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Marriott's Makeover of Sheraton is underway

Marriott has a distinct design directive for the Sheraton brand, but what identity will the brand have beyond being “the world’s gathering place”?

While it was still under Starwood, a number of light renovations took place, the most recent of which was the Sheraton 2020 project. But none of the attempts were very successful at improving brand perception.

Since its purchase in late 2016, Marriott International has not been afraid to give up Sheraton properties, and closed a total of 6,000 rooms while another 2,000 rooms are expected to leave by the end of 2018. Since then, the brand has improved slightly in terms of guest satisfaction, occupancy, average daily rate, and revenue per available room (RevPAR).

Prior to launching its redesigned public spaces, Marriott had begun rethinking Sheraton and, thus far, 25 percent of the hotels are undergoing renovations involving both guestrooms and public spaces.

On June 29, Marriott International announced that its purchase of the 1,000-room Sheraton Grand Phoenix hotel for $255 million and has plans for significant renovations to transform the property.

“The hotel will provide a living and breathing showcase of our new vision for the Sheraton brand, underscoring our commitment to restore the brand to its leadership position,” said Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International.

“Going back to Sheraton’s roots as being the heart of the community, the renovated hotel will showcase the brand’s new focus on services and design that enable socialization, productivity and personalization, featuring collaborative venues and technology that enable unique experiences […]”

Earlier this month, the company created a pop-up model lobby in New York City for owners, franchisees and other stakeholders to experience and evaluate the new Sheraton standards. Thanks to that, Marriott International estimates that owners of Sheraton properties in the U.S. have already committed to invest more than $500 million to remodel properties.

While the American group remains committed to its asset-light business strategy, the company took a similar approach in repositioning the Marriott Hotels brand five years ago. After purchasing and renovating the Charlotte Marriott City Center, the hotel served as a live example of the innovation which helped engage owners in testing and developing the Marriott Hotels brand.

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