Hyatt's All-Inclusive Evolution
Three years ago, Hyatt teamed with Playa Hotels & Resorts, an all-inclusive resort operator and developer, to launch two new five-star, all-inclusive brands: Hyatt Zilara aimed at adults, especially couples, and Hyatt Ziva for everyone, including couples, families and larger groups.
The recent debut of the Hyatt Ziva Cancun brings the first phase of the company’s expansion into all-inclusive resorts to a close. In addition to the Hyatt Ziva Cancun, the portfolio of properties includes the Hyatt Zilara Cancun, Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta and Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos in Mexico, and the Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara in Rose Hall in Jamaica.
We spoke with Kevin Froemming, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Playa Hotels & Resorts, about the two allinclusive brands and what’s next for them.
Earlier this year, you opened Hyatt Ziva Cancun. How are customers responding, and is the feedback what you expected?
Every time we open a new property we have the highest level of expectations. With Hyatt Ziva Cancun, we’ve exceeded our own expectations and are ecstatic with the positive response we’ve received – and continue to receive – from our guests. The key to the success of this property has been really listening to what guests look for when vacationing in a beach destination: prime location, ocean and beachfront views, entertainment and superb service.
What are some of the attributes of the Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara brands that make them different from other all-inclusive brands?
We launched these brands under the umbrella of the evolution of all-inclusives in order to broaden our product offering and capture an audience looking for unique, personalized experiences that break the mold. Our goal is to position the all-inclusive product as an option for travelers who have not considered this model before.
We’ve created what we like to call “pockets of intimacy,” unique dining venues and areas. Our properties have an average of nine restaurants, each created with a unique vision. We understand that our guests, living in a visual age, want moments that are shareable and this is reflected in our spaces. For example, we were the first to create a Moroccan-themed rooftop lounge, we created a Candy Shop that transports guests to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, and our Chevy’s diner exudes a classic, American feeling and is complete with an antique vehicle within the space.
What kind of client do you target for Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara vs. other all-inclusives?
Our properties target families, couples, groups and people who have not [previously experienced all-inclusive resorts. One of our goals is to change the perception of the all-inclusive resort and position our properties as top-of-mind for consumers looking for stress-free, quality vacations.
What strategies and campaigns have you focused on to market the Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara brands?
We’ve focused on guest experience and redefining all-inclusive for European Plan (EP) consumers. We also have focused on creating tailored experiences for groups, including weddings, family reunions and business travelers.
What do you consider to be the key attributes for travel agents selling Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva brands?
We built our brand on the foundation of reaching the end consumer through travel trades. One of our programs is to bring agents to the resort and have them experience the properties first-hand. We believe that when agents match consumers with the right resort based on personal experience this results in repeat business. Our key attributes are prime locations, unique experiences and unmatched service.
What’s next now that Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos and Hyatt Ziva Cancun are both opened?
There are opportunities for continued growth in Mexico and the Caribbean. The Dominican Republic is a priority target for us, specifically Punta Cana. We are also looking to broaden to destinations like Saint Lucia and the South Pacific region.
Why do you think other hotel companies have not ventured into the all-inclusive space?
All-inclusive is an extremely different product from EP from a management, operational, distribution and marketing standpoint. Many major chains don’t understand the differences between the two.
Hyatt had the vision of partnering with us due to our extensive experience in this segment, which amounts to 20-plus years. Allinclusive properties require a different strategy and a different focus, which we understand and have been able to successfully execute. Currently, out of 168 all-inclusive hotels in the Cancun area, we have the No. 3 and 4 spots on TripAdvisor.
It’s also important to understand that each guest is different and has different needs and unique interests – and that’s where our “service from the heart” approach comes in. Our goal is to position the all-inclusive product as an option for travelers who have not considered this model before.
More by Robin Amster
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A version of this article appears in print in the June 2016 issue of Vacation Agent Magazine.
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