Felicity Black-Roberts joined Hyatt as vice president acquisitions and development from Starwood Hotels & Resorts in September to lead a London-based team comprising Guido Fredrich, Nuno Galvao Barata Pinto and Maria Ashton, who has relocated from Zurich.
Black-Roberts said the UK’s first Hyatt Regency hotel in the UK – Hyatt Regency Birmingham - had proved a successful move for the company and it was now looking to boost its presence further in the UK.
“We’ve been overwhelmed with how much people love Hyatt in the UK, but they have not been able to get to the brand,” she said.
“We’re now looking to boost that presence in a number of ways, mainly through franchising and management contracts.”
Black-Roberts said the company was looking at all UK cities for the brand and had already signed franchise agreements with hotels in London and Dusseldorf.
“We are also looking at joint venture partnerships,” she said. “They have worked very well with us in the past.”
Roberts said the sale of the 319-bedroom Hyatt Regency Birmingham property to an affiliate of Bin Otaiba Investment Group earlier this year, had been a good move for the company.
"We had the opportunity to buy it which gave us the chance to put the Hyatt flag in the UK. We put £2.4m to refurbish it, got it up and running and then sold it to the existing owners who have given us the management contract. It was perfect for us, and we got a very good return on our investment."