For the past few decades, Sheraton has been struggling under a reputation that the New York Times called “beige” in a 2019 article. Many Sheraton hotels are tired and dated, and the better hotels are siloed in the ‘Sheraton Grand’ sub-brand as a way to distinguish them.
It was back in 2015 when Rob wrote an article called ‘How do you solve a problem like Sheraton?‘, and not a lot has happened since. That said, we do hugely rate the refurbishment of the Sheraton Grand Park Lane in London, now restored to its art deco glory.
Marriott was aware of this when it acquired Starwood in 2016. Two years later it announced a comprehensive refresh of the brand that it hoped would give it relevance with a new generation.
Marriott is now ready to deliver on that promise and has unveiled six hotels that showcase its vision for Sheraton going forward. It doesn’t look too bad, although you will need to travel quite a way to try them out.
Lobbies are turning into WeWork-style workspaces
One of the most visible changes, apart from a massive change in style, is the move towards offering more flexible workspace for guests.
Going forward, new Sheraton hotels will include signature design elements such as the “Community Table” that will “anchor” each hotel’s lobby and offer a spot to sit and work, eat and drink.
Soundproof booths will also be located around the lobby, allowing for private phonecalls to clients, friends or family.
You’ll also be able to book flexible meeting room-style spaces called “The Studios” which can cater to business meetings or private dining.
New Sheraton hotels will also feature a hybrid coffee bar, combining bar, coffee shop and mini-market.
Combined, these elements seem remarkably similar to our WeWork office and sound like welcome additions that create a usable public space for business and leisure guests alike.
The rebrand isn’t just skin deep – it is a complete refurbishment of all elements, top to bottom, including the guest rooms.
Instead of beige, the new Sheraton look will feature “light wood tones accentuated with black metal accents” and feature height-adjustable desks, integrated power and charging as well as layered lighting that you can adjust depending on the hour.
Sheraton will continue to feature the Sheraton Sleep Experience platform bed.
Which hotels feature the new look?
Six refurbished Sheraton hotels are now welcoming guests into their brand-new rooms and public spaces, but unfortunately you will need to fly for at least five hours to get to one:
- Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, USA
- Sheraton Denver Downtown, USA
- Sheraton Tel Aviv, Israel
- Sheraton Grand Dubai, UAE
- Sheraton Guangzhou, China
- Sheraton Mianyang, China
40 hotels are expected to follow by 2022, but it will take quite a while for the new brand to roll out across the 450 hotels currently under the Sheraton badge.
Rolling out a refurbishment across an entire brand like this is difficult since Marriott does not own most of the hotels. It did buy the Sheraton Grand in Phoenix for $255 million in order to remake it as a blueprint for the brand’s new vision.
Exact timings will depend on the contract agreed between Marriott and the hotel operator, and some hotels may even choose to switch to a lower-end brand rather than make the required investment.
You can find out more about the new Sheraton look on this dedicated page of the Marriott website.