Sheraton Brand Transformation comes to Bengaluru

As per Marriott, since the merger of Marriott & Starwood in September 2016, 5,000 rooms have been signed on to the Sheraton portfolio. Sheraton generates US Dollars 9.2 billion in property revenue globally, and the collection currently consists of nearly 450 hotels with 80 additional projects in the pipeline. By 2020, the brand’s footprint is expected to expand to 90 countries.

Being one of the oldest brands in the Marriott portfolio, however, the 80-year old brand had become a middle of the road brand, incredibly generic, and in need of a revamp. I’ve stayed at a luxury hotel in Kuwait, which is a Sheraton, and I’ve also stayed at a rundown hotel in Kuala Lumpur with creeky rooms, which is also a Sheraton. At the time of the merger, Arne Sorenson, President & CEO of Marriott International, had commented that the revitalisation of Sheraton was a top priority for Marriott International.

Marriott got down to work immediately and showcased the Sheraton guestroom concept at the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference in New York in June 2018. As per Arne Sorenson, then,
We knew that the way to restore this incredible brand was focus and collaboration with our hotel owners.  We wanted to build on Sheraton’s rich legacy of sitting at the heart of communities across the globe, but also to create a differentiated positioning and compelling proposition for our owners. With our Sheraton transformation plan, we’ve put together all of the pieces of the equation to work cooperatively with our owners to set this iconic brand on a new, disciplined and successful path. We are ready, our vision is clear and the energy is robust for Sheraton.

Marriott, since then, has launched the new Sheraton imagery, which is described as,

The new design reflects the brand’s holistic vision for the future, making Sheraton the central gathering place of communities around the world, welcoming guests and locals into a public space that embodies the modern town square vibe.

Here is the new Sheraton Logo.

Last weekend, Sheraton showcased the plans to revamp the Sheraton brand at the Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel, which incidentally, will be the first hotel in India to move to the new Sheraton brand template. This particular Sheraton Grand Hotel was the 100th hotel for Marriott International in India and was inaugurated just last year.

The new Sheraton experience intends to set itself apart from the rest of the pack, and for this, they have a game plan. Sheraton is planning to put itself in the centre of the community where it has the hotels, trying to become the hub for the locals, apart from the in-house guests. The big theme for the new Sheraton experience is a community, and the entire open areas of the hotel are going to play a significant role in that. Think of it as a town square, only, inside a hotel.

The redesign will focus on public spaces and will have collaborative venues, a technology-enabled design, and even personalisation. A host will be around to help deliver the experience. The new Sheraton concept takes a lot of inspiration from the trends of co-working and cafeterias, as it tends to move to appeal to the millennial workforce to live and work with them.

The critical aspects of the new design include:

  • Productivity Table: The community table comes through, as the productivity table with functionality such as plugs, charging stations, wireless mobile charging, and so on, but it also will have lockable drawers. You can work, or eat/drink at these tables all by yourself, or with other people.
  • Studio Spaces: Smaller open team workspaces, furnished with technology and tools to allow for small meetings and collaboration.
  • Coffee Bar Bar: Coffee Bar Bar may sound like a Hindi name, but no, it’s English. The new Sheraton coffee shop, as the name reveals, intends to be a coffee bar serving breakfast in the morning, and transforms into a cocktail bar in the evening. You should be able to do a grab-and-go or get them to serve it up to you at the bar, or your table. You should also be able to order via mobile.
  • Community Manager: The community managers will have a tablet that will allow guests to have service and information provided to them at their fingertips. These community managers will roam the lobby to assist with reservations for public spaces and food and beverage and other requests.

There will also be a lounge area, which is a smaller, flexible space for one on ones and so on. There will be private booths, soundproof spaces that allow their occupants to make audio/video calls in privacy. Sheraton guests should be able to book these public spaces and order food and drink through an app at each property.

The Sheraton Community Table

Coffee Bar Bar

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