Whine Wednesdays: Misbranded Hotels


Have you ever been a hotel that doesn’t really fit the brand that it says on the outside? This week Whine Wednesdays revisits misbranded hotels.

Misbranded Hotels

When you choose a hotel brand it comes with certain promises and expected level of hardware and service. If I stay at a Holiday Inn Express hotel my expectations are much lower and thus it’s easier to meet compared to a stay at let’s say a Park Hyatt.

Here are five misbrands from my recent trip to South America:

Intercontinental Mendoza (Crowne Plaza or Holiday Inn in Reality)

Misbranded Hotels IC Mendoza

InterContinental Mendoza used to be a Crowne Plaza previously. Not sure if they did anything else besides changing the sign outside of the door. The rooms are more Holiday Inn than even Crowne Plaza.

JW Marriott Quito (Marriott or Courtyard)

Misbranded Hotels JW Marriott Lima

This JW Marriott used to be a regular Marriott previously when a friend of mine was working in the city. My stay was so bad that I ended up canceling it and walking to the Holiday Inn Express on the other side of the road, from where this photo was taken.

Park Hyatt Mendoza (Hyatt Regency)

Misbranded Hotels Park Hyatt Mendoza

Not sure why Hyatt allows this “Regency” to have the Park Hyatt flag?  Beyond the lobby and bathrooms there is nothing Park Hyatt about this property.

Hilton Quito (DoubleTree or Hampton Inn)

Misbranded Hotels Hilton Quito

It was like going back to the late 1980’s or early 1990’s when I saw my “suite” that was more like a deluxe room. Best categorized as a DoubleTree or Hampton Inn unless they do extensive guest room renovations.

Sheraton Guayaquil (Four Points)

Misbranded Hotels Sheraton Guayaquil

This property was a Four Points previously and I guess that they just bought a new Sheraton sign and that was it.


The problem here is that all these hotel companies have gone “asset light” meaning that they basically just franchise the brands and collect the money. They own very few properties.

These companies have hundred page manuals as to what the brand standards for these various hotel brands are. It is up to the hotels to actually deliver and implement them. It seems that the hotel companies often turn a blind eye and just collect the money rather than having these hotels actually meet the requirements set forth.

I just hate when I walk into a Park Hyatt that has nothing to do with the brand and is really just a Hyatt Regency in reality. I had the same feeling a few years ago with the Park Hyatt Johannesburg that was rightly rebranded as a Hyatt Regency.

There are then hotels that actually feel better than the flag they carry outside. One example is Holiday Inn Express Phuket that is better than some Holiday Inns I’ve stayed at.

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