In Hyatt Studios, Hyatt gets down in the extended-stay hotel space

Hyatt Hotels Corp. up to now has eluded the siren call of the midscale space. It couldn’t cover its ears any longer.

The Chicago-based hotel company has announced plans for its 27th brand, Hyatt Studios, an extended-stay offering in the upper-midscale space, a segment Hyatt had never been in before in the Americas. Hyatt said that the brand was conceived through collaboration with hotel developers and “listening closely to the needs” of target guests.

Hyatt said that is has signed letters of interest in development agreements from multiple developers for more than 100 Hyatt Studios hotels, with construction expected to begin in 2023 and the first hotel expected to open in 2024.

Despite its upper-midscale tag, which would, according to STR chain scales puts it in the company of such brands as Comfort Inn & Suites, Hampton, TownePlace Suites and Holiday Inn Express, Amy Weinberg, SVP, brand, loyalty & data for Hyatt Hotels Corp. said, “As with all brands in the Hyatt portfolio, Hyatt Studios hotels will appeal to the high-end guest within its segment.”

The extended-stay space has become a hot segment in the hotel industry for developers and guests alike—the former for its lean operating model and strong demand and the latter for the amenities that come with the room (a kitchen, for example) and value pricing. During the pandemic, guests flocked to these types of assets, which also perform admirably during recessionary periods and for itinerant travelers, such as business people on a budget, families in and out for vacation or other social gatherings, those between jobs and others who need a place to stay that has the accoutrements of home.

Rendering of a Hyatt Studios lobby.

It’s no wonder the segment has become a darling for developers with the brands there to back them up. It’s certainly becoming more crowded, with the likes of Wyndham’s new Echo Suites brand, not to mention the bevy of other midscale extended-stay offerings, from Hilton’s Home2 Suites to My Place and Extended Stay America.

“Amidst a sea of interchangeable extended-stay competitors, Hyatt Studios hotels will transcend dated notions of value-driven compromise by inviting guests to enjoy both the coziness of a studio apartment and the positive energy of being in a creative studio, all with the quality and contemporary style that is characteristic of Hyatt,” Weinberg said.

Hyatt said the interest from from the development community was high for Hyatt Studios, which “will prioritize scalable construction options and an efficient operating model designed to adapt to local market needs across primary, secondary and tertiary markets, alike.”

Guest rooms will have kitchens and bigger refrigerators than a typical hotel room.

Scant design details were laid out in a release. Guest rooms will combine form with function and suites with kitchen amenities. Hyatt Studios’ food and beverage will include a complimentary grab-and-go breakfast and 24-hour market with health-conscious snacks and ready-made meals, which can be prepared in guest room kitchens complete with multi-function convection microwaves.

Though it will be built for the extended-stay traveler in mind, Hyatt also said it works for shorter length-of-stay leisure and business transient guests.

“We identified a white space for Hyatt,” said Jim Chu, chief growth officer at Hyatt Hotels Corp. The brand joins Hyatt Place, Hyatt House and Caption by Hyatt brands in the select-service category.

The brand will be led Dan Hansen, who has served as strategic advisor throughout the brand’s conception and is the former executive chairman of Summit Hotels Properties.