Hyatt’s latest takeover plans would expand its footprint in New York City and beyond

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Hyatt’s shopping spree for new brands isn’t over.

The Chicago-based hotel giant plans to buy the smaller Dream Hotel Group’s lifestyle hotel brand and management platform in a deal that could go for as much as $300 million, the companies announced Tuesday. Dream Hotel Group’s hotels operate largely in the lifestyle segment — hotels that focus on heightened food and beverage offerings and design. These hotels rely on locals to fill up their restaurants and bars almost as much as they rely on out-of-towners to fill their guest rooms.

Dream deal details

Dream Hotel Group operates hotels under the Dream Hotels, Chatwal Hotels and Unscripted Hotels brands across the Americas, Europe and Asia. The acquisition would be a huge boost for Hyatt (and World of Hyatt loyalists); it would expand the company’s presence in New York City by more than 30% by adding hotels like The Chatwal New York, Dream Downtown, Dream Midtown and The Time New York.

The move comes after Hyatt recently made an agreement with Germany’s Lindner Hotels AG to expand its European footprint. While that deal wasn’t a takeover, it came on the heels of Hyatt’s $2.7 billion Apple Leisure Group acquisition in the all-inclusive resort space.

“We are excited to offer even more inspiring experiences and celebratory programming to our guests and loyalty members and bring the value of the Hyatt network to a growing number of discerning hotel owners and developers around the world,” Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian said in a statement.

A portfolio of 12 existing hotels and a pipeline of another 24 hotels in various stages of development are included in the deal. The timeline of the brand integration is unclear, as The Chatwal New York is part of Marriott’s Luxury Collection of hotels. The acquisition is expected to close “in the coming months.”

A Hyatt spokesperson declined to elaborate further on the specifics of the brand integration timeline.

The buzziest hotel included in the deal is The Chatwal Lodge, an upstate New York resort two hours away from New York City. Named after Dream Hotel Group founder Sant Singh Chatwal, the ultra-luxury resort is home to only 11 guest rooms and suites, and it wins high marks for its service and food and beverage offerings.

The current lineup of Dream Hotels means Hyatt would get a boost in other markets it already operates in, such as Nashville, Los Angeles and Miami’s South Beach neighborhood. There are also Dream Hotels in Bangkok and Phuket, Thailand, and more in the works for locations like Las Vegas and Doha, Qatar.

The company is also working to bring multiple Chatwal resorts to Mexico, according to the Dream Hotel Group website.

Hyatt’s strategy

Hyatt’s plan to acquire Dream Hotel Group’s lifestyle hotel division isn’t as much about filling in gaps as it is about beefing up its presence in sectors the hotel company sees as its strength.

In recent months, investor analysts frequently cited Hyatt as a smart investment play. This is due to the brand’s increasing push into lifestyle and leisure hotels — which performed the best throughout the pandemic, even during the worst months — and its emphasis on keeping brands that appeal to group meetings, events and business travel.

However, Hyatt’s leaning into leisure picked up major steam in recent years.

The company’s Two Roads Hospitality acquisition in 2018 brought in brands like Thompson Hotels, Alila and Joie de Vivre (which now operates as JdV by Hyatt). The Apple Leisure Group deal doubled Hyatt’s resort portfolio overnight and expanded its European presence by 60%. The Lindner partnership in Germany — where most of the hotels are slated to convert to the JdV brand — will add to that European expansion.

The Germany partnership isn’t the only one: Hyatt partnered with Japan’s Kiraku earlier this fall to launch a collection of hot spring ryokans (a type of Japanese inn) that will embrace regional architecture, cuisine and activities. That deal came amid Hyatt’s expansion of its U.S.-based Miraval wellness brand.

“We have successfully integrated incredible lifestyle brands such as Thompson Hotels, and Dream Hotel Group joining Hyatt is a perfect fit given this experience,” Hoplamazian said via email to TPG. “It has been wonderful getting to know the Dream Hotel Group team these past months and working toward the best way to bring their lifestyle brands into the Hyatt portfolio, following the close of the transaction. It’s important that we preserve what is unique and so special about these brands, including their distinct focus on nightlife and celebratory dining venues and experiences.”

Structural changes

Upon the Dream Hotel Group acquisition closing, Hyatt will integrate the properties into the World of Hyatt network. The base price of the deal is $125 million, while an additional $175 million hinges on the other hotels in the development pipeline actually opening.

Chatwal, Dream Hotel Group’s founder, will remain connected to the company as an owner of four existing hotels and an additional two currently in the works. Dream Hotel Group CEO Jay Stein will join Hyatt as the head of Dream Hotels to steer the integration into the Hyatt portfolio.

“Hyatt has a proven track record of preserving what makes lifestyle hotels special and is the ideal new home for our growing Dream Hotel Group brands,” Chatwal said in a statement. “As an owner of Dream Hotel Group properties, I look forward to the next part of our journey and am confident there is a bright future ahead for our hotels, owners, guests and team members as part of the Hyatt family.”