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OTTAWA — It’s no accident that Hyatt has hired Scott Richer as its dedicated Canadian vice-president real estate and development — he’s going to be busy.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced in late January that Canada’s first Andaz-branded property is slated to open in Ottawa’s Byward Market in mid-2016. They also have one Hyatt and two Hyatt Places in the pipeline, and are looking at Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, Hyatt Centric, Hyatt Regency, Park Hyatt and Andaz — to round out their Canadian expansion plans.
Hyatt’s affiliate reached a management contract with developer Claridge Homes to create the 200-room Andaz Ottawa Byward Market at 325 Dalhousie St., which is near the city’s office core, Parliament Hill and the University of Ottawa.
The hotel will feature a destination restaurant, rooftop lounge and bar and an outdoor terrace with views of the city. Meeting facilities include six studios, a lounge area and open kitchen totalling about 4,500 square feet.
“Andaz Ottawa Byward Market will bring to life the brand’s mission of creating inspiring, indigenous experiences and immersing guests into the destination’s local culture,” said Hyatt’s senior vice-president of development, Americas, David Tarr in a release.
The hotel plans to collaborate with local musicians, artists, designers and cultural influencers to deliver events and programs unique to the Ottawa location.
Andaz Hotels by Hyatt has 12 properties worldwide in cities such as New York, London and Tokyo and recently also announced plans for a Singapore location.
New Canadian development VP
Richer, who came to Hyatt from Delta Hotels, told CLN the Andaz Ottawa makes sense for Byward Market, an urban, culturally rich neighbourhood.
“It will include compelling food and beverage on the main floor that will align with the brand and the location,” Richer said. He describes the rooms as “sizeable, stylish and spirited.”
“Guests feel like they are living in the destination,” said Aurelia Vasquez, director of corporate communications, Americas for Hyatt. “It’s a residential-style design that blurs the lines between bedrooms, bath and sitting areas. The name itself is a Hindi word for ‘personal style.’ ”
Hotels are encouraged to source everything from beers to chips locally; craft cocktails are locally designed and local musicians and artists are featured at each property.
The lobbies are barrier free — i.e., there’s no front desk.
“It’s peer to peer versus master to servant,” said Vasquez. “Guests can sit down and have a glass of wine while they are exploring things to see and do,” she added.
Hyatt only gets involved in projects that are the right asset in the right location working with the right group, said Richer, adding that locations such as Queen Street West in Toronto or Gastown in Vancouver could work for Andaz.
There needs to be an alignment with the brand’s philosophy, a need to be in a neighbourhood suitable for travellers seeking to be inspired, said Richer.
In short, “Andaz is our luxury, full service boutique brand, with a full range of food and beverage.
“It’s a transient-focused property, likely to be the RevPAR leader as an upscale boutique or lifestyle hotel.”
Andaz is suitable for new construction, repositioning and repurposing of buildings, with architecturally enhanced older buildings part of the mix.
“We are just as interested in new construction,” said Richer, noting North American key counts range from 141 to 290 rooms.
Other Hyatt brands part of expansion plans
Canada currently has five Hyatts open, four Hyatt Regencies in Montreal, Toronto King Street, Calgary and Vancouver and the Park Hyatt in Toronto. Hyatt has announced one new Hyatt to be built in Ottawa.
Two Hyatt Places, a 255-room hotel located in downtown Edmonton and another 161-room property in West Edmonton, are scheduled for this year.
Hyatt Place is upscale select service, similar to Marriott Courtyard. Hyatt House, another possible brand for Canada is upscale extended stay, similar to the Marriott Residence Inn.
“These are primarily new construction and primarily franchise, but Hyatt will manage them,” said Richer.
Hyatt Centric is the company’s four-star, boutique lifestyle brand.