Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is having a growth spurt. Already the world's largest hotel franchising company with approximately 9,200 hotels across more than 80 countries, encompassing approximately 812,000 hotel rooms across all price and service points, the company has a renewed focus on Europe and the UK. London correspondent Emily Goldfischer sat down with Patrick Divall, VP, Western Europe, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, to learn more about the regional focus and what new properties to look for from Wyndham’s portfolio.
Where are you expanding and what are your most exciting properties for summer?
We’ve invested in growing our portfolio where we know travelers want to be. When we think about our opportunities for growth, our highest potential markets are a mixture of places where we already have an established and strong presence, as well as up-and-coming destinations where there is a need for internationally recognized brands. Our latest opening is the first Ramada in Portugal, the 300-room Ramada by Wyndham Lisbon, which is just three miles from the airport yet not far from many attractions--the National Tile Museum, the Oceanarium and the pretty Parque das Nações. One exciting new property is in Georgia, the Wyndham Grand Tbilisi with 158 guest rooms, which opened in April. Tbilisi is a hot destination that has a fascinating historical district with architecture that reflects the periods of Persian and Russian rule, and our location is right in the center. For families, we have rooms with King bed and a Queen bed, which is unusual in Europe. Plus there is a heated indoor pool and a spa. Other great options for summer: in France, the Dolce by Wyndham Frégate Provence has 163 rooms with three outdoor pools surrounded by indigenous roses, palms and bamboos, overlooking two golf courses and the Mediterranean sea. In Spain, the Dolce by Wyndham Sitges has 263 rooms on the shores of the Mediterranean. Just 30 minutes from the center of Barcelona and five minutes from the lively Sitges beach, this hotel has four solar-heated outdoor pools: a kids-only swimming pool, a sports-focused pool with dedicated swimming lanes and an infinity edge pool with stunning views across the Spanish coastline. The hotel has a swimming pool for every member of the family! Or, the recently renovated 311-room Wyndham Grand Crete Mirabello Bay is ideally positioned for a pool-side holiday with a spa and nine restaurants, all the ingredients for an idyllic Greek island getaway.
Any other brands or properties that should be on the radar for travel advisors?
Our Tryp brand, these are design led mid-scale properties, a concept our customers are really loving because they are hip and cool, with amenities they want -- free Wi-Fi, top locations, restaurants featuring local foods -- and great pricing. In Europe we have Tryp hotels in Belgium, Germany, Spain and Turkey with more to come. Also, for the Trademark Collection, we added 100 of these in the last year, as they keep the integrity of an independent hotel, offering unique settings. In the UK we have our first in Southport, a waterfront property near the casino. An exciting property to keep a lookout for is a Dolce opening in 2020 in Versailles; it’s a gut renovation and conversion of a chateau in Joux-en-Josas into a 180-room hotel.
What resources does Wyndham offer for advisors?
We truly see travel advisors as our partners and we are eager to give them the tools they need to sell our brands. We have the Wyndham Wise program, an online course for advisors to learn about our properties and locations. Agents can also learn about our loyalty program, Wyndham Rewards, which offers so many ways for members to earn and redeem points for free stays at thousands of hotels, vacation club resorts and vacation rental properties globally... and guests qualify when an agent books their stay. At the moment we have over 75 million members.
Tell us a bit about Wyndham’s different hotel brands and what to look for in the UK and Europe.
There’s a lot to unpack here! We have over 470 hotels and 12 brands in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa and India), ranging from limited service, think: Days Inn and Super 8 properties, to our more luxurious brands: Wyndham Grand. Ramada is our most popular brand in Europe, offering a reliable four-star experience, great for American travelers who want something familiar, whereas our Trademark and TRYP brands are more unique to the destination and the property they inhabit. Our Dolce brand offers larger properties with meeting facilities and amenities, great for groups, and Wyndham Grand is our most upscale, with high-end resorts in Croatia, Greece and Turkey, as well as city locations throughout Europe.
Where does Wyndham have the most hotels?
Our largest single markets in EMEA include Germany (nearly 100 hotels), the UK (73 hotels) and Turkey (76 hotels). In Western Europe, we have about 130 hotels across the UK, Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands. Our largest brands in Western Europe are Days Inn (45) and Ramada by Wyndham (33), as well as TRYP by Wyndham (43).