Hilton & SLH Partnership
Hilton sent out emails today announcing their new partnership with SLH (Small Luxury Hotels). That name may sound familiar to you since they have had a partnership with Hyatt for several years now. This will give Hilton, and their members, access to over 500 hotels around the world. The addition to the Hyatt portfolio was widely celebrated years ago since it helped fill major gaps in coverage that they had in places like Europe.
Was This A Planned Loss For Hyatt?
Hilton's gain is Hyatt's loss, no doubt, but it may not be all doom and gloom. While having less options makes Hyatt points less valuable in the short term, there could be some relief on the way. That is because World of Hyatt purchased a similar brand named Mr & Mrs Smith last year for a substantial amount of money. There is no doubt that it would have been nice to have both partnerships on the books, but I imagine Hyatt wanted to focus on the one they paid out the nose for.
While we all expected Mr & Mrs Smith to be online months ago, I would have to imagine it is close to coming online for them to walk away from the SLH partnership at this time. They will be losing access to over 500 hotels at SLH, but could be gaining over 1800 bookable options from the Mr & Mrs Smith purchase. That is assuming most of the hotels come along for the ride to World of Hyatt. As you can see, this is a net positive addition of hotels overall. More is more, but I could see why Hyatt wouldn't want competition from something they didn't own from within the World of Hyatt brand. The Mr & Mrs Smith hotel bookings will likely be the more lucrative option for them overall.
A Nice Get For Hilton
While this is a negative for Hyatt it is a positive for Hilton fans. They should now be able to use and earn points at those same SLH hotels, assuming they all make the transition over. While the prices will likely be a lot higher than Hyatt, thanks to variable pricing, it is good to still have a way to book them with points. It will likely take a few months to get this all online in their systems.
Hilton & SLH Partnership: ToP Thoughts
The big question that remains is how bookings out into the future with Hyatt points will be honored. Should we lock in what we can now? Or, will those just be canceled down the road anyway? Only time will tell there.
It will be interesting to see how many, if any, SLH hotels will migrate over to the Mr & Mrs Smith brand. If they liked the guests that World of Hyatt brought their way, and it was a lucrative partnership, I could see them wanting to make the change to stay in the fold.
Let me know what your thoughts are on this development over in the ToP Facebook Group.