Its over two years since Marriott acquired Starwood and its’ 80 year old Sheraton brand. Established in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1937, today there are over 400 Sheraton properties internationally, making it Marriott’s third largest brand. But standing out in Marriott’s 30+ portfolio of brands is the least of its challenges, the way the brand responds to the recent data breach, and how it refreshes its dated portfolio will determine Sheraton’s relevance for the next generation of travellers.
Design Insider caught up with Indy Adenaw, Vice President and Global Brand Leader of Sheraton Hotels to discuss the transformation he and the team have planned for the Sheraton brand.
What do you believe the Sheraton stands for?
Sheraton is The World’s Gathering Place. The brand sits at the heart of communities around the world, and the brand’s new positioning pays homage to its rich 80-year history in being a place of gathering and welcome for both the guest and the local.
With nearly 450 hotels in over 70 countries and territories around the world, Sheraton is in a unique position to impact many communities around the world and we stand for the power of the collective, for welcoming the world, and inviting guests and locals to experience the power of Sheraton
Describe Sheraton’s customer and how they are changing?
Sheraton is a highly recognized brand around the globe and has been for 80+ years. Our customer is definitely changing, and we see our new customer as the “Team Player.” Someone who is relentlessly dependable, more comfortable in the “we” vs. “me” and working towards the greater good.
Having updated the guestroom experience, how are you transforming the lobby space?
At the center of each community is a gathering place, a public square, and a place for people to come together. The idea of reinventing Sheraton lobbies came from these deeply-rooted legacy properties and the communities that they are in, where the hustle and bustle takes place in the local public square. With our updated lobby and public space offerings, Sheraton aims to bring people together to gather, to provide a meeting place for locals and travelers alike, and to create differentiated experience for guests that leans into productivity and co-working.
There are key elements that guests will be able to experience within our new lobbies and public space offerings, including:
Productivity Table: a communal table that allows guests to work, eat & drink, and linger together or alone. Not only does this table have thoughtful built-in functionality (e.g. plugs, charging), but it also allows the individual, amongst many at the table, to make their seat their own through personal lighting, lamp controls, lockable drawers, etc.
The Booths: private, comfortable spaces/booths that are conveniently located throughout the lobby that are designed for guests to pop into for a video call, or just call, to stay connected with their family, friends or co-workers not physically with them. This “booth” is personalized for Sheraton with flares that make our nooks unique (e.g. styling, use of digital/tech, etc.), while delivering a completely sound proof offering.
Access by Sheraton: Business tools, resources, and services curated to help guests learn, grown and be productive as they work and travel.
The Studios: Highly visible meeting experience that celebrates collaborative working in a professional setting. Unique, high-tech, and light-filled studios for small group gatherings in a public space. The spaces (2-3 unique meeting spaces) will be elevated from the rest of the lobby space to productivity on display, all with glass walls and equipped with modern meeting technology.
Community Manager: This individual is a principle pillar of the public space. He/she foster a sense of community for the guests and locals within the space and is equipped to help with everything from travel to tech to local tips. They are teamed up with a custom, digital platform that allows guests to have service and information provided to them at their fingertips.
Coffee Bar / Bar: A reimagined hotel cafe experience. Coffee bar during the day, transitioning seamlessly into the perfect spot for a spontaneous encounter over cocktails in the evening. A focal point for guests, this bar serves you the best cup of coffee and pastries in the AM, the best craft beer and cheese plate in the evening, and premium, workable grab & go food throughout the day. There are 3 service journeys: bar stool service, grab & stay service at the counter, and table service.
F&B Philosophy: It’s about food on your schedule, not ours. Because we believe you should be able to indulge in a delicious, locally-sourced, workable meal whenever the desire strikes. Key pillars of this strategy include: 1) Work Food: Non-messy items, portable, fast ordering & delivery, 2) The Amplified Familiar: recognizable combinations, different ingredients, visually elevated, and 3) Dramatic Decisions: Variety of type, options, customizable dishes
Veiled Bar: A curated, intimate bar that transitions from passive/hidden to active from day to evening, that delivers perfectly on the classics through both global and local beer, wine, and spirits. Acting as a possible second bar to the Coffee Bar / Bar in larger hotels and/or primary markets, the Veiled Bar provides a subtle way of concentrating productivity in large spaces during the day. Screening material offers some visibility or “veiled” experience while also creating a more intimate zone during the day.
Sheraton is probably the most global of Marriott’s 30+ brands, and even though the hotels themselves are a bit outdated, they are in some of the best locations around the world. So, how are you going to roll-out this new concept?
Sheraton is in fact the most global brand in Marriott International’s portfolio, and that is why we have worked across continent teams to ensure this transformation was done with a global lens. Over the next few months you will see a number of Sheraton Hotels go through major renovations to adopt this new concept. We are working with our owner community to teach them about the benefits of this new concept and anticipate many more renovations in the next few years.