Even if you’re not traveling for the holidays, there’s still a way to satisfy your wanderlust—and support local businesses—during this giving season. Launched this month, Hyatt Hotels’ Hyatt Loves Local program is a worldwide initiative designed to energize the company’s hotels and area small businesses, both of which have been heavily impacted by the pandemic. Through partnerships that focus on such topics as art, music, wellness, philanthropy and cuisine, the hotels will provide local purveyors with meaningful (and free) support, including everything from the use of industrial kitchens, where they can craft their products, to spaces for performances, wellness sessions, art projects or retail pop-ups. The goal is that the resulting endeavors will, in turn, help draw foot traffic to Hyatt hotels and encourage connections within the community.
“By always listening to our guests, members and colleagues, we understand their strong desire to not only experience the Hyatt hotels’ destinations but also to have the opportunity to support local communities,” Amy Weinberg, Hyatt’s senior vice president for brand loyalty, brand marketing and consumer insights said in a statement about the program. “We have been caring for the communities in which Hyatt hotels operate for more than 60 years, and we are proud so many [of our] hotels around the world are finding new, creative ways to lift up beloved local businesses in this time of need.”
The Hyatt Loves Local initiative is currently being offered at nearly 60 hotels and resorts across the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. In the US, you’ll find it in play at such properties as Hyatt Regency Atlanta, which—by offering a kitchen and a lobby retail space—is helping the minority-owned Anna Bell’s Kitchen Mac & Cheese to continue making and selling its signature dish to locals, while also expanding into nationwide shipping. The collaboration “has enabled us to preserve and pivot our business while attracting new fans and customers during this challenging time,” says Kevin Mobley, owner of Anna Bell’s, while the hotel’s general manager, Derrick Morrow, notes that his guests also love that they can enjoy “a classic Southern dish from a celebrated local business” without leaving the hotel.
As might be expected, food and drink drive a large number of the partnerships. Thompson Nashville, for example, has joined forces with all-natural cocktail-mixer brand WITHco to host monthly outdoor cocktail party pop-ups, while Motif Seattle has enlisted the female-owned Monorail Espresso (which had to temporarily close one of its locations) to create the mobile MxM pop-up shop in the hotel. At Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor, the new Pop Up & Pick Up space offers kitchen and retail areas for a rotating roster of local businesses; through November, the space is hosting the historic The Urban Oyster, Baltimore’s first Black-owned oyster bar, which this summer had to shutter its brick-and-mortar location.
Those who want to indulge more than their tastebuds, however, will also find plenty of options. Book rooftop haircuts and styling at Andaz West Hollywood, courtesy of Barcode Barbershop; pick up items from women’s clothing boutique Wild Heart at Grand Hyatt Vail; or take socially-distant yoga classes helmed by local fitness experts at Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel in New York City, and at Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa in San Antonio. Also in Texas, Hyatt Regency Austin has enlisted Music Firsthand—an app that helps venues book live music acts—to program weekly, physically-distant performances by local musicians.
On the community engagement front, Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego has invited the New Children’s Museum San Diego (currently closed because of Covid-19 restrictions) to program educational and interactive activities for kids at the hotel, while Andaz Savannah is offering meeting spaces and socially-distant badge-earning activities for the local chapter of the Girl Scouts, an organization that was founded in Savannah. And guests checking in to Hotel Revival Baltimore should be sure to take note of the sustainable, 100-percent bamboo toilet paper, which comes from the West Baltimore-based, female-owned Lor Tush. The Hyatt Loves Local program currently features nearly 60 hotels and resorts around the world. Check with your local Hyatt member hotels to see if they are participating, and for more details.