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

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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.

  • Thywillbedone says:

    For hotels I usually equate the word ’boutique’ with ‘lack of facilities’ …

    • JDB says:

      ‘Boutique’ hotel is certainly a much overused phrase such that it has become meaningless.

      • Erico1875 says:

        Boutique or not. I prefer between 20 and 50 rooms. I really don’t like huge soul less places

  • Alex says:

    53m seems rather low. Do they not manage to monetize any of their users?

    • Rob says:

      I’m more shocked that they had 100 staff. Doing what? That’s £5m of overhead before you start on premises etc.

      A £1,000 weekend break is only £80-£100 commission. It’s decent money when you operate how Emyr and I do it, but not with huge overheads. I get a feeling the brand strength belies a low level of profitability.

      Hyatt is less bothered. They get to add a huge number of hotels for less than the cost of a refurbishment at one of their owned hotels (and Hyatt does still own a fair few outright).

    • pauldb says:

      £12m of accumulated losses from launch through 2021. Nice detail in the accounts: they had maybe £5m of debt that paid 7.5% coupon or 9.5% in booking credit, so evidently some like minded backers (£12m total debt).
      Also evident they used to charge hefty annual fees plus commission but after the pandemic had to restructure to higher commissions only.

      • Rob says:

        They did some crowdfunding at some point. Will be interesting to see what happens to that.

        • pauldb says:

          £5.9m raised in 2018. Corresponds to an issue of 47k shares for £125, and on face value (before any sale-triggered dilution in favour of management) those shares are about 20% of the company, so they get about £9m of the £43m equity value (though net debt £7m figure is 16 months old).

  • James says:

    This is a big shame. It was a good use of points and had a footprint in some interesting places now not served by IHG at all. Hopefully the money is used to better the experience of their top status customers……such as lounge access automatically for the Diamond crew.

  • Tom says:

    I’m guessing this means goodbye to the Soho House partnership with Mister and Missus too.

  • mef says:

    I have a redemption in June. Do I sit tight or turn it into a cash booking to be safe?

  • Kowalski says:

    The only Mr & Mrs Smith hotel I wanted to book wasn’t available through IHG anyway. I’ve never understood how the connection between the 2 has worked. Hopefully things will be a lot better understand Hyatt

    • Rob says:

      What I never got was, as they are revenue based redemptions at 0.55p, how come only small base rooms ever appear?

      • Peter K says:

        That was a confusion for me as well 🤷🏻‍♂️

      • Lady London says:

        didn’t want to damage the brand by opening up any sort of non-cash payment for a room (ie by IHG points) any further. To keep thr proper brand experience only payable by cash… I guess

  • Mikeact says:

    We used to use Mr & Mrs years ago when they first started up…2002 ? And then they did have some decent hotel offerings…but the bigger they got, we felt they lost their way and rarely would we use them now, and certainly not under the IHG umbrella.
    ps And what is the definition of a, so called, Boutique hotel ?

  • DanLondon says:

    Oh dear I have an expensive booking with them in mid August. I hope the booking will be honoured and will be upset if I don’t get the significant amount of points I was due to earn. I guess legally they have a clause allowing them to do whatever they want. The money for the booking was taken out of my account immediately!

    What with this news and the Creation credit card gone, I feel IHG is now ‘dead to me’. Is there a good HfP article to help me choose which brand to move to? I don’t really know much about Bonvoy or HH

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