My First Stay At A Dual-Brand Hotel (I Think?)

My First Stay At A Dual-Brand Hotel (I Think?)

60

I stayed at a dual-brand hotel for the first time, and it’s not exactly what I was expecting.

What are dual-brand hotels?

Over the past several years we’ve seen an increasing number of dual-brand hotels. The idea is that a single physical property contains two different hotel brands in one. So rather than opening a single 400-room hotel, an investor may instead choose to open the hotel as two brands, with each having 200 rooms.

Generally the two hotels belong to the same chain, but sometimes they don’t. What’s the logic for dual-brand hotels? The idea is to better segment the market, and to be able to appeal to multiple traveler demographics. Different brands have different kinds of customer bases, depending on whether they’re limited service, full service, luxury, extended stay, etc.

It might be hard to sell 400 rooms per night for a single brand, but by making it seem like there are two hotels, maybe it’s a bit easier. After all, you’re doubling the number of times you show up in search results.

Of course there are efficiencies to dual-brand properties compared to them being run fully independently, as there are some synergies. However, there are of course also additional expenses associated with this, as you’re essentially having to market the two hotels separately.

The thing is, unless you’re doing a lot of research, you may not even notice that you’re booking a dual-brand property. The website for one hotel may not even reference that there’s another hotel on the same premises.

That sounds great, but how does that work in practice? Well, it’s not exactly what I was expecting…

I stayed at the Hyatt House & Hyatt Place LAX

Over the weekend I spent a night near LAX, and I decided to book the Hyatt House LAX. The simple reason I booked it is because I had never stayed at a Hyatt House before, and I wanted to check that off my list for World of Hyatt’s Brand Explorer promotion.

Upon doing some research, I realized that this is a 401-room property, with a 272-room Hyatt Place and a 129-room Hyatt House. When you pull up to the hotel, you see both the Hyatt Place and Hyatt House branding.

Hyatt Place & Hyatt House LAX exterior

In reality this is quite literally one hotel with two different kinds of rooms. The brands share the same lobby, and the same reception. When you check-in, you don’t even have to mention whether you booked the Hyatt Place or Hyatt House, because as far as the front desk is concerned, they’re the same.

Hyatt Place & Hyatt House LAX lobby

The brands share the same elevators…

Hyatt Place & Hyatt House LAX elevators

The brands share the same gym…

Hyatt Place & Hyatt House LAX gym

The brands share the same rooftop restaurant…

Hyatt Place & Hyatt House LAX rooftop restaurant

The brands share the same breakfast room…

Hyatt Place & Hyatt House LAX breakfast room

The brands share the same pool…

Hyatt Place & Hyatt House LAX pool

Literally the only difference is the rooms. Some floors have Hyatt House rooms, while other floors have Hyatt Place rooms. The hallways on the floors even look identical.

Hyatt House is an extended stay brand, so the key feature of this “property” is that rooms have a kitchen.

Hyatt House LAX room
Hyatt House LAX room

Meanwhile Hyatt Place is usually known for having couches in rooms that can potentially turn into beds.

Hyatt Place LAX room
Hyatt Place LAX room

How this differed from my expectations

I suppose different dual-brand properties may take different approaches, but going in, this isn’t exactly what I was expecting. What I was expecting was a bit more along the lines of the hotels we see at Frankfurt Airport, including the Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn, as well as the Marriott and Sheraton.

I assumed dual-brand hotels share some amenities (like a gym and maybe some restaurants), but that they had separate reception areas and at least some unique amenities.

In the case of the Hyatt Place and Hyatt House LAX, make no mistake, this is one hotel with two slightly different room types. One room type has a kitchen while the other room type has a sofa. Is that really sufficient grounds on which to call it two hotels?

I can’t help but wonder among consumers searching hotels near LAX online, how many even know the difference between Hyatt House and Hyatt Place? Is the play mainly that having two hotels show up in online search results is better than having one hotel show up? If you’re trying to segment the market, it seems you’d want more differentiated brands.

I hadn’t stayed at a Hyatt House before, but for what it’s worth, this hotel was way nicer than virtually any other Hyatt Place I’ve stayed at in the United States. Every other Hyatt Place I’ve stayed at didn’t have a full-service restaurant, and for that matter the room decor was much nicer here (I find Hyatt Places usually have functional but very bland room designs).

Bottom line

Dual-brand hotels are becoming increasingly popular, whereby you have two hotel brands in one property. I had assumed that dual-brand hotels maintain some unique characteristics beyond just the rooms, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

Instead the Hyatt Place and Hyatt House LAX are a single hotel, with the only difference being some aspects of the rooms. I’m not sure if this is consistently how these properties are, or if this place is an outlier.

Now I’m actually curious what a dual-brand hotel officially is. Are the Marriott and Sheraton Frankfurt Airport considered dual-brand? What about the Hyatt Regency and Hyatt Place Zurich Airport?

What do you make of the dual-brand hotel concept? If you’ve stayed at one, what was your experience like?

Conversations (60)
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  1. Steve M Guest

    Cancun hotels have been doing this for years.

    Nothing new here.

  2. Christian Guest

    Developers also go the dual-brand route as a way to tie up multiple brands and the areas of protection that come with them. Why build a 300-room Homewood Suites (and risk a Home2Suites coming in across the street) when I can take both brands with smaller room counts off the market in my area?

  3. Bob Bornstein Guest

    Even weirder is the Royal Sonesta Kaua'i Resort Lihue and the Marriott's Kaua‘i Beach Club, two different companies, both at the same location sharing amenities. The Sonesta is basically hotel rooms while the Marriott are timeshare rooms.

  4. Jean El Hayek Guest

    I wonder how they do the licensing process of two identities in the same building?! Do the taxation and P&L statements are separate if they have 2 licenses !!
    Basically as said, two hotels are good for doubling the bookers traffic or increasing the online demand, but how does it go if one license is there with OTAs like booking.com or Expedia?!!

  5. Ethan Guest

    A lot of overseas Hyatt House has dual branding as Hyatt Place, and they're usually pretty nice, I imagine since Hyatt only had this strategy fairly recent years. Interestingly, the same Hyatt House usually play award availability game while Hyatt Place doesn't, seemingly to avoid WoH members getting more bang for points.

  6. Ryan R Guest

    Let's not forget the Embassy Suites in DC that have a Hilton Grand Vacations Club "The District" on the top floors.

  7. Ryan R Guest

    The Crowne Plaza / Holiday Inn Express at London Heathrow T4 is pretty weird. 2 separate lobbies and receptions sharing the same atrium and elevators. Both have half their rooms facing the same sun-less atrium. At least it's fairly new?

  8. iamhere Guest

    Agree with you - that is not what I was expecting. Usually it is on the same property but different buildings and as you said some services are shared. No matter the case I generally do not think it is worth to pay more for the more expensive rooms for no reason unless there is a big difference. For example, I stayed at a JW Marriott once at a Courtyard/JW property but the JW was...

    Agree with you - that is not what I was expecting. Usually it is on the same property but different buildings and as you said some services are shared. No matter the case I generally do not think it is worth to pay more for the more expensive rooms for no reason unless there is a big difference. For example, I stayed at a JW Marriott once at a Courtyard/JW property but the JW was much more well maintained than the Courtyard and it was in separate buildings just next to each other.

  9. Robert Fahr Guest

    Here in KC we have a high rise Residence Inn and Courtyard combo. Aesthetically the new build property is just fine. Yet it feels like either brand standard.

    1. Robert Fahr Guest

      Here in KC we have a high rise Residence Inn and Courtyard combo. Aesthetically the new build property is just fine. Yet it feels like neither brand standard.

    2. iamhere Guest

      Sure because they both belong to Yum brands.

  10. Chris_ Member

    At Walt Disney World's Disney Springs Hotel Area, the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista and the Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista are sort of like this. Everything (check-in, pools, restaurants) is shared and the only difference is interior or exterior hallways and slight upgraded furnishings in the Wyndham vs. Wyndham Garden.

  11. Mark Guest

    What I don’t like about these is that they tend to cater to the lowest common denominator. I expect a Le Meridien to have a different style than a Sheraton. They also have different standards. Sharing a restaurant, for example, seems like it dilutes the brand. I may be an outlier, but I don’t stay at a hotel *just* for the rooms.

  12. DENDAVE Member

    You pretty much described the Downtown Denver Hyatt Place/House. The receptions are separate, but close to each other (I walked up to the wrong one at first). Otherwise, I couldn't tell much of a difference.

  13. jnrfalcon Guest

    There's also the H Hotel and Homewood Suite combo, former of which is the obvious choice for any avgeeks...

    1. Maryland Guest

      Yes Hilton/Homewood in Baltimore years ago! Stayed Homewood across from 4 Seasons! Beautiful innerharbor views. But I was initially confused as to the situation. A lovely woman & 4 cats who had stayed on the Hilton brand side for a year while her home was being remodeled explained. Basically same except for the snacks!

  14. JasonB Member

    In this case, the two brands are known for having very specific room types, so I think it makes a lot of sense. If there isn't much else to differentiate the brands, it makes less sense.

  15. Russ Member

    Charlotte has at least a few, probably more interesting ones.

    Sheraton & Le Meridien 555 McDowell
    AC Hotel & Residence Inn 210 Trade St.

    The main thing with these hotels is to avoid staying in the one that earns half the points - imagine realizing you earn half the points for staying in the element vs. the aloft in Austin or the AC vs. the Residence Inn in Charlotte.

    1. TyL New Member

      Residence Inn includes breakfast for everyone while AC hotel doesn't. How can they tell who goes to eat the breakfast then?

    2. Mishas Guest

      They usually ask your room number.

  16. sfishcal New Member

    Did you attend the Cranky Flier meetup on Saturday by LAX by chance?

  17. JC1 Guest

    I've stayed at several dual brand hotels pre-covid internationally and none are setup as this hotel. The first one I stayed at was the Hilton Kuala Lumpur which is shared in the same building with I believe the Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur. Needless to say they had two separate check-in desk, separate restaurants, and even separate pools. I also have stayed ate the Sands Cotai Macau which used to feature 4 hotels, a Sheraton, a...

    I've stayed at several dual brand hotels pre-covid internationally and none are setup as this hotel. The first one I stayed at was the Hilton Kuala Lumpur which is shared in the same building with I believe the Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur. Needless to say they had two separate check-in desk, separate restaurants, and even separate pools. I also have stayed ate the Sands Cotai Macau which used to feature 4 hotels, a Sheraton, a Holiday Inn, a Conrad, and I believe a St. Regis. They all had their own restaurants and check-in desks as well and separate pools. The last dual brand hotel I stayed at was the Holiday Inn Express T5 at LHR which is shared with the Crowne Plaza T5 and once again, they had separate entrances, separate restaurants, separate elevators. I also recently stayed at the Marriott FLL Airport which is dual branded hotel with the AC. Once again, separate check-in areas, separate elevator banks, separate restaurants, etc. So this new setup sounds really strange and unique and I'm not sure how I feel about it. At least all of the dual brands I stayed at were truly 2+ hotels sharing one roof but were otherwise separate. I mean you could have dined at the other brands restaurants if you wanted because they were connected.

    1. Here Hare Guest

      Agreed. The JW Marriott Parq slash Douglas in Vancouver, separate and distinct under one roof, different elevators, rooms, amenities, etc.

    2. Ryan R Guest

      Crowne Plaza and HE Express at LHR T5 share the same elevators.

  18. Robert D Guest

    Stayed at the Aloft\Element Dallas Love Field. As I recall, they had separate receptions, elevators, etc.

  19. JB Guest

    I've stayed at a Hyatt House in Firt Lauderdale (near FLL airport) and it was quite an old property with cramped rooms and dated decor. That was also a dual-branded property, with a (sold out) Hyatt Place right next to this hotel. They were separate structures, but shared the same lot.

  20. James Guest

    I stayed at the combo Hilton property at LAX (H/Curio and I can't remember the other.) Not quite the same as your experience because it's one building with 2 check-in desks but it didn't seem odd to me.

  21. Joseph Story Guest

    Residence Inn/Courtyard in Downtown Richmond. The only redeeming qualities I'd that it is downtown and has a nice enclosed patio.

    1. Corley Guest

      I hate that hotel(s)

  22. Brian G. Member

    Not sure about the ownership but the HP & HR Zurich Airport are not connected (9 min walk between them) so I would not call them connected. So staff is not shared as HP is franchised and has staff that works for the owner. While HR has Hyatt employed staff.

  23. LEo Diamond

    I think this has to do with brand commitments based, for example. The Delta Kunming and Sheraton are literally on opposing towers, and for an extensive part during 2020 and 2021, the Delta was temporarily closed due to COVID, everyone booked for Delta will be directed to Sheraton. However, those who book Delta as a Platinum guest will NOT receive club benefits as Delta is not part of the club perk, while those who book...

    I think this has to do with brand commitments based, for example. The Delta Kunming and Sheraton are literally on opposing towers, and for an extensive part during 2020 and 2021, the Delta was temporarily closed due to COVID, everyone booked for Delta will be directed to Sheraton. However, those who book Delta as a Platinum guest will NOT receive club benefits as Delta is not part of the club perk, while those who book with Sheraton directly will receive so, and the management strategically prices Delta cheaper than Sheraton even knowing that it is public that Delta won't operate in the near future so that they can sell club perkless rooms.

  24. LEo Diamond

    Remember the Westin and Sheraton at FRA Airport?

    1. anon Guest

      Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn at FRA

  25. Tom Guest

    Earlier this year, I stayed at the Element/Aloft in downtown Austin, TX. They shared the same ground lobby, and elevators, but had different skylobbies (although, I arrived late at night, so I checked into my Element room at the Aloft skylobby, since the Element reception area was closed).

    The floor I was on was half Aloft-themed, and half Element-themed (i.e. turn left from the elevators and it was Aloft wallpaper and sconces, turn right...

    Earlier this year, I stayed at the Element/Aloft in downtown Austin, TX. They shared the same ground lobby, and elevators, but had different skylobbies (although, I arrived late at night, so I checked into my Element room at the Aloft skylobby, since the Element reception area was closed).

    The floor I was on was half Aloft-themed, and half Element-themed (i.e. turn left from the elevators and it was Aloft wallpaper and sconces, turn right and it was Element fixtures and carpet, etc. [I may have flipped the directions in my memory, but still]). Apparently, the different skylobbies would typically offer different breakfast (a complimentary cold continental on the Element floor, and hot food to purchase in the Aloft lobby), although only the Element level was open during my visit (apparently due to occupancy). Both hotels shared the gym and similar public spaces.

  26. Frances Price Member

    My go-to NYC hotel is the Courtyard New York Manhattan/Central Park, which also houses a Residence Inn. The brands are on different floors and have separate elevator banks (almost always crazy busy on the Courtyard side), but share a reception area, restaurant, gym etc.

  27. Hyatt Lover Guest

    I recently stayed in this hotel and wanted to maximize my Hyatt room night credits so I booked (and received) one night credit from each hotel for the same night.

    On checkin I asked if I could have the rooms as close as possible to each other and they put both rooms on the same floor, on opposite sides of the same hallway. The doors were almost exactly across from each other.

    I...

    I recently stayed in this hotel and wanted to maximize my Hyatt room night credits so I booked (and received) one night credit from each hotel for the same night.

    On checkin I asked if I could have the rooms as close as possible to each other and they put both rooms on the same floor, on opposite sides of the same hallway. The doors were almost exactly across from each other.

    I found it very odd too but it worked out in our favor. Two nights closer to globalist and two night credits for brand explorer.

    Very nice airport hotel.

    1. Pam Guest

      Great & smart strategy!

  28. John Guest

    Aloft/Element in Austin is the same

    1. DCAWABN Guest

      As are a lot of newer Courtyards/Residence Inns.

    2. Steve Diamond

      first thing i thought about as well.

  29. DWt Guest

    I stayed at a Hampton Inn/Home2Suites property in Tuscon this year that was the same- one check-in desk, one lobby, one breakfast room, etc. In fact, every floor actually had rooms from both hotels! The only sign was that the decor changed over so slightly halfway down the hallway on each floor (with no door or partition separating them).

  30. CMS Guest

    Ha this Hyatt House/ Hyatt Place LAX Century Blvd was partly developed by the former Congressman Aaron Schock... Funny coincidence.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ CMS -- I am in disbelief, wow. I'll save my judgment for now, but I am curious. In stories he's referred to as the owner and developer. What am I missing here? I imagine this is a nine figure property...

    2. CMS Guest

      @ Ben, not entirely sure. Seems like it is owned by the California Real Estate Regional Center (CARE) which is a major EB5 hotel owner and developer.

      Seems like he's assisting in some way in a multifamily asset and the Barriere Fouquet in NYC. Schock and Haywood, have offices in Atlanta and Miami with five apartment communities in development between Florida and Georgia.

      "Managing Partner Josh Haywood has been a developer for two large national...

      @ Ben, not entirely sure. Seems like it is owned by the California Real Estate Regional Center (CARE) which is a major EB5 hotel owner and developer.

      Seems like he's assisting in some way in a multifamily asset and the Barriere Fouquet in NYC. Schock and Haywood, have offices in Atlanta and Miami with five apartment communities in development between Florida and Georgia.

      "Managing Partner Josh Haywood has been a developer for two large national real estate firms including Cortland Partners and Transwestern Development, overseeing the execution of 3,406 residential apartment units.

      Managing Partner Aaron Schock was a three term United States Congressman being first elected as the youngest member of Congress at the age of 26. Since his time in Congress, he has been focused on developing hotels across the U.S. His most notable development includes New York City’s first 6-star hotel the Hotel Barriere Le Fouquet set to open its door in 2022."

      Was pretty shocked (or should I say schocked...) when I found out about this. I'm a hotel real estate professional so am aware of recent transactions for my role. I think it's currently managed by Prism Hotels & Resorts (well now owned by Aimbridge Hospitality)

  31. 305 Guest

    There’s a dual Element/Marriott AC in Brickell that opened this year. Home to the overpriced (but beautiful) rooftop bar Rosa Sky

  32. Greg Guest

    This is similar to resorts world in Las Vegas where 3 brands under one building right?

  33. Carlos Guest

    Another interesting one is the Thompson/Tommie in Austin. Amenities, including a huge gym, are shared, but the Tommie has check-in occur at a coffee shop in the hotel, rather than the front desk for the Thompson. Rooms are also incredibly different

    1. John Guest

      Didn't you review the dual Marriott/Sheraton at FRA, Lucky?

      I may be wrong. But you can't really avoid 'em. LHR has got it, too.

  34. pstm91 Diamond

    I don't ever stay at Hyatt, so do the House vs. Place rooms come with different perks/amenities? I would be pretty ticked if I paid a lot more for a House room than a Place room and everything was the same, considering the rooms don't look all that different (looks like a kitchnette is the main difference?), or vice-versa.

    1. Lea Guest

      Yes, a kitchenette is the main difference between the two brands in my experience.

      I stayed at a Hyatt House/Place combo in Denver in 2016. There were separate check-in areas in the lobby and two different breakfast areas but there seemed to be no restriction on which you can use. While they shared the same elevators, Hyatt Place rooms were down one hallway and Hyatt House rooms down the other.

    2. Pam Guest

      Usually the separate HHs offer an omelette bar & overall much better breakfast than HP.

  35. Eve Guest

    Well I have stayed at a triple brand hotel. It was in Moscow at an Accor property. It’s located above a commercial mall in Kievskaya (a business district and also train station) and there are 3 brands comprising of Ibis, Novotel and Apario (aparthotel). The interesting thing about that hotel was the check-in areas were all at the same floor. Once you got out the elevator, the left door took you to ibis, the front...

    Well I have stayed at a triple brand hotel. It was in Moscow at an Accor property. It’s located above a commercial mall in Kievskaya (a business district and also train station) and there are 3 brands comprising of Ibis, Novotel and Apario (aparthotel). The interesting thing about that hotel was the check-in areas were all at the same floor. Once you got out the elevator, the left door took you to ibis, the front one to Novotel and the right one to Apario. And all of them also had a separate restaurant of their own in their own sections on the sam floor

    Though that being said, i noticed some weird pricing at the Novotel and Ibis. I learned from staff that the laundry were the same for all three of the hotels but each brand charged a different amount for it, with ibis being the cheapest, Apario somewhere in middle and Novotel at the high end.

    1. Bob Guest

      Yes Accor does that a lot, but contrary to this one Eve, it is often two different entrances in the same building.

      So your experience is interesting.

  36. Mark F. Guest

    I stayed at a Homewood Suites in Midtown Atlanta that also houses a Hilton Garden Inn. The only common element was the parking garage. The entrances were different, different lobbies, and their breakfasts were geared towards their brands. Homewood had a breakfast buffet and evening hot snacks while Hilton Garden had their made to order breakfast and brand standard restaurant. The back of the house probably shared common kitchens, staff, etc. But there was a...

    I stayed at a Homewood Suites in Midtown Atlanta that also houses a Hilton Garden Inn. The only common element was the parking garage. The entrances were different, different lobbies, and their breakfasts were geared towards their brands. Homewood had a breakfast buffet and evening hot snacks while Hilton Garden had their made to order breakfast and brand standard restaurant. The back of the house probably shared common kitchens, staff, etc. But there was a distinct difference in the rooms and service.

    Are the Hyatt House rooms significantly different in price from the Hyatt Place?

    1. enthusiast Guest

      Similar experience in Calgary, AB at the Hilton Garden Inn / Homewood Suites. 2 street entrances, 2 lobbies, but connected via a small hallway. Different elevators, different breakfast areas; since I stayed at Hilton Garden, but had some breakfast credit (diamond) I'm not sure how the Homewood side prevented the HGI guests from taking their breakfast.

      Upstairs, every floor had a HGI wing and a Homewood Suites wing separated by a door. Slightly different hallway...

      Similar experience in Calgary, AB at the Hilton Garden Inn / Homewood Suites. 2 street entrances, 2 lobbies, but connected via a small hallway. Different elevators, different breakfast areas; since I stayed at Hilton Garden, but had some breakfast credit (diamond) I'm not sure how the Homewood side prevented the HGI guests from taking their breakfast.

      Upstairs, every floor had a HGI wing and a Homewood Suites wing separated by a door. Slightly different hallway decor. The Homewood wing had farther-apart door spacing (very likely bigger rooms due to kitchenette etc). The HGI wing had a lot of used plates in front of the doors (room service). I didn't check out the pool/gym but based on the pictures, the two brands share these.

  37. David Guest

    There is a triple branded hotel in Chicago. The Aloft-Hyatt Place-Springhill Suites or something like that. Separate receptions.

  38. Bryan Guest

    Every time I see a dual brand hotel all I can think of is a combo KFC/Taco Bell.

    1. Sel, D. Guest

      This is a top 10 OMAAT comment.

    2. DCAWABN Guest

      Or the somewhat elusive KenTacoHut.

    3. Eliyahu Guest

      I'm at the Hyatt House
      I'm at the Hyatt Place
      I'm at the combination Hyatt House and Hyatt Place

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Bryan Guest

Every time I see a dual brand hotel all I can think of is a combo KFC/Taco Bell.

7
JasonB Member

In this case, the two brands are known for having very specific room types, so I think it makes a lot of sense. If there isn't much else to differentiate the brands, it makes less sense.

1
TyL New Member

Residence Inn includes breakfast for everyone while AC hotel doesn't. How can they tell who goes to eat the breakfast then?

1
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