Hyatt Hotels, which earlier this week abandoned an attempt
to expand its European presence through an acquisition of Spain's NH Hotels, on
Wednesday announced an exclusive loyalty alliance with Small Luxury Hotels of the
Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian, announced the alliance during
the company's second-quarter earnings call. He said that SLH, with a portfolio
of more than 500 independent hotels, "offers high-end, quality hotel
experiences in key destinations and with a significance presence in the most
coveted locations in Europe."
The footprints of the two companies, he said, are
complementary with very little overlap, enhancing the ability of members in
both programs to collect and redeem points in more places. He said that 87% of SLH properties are in destinations
where there aren't any Hyatt hotels.
The alliance will not only enhance benefits for World of
Hyatt loyalty program members but also is expected to draw new members, said
Hoplamazian. The companies hope to merge their programs by the end of the year.
Last week, Hyatt sent a letter to NH Hotels indicating an
interest in submitting a takeover bid, but withdrew that on Monday after
getting disclosures from its largest shareholders, including Minor Hotels,
which controls 44% of Hyatt.
Hoplamazian said Hyatt's interest in NH was driven by the
company's desire to significantly expand in Europe, where the bulk of NH Hotels