Playa Hotels & Resorts launches new brand with Panama Jack

Virginia-based Playa Hotels & Resorts—owner, operator and developer of all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean—has launched a new resort brand through a partnership with Panama Jack—the retail brand that sells accessories, bicycles and home furnishings. 

Under the new Panama Jack resort brand, Playa will redevelop two existing all-inclusive hotels in Mexico: the Gran Caribe Resort in Cancun and the Gran Porto Resort in Playa del Carmen. These properties will serve as a starting point for a much larger venture between the two growing companies, with additional resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean to follow.

The multimillion-dollar investment to rebrand the two all-inclusive resorts—with a total of 757 guest rooms between them—will be finalized early this year. The new design of the properties will pay homage to “vintage travel and a retro tropical aesthetic.” Both resorts will incorporate the core of the Panama Jack business by housing retail stores complete with the brand’s clothing, home furnishings and beach products.

“Playa Hotels & Resorts has a proven track record for bringing brands into new sectors and we are delighted to welcome Panama Jack into the hotel and resort sector,” Kevin Froemming, EVP & CMO for Playa Hotels & Resorts, said in a statement. 

“We’re excited to partner with Playa Hotels to launch Panama Jack Resorts,” Kim Manna, CEO of Panama Jack, added. “We found the perfect partner in the hospitality industry with proven performance, tremendous growth and the expertise we’ve been looking for. This is the natural evolution of our brand, confirming its preeminence in the casual lifestyle market. Consumers who enjoy our products at home and on the beach will now, as vacationing guests, have the opportunity to experience the brand as a destination where they can create their own adventures and memories with family and friends.”

Panama Jack is hardly the first consumer brand to partner with a major hospitality company, of course—lately, it's becoming increasingly common. Last August, West Elm began inching its way into the hotel industry, first through partnerships with two of Marriott brands and then by announcing plans to open at least five U.S. hotels by late 2018. West Elm will design, furnish and market the hotels, the first of which will open in Detroit and Savannah in late 2018. Its partner DDK, a hospitality management and development company, will operate them. Guests will also be able to buy the room furniture and other décor online.

Fashion houses like Bulgari, Fendi, Versace and Armani have also caught the hotel bug. All have their own hotels, and major brands like Chanel and Dior have created spas for luxury hotels.