The hotels' rooms include 42-inch, high-definition plasma TVs, a variety of Internet and programming options, sectional sofas, and a portfolio of sports programming. Also in each property is a check-in plaza area called the Gallery, which has self-registration kiosks, a wine bar, cafe and bakery, free Wi-Fi, a TV den, and a computer room. Hotels also have 24-hour cuisine service. Guests are greeted by a host who assists travelers with checking in, touring the hotels and other needs.
The company, which has opened Hyatt Place hotels in Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix, Cincinnati, Nashville, San Antonio, Washington, D.C., and Louisville, plans 120 more by December.
Alison Kal, Hyatt's vice president-marketing, says that the idea--and the target--for Hyatt Place derived from market research suggesting that more and more professional Americans live less and less of their lives in strictly defined silos.
She says the company conducted an online study via New York- and London-based consultancy Sterling Brands, the results of which suggested that 90% of travelers don't separate aspects of their lives by compartments like work and play. Also, half the respondents perform personal and professional activities at the same time, and when they work at home, 71% said they also watch TV, 59 percent said they use the Internet, and 53% listen to music. And perhaps surprisingly, more than 40% said they would forgo sex, coffee or use of their cell phone in exchange for a good night's sleep on the road.
"We thought initially the suggestion that more and more people are living a 'blended' lifestyle might be a trend," she says, adding that the study, however, suggested something bigger. "The results of the survey suggested a whole new way of life." To qualify for the online survey, respondents had to be employed, had to have done some traveling, and had to often experience business and personal activities overlapping, she says.
The company opened its first Hyatt Place--really a test case--last August. "It was extremely positive," she says. "We got great responses right off the bat, with people saying things like, 'My plane was late, and I thought I would have to run into a hotel and eat out of vending machines.' The environment, when you walk in, is really meant to have a familiar feel--you almost feel you've been there before and you know where to go," she says.
The ad effort, via Hyatt's Cramer-Krasselt, Chicago, uses the tag "It's so you" and touts things like free Wi-Fi, high-definition TV, specialty coffee and cuisine and the hotel's design, which includes large rooms with eight-foot sectional sofa-sleepers.
The effort launches with print ads in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, in-flight magazines and others--focusing on specific features, with the message that guests can live their everyday lives while traveling. The ads will also appear on screens at Chicago's O'Hare airport, and on radio and TV in major markets.
An Internet component, via Calgary, Alberta-based Critical Mass, includes sweepstakes in which prizes are the kinds of gadgets and amenities available at Hyatt Place. Visitors to the Hyatt Place site can search for a virtual hotel key in a virtual Hyatt Place hotel, wherein hot spots--where the keys might be hidden--call out specific hotel amenities.
The company is giving winners flat-panel, high-def TVs, free nights at a Hyatt Place, Starbucks gift cards and more.
Earlier this month Hyatt introduced the new brand as well as sibling Hyatt Summerfield Suites, within a larger campaign for its frequent guest program, Hyatt Gold Passport.
Editor's note: This story was updated to correct an error. It was Cramer-Krasselt, Chicago, that did the work for Hyatt.