Last updated: 02:35 PM ET, Thu March 03 2016

Unbound Collection by Hyatt Emphasizes Social Currency

Hotel & Resort | Patrick Clarke | March 03, 2016

Unbound Collection by Hyatt Emphasizes Social Currency

Image courtesy of Hyatt

Hyatt announced the launch of its 13th brand Wednesday, the Unbound Collection by Hyatt.

Speaking to TravelPulse, Hyatt's Global Chief Marketing Officer Maryam Banikarim pointed to both owner and consumer demand as the primary motivation for the company in developing its latest offering.

"The boutique hotel category has been growing significantly in the last few years. And we had been getting a lot of inquiries from our owners who had independent hotels that they wanted to affiliate with Hyatt but we didn't have the right home for them," said Banikarim.

That interest, combined with the increased demand for travel experiences, essentially helped make Hyatt's decision to move forward with the brand a no-brainer.

"Consumers are looking more and more for experiences, and value them," said Banikarim. "This offering gives them different experiences in different cities but also gives them the reassurance that the trusted Hyatt brand would be there to reassure their stay."

What differentiates the Unbound Collection from other major hotel chain collections is the emphasis on one-of-a-kind stays that generate social currency, hence the name unbound.

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"We focused on this notion of social currency. People love to post about their travel, be it business or leisure. And we wanted to find hotels and other stays that would allow for people to naturally have a story to tell," said Banikarim.

"If you think about the four hotels that we launched with, the Driskell is rumored to have a ghost and Coco Palms was the home of a famous Elvis Presley movie."

The Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas and the Coco Palms Resort in Kauai, Hawaii are two of the four properties the collection launched with this week, and when it comes to expansion, Banikarim said Unbound, which will comprise new and existing properties, won't be limited to particular destinations.

"We want to be in markets where consumers want to go," said Banikarim.

"Does it fit the social currency? Is it a four- or five-star hotel? Is it in a desirable market? That sort of begins to be a filter," she added.

Like Hyatt's other brands, the Unbound Collection will comprise upscale luxury properties in the four- and five-star categories. However while properties within the collection will benefit from Hyatt's operational and marketing resources and its Hyatt Gold Passport loyalty program, they'll maintain their own unique character, in turn providing travelers with a wider variety of experiences to choose from.


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