Since inking a deal with Hyatt Hotels Corporation last summer, Playa Hotels and Resorts has been aggressively working to introduce the legacy hotel brand's all-inclusive product to the marketplace.
The Royal Cancún and Barceló Los Cabos were rebranded as Hyatt Zilara Cancún and Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos in the fourth quarter of 2013, while Playa continues to operate the ROYAL Playa del Carmen, Gran Porto Real and Gran Caribe Real under their existing banners.
"As our expansion plans go, we're going to have 47 per cent more inventory next year," Playa's Executive Vice-President & Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Froemming told THN in an interview, explaining the plan to acquire properties or land to make that happen.
This past January, Froemming made the move over to Playa from Unique Vacations, representing Sandals Resorts International, so is no stranger to the luxury all-inclusive concept. But he said when it comes to the Playa portfolio of family-brands Gran and Ziva, plus adults-only Zilara and ROYAL properties, the idea is to further exceed expectations of five-star product, in service, culinary elements and overall experience.
The goal, as explained to him by Bruce Wardinski, president and CEO of Playa Hotels & Resorts, goes like this: "Not only do we want to be at the highest end of all-inclusives, we want to bring in customers that were traditionally those who have a negative connotation of the all-inclusives."
So when Froemming took on the role, the first task was to create a concept to define this mission, and so was born their trademark slogan, "The evolution of all-inclusive."
Acting upon this, unique offerings will be found across the board. For example, every room, regardless of category, will have access to 24-hour room service with menus featuring two chef specials. Other aspects include state of the art amenities, swim-up suites, firepits throughout the properties, and pillow menus. Guests can select their preference for aromatherapy turndown service, and decide when they want their room made-up in the morning and before bed.
"The idea of personal attention to detail is what we're really going for," Froemming said.
iBeacon technology will also be available, which allows visitors to download an app, and with that, receive notifications to their smartphone of different services or events taking place throughout the property.
In addition, across the four brands, staff are embracing the "service from the heart" concept first introduced by founder of Real Resorts (The ROYAL and Gran properties), Fernando Garcia.
"We are hiring people who are not only excellent at what they do and able to do their jobs, but also who can embrace this. It's not a slogan, it's not a kitschy thing; it is real."
This "service from the heart" greeting, whereby staff welcome guests by placing their hand to their heart, will extend beyond the Mexico properties, into Jamaica and elsewhere Hyatt all-inclusives will be introduced.
Currently in the works are Hyatt Ziva Cancun, formerly Dreams Cancun, and Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, formerly the Dreams Puerto Vallarta, both opening in 2015. Ziva and Zilara properties will also be opening in Jamaica at the site of the former Ritz Carlton Golf Resort & Spa, following $83 million in renovations.
In the Caribbean, Froemming said they are looking at opportunities in Aruba, the Dominican Republic, Bahamas and Costa Rica, but noted that they are not geographically limited to that part of the world.
"We're also looking out in the Far East – places like Vietnam, Philippines, Bora Bora, and then places in the Middle East, whether its Qatar, Dubai," he said. "Hyatt views this as a global play into the all-inclusive marketplace; obviously the vision is a lot bigger than what we're doing at the moment."
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