Extreme Sheraton Makeover: U.S. Properties Get Redone

Sheraton Hotels & Resorts has launched a complete design upgrade of lobbies and guest rooms at 100 U.S. properties. The Starwood Hotels & Resorts brand will spend $1.3 billion to spruce up the hotels by the end of 2009.

The other 306 Sheraton hotels, spread over 70 countries, are already up to snuff, said Hoyt Harper, senior vice president for the brand. "The greatest delta existed between U.S. properties and those in the rest of the world, so we're elevating all of our hotels to where the international properties already are," he said.

In response to guest surveys indicating that flexible room design was sought, all guest rooms will be divided into four zones, slated for welcoming, connection, rest, and re-energizing. "It's a radical change," said Harper.

The welcome, or entrance area, will look residential but feature a luggage bench, shelf, and wardrobe. For connection, rooms will feature a modular, movable desk and a charging station. Redone bathrooms will energize guests with new bath products and eco-friendly fixtures.

Every property's rooms will have one of three designs: classic, simple, or casual, with local elements added. "Customers ... want consistency, but the product shouldn't be the same in New York as it is in San Diego," Harper added.

The redone lobbies will be inspired by public parks and will include music, lighting, a communal table, game tables, oversized chairs, and the signature "Link @ Sheraton" communications hub that will be in place at all properties by year end, along with a casual dining spot.

Originally published April 21, 2008