Wyndham rolls out major all-inclusive resort expansion
Major hotel brands continue to elbow their way into the all-inclusive resort sector.
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts plans to add 15 all-inclusive resorts to its Registry Collection and Trademark Collection brands, the company announced Thursday morning. A vast majority (14) of the additions are tied to the luxurious Registry Collection while a single property (the Dominican Fiesta Hotel & Casino in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) will roll into the more affordable Trademark Collection.
The 15 resorts are in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Brazil. The robust expansion, slated to be complete by the end of September, will bring Wyndham’s all-inclusive portfolio to 26 properties.
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Curiously, none of the resorts included in this deal will be folded into Wyndham’s dedicated all-inclusive brand, Alltra, which launched last year in partnership with Playa Hotels & Resorts.
That might have to do with Wyndham’s 15-resort deal involving another resort owner, Spain-based Palladium Hotel Group. Palladium’s two existing all-inclusive brands, Grand Palladium Hotels & Resorts and TRS Hotels, will now be a part of Wyndham’s Registry Collection.
“For all-inclusives for Wyndham, we’ve been on a bit of a journey,” Scott LePage, president of the Americas for Wyndham, said in an interview with TPG ahead of the expansion announcement. “With the increase in leisure travel and all-inclusive coming into its own, we knew we wanted a branded option and a way to work with existing owners.”
Wyndham billed the Registry Collection as its way of planting a flag in the luxury hotel sector after it launched last year. The collection is a soft brand — a term used for brands without a singular name or standards around design and amenities. (Examples of hard brands are Wyndham’s namesake brand and Sheraton.)
“Expanding Registry Collection Hotels continues Wyndham's global growth in the luxury space and grants more travelers access to new, preeminent experiences in some of the most remarkable destinations,” Wyndham CEO Geoffrey Ballotti said in a statement. “These unique, all-inclusive hotels are designed to ensure that guests — whether redeeming Wyndham Rewards points or booking directly — will enjoy an elevated vacation.”
Wyndham’s all-inclusive lineup
The first four resorts already part of the Registry network include Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa and TRS Yucatan Hotel in Mexico’s Riviera Maya. The Grand Palladium properties cater to a mix of guests, including families, while the TRS property is adults-only (as are all TRS properties).
Additional properties slated to join the Registry Collection network by the end of September include the following:
- Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa in Cancun, Mexico.
- Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico.
- Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa & Casino, Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa and Grand Palladium Bavaro Suites Resort & Spa (all in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic).
- TRS Turquesa Hotel and TRS Cap Cana Hotel (also in Punta Cana).
- Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa and Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa (both in Montego Bay, Jamaica).
- Grand Palladium Imbassai Resort & Spa in Imbassai, Brazil.
The Dominican Fiesta Hotel & Casino in Santo Domingo is also included in the deal, but it will be joining the Trademark Collection, a division of affordably priced boutique hotels Wyndham launched in 2017.
Wyndham’s all-inclusive offering until last year largely centered around the eight-property Viva Wyndham portfolio, but the Alltra launch and this week's expansion news are a major throttle forward.
Wyndham might be making a big splash into all-inclusive resorts, but it isn’t the only traditional hotel company expanding into this sector once dominated by companies like Sandals and Club Med. Companies like Marriott International, Hyatt and Accor have all pumped resources into beefing up their respective all-inclusive resort offerings.
“One of the reasons [is] ... that U.S. guests are choosing this option more and more frequently,” LePage said. “We’re excited that, while this is a journey we’ve been on a few years, the timing couldn’t be better.”
Traditional hotel companies see all-inclusive resorts as a growth opportunity in the highly durable leisure travel segment and want to capitalize. Given how uncertain the recovery of corporate travel continues to be (the latest industry data shows corporate travel demand is still 20% below 2019 levels while leisure travel exceeds pre-pandemic performance), the leisure segment is a safer bet.
Traditional hotel companies also think they come into this space at an advantage, as their loyalty programs, brand awareness and distribution platforms make it all the easier to book a stay at one of their all-inclusive resorts compared with a lesser-known brand.
It provides loyalty members a new way to redeem their points and can drive more guests to a branded resort than an unaffiliated property, the thinking goes.
“If you’re going to the Caribbean and you’ve got two equally attractive all-inclusive experiences and one’s branded and one’s not," Ballotti told me last year, "you’re probably going to choose the branded one."