NEW YORK—Rebranded in late October, the Hyatt Centric Times Square New York—formerly known as Hyatt Times Square New York—is mirroring the Chicago-based hospitality group’s approach of being selective when contemplating incorporating properties into its portfolio, instead of expanding just to show growth.
“Hyatt Times Square provided our business and leisure travelers an environment that brought direct access to New York City’s finest offerings, but now being a Centric property, we are carrying this narrative further to curate deeper, more local experiences for our savvy travelers so they can really discover New York in a whole new way,” said Philip Stamm, general manager of Hyatt Centric Times Square New York.
Located just minutes away from some of the city’s most popular destinations—including the Theater District, the Museum of Modern Art and Radio City Music Hall—the 487-room lifestyle hotel features a 24-hour fitness center, complimentary WiFi and a 24-hour business center. It also offers its T45 restaurant and Bar 54 rooftop lounge. The property has a 42,000-sq.-ft. full-service spa available to guests and 2,700 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor meeting space. The hotel’s guestrooms average 364 sq. ft.
“The process of going through a brand conversion has been an exciting one for me and the team at Hyatt Centric Times Square New York,” Stamm said. “We’re both internally and externally repositioning ourselves. Internally, the team has been working to really live and breathe the Centric brand ethos so that we can provide the millennial-minded traveler with a more authentic, local experience.”
Sandra Cordova Micek, global SVP of brands at Hyatt, told Hotel Business that the hospitality group made the decision to convert this property because it was deemed as a “right fit” for the Hyatt Centric brand given its location in the Big Apple.
“It’s about sending guests out into the city to explore, and there’s just no better place to do that in New York than with this particular property,” she said. “The aesthetic was almost already there, and it was such a great fit that I don’t think it was a hard decision to make,” she said, speaking on the group’s reasoning for the brand conversion.
There is not too much the property needs to do to convert itself into the Hyatt Centric brand. “The hotel is looking at its space and evaluating some of the things they might do, but from a rebranding perspective, there’s not a lot that needs to be done,” she said.
Guests will find some new offerings on-property, including a revamped meeting space. A new ground-floor restaurant featuring New York cuisine will debut early 2017. New in-room amenities from Drybar and Marilyn Monroe Spa will also be available.
“We’re also working with eclectic New York City stores to develop partnerships exclusive to the hotel and empowering each staff member to act as a concierge to guests with personal recommendations on under-the-radar sites to discover,” Stamm said.
With exploration and discovery being an immense part of the Hyatt Centric brand, training colleagues on the visions of Hyatt’s brands is of the utmost importance. “We’ve done a great job of doing that at Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago, where the colleagues are very engaged, and they give personal recommendations of these hidden gems, so that is part of the colleague-training process, as well,” Micek said.
Launched in January 2015, the Hyatt Centric brand is continuing to expand its presence worldwide. Hyatt expects to have a total of 11 locations under this brand by the end of the year. It also has plans to open up additional properties throughout the globe over the next couple of years, including Hyatt Waikiki Beach in Waikiki, Hawaii; Hyatt Centric Barbados, Carlisle Bay in Bridgetown, Barbados; and Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo in Japan.
Like many other lifestyle brands, Hyatt Centric’s target market is the millennial-minded traveler. For the hospitality group, the millennial mentality isn’t about a particular demographic or an age group. “It’s about a mindset of being able to go out and explore, and wanting the best of the destination,” Micek said. “That’s what we’re trying to offer with the Hyatt Centric brand.”
With the developer-owner community also showing interest in this brand, Hyatt Centric expansion efforts worldwide are expected to continue for the hospitality group. “I would definitely look for some growth from this brand particular in our portfolio,” Stamm said.
“I’ve been with the Hyatt family throughout my entire career, so I know the company and its brands well,” he said. “Hyatt currently has 11 brands, and while each has a clear definition and personality, the framework and core ethos remains the same: personalized service, upscale amenities, unique food and beverage options, innovative interior designs, and most importantly, providing a memorable guest experience.” HB