Hyatt has announced today that they are buying Miraval Group, including the brand and the two resorts, for $215 million. Miraval is famous for their flagship resort in Tucson, Arizona, which has long been a celebrity favorite and has great reviews. Miraval recently acquired the Travaasa Resort in Austin, Texas, and is in the process of redeveloping it. This Hyatt-Miraval deal with include both resorts, and Hyatt will invest an additional $160 million to continue efforts in developing the Austin resort, as well as additional one in Lenox, Massachusetts.
Hotel chains have been increasing their focus on wellness; IHG launched the EVEN brand in 2012, which are used on properties that have a health and fitness focus, providing customers with yoga mats in room, for example. SPG’s Westin brand is perhaps the first hotel chain with a distinct element of wellness; the chain even launched a year-long wellness campaign a few years ago. Miraval is kind of Hyatt’s take on health and wellbeing, albeit at the higher end, I’d say.
Mark Hoplamazian, President and CEO of Hyatt, says via a press release:
The Miraval acquisition reflects our commitment to super serving the high-end traveler and finding new ways to understand and care for them. We know that wellness is an area that is becoming increasingly important to our guests and we share Miraval’s belief that wellness is more than fitness and nutrition – it’s a lifestyle. Adding Miraval to the Hyatt family creates a great opportunity to advance the Miraval brand expansion while building a greater depth of expertise in wellness and mindfulness.
I think this is a very interesting acquisition on Hyatt’s end, considering Miraval Group has just one resort fully operating under the brand. However, Miraval appeals to many high-end customers, and will likely fill a nice niche for Hyatt. Additionally, this acquisition also includes Miraval’s “Life in Balance Spa” brands, and could perhaps even serve as a springboard for Hyatt to enter the standalone spa market, though that’s just complete speculation on my part (I’m just saying…there are probably big spenders who will be able to earn World of Hyatt Globalist status just for spending time at a spa…)
At the moment, Miraval resorts will continue to operate independently, and will not participate in Hyatt’s loyalty program. Miraval has its own program, Authentic Circle, which probably isn’t going away just yet. However, Hyatt says they are working to include the resorts in World of Hyatt, and members will presumably be able to earn points during or redeem points for stays there in due time.
What do you think of Hyatt’s acquisition of Miraval?