Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Hyatt buys Mr & Mrs Smith boutique hotel platform, hotels to leave IHG?

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

In a surprise announcement this morning, Hyatt Hotels has announced the acquisition of the Mr & Mrs Smith hotel booking platform.

The cost is £53 million, reflecting the ‘asset light’ nature of the acquisition (ie the company doesn’t actually own any hotels, although it does have 100 staff).

Participating hotels from the 1,500 bookable via Mr & Mrs Smith will appear on and will presumably be ‘earn and burn’ partners for World of Hyatt points.

Hyatt to acquire Mr & Mrs Smith

This is highly likely to mean that the existing deal with IHG One Rewards will be scrapped.

Hyatt said in a statement:

“We are excited by this planned acquisition and to explore bringing guests and World of Hyatt members even more global luxury offerings across hundreds of geographies – including over 20 countries where there are currently no Hyatt hotels such as Fiji, Croatia, Iceland and Anguilla.

Founders Tamara and James Lohan alongside their impressive team have built the ultimate global direct booking collection of truly unique stay experiences including rooms located in treehouses, within caves, and underwater suites. Importantly, we see a lot of synergy between our collective ethos of care, and we look forward to working together to bring our shared focus to new, memorable stay experiences for guests and World of Hyatt members – and introduce new guests to Hyatt hotels around the world.”

There are apparently 1 million ‘members’ of the Mr & Mrs Smith booking club, which Hyatt hopes to leverage into World of Hyatt.

The deal will not reach legal completion until ‘the second quarter’.

Hyatt to acquire Mr & Mrs Smith

Hyatt has said that it will offer:

“direct booking access to properties within the Mr & Mrs Smith platform through Hyatt’s distribution channels, including and the World of Hyatt app.”

In terms of ‘earn and burn’, Hyatt has only said that it is ‘exploring’ ways to enable World of Hyatt members to earn and redeem points across eligible hotels in the Mr & Mrs Smith collection.

What happens to IHG?

There is no reference to the existing IHG arrangement in the press release. However, I strongly recommend that if you were planning to redeem IHG One Rewards points at a Mr & Mrs Smith hotel, you should do so sooner rather than later.

You shoud expect reward bookings made for dates after completion of the Hyatt deal to be cancelled so don’t make a points booking for later in 2023 unless you are prepared for disappointment.

At present, Mr & Mrs Smith redemptions are among the best uses of IHG One Rewards points. You get around 0.55p based on the cash rate, well above our target 0.4p valuation of an IHG point.

I can’t help thinking that IHG has dropped the ball here. Even if it felt that the Hyatt offer was a bit rich, it is a relatively small sum of money in the overall IHG context. Overpaying may have been worth it to keep the hotels on the IHG platform, and any issues that IHG may currently have could presumably have been smoothed over if it owned the business outright.

The original Smith deal took IHG into 14 countries where it didn’t previously offer a single property. Whilst some of those gaps may have been filled in the last four years, I would imagine it will still reduce IHG’s global coverage noticeably.

World of Hyatt update – September 2023:

Get bonus points: Our article on Hyatt’s new ‘double base points’ promotion, valid at all hotels outside the Americas, is here. It runs to 15th September 2023. Registration is now closed.

New to World of Hyatt?  Read our overview of World of Hyatt here and our article on points expiry rules here. Our article on what we think World of Hyatt points are worth is here.

Buy points: If you need additional World of Hyatt points, you can buy them here.

World of Hyatt is offering a 25% discount, equivalent to a 33% bonus, when you buy points by 10th October. Click here to buy.

Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from Hyatt and the other major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Comments (62)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Neil Langley says:

    Do we expect existing bookings to be honoured?

    • Rob says:

      Reward nights after the completion date – no

      Cash nights after the completion date – yes, but you won’t earn IHG points or elite credit (you may or not earn Hyatt points and credit depending on when that bit goes live)

      • meta says:

        We do not know how Mr&Mrs Smith properties will work with IHG yet. It will also depend on the what kind of contract Mr&Mrs Smith has with IHG especially given no reference in the statement.

        Since there is no exact completion date (it’s a planned acquisition as per press release), the deal can still fall through. They will now need to do due dilligence. These things also get pushed.

        • Rob says:

          Due diligence on this sort of thing can be done in a day or two if you’re in a hurry. It’s an asset lite business. One person working alone could do it in a week.

          If you were buying HfP one person could do the DD before lunch.

          In my banking days we once sent someone to Australia for one day to check that a factory owned by a business we were buying physically existed. That’s proper due diligence …

          • meta says:

            But it’s obviously not going to be done in a day given that the completion date is planned for late 2023. Legal due dilligence takes longer than that and will most certainly not be done in a day.

          • Daniel says:

            Yes I’m afraid that legal due diligence does not take a day… Just because a company is ‘asset lite’ does not mean there are no checks to do.

          • Rob says:

            Of course. But those would have been done on announcement day.

            Is Hyatt going to review all 1,500 hotel contracts? No. It will do a representative sample. The key issue would be the IHG contract plus a service agreement for Tamara.

          • meta says:

            @Rob this will depend on the lawyers that Hyatt engages. Some are more thorough than others.

          • Thywillbedone says:

            Getting the requisite information to make an firm offer and actual deal due diligence are/should be two very different things …

          • JandeW says:

            When buying a sugar mill in Kazakhstan back in the early 90’s, our due diligence did not prepare us for the 8,000 sow pig farm that came with the mill!!

          • WaynedP says:

            Punishingly far to travel for one day, poor sod.

  • LostInAsia says:

    I stayed at a Mr & Mrs Smith property in Siem Reap, Cambodia. It was by far the worst hotel I’ve ever encountered.

    Others I’ve used have all had very poor customer service. They don’t give service, they act as if you should consider yourself lucky to be granted the privilege of entering their beloved property.

    No loss.

    • Vit says:

      That’s sad to hear. Hopefully the new Hyatt management will change things. In general, it is not normally the case, hospitality wise, for South East Asia,.

  • Azza says:

    Well this is interesting isn’t it.

    Be interesting to see how many properties cross over on Mr & Mrs Smith and SLH.

    And there are some brands available through Mr & Mrs Smith platform whom I imagine would never allow award bookings to be made like Rosewood and Aman.

    • meta says:

      Mr&Mrs Smith does not own properties. They might choose to leave the Mr&Mrs Smith marketing platform now that Hyatt has plans to acquire them.

      • Azza says:

        Yeah I know they don’t but some properties might still want to make themselves available via the platform but just not for award nights.

  • Richie says:

    Would Hyatt notice if a Mr & Mrs Lohan booking platform appeared?

    • Lady London says:

      It will be in the contract. Normally earn out (I think this is what Rob is calling a service agreement) and non-compete, at least for a period.

    • JDB says:

      Mrs Lohan will remain as CEO of Mr & Mrs Smith within the Hyatt group.

  • Peter K says:

    I’ve stayed at a couple of Mr&Mrs Smith properties using IHG points. One was a decent redemption as there were no other chain hotels and the non-chains were poor quality.

    The other was a boutique hotel in South Wales which was an exceptional stay. I’ll miss the tie-up.

  • Richard Hall says:

    Liked have additional choices that were cookie cut hotels in the IHG chain. Got a reward stay at the end of may in the UK and a paid stay in June crossing into July. Will see what happens there

  • Irons80 says:

    To be honest, this news is meh – the only time I have considered Mr&Mrs through IHG was for Stockholm and the rate on it was much higher than on, so I was happy to forgo some points for the saving and 10% rebate!

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    Personally I think rewards bookings will be honoured. This isn’t hotels leaving a chain, this is a chain getting bought by another operator. The chain as it is will still have obligations under its contract with IHG.

    I’d think of it more like Diamond Club. When BA bought bmi it still had contractual obligations of bmi until these deals could be wound up. So you could still use diamond club to book Star Alliance or Virgin initially then gradually those partnerships disappeared and the only thing you could do with Diamond Club miles was to transfer them to BA.

    I’d see something like this happening:
    The takeover date is confirmed. Hyatt will announce ending of IHG partnership but existing bookings honoured.

    • meta says:

      Yes, you might be right. When I stayed at Mr&Mrs Smith property in January they did not know that I paid with IHG points. In fact they noted that I paid through Mr&Mrs Smith during check-in.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.