BETHESDA, MD—Sheraton Hotels & Resorts has officially debuted its new vision for the brand at six properties across the globe. Those properties are Sheraton Phoenix Downtown; Sheraton Denver Downtown; Sheraton Tel Aviv; Sheraton Grand Dubai; Sheraton Guangzhou, China; and Sheraton Mianyang, China.
Marriott first revealed plans for the brand’s transformation in June 2018, and Amanda Nichols, senior director/global brand leader, Sheraton, said the completion of the renovations at these hotels is an important milestone in the brand’s reinvention journey. There is now momentum building for the transformation, with 40-plus hotels around the world expected to reflect the new brand vision by the end of 2022.
“When you think about a brand like Sheraton that is this tried and true and this brand that has actually meant so much to people over the 80-plus years, you have to be really cautious when you transform and you evolve a brand like that because you still need to maintain that sense of comfort and relatability that customers have had with you over the years,” she told Hotel Business. “With that same lens, you really need to figure out that kind of timelessness appeal, but also fresh and modern. There is this undeniable thread that will connect all of the designs globally. Use of warm wood, textured wall coverings, much more residential furniture and also the spatial connections. All of those things will feel undeniably connected, but they all absolutely will have their own individual design narrative, and locally relevant feel when we think about the Sheraton guest.”
While the COVID-19 pandemic arrived between the reveal of the brand transformation and its debut, Nichols noted that the plans have remained the same. “COVID has changed everything, but when you think back to our actual strategy and what our brand stands for, that is in a much longer view,” she said. “This brand is meant to be where people really come together and I think, while we gather now, how that looks is very different, that need to gather will always be there. Truly at the heart and DNA of our brand, COVID didn’t change what we stand for, and especially the design strategies that we have in place.”
Drawing on its roots as a community hub for locals and guests at flagship locations globally, the new approach for Sheraton blends life seamlessly with places to connect, be productive and be inspired. The combination of styles, balancing timeless with fresh and modern, aims to create an environment where guests feel comfortable and at ease, whether working, meeting or relaxing.
At the heart of the new Sheraton experience is the lobby. This has been reimagined as the “Town Square” of the hotel; a holistic, open space that invites people to join together or be alone amongst others, creating a sense of energy and belonging. With a flow that is natural, intuitive and uncomplicated, guests have everything they need within arm’s reach, all set against an inviting backdrop that feels warm and comfortable yet refined, according to Nichols.
Built into the new design are signature elements such as the Community Table, an inviting, purpose-built workspace that will anchor each hotel’s lobby and allow guests to work, eat and drink while soaking up the energy of the space. Following Sheraton’s philosophy to embrace both form and function, these tables are custom designed with amenities to keep guests productive. These include lockable drawers to keep their belongings safe, as well as built-in lighting, outlets and wireless charging stations.
The Studios, flexible meeting spaces available to book whenever a guest needs them, celebrate collaborative working in a professional setting. Built on elevated platforms and enclosed with glass, the Studios allow guests to contribute to the energy of the public space while also providing privacy and focus for everything from small group meetings to private dining experiences. Soundproof booths are also strategically placed around the lobby, perfect for a spontaneous phone call to connect privately with friends, family or colleagues from afar.
Built with its globally minded, productivity-focused guest in mind, Sheraton’s new elevated F&B philosophy creates a focal point in the lobby experience. Part-bar, part-coffee bar, part-market, the Coffee Bar Bar is a central pillar of the new Sheraton vision, transitioning guests seamlessly from day to night with F&B options that are locally sourced, easy to consume while working and customizable to accommodate all tastes and time schedules.
In the new guestrooms, guests are welcomed into a bright, well-lit room, comprised of soft finishes and warm wood tones accentuated with black and metallic accents. The rooms have been reimagined with new tools for productivity, such as a height-adjustable worktable, integrated power and charging and layered lighting, while still retaining some of the classic Sheraton signature amenities, including the Sheraton Sleep Experience platform bed. The guest bathroom has also been completely redesigned with new and modern walk-in showers and bath amenities by Gilchrist & Soames.
The Sheraton Club Lounge, an exclusive space for Marriott Bonvoy Elite members and Sheraton Club level guests, has also undergone an upgrade as part of the transformation. The new design ensures the space is warm, welcoming, open and purposefully designed to maximize space, allowing guests to experience a seamless transition from morning to evening. Guests will find updated F&B offerings, premium amenities, enhanced connectivity and 24/7 access to provide a private environment.
There are currently 446 Sheraton hotels in 74 countries and territories around the world, making it Marriott International’s most global brand. In 2021, Sheraton Hotels will continue on its transformation journey, with the brand expecting to pilot new guest experience programs and complete renovations in locations including Nashville; Toronto; Nice, France; Kiev, Ukraine; and Xi’an, China.