Sheraton Brand to Undergo Extensive Updates. Will these Interesting Updates Appeal to a New Type of Traveler or Miss the Mark… What do you think?

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Marriott Will Update Sheraton Branded Hotels
New Sheraton Lobby Concept Source: Marriott International

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.

Changes

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.

Thoughts?

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.

 


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11 COMMENTS

  1. Love the enhanced soundproofing and increased usb ports. The others doesn’t interest me at all, albeit having a beer and eavesdropping on conversations that might help me or my business.

  2. There’s plenty of other brands that do the forced socialization, so that seems trite and unoriginal. The desk seems meh, and the soundproofing is wonderful anywhere. Together, these seem more style over substance.

  3. I’m not sure. I guess all this is OK. Maybe they could also put bunk beds and rent space to sleep in communal areas just like a youth hostel.

  4. So an admittedly stale brand is now gonna add so-called millennial communal tables and power stations to their lobbies in the hope younger generations want to hang out at a Sheraton?
    OK.

  5. Since my last birthday, I am now closer to 50 than I am to 20, but I still think Sheratons have a dated feel that I would probably like once I’m 50 or older. The open-air lobby concept is not new. It seems like most Hawaii hotels built in 60s-80s have open-air lobby. In places where there are snow-storms, dust storms, etc., are open-air lobbies going to exist? Making it communal doesn’t really change anything for me.

  6. My first thought: who is going to pay? The franchisees. We know there was already a small list of Sheraton franchisees who have told Marriott they will pull down the Sheraton flag rather than pay for the upgrades. This announcement is another in a list of “upgrades” Marriott has announced that are going to be paid for by the franchisees, who are a lot less profitable than Marriott. Color me skeptical.

    There is only one thing in this announcement that interests me. The moveable desk in the room is a great idea, but how many Sheratons have hotel rooms big enough to really pull that off? Color me skeptical.

    Should I trust Marriott to fix Sheraton? There are plenty of Marriotts that have been allowed to fall apart. I was in one, with a Marriott exec, and she was stunned at how out of date this Marriott was, and she works for Marriott. Again, color me skeptical.

  7. The Sheraton Centre in Toronto is corporately owned and has recently gone through a multi-million dollar renovation yet, the lobby is very dark the layout is cumbersome and good luck finding the front desk and never mind the SPG desk which is never open.

    The railings around the escalators are that thick tacky brass straight from the 70’s. And don’t get me started on the exterior which is ugly dark dirty concrete. The entire building needs new cladding.

    More than half the shops in the complex are closed down and the ones that are still open look like dollar stores.

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