Worth Mentioning: November Brand News

Hotels & Resorts

Hyatt Centric & Grubhub

Is your tummy rumbling, but you’re too tired to leave the hotel room to satisfy the hunger? Grubhub’s collaboration with Hyatt Centric is here to deliver your craving. Knock, knock! As part of Hyatt Centric’s Restaurant To Go initiative, guests can order take-out from a wide variety of local restaurants online. The partnership began last year as a pilot program, and due to the overwhelming success it is expanding from three to nine hotels, including properties in San Francisco, Miami, New York City, Chicago and New Orleans. Guests can order online. The best local cuisine is just a few clicks away. Talk about restaurant to room service!

Inside Scoop: “We’re always looking for new ways for diners to discover fresh restaurants and satisfy their cravings quickly and easily, whether they’re at home or traveling.”
–Tammi Harrison, vice president of customer experience marketing, Grubhub

Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Hilton is adding to its footprint in Guatemala by signing Hilton Guatemala City, the brand’s first property in the Latin American country. The chain took on nine hotels in the region in five different countries, across five of its brands. This will add 1,300 rooms to the inventory and add about 1,000 jobs to the area. The Guatemala City property will have 130 guest rooms and 3,000 sq. ft. of event space, with seven meeting rooms including a ballroom. The hotel is slated to have a pool, fitness center, restaurant, bar, coffee shop, beautifully landscaped gardens and city views. It is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Inside Scoop: “The opening of our first Hilton Hotels & Resorts property in Guatemala speaks to our commitment to further expand our brands in Latin America.”
–Mario Carbone, director of development for Central America and Yucatan, Hilton

Berjaya Hotels & Resorts

This hotel group in Malaysia is getting “handy” as the first chain in that Southeast Asian nation to provide a complimentary smartphone to guests. Handy, the nickname for the mobile device on loan, enables visitors to make unlimited local and international calls, surf the internet with unlimited data and share fun travel experiences on social media. The phone has the hotel’s concierge or help desk programmed on speed dial, and provides travelers with tourist information and promotions. Berjaya Times Square Hotel Kuala Lumpur will be the first to offer Handy, but the other locations brand-wide will follow its lead.

Inside Scoop: “With this feature, our guests do not have to buy a local SIM card to stay connected with their families and friends abroad. We can also create personalized messages and offers to our guests.”
–Hanley Chew, CEO, Berjaya Hotels & Resorts

Southwest Airlines, Marriott and The Values Institute

Survey says…Southwest Airlines and Marriott are the most trustworthy brands in travel. The Values Institute (TVI) and The Center for Brand Values Communication and Research at California State University, Fullerton surveyed 1,400 respondents in seven categories in the 2017 National Most Trustworthy Brands Survey. With no hidden fees and its Bags Fly Free program, Southwest was the clear winner in the airlines category. The study found that hotels and electronics are the most trusted brand categories in the United States, with Marriott topping the hotel category.

Inside Scoop: “Southwest stands alone in the airline industry, as far as trust goes. They have demonstrated a commitment to their customers by being the only airline that is on the passengers’ side…”
–Mark Weinfeld, research director, The Values Institute

‘Pretty Little’ Sailor

Fresh off the series finale of Freeform’s Pretty Little Liars, the only lying you’ll see Shay Mitchell doing nowadays is on a lounge chair as Royal Caribbean International’s new “adventure advisor.” Don’t expect her to rest for long, because she’s all about adventure. “I’m thrilled to take what I have learned from my own travels and dive in with Royal Caribbean to develop the ultimate Caribbean adventure for travelers like me, who are always seeking something new and craving deeper connections to the destinations they visit,” Mitchell says. The thrill-seeking actress has gone hot-air ballooning in Morocco and skydiving in Dubai, and loves to share her travels on her YouTube series, Shaycation. “She personifies who we are and our spirit—the spirit to ‘come seek,’” says Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International.