Caption By Hyatt: New Select Service Lifestyle Brand

Caption By Hyatt: New Select Service Lifestyle Brand

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In September 2019, the details of Caption by Hyatt were revealed, which was supposed to be Hyatt’s newest hotel brand. However, it has been over 2.5 years since that announcement, and not a single property has opened yet. That will be changing soon, so let’s recap what the brand is intended to be in general, and then talk about the first Caption by Hyatt locations.

What is Caption by Hyatt?

Caption by Hyatt is Hyatt’s newest lifestyle brand, within the select service category. Hyatt describes this as being a brand that “will bring people closer together, allowing them to work, eat or socialize in comfortable, flexible, communal spaces that encourage meaningful conversations and connections.”

Alrighty then. Often when new hotel concepts are announced, the first properties are revealed as well. In this case the brand was announced without any specific properties, so it seems like Hyatt came up with the concept, and then looked for investors to buy in.

Caption by Hyatt lobby rendering

As Hyatt’s Global Head of Development, Jim Chu, described the brand at the time:

“We intend for the Caption by Hyatt brand to be a global growth driver domestically and internationally in dense urban markets, emerging neighborhoods and high foot traffic areas. We believe the brand is primed for strong growth as it can flex and adapt to suit the needs of different locations and markets and can offer a more sustainable approach to design and operations.”

Meanwhile here’s how Hyatt’s VP of Global Brands, Heather Geisler, described the brand at the time:

“At Hyatt, we believe in the power of personal connection. By listening to our guests, we know that whether they are traveling alone or with a friend, they are looking to connect with others in an environment that is authentic and approachable. The Caption by Hyatt brand will invite guests and locals alike to hang out, enjoy a cocktail and catch up with a friend, new or old, in a space that is intended for them.”

Core promises of Caption by Hyatt

Caption by Hyatt will focus on three core promises:

  • Alluring and approachable spaces. Caption by Hyatt hotels will invite guests in with cozy rooms and common areas that are flexible enough to move things around and make the space uniquely theirs. Social spaces will be richly designed and unexpectedly put together – sparking conversation and giving guests and locals alike no choice but to stay awhile.
  • Conversation-worthy food and beverage. Eating and drinking at Caption by Hyatt hotels will be about more than what’s on the table. They will bring people together to enjoy the locale’s dynamic culture.
  • Experiences that don’t begin or end at the hotel’s front door. Whether guests try something new or meet someone new, Caption by Hyatt hotels will create the conditions for connections that matter – all-day drinks and sharable snacks; spaces designed for guests to plug in anywhere; flexible and multi-purpose spaces for lounging and small events; and a rotating calendar of do-it-yourself and hosted events from trunk shows to local beer tastings.

Expect “cozy” rooms

Hyatt emphasizes the communal areas of Caption by Hyatt, though doesn’t talk much about rooms. Rooms are referred to as being “cozy,” and after doing some digging, it appears we can expect some small rooms.

The Caption by Hyatt brochure to potential investors indicates the hotels will have 150-250 rooms, and they’ll be just 220 to 270 square feet.

Caption by Hyatt room rendering
Caption by Hyatt room rendering

Where will Caption by Hyatt hotels be located?

Caption by Hyatt Memphis Beale Street will be the brand’s first property, and it’s now accepting reservations for stays as of July 2022. This will be a Category 3 World of Hyatt property, meaning that a free night redemption will cost either 9,000, 12,000, or 15,000 points per night.

Future Caption by Hyatt locations are planned for Shanghai, Osaka, Tokyo, and Saigon.

The first Caption by Hyatt will be located in Memphis

Why hotel groups create new hotel brands

Before I share my thoughts on this new brand, I think it’s worth talking about why hotel groups launch new brands. It’s not necessarily to be able to sell to consumers, but rather to be able to sell to investment companies.

For the most part, the global hotel chains don’t actually own most of their hotels, but rather they just have management or franchise contracts for them. The reason they create so many new brands is so they have something to pitch to investors.

They try to make each brand seem unique, in hopes of luring a company to build a city’s first Caption by Hyatt, rather than a third Hyatt Place, for example.

That’s why there’s also such little innovation when it comes to new hotel brands. Instead, I feel like we just see each of the major hotel brands introduce similar concepts over and over.

My take on Caption by Hyatt

To be honest, I roll my eyes just about every time one of the major global hotel groups launches a new brand. That’s because I find that there’s often such a disconnect between what they’re claiming to be creating and what it actually is.

Most of the major hotel groups have been launching brands focused on “authentic” and “local” experiences. If someone wants that in the way that the brands promise, they wouldn’t be staying with one of the world’s largest hotel brands.

That being said, as far as select service properties go, I kind of like this concept, I think? It sounds like this will be at a similar price point to Hyatt Place, and based on that I definitely prefer the concept of a hotel with more inviting public spaces and a better food and beverage program.

I’d expect rooms that are much smaller than you’d find at Hyatt Place properties, but with nicer public areas.

Bottom line

Caption by Hyatt is a select service lifestyle brand that’s Hyatt’s newest brand (so it’s also useful for the Brand Explorer promotion). Do I think this will become the new hotspot for locals to eat & drink? Probably not. But when it comes to select service properties, this does sound more appealing to me than a Hyatt Place.

The first property will be opening in Memphis in July, and we can expect the next several properties to be in Asia.

What do you make of Caption by Hyatt?

Conversations (23)
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  1. Brian Guest

    Seems like the concept is trying to compete with Moxy, which isn't a bad idea. Moxy's are quite comfortable feeling in my experience.

  2. David H Guest

    There is one key reason why Hotel companies have so many brands. Non-Compete agreements, so to speak. Every major brand signs a contract with a developer/owner, that there will be no other Marriott/Hilton/Hyatt within a certain radius. For example, the Marriott Marquis San Francisco, there can be no other Marriott within lets say 2.5 miles. But there can be a Courtyard/Autograph/Westin etc.

  3. Kaj Member

    I cringe whenever I see something is being marketed as a "lifestyle" brand. What the heck does that mean?

    From your description, it sounds like it is one step up from a hostel - small accommodations, little privacy. and lots of chances to mingle with strangers.

  4. Alex Guest

    Caption by Hyatt seems like Red Roof Inn tiny space at Hyatt Centric pricing

  5. Ethan Guest

    Guess what? After becoming a Globalist I actually miss all those brands of Marriott, with some variations for a change of pace.
    Also, the fact Hyatt lacks a brand like Courtyard, Four Points or DoubleTree is still a considerable sized hole (Slightly worse than main line premium) And no, Hyatt Place doesn't cut.
    Oh and I love cookies in DoubleTrees so much.

  6. SamB Gold

    I hate the open closet next to the bed in the rendering and hope they change it. The last thing I want to stare at when I'm falling asleep is an ironing board, empty hangers, and a coffee machine.

  7. kimshep Guest

    I love Hyatt VP Heather Geissler's brand description: "The Caption by Hyatt brand will invite guests and locals alike to hang out, enjoy a cocktail and catch up with a friend, new or old, in a space that is intended for them.”

    Way to go ~ just waiting for the 'Hookers welcome here' sign. Nothing like calling it as it is.

    Appreciate your comment Ben about new brands being launched for investment value.

    But...

    I love Hyatt VP Heather Geissler's brand description: "The Caption by Hyatt brand will invite guests and locals alike to hang out, enjoy a cocktail and catch up with a friend, new or old, in a space that is intended for them.”

    Way to go ~ just waiting for the 'Hookers welcome here' sign. Nothing like calling it as it is.

    Appreciate your comment Ben about new brands being launched for investment value.

    But really, do we - as travellers - need to sit and try and make sense of 30+ Marriott brands, or Hilton's or Hyatt's multiple offerings? It has become beyond 'time-wasting' and to me it simply devalues the parent corporation.

    The logic of excess multiple brands simply says that you have so much diverse product available that you either don't know how to market each hotel OR that your standards are so diverse that they are not really standards at all.

    1. Pam Guest

      Thompson Place…the tommie for HP with lots of “congregating”

    2. Pam Guest

      Thompson Place…the tommie for HP incl lots of “congregating”

  8. Reyyan Member

    "To be honest, I roll my eyes just about every time one of the major global hotel groups launches a new brand."

    I actually believe that Hilton did quite a nice job with some new brands in the past few years such as Curio collection or LXR. They definitely do add value to the brand and are often nice properties to stay at.

  9. TravelerMSY Guest

    Every brand needs a Moxy, I guess. These hotels are great, but you almost never get 50% of the room at 50% of the price. It always feels like you’re getting shortchanged.

  10. mdande7 Diamond

    Feels like a Hyatt version of Moxy. Calmer less ott, just as Andaz is to W

  11. Alexander Guest

    Coming up ...
    A new budget lifestyle option brand which will bring people together in meaningful community experiences ...
    "Crackhouse by Marriott"

  12. TravelinWilly Guest

    As if Memphis needs another Beale Street hotel…

  13. Endre Guest

    Whatever it takes to keep investors happy and to justify their ridiculous franchise/management fees.

  14. Bo Guest

    “will bring people closer together, allowing them to work, eat or socialize in comfortable, flexible, communal spaces that encourage meaningful conversations and connections.”

    Is this what we really want coming out of a pandemic?

    It sounds a little like the Marriott brand Moxy. I both like Moxy and find it weird at the same time. I like that the hotel is a social hub and don't mind the small but well thought out rooms, but...

    “will bring people closer together, allowing them to work, eat or socialize in comfortable, flexible, communal spaces that encourage meaningful conversations and connections.”

    Is this what we really want coming out of a pandemic?

    It sounds a little like the Marriott brand Moxy. I both like Moxy and find it weird at the same time. I like that the hotel is a social hub and don't mind the small but well thought out rooms, but at the same time I find it weird to have to check in and traverse through a busy bar/restaurant.

  15. JL Guest

    Lucky, did you check the rate of the Hyatt Caption in Memphis?
    It's way higher than a Hyatt Place, to a point where it's totally overpriced compared to what it claims to offer.
    IMO a Hyatt Place would be much better considering the different price points.

  16. John Ryan Guest

    Even if the hotels aren’t good, at least it’s another brand to check off for the brand explorer FNCs.

  17. RichM Member

    I get the concept of having a range of different brands to appeal to different market segments. But hotel chains do seem to take it to ridiculous extremes. Does the typical customer really understand the difference between each of the 20+ brands in the Hilton or Marriott portfolios?

    Having read the marketing-buzzword-speak in the Hyatt press releases, I still have no idea what actually differentiates this brand from some of the others.

    1. MG Guest

      I believe Four Points are now the epitome of red headed stepchild who continues to wonder "what is it you say, you do here".

  18. Alonzo Diamond

    People need to accept brands for what they are and not criticize them for what they are not. Spirit and Frontier clearly aren't full service airlines and they don't try to be. Brands like Moxy and the W get so much flack when they are clear with their intentions. Don't like the brand and what it represents? Book somewhere else. Courtyard and Hyatt Place have plenty of rooms available.

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kimshep Guest

I love Hyatt VP Heather Geissler's brand description: "The Caption by Hyatt brand will invite guests and locals alike to hang out, enjoy a cocktail and catch up with a friend, new or old, in a space that is intended for them.” Way to go ~ just waiting for the 'Hookers welcome here' sign. Nothing like calling it as it is. Appreciate your comment Ben about new brands being launched for investment value. But really, do we - as travellers - need to sit and try and make sense of 30+ Marriott brands, or Hilton's or Hyatt's multiple offerings? It has become beyond 'time-wasting' and to me it simply devalues the parent corporation. The logic of excess multiple brands simply says that you have so much diverse product available that you either don't know how to market each hotel OR that your standards are so diverse that they are not really standards at all.

2
Alex Guest

Caption by Hyatt seems like Red Roof Inn tiny space at Hyatt Centric pricing

1
Ethan Guest

Guess what? After becoming a Globalist I actually miss all those brands of Marriott, with some variations for a change of pace. Also, the fact Hyatt lacks a brand like Courtyard, Four Points or DoubleTree is still a considerable sized hole (Slightly worse than main line premium) And no, Hyatt Place doesn't cut. Oh and I love cookies in DoubleTrees so much.

1
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