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Hyatt partners with German hotel chain on latest European expansion

Oct. 06, 2022
4 min read
castle in Germany
Hyatt partners with German hotel chain on latest European expansion
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Hyatt isn’t done expanding into Europe.

The Chicago-based hotel conglomerate’s $2.7 billion Apple Leisure Group acquisition might have seemed like a play for all-inclusive resorts, but the takeover boosted Hyatt’s European footprint by 60%. However, Hyatt’s appetite for Europe wasn’t satisfied there: On Thursday, the company announced a strategic partnership with German hospitality company Lindner Hotels AG.

While the Lindner deal isn’t an acquisition like the ALG play last November, the new partnership means more than 30 hotels across seven European countries will join the Hyatt brand portfolio and integrate into the World of Hyatt loyalty program. Most of the Lindner properties are expected to transition into the JdV by Hyatt brand, which is a collection of independent hotels offering more distinct flavor than, say, a stand-alone Hyatt Regency.

“The addition of Lindner’s desirable hotel portfolio will substantially grow Hyatt’s brand footprint in Germany and bring our guests and ultimately our World of Hyatt members to a variety of new destinations across Europe including Kiel, Leipzig, Sylt, Bratislava and Interlaken,” Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian said in a statement. “We are grateful for the trust the Lindner team is placing in us and are excited to strengthen our collective guest offering through strategic capital investments being made by Lindner into the portfolio.”

A Hyatt spokesperson declined to provide any financial details of the partnership or whether, given the branding shifts, the partnership was only a stepping stone to an eventual acquisition.

While not a takeover, the Hyatt-Lindner partnership does play into the growing hotel industry ideology that major hotel companies are likely to grow with "bolt-on" or "tuck-in" deals that fill in geographic or branding blank areas. In the past, Marriott achieved one of these deals in Europe with AC Hotels; the deal gave Marriott a geographic lift before the U.S. company heavily expanded the brand around the world.

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Brand strategy

Lindner may not be a household name in the U.S., but Hyatt portrayed the deal as one that gives it a lift in the lifestyle hotel segment. Lifestyle hotels typically put more emphasis on food and beverage as well as design. The JdV by Hyatt brand, which many of the Lindner hotels will fall under, bills itself as a “collection of original hotels with a deep respect for the neighborhoods that make up each destination.”

The Lindner website, however, shows a portfolio of hotels that appear to range beyond the lifestyle hotel segment. A mix of airport and business travel hotels as well as more leisure-oriented hotels are under the Lindner umbrella, per the company website. The company operates two brands: Lindner Hotels & Resorts, and Me and All Hotels.

There's no public knowledge about which hotels would specifically get shifted to JdV branding under the deal, but the new partners touted the joint benefit of working together. While Hyatt gets a bigger foothold in Europe, Lindner gains better global support and brand recognition.

“This type of collaboration is truly unique in the German market,” Lindner CEO Arno Schwalie said in a statement. “As part of the JdV by Hyatt brand, Lindner remains a strong brand with its own identity and corporate independence, now aided by the power of Hyatt’s global brand awareness and first-class sales and marketing capabilities.”

Bottom line

Hyatt’s attention to Europe during the pandemic was initially a curious one, as most of its competitors continued to focus on China. Many expected Europe to be the last geographic region to recover from the coronavirus pandemic due to an increased reliance on international tourism.

Instead, the European strategy appears to be the smart one. China’s reopening plans for international travel remain uncertain, and tough lockdowns continue to pop up in certain cities that see new case spikes. Europe, on the other hand, appears to be booming on the hotel front despite geopolitical tension during the invasion of Ukraine.

European hotel performance was up 14% from 2019 levels at the end of last month compared to a 22% decline seen in China, according to STR.

Featured image by WESTEND61/GETTY IMAGES
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more