Wyndham Worldwide hotels is the largest hotel group in the world with more than 7,800 hotels in 72 countries. With mostly budget hotels in the US, it does not get a lot of attention from travel bloggers – but with growth abroad and in the upscale segment, and a revamped rewards program that was rated the best hotel rewards program, it’s worth paying attention to. Find out more about the brands, regions and price categories and how Wyndham compares to the other chains!
Regions: Wyndham is heavily concentrated on the Americas with almost 80% of their hotels. With a share of only 5% in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, it has the lowest percentage of all hotel groups I have reviewed in that region! It started its international expansion fairly late and is focusing on fast-growing Asia, having now 15% of its hotels there! But don’t let the percentages fool you: due to the immense size of Wyndham, it has more hotels in Asia than any of the other chains – almost twice as many as the next biggest, Accor, and more than IHG, Hilton, Marriott and Starwood combined! And in Europe, it still has more properties than Hilton or Starwood, favorites among many bloggers and US international business travelers, or Europe based Carlson!
Brands: It is no surprise that with its huge size, Wyndham group has a large number of brands, a total of 13! The three largest brands, Super 8, Days Inn and Ramada make up 68% of all properties. All of them are budget brands and have been targeted for international growth, so they get more marketing attention and you will find them outside the US as well. Microtel, another budget brand, is the only all built-new brand and highly reviewed by guests. They are the most consistent of their budget brands, giving you a chance at a new room in good condition. The other budget brands Travelodge, Knights Inn and Baymont are focused on the US and Canada and have a mix of properties with widely varying standards. There is significant overlap between all these budget brands, making them difficult to distinguish. A well managed Super 8 can be much nicer than an old, poorly managed Howard Johnson that is theoretically positioned above! I’d expect some of these brands to slowly shrink away! At the upper end of the portfolio, you find the mid-scale Tryp and Wingate brands, as well as the long-stay Hawthorne Suites. The flagship Wyndham brand consists of the Wyndham Grand hotels, a small collection of hotels and resorts targeting the upscale or even luxury segment, the mainstay Wyndham hotels that range from mid-scale to upscale hotels of varying quality and the lower end Wyndham Garden properties. Wyndham bought the Dolce hotels, a small collection of 22 unique upscale and luxury hotels around the world.
Price: Off all the chains I have reviewed so far, Wyndham is by far the most budget focused hotel group, with 92% of the properties. With only 8% of properties belonging to the mid-scale or above segments, there are few aspirational properties to spend a dream vacation at – which explains the lack of interest from US business travelers and bloggers, who are planning a luxurious getaway to Bora Bora or the Maldives. Wyndham is targeting Wyndham at the upscale segment and Ramada and Howard Johnson at the midscale segment – and some new properties in Europe or Asia do meet those standards – but the many old properties in the US and the average room rates for these brands suggest that they have some way to go!
Wyndham Hotels is the largest hotel group in the world, managing a staggering number of brands and properties around the world, focusing on the budget segments. They are expanding globally, moving upmarket and are making significant investments into their rewards program, providing good reasons to give them another look. While I wouldn’t make them my go-to hotel group or book any of their hotels blindly trusting the brand due to the huge quality variance in the different brands, there is a growing number of interesting properties, especially in Europe and Asia for value-oriented travelers worth considering. I will pay close attention to the changes at Wyndham and will keep you posted!