux and SLH’s over the years. Since I don’t care about hotel points or frequent stay status, I usually default to these sorts of places or small luxury hotel groups like Belmond, Dorchester Collection etc. over large chain brands.

  8. @Christian

    You’re right! Slipped my mind, though that one is over a decade and a half old I think, not part of the current wave of consolidation and its limited to redemption whereas Hyatt’s play I think will include status earning and benefits.

    I expect much closer relationships this time around, similar to their MGM ones. Partnering with just one more of the soft collections, acquiring Radisson and then partnering with regional giants (Taj and Shangri La already have reciprocal status and benefits and Hyatt can join in there and cover India and China along with some other cities, then Jumeirah/Emaar in UAE and Millennium/Steigenberger/Kempinski in Europe) and suddenly they’ll be twice the high end player Marriott+Starwood are and have loyalty benefits at close to 3000 hotels.

  9. This has big potential for Hyatt and us. High-end footprints in places Hyatt is non-existent. Sounds great…hopefully.

  10. “all else being equal I’d much rather stay at a unique hotel than a cookie cutter property.”

    This is new….

  11. @ Evan — I think you’re overlooking the “all else being equal” part, with the “all else” being loyalty programs…

  12. Great news. SLH has some great properties in its alliance. For road warriors it’s always nice to get something new (a boutique) with something old (points).

  13. For those SLH hotels already working with FHR or Virtuoso, there’s clearly enough meat on the bone to finance Hyatt points and stay credits and recognise Hyatt status. Redemption will require some more haggling by Hyatt, but should work out.

    For travellers, though, it is going to come down to choosing between FHR, Virtuoso and “Hyatt Channels”. Hyatt elites might find the Hyatt Channel worthwhile but for others, if Virtuoso or FHR is available, that might well be the better choice. The real value then will be if Hyatt can attract hotels which aren’t signed up to FHR or Virtuoso. And obviously FHR and Virtuoso aren’t going to be idle while Hyatt intrudes into their space.

    Hyatt could still mess this up but I think the chances are very high of an arrangement that works well for Hyatt elites at select SLH properties and see no reason why Hyatt could not extend it to LHW etc. If implemented well, and especially if Hyatt can extend the scope to other independent groups of hotels, this could be transformative for Hyatt and persuade some travellers to switch loyalty from Marriot.

  14. Somehow I think redemptions will be with points being worth a cent or similar. These awesome hotels being categorized into Hyatt categories and open for free night redemptions and suite upgrades…sounds too good to be true.

  15. @ Larks K…I would tend to agree that it might sound too good to be true but maybe they can work something out like what Choice has done with Preferred. They have categories similar to what you see at most chains for the awards. I’m not saying that the Choice redemption categories for Preferred are a good value but they do at least have the option.

    @Traveler…for the well versed traveler it will boil down to where we get the most beenies but for the normal guy off the street they might not even know or have access to FHR and Virtuoso so they might go the Hyatt route to book.

  16. 67 properties in Italy alone, compared to 1 for Hyatt!! This could be awesome!! I am not necessarily looking for Elite Status (since I don’t have any), would just like to use my points to stay somewhere… Hopefully the rates aren’t too astronomical!

  17. This is not going to end well; the properties will be swamped by Ma and Pa Kettle types, redeeming Hyatt points for stays.

  18. This is such a positive. I can’t wait to see how it plays out. As @Mike L. pointed out above, it creates a whole new ballgame for Hyatt in Europe.

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