Marriott Will Update Sheraton Branded Hotels
Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood included almost 450 Sheraton branded hotels, making it over 40% of the hotels in the Starwood portfolio. An interesting Article from USA Today details the many changes and the types of uodates that Marriott has planned for the Sheraton brand and I have to say, the concept is very unique and if properly executed could be a really cool addition to the Marriott Portfolio.
They will also aim to increase customer satisfaction and experience by focusing on consistency and quality control. A Marriott brand representative stated that Starwood was lacking in it’s oversight efforts to ensure that Sheraton’s met the brands’ standards and this will be a key aspect of the update.
The first and quite possibly most unique aspect of the updates is the new open air communal lobby concept. It almost sounds like a WeWork or college library atmosphere with large tables for groups and work spaces that allow you to camp out for the day by including storage options for your valuables if you need to leave to use the rest room or get a bite to eat. They will also have a coffee cart by day and drink cart by night. This seems like it might further expand the draw to the younger generation, who have made communal work spaces big business in the last decade. There will also be meeting spaces that can be reserved and rented from your phone.
In keeping with the theme, guest rooms will feature carefully designed desks that allow you to rotate between standing and sitting and include USB ports for charging the many electronic accessories of the modern business traveler. They will also have updated walls that reduce sound between rooms, this is something almost any type of traveler can appreciate.
The whole thing sounds very millennial to me, which is not a bad thing. I only wonder if the seasoned business traveler will appreciate having a custom type desk in their space or a communal work place in the lobby or if it will only attract a certain type of business traveler. As someone who just fits the millennial definition (made the cutoff by a few years) and often works while travelling, I’m not sure these updates will draw me in. Personally, I sit in bed with my laptop while working and generally use the traditional business centers for things like printing boarding passes, better wi-fi and phone calls. To be fair, I don’t work in the physical presence of a team on a day to day basis, so I can’t speak to the necessity of communal work space.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Let me know what type of travelling you do and how you think these changes could be boom or bust.