Hyatt is rebranding the Andaz Wall Street as a Hyatt Centric — but why?

Jan 18, 2022

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It’s time for New York City to say goodbye to Andaz Wall Street, one of the very first hotels under the Andaz umbrella.

Hyatt on Tuesday announced that the hotel, which has a rare address on Wall Street, will reopen on Jan. 26 as the Hyatt Centric Wall Street New York.

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A popular hotel for business travelers thanks to its location in the heart of New York City’s Financial District, TPG’s Eric Rosen had a generally positive experience during an early 2019 stay at the World of Hyatt Category 5 property. One takeaway, however, was that the place could use some updates, especially as rooms were looking “worn and torn.”

Now it seems like the hotel is getting exactly that as part of the shift to Hyatt Centric, a brand that claims to “embrace the locale and inspire exploration” in the neighborhoods it calls home.

According to Hyatt, the hotel updated its rooms not long after our initial 2019 review and has since redesigned the lobby with a contemporary design more reflective of the Hyatt Centric brand. Those updates in both communal areas and guestrooms include installing art inspired by the local area and bright pops of color. Another $5 million in renovations is planned over the next few years by the hotel’s owners, Navika Group of Companies.  

The updated rooms will feature some of Hyatt Centric’s signature amenities such as Beekind bath products, Drybar hairdryers and Hyatt Centric bathrobes along with large windows, 12-foot ceilings and walk-in rain showers.

rendering of hotel lobby with hanging lamps, tables and wall art of New York City
(Rendering courtesy of Hyatt)

The hotel will also reopen Wall & Water, the hotel’s international restaurant for breakfast and dinner helmed by chef Alan Ashkinaze. Another unnamed restaurant will also open in the hotel and serve as its “social center,” though we’re not sure exactly what that means.

But while we’re excited for the updates at this popular hotel, the bigger question that remains is simply “why?” Why not give the property the updates and modernization it needed while staying in the Andaz portfolio instead of changing the brand entirely? And why Hyatt Centric over any of Hyatt’s other brands?

In this case, it looks like Hyatt is doubling down on Hyatt Centric’s brand ethos to attract “guests who want the best of what’s essential and none of what’s not — all at the center of a prime destination.” If that truly is the case, the move may have more to do with its Wall Street location, which is prime for both business travelers and tourists, as it’s a short walk to the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum; the World Trade Center and its popular observation deck; the upscale shopping at Brookfield Place and all the high-rise office buildings in the area.

But as a New Yorker, I can confidently say that, outside of the workweek, this area probably isn’t a “prime destination” for people looking for the real heart of New York City. If I had to choose a Hyatt hotel near this area, I’d go for the Beekman, a Thompson hotel instead, which has more character than most hotels in Lower Manhattan.

And that gets to a deeper point: How are travelers supposed to cut through the clutter of the dozens of different hotel brands that exist in the world — or even just in New York City? As an Andaz, did this hotel deter guests from staying at other, better Andaz properties? Or maybe rebranding is simply a way to “reopen” a hotel with more fanfare and media coverage than simply remodeling it.

Either way, I wouldn’t be shocked to see more rebrands like this as older hotels are reborn to attract new customers who care more about craft cocktails and an Instagram moment than free coffee in the lobby and validated parking.

For now, reservations for the Andaz Wall Street will be still be honored, including award bookings. The Hyatt Centric will continue to be a Category 5 World of Hyatt property meaning that award nights can be booked between 17,000 and 23,000 points, depending on your dates.

Featured photo by Eric Rosen/The Points Guy. 

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