Hyatt Hotels & Resorts is set to make its second acquisition in the wellness space in less than a year, as it pushes ahead with plans to overhaul its wellness offering.
Having purchased spa company Exhale for an undisclosed amount, “the big story is, going forward, what we can do to leverage this brand … ” Steve Haggerty, Hyatt’s Global Head of Capital Strategy, Franchising and Select Service told Skift.
“It’s really, in our view, quite plausible to deliver certain elements of the Exhale experience within the hotel without necessarily having a full-blown storefront in the hotel environment. We think the strength of the brand and the performance of the brand speaks for itself,” he added.
With over 20 locations in the US and Caribbean, offering boutique fitness classes such as Core Fusion alongside spa services and alternative therapies, Exhale has crafted a unique position for itself within the wellness space since its launch 14 years ago.
However, with most of its outposts situated in major cities such as Los Angeles, New York, and Miami, partnering with Hyatt will enable the brand to expand into wider markets, and to penetrate the wellness travel sector further.
According to Exhale Founder Annbeth Eschbach, the brand has successfully transcended the traditional spa and fitness-only industries with a concept that is ideal for hotels and resorts such as Hyatt.
“The exhale experience is not bound by bricks and mortar and a defined set space requirements. Similarly, Hyatt’s novel vision is to engage with travelers beyond traditional hotel stays, and that means we are part of a revolutionary path forward,” she told Club Industry.
Joining the likes of the Miraval Group, acquired by Hyatt in January of this year, Exhale will form part of Hyatt’s focus on delivering experiences above and beyond the traditional hotel offering –– a route it is taking by tapping into new and disruptive industries.
With the wellness travel industry expanding faster than travel tourism as a whole, it makes sense for Hyatt to be investing so heavily in new wellness services, be they in-room or in the case of Exhale, more far-reaching.
However, for Hyatt’s new propositions to really work it will need to deliver them in a way that makes sense for both the brands and its existing customers, something Haggerty feels confident Hyatt can accomplish.
“We’re committed to making sure we understand the brands through a heck of a lot of research that is ongoing,” Haggerty told Skift. Adding that the Miraval acquisition will focus on “serving customers with a specific purpose of travel”, while Exhale will target consumers’ “everyday wellness needs.”