How Marriott plans to modernise the Sheraton brand [Download chain report]

by | Jun 25, 2018 | Chains

Marriott is tackling the challenge of bringing the ageing Sheraton brand into the 21st century.

The historic Sheraton brand has been a stone around the neck of the numerous hotel groups who have owned it in recent years. Now, under the control of Marriott, Sheraton is bring brought into the modern era. We find out more.

Why is Sheraton so stale?

Many questions have been asked over the years as to why Sheraton, once a famous and iconic hotel brand, has become so stale.

Marriott gained control of Sheraton when they acquired Starwood in 2016, but Sheraton was already a thorn in the side of its previous owners, who struggled to make the brand perform.

Analysts put Sheraton’s poor performance down to the brand’s misguided strategy of trying to encompass two diverse strands within one hotel name, something which has prompted the growth of soft brands and the addition of numerous brands to a group’s portfolio across the hotel industry.

When Marriott bought Starwood, there was talk of axing Sheraton for good, but this idea was a non-starter, as Sheraton is not only now the most global of all Marriott’s brands, given that it has been in existence since 1937, but is also too valuable for Marriott to cull. Sheraton is Marriott’s third largest fee generator, and has a presence of 441 hotels all over the world.

How will Marriott save Sheraton?

This is one of the most pressing questions in the industry today, which TOPHOTELNEWS recently reported on. Much of Sheraton’s offering is outdated, and it is seen by many as a fuddy-duddy hotel brand whose heyday has long since passed.

At the recent NYU International Hospitality Investment Conference, Marriott arrived with what was supposed to be the answer.

They showcased a giant installation which was intended to demonstrate how the hotel goliath was planning to bring Sheraton into the 21st century.

Much of what was on display in the 4,200sqft area that heralded Sheraton’s comeback was focused on lifestyle trends such as co-working areas, nicknamed the “productivity table” and rentable “studio spaces” and soundproofed phone booths, and a coffee bar that transforms into a cocktail venue at night.

The design of this prototype for the new and improved Sheraton took its influences from mid-century design, and married bold patterns with luxurious materials such as wood and a marble-esque counter.

Sheraton already performing better under Marriott

Although there is clearly a long way to go before Sheraton becomes the go-to place for the coveted millennial market, it appears that the brand is already doing better under Marriott leadership than before.

Julius Robinson, Marriott’s senior vice president and global brand leader for its classic full-service brands, says that Sheraton has improved its RevPAR index and occupancy and daily rates since Marriott bought Starwood two years ago. Marriott is also planning to grow the brand, with 80 more Sheraton properties in the pipeline, giving a total key count of 5000.

However, Marriott has also been culling properties that don’t meet the brand standards, and 6000 rooms have been cut from Sheraton since 2016, with a further 2000 planned by the end of 2018.

 

Let’s take a look at a few other projects currently underway by Sheraton:

Chenzhou Sheraton Hotel

Sheraton Ambala, Chandigarh Expressway Resort

Sheraton Beihai Guanling

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Sheraton (luxury and upscale full-service hotels, resorts and residences) is Starwoods largest brand serving the needs of luxury and upscale business and leisure travelers worldwide.

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