This post compares Hyatt and Starwood brands average room rates to see if there is a significant competitive advantage to Hyatt or Starwood for the frequent guest loyal to one or the other hotel chain.
Hyatt Hotels and Starwood Hotels are hotel loyalty competitors for similar types of business and leisure traveler guests who desire upscale and upper upscale hotel stays. The hotel loyalty programs allow these frequent guests to earn points for free nights. Both hotel chains offer a number of luxury hotels in their chain’s portfolio for discount hotel rates through award stays.
The primary difference between these two hotel chains is size. Starwood Hotels listed 1,180 properties on its 2014-Q1 investor report. Hyatt lists 554 properties. Starwood lists 14 Vacation Ownership timeshare properties and Hyatt lists 25 residential and vacation properties.
Starwood Hotels 2014 Q1 Average Daily Rates
- Starwood Hotels Systemwide ADR = $174.63
- Sheraton $151.61 (433 hotels)
- Westin $187.06 (198 hotels)
- St. Regis (31 hotels) /Luxury Collection (87 hotels) $315.09
- Le Meridien (95 hotels) $186.14
- W Hotels (45 hotels) $293.70
- Four Points (182 hotels) $113.93
- Aloft (80 hotels) $110.49
- Element (11 hotels) no ADR data
Hyatt Hotels 2014 Q1 Average Daily Rates
- Hyatt Hotels Systemwide ADR = $182.04
- Park Hyatt $363.11 (28 hotels) 32
- Andaz $270.93 (9 hotels) 11
- Grand Hyatt $241.02 (37 hotels) 40
- Hyatt $166.38 (28 hotels) 39
- Hyatt Regency $174.46 (138 hotels) 150
- Hyatt Place $111.13 (170 hotels) 197
- Hyatt House $129.65 (54 hotels) 58
- Hyatt All-Inclusive Ziva and Zilara (2 hotels) No ADR data.
- Note: average daily rate is based on (hotels) and number following is the total number of hotels in the brand. ADR data presented in Hyatt Hotels financial report is limited to (hotels). Systemwide ADR is my estimate based on data.
Hyatt and Starwood Similar Hotel Market Segment Brands Compared
Luxury Hotel Brands of Hyatt and Starwood ADR ($200+ per night)
Both Hyatt and Starwood offer hotel brands in the luxury, upper-upscale and upscale market segments based on the brand’s average daily rate. Luxury hotels will typically run $200 to $400+ per night.
Hyatt Hotels has 83 hotels in three luxury brands
Hyatt Hotels offers 43 hotels in Park Hyatt and Andaz brands in the luxury hotel segment. Luxury hotels usually offer fine room features in the quality of the furnishings and décor with a top-notch restaurant and hotel facilities featuring modern fitness equipment, pools and these resorts often include a spa center.
Grand Hyatt with 40 hotels is also in the luxury market segment based on average room rates of $241 per night, however, I view Grand Hyatt to be more comparable to Westin Hotels. Grand Hyatt hotels tend to be large, urban conference and convention hotels which drives up room rates for the hotel brand.
Starwood Hotels has 163 hotels in three luxury brands
St. Regis, Luxury Collection and W Hotels. St. Regis is firmly in the luxury hotel market segment. The Luxury Collection properties include many historic hotels and Europe has a high proportion of the hotels in this brand. Many Luxury Collection hotels are clearly in the luxury market segment. Other hotels like The Palace San Francisco are historic hotels where rooms are well-furnished, but can be a far cry from a luxury experience when you are located in a tiny box of a room with no view.
W Hotels are the Starwood brand most like Hyatt Andaz with boutique originality and décor. Hotel rates are typically in the luxury market segment while the hotel experience itself can be quite different from a traditional luxury hotel where staff to guest ratio tends to be high and staff strive to provide service, usually at a cost to the guest.
Loyalty Traveler View: Perhaps 10% of my hotel nights are in luxury hotels and 90% of my luxury hotel stays are award nights using points. I pay for my own travel and I am not in the luxury hotel segment income bracket. Sure, I could count luxury hotel stays as a business expense and write off my stays, but hanging out at luxury hotels is not where I choose to spend my business income. Luxury living is not my lifestyle. When I want a luxury hotel experience, I am usually satisfied with drinking a beer at the hotel bar or having a meal at the restaurant. My suggestion for readers desiring to read about luxury hotels is check-out Melinda’s Magic of Miles blog.
Upper Upscale Hotel Brands (ADR $150 to $200 per night)
Starwood Hotels have Sheraton (433 hotels is 37% of Starwood Hotels) and Westin (198 hotels is 17% of Starwood Hotels) as their primary brands in the Upper-Upscale market segment comprising more than half of Starwood Hotels worldwide. Westin Hotels have an average daily rate of $187, about 25% more than Sheraton at $151. Westin Hotels tend to be uniformly upper upscale, whereas Sheraton Hotels are more of a range of hotel market segment with some high end hotels and many fairly basic, functional and less impressive hotels in the Sheraton brand.
Hyatt Hotels has two brands in the Upper Upscale market with Hyatt (39 hotels is 7% of Hyatt Hotels) and Hyatt Regency (150 hotels is 27% of Hyatt Hotels) comprising 34% of their hotels worldwide. ADR is about $170 per night systemwide for these hotel brands. Hyatt Regency hotels are comparable to Westin to a large degree, however, there are some less than stellar Hyatt Regency properties that are on par with lower end Sheraton hotels. All in all, these are the hotels where you can Priceline your way to a cheaper stays or use hotel loyalty elite status to significantly upgrade the hotel experience at little additional cost to the lowest room rate available.
Loyalty Traveler View: Most of my hotel stays are in upper-upscale hotel brands like Hyatt Regency, Sheraton and Westin Hotels. While the average daily rate for these brands is over $150 per night, I look to book these hotels when rates are low on weekends in urban locations or weekdays in resort locations or using cash and points to bring the hotel nightly rate down under $100 per night. Most of my paid and award stays are in this market segment. My average daily rate for these brands is typically under $100 by shopping smartly and planning vacations for off-season hotel deals.
Hotel loyalty elite member status makes many of these $100 hotel stays a high-end stay with upgrades to larger rooms and suites. This is the market segment where the benefits of hotel loyalty greatly enhance the hotel stay with lounge access, complimentary breakfast, fitness facilities and frequent upgrades. Upper Upscale is the sweet spot for loyalty travelers.
Upscale Hotel Brands (ADR $100 to $150)
Starwood Hotels have Four Points, Aloft and Element in the upscale market segment for about 23% of all Starwood Hotels worldwide. These brands have average daily rates around $110. Finding hotels in the $65 to $95 range is possible on weekends and off-season dates when these hotels may run $130 to $150 on weekdays and peak season travel times.
Hyatt Hotels have Hyatt Place and Hyatt House brands in the upscale hotel segment. These two brands comprise 50% of Hyatt Hotels worldwide and primarily these hotels are located in the USA. Hyatt Place with 170 hotels is a cookie-cutter hotel brand. even though the Hyatt Place hotel room is the same nearly everywhere (like Starwood’s Aloft hotels are the same), I enjoy the spacious layout and design of the Hyatt Place room. Many of the Hyatt Place hotels are in business district locations where rates are high on weekdays and significantly lower on weekends.
Hyatt House is an extended stay brand with a distinct competitive edge over Starwood’s Element brand due to more hotels. Element has 11 properties and Hyatt House has 58 hotels in the US. Extended stay brands are hotels with kitchen facilities in the room. Like Hyatt Place, the hotels in this brand tend to have lower weekend rates.
Loyalty Traveler View: Upscale hotels are the hotel brands that are most important to me as a loyalty traveler. These are my workhorse brands where I pay to stay when fulfilling hotel promotions for bonus points and free nights and qualifying for elite status. I won’t pay $250 per night for a hotel stay in the luxury hotel market segment. I rarely pay over $150 for hotels in the Upper Upscale hotel market.
Upscale hotel brands are where a typical night is $65 to $95 for a smart shopper.
Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond and Starwood Preferred Guest Platinum both require 25 stays in a calendar year. SPG counts all award stays for elite and SPG American Express gives 2 elite stay credits annually. This means reaching 25 stays can be as few as 15 to 20 paid nights.
Assume an average paid rate of $100 per night and $1,500 to $2,000 in annual hotel spend allows a savvy loyalty program member to reach SPG Platinum or Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond. This can also mean earning sufficient points for several award nights when paid hotel stays are during good value bonus points promotions during the year.
Hyatt Gold Passport counts Points + Cash award stays for elite credit, but Gold Passport does not count standard award stays for elite qualifying credit. This means Points + Cash stays are more valuable to a member seeking to reach Diamond elite. The good news for Hyatt Gold Passport members are the high number of category 1 hotels at 2,500 points + $50 and category 2 hotels at 4,000 points + $55 to reduce the cost of these award nights.
Just remember that award nights rarely count for credit in earning hotel loyalty promotion bonus points.
The Elevator Version
Hotel loyalty programs are a good way to get more value from your hotel stays. Balance paid stays in hotels with low average daily rates to earn elite status and hotel points, then use your points for award stays in upper-upscale and luxury hotels. Your elite status can provide a higher category room and free breakfast on most hotel stays, adding hundreds of dollars in extra value to your stays.