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Way back in 2018 (in what seems like an age ago), Marriott announced that it would be giving its Sheraton brand a much-needed facelift and dragging the brand into the 21st century. Now, three years down the road, Marriott is ready to show us the promised changes that are now coming to fruition and the new look Sheratons that have been refurbished from top to bottom.
As of today, there are six properties that Marriott says fully reflect the new Sheraton look and feel…
- Sheraton Phoenix Downtown
- Sheraton Denver Downtown
- Sheraton Tel Aviv, Israel
- Sheraton Grand Dubai, UAE
- Sheraton Guangzhou, China
- Sheraton Mianyang, China
…and the hotelier says that it expects to have over 40 hotels showcasing the new look by the end of 2022.
There’s a lot of ‘design-speak’ and, frankly, nonsense in Marriott’s description of its new Sheraton properties so I’ll try to cut through the hyperbole and just tell you what the key changes that visitors to the refurbished Sheratons can expect.
The Sheraton Lobbies
Marriott is calling these “a modern-day public square’ and they’ve been designed to give an open-space, uncomplicated feel. The hotelier says that guests are given “what they need within arm’s reach” in a “warm and comfortable” environment.
Built into the design of the lobbies is a ‘Community Table’ which is Marriott’s way of describing a purpose-built work area with built-in lighting, power outlets, and wireless charging stations.
Scattered around the Sheraton lobbies, guests will find soundproof booths designed for private and quiet phone calls rather than for an extended period of work (although I have no doubt that some guests will occupy these booths for hours)…
…while Sheraton’s new ‘studios’ – described by Marriott as being “flexible gathering spaces available to book whenever a guest needs it” (i.e. an office area you can book) – are available in and around the lobby for more collaborative work.
Rounding off the Sheraton lobby experience is the coffee bar which, as well as being a place to grab a caffeine hit, offers a variety of food and drink options tailored to the time of day (both to eat in and take away).
The Guest Rooms
The refurbished guest rooms will almost certainly look very different to anyone used to the 1970s grey/beige (and often dark) interiors that a lot of Sheraton guest rooms are known for, and Marriott is clearly keen to emphasize the differences by using words and phrases such as “bright”, “well-lit”, and “warm” when describing the new decor.
The rooms have been designed with productivity in mind and height-adjustable work tables, integrated power and charging, and something that Marriott calls “layered lighting” (I have no idea what that is).
A few remnants of the old Sheraton remain (e.g. the “Sheraton Sleep Experience” bed) but even the guest bathrooms have been redesigned with new and modern walk-in showers and bath amenities by Gilchrist & Soames.
The Club Lounge
The Sheraton Club Lounge was probably the one aspect of the Sheraton experience that needed addressing most (most lounges were terrible) so it’s good to hear that it has had a complete makeover. Marriott says that the new design of the lounges has focused on being welcoming and fit for purpose (presumably that means they will offer pleasant environments in which to relax).
All the new Club Lounges have updated food and beverage offerings with “premium amenities and enhanced connectivity”. More importantly, the new lounges all now offer 24/7 access.
Three years after we were first given an idea of what to expect from a refreshed Sheraton brand we’re now finally starting to see the ideas being put into practice. How great all the changes are will not be evident until we start trying out the new properties but, based on the images that Marriott has shared, it’s very clear that the new Sheratons look very different from the images that come to mind for most people when the name “Sheraton” is mentioned. For now, that’s very good news.
What do you think of the redesigned and re-styled Sheratons?
Featured Image: Sheraton Grand Dubai courtesy of Marriott