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Since 2018, I have loved being able to book paid stays and redeem World of Hyatt points at Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ (SLH). The partnership was seamless and it opened a world of boutique properties in areas where Hyatt had no footprint or limited options. Now, Hilton has announced a strategic partnership that will almost certainly spell an end to the Hyatt deal.
When I think of luxury hotels, Hilton is not the first chain that comes to mind. Yes, it has Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, and LXR Hotels & Resorts, but Marriott and Hyatt have much larger luxury portfolios. SLH will add hundreds of independent, luxury hotels around the world. Hyatt had limited access to the portfolio, while Hilton is touting access to all 560 of the boutique hotels spanning 90 countries.
Chris Silcock, president, Global Brands and Commercial Services at Hilton, said:
Hilton guests are among the most sophisticated travelers in the world, and we are always looking for amazing new experiences to share with them. This relationship with Small Luxury Hotels of the World will grant Hilton customers and Hilton Honors members access to a community of high-end boutique hotels in exciting new luxury travel destinations, giving them more ways to dream, book, and earn and redeem points with Hilton.”
The end of the Hyatt partnership was coming for some time. Hyatt announced that its acquisition of Mr & Mrs Smith had been finalized back in June. The luxury hotel booking platform offers direct bookings at a collection of over 1,500 boutique and luxury properties. The acquisition includes 100% of the asset-light, London-based company with a price tag of around $56 million. At the time, it ended the partnership between Mr & Mrs Smith and Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG).
The loss of SLH is the second shake up that has occurred in recent months. Hyatt also recently cut ties with MGM Resorts and those properties will soon be tied to Marriott (more here). This change upset many World of Hyatt members and I’m sure losing SLH will also sting. We’ll have to see what benefits are offered to Hilton members when this is finalized.
Anthony’s Take: It’s good that SLH has continued to partner with a major hotel chain like Hilton. I will miss being able to book these through Hyatt. Hopefully, Hyatt gets Mr & Mrs Smith incorporated soon and opens up that impressive collection of properties to compensate.
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