Starwood Hotels & Resorts have introduced a new brand into their portfolio. The first hotels have already been re-branded under the Sheraton Grand brand!
The Connecticut based hotel chain plans this brand to feature Sheraton Grand as a ‘Premier Tier’ of properties that will align exceptional Sheraton Hotels & Resorts.
This sounds like a big leap forward and a huge promise considering Sheraton hotels as a brand are not really known for their luxury but rather run of the mill business hotels. There are certainly exceptions to this rule and let’s hope these 100 properties are really the best ones and not cherry picked in sweetheart deals with the hotel owners.
You can access the Starwood Media Centre publication about the new brand here.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today introduced Sheraton Grand, a new premier tier that recognizes exceptional Sheraton hotels and resorts for their enticing destinations, distinguished designs, and excellence in service and guest experiences. Starwood revealed the first ten Sheraton Grand properties, which span from Bangalore to Beijing, Dubai to Edinburgh, Miyazaki to Seoul, Taipei to Bangkok, and Tokyo to Rio de Janeiro. By year end, Starwood expects to have 50 newly-designated Sheraton Grand hotels around the world with plans for 100 by early 2017.
This sounds promising as far as the re-branding goes. It shows a selective process that also alleges some remodeling within the properties selected.
The following shows some criteria/feature used for the selection:
- Resorts, convention properties, and urban hotels that offer unrivaled standards of service and outperform guest satisfaction benchmarks
- Dynamic guestrooms and public spaces exhibiting sophisticated design and elevated finishes
- Desirable and sought-after locations ranging from primary city settings to spectacular beachfronts
- Impressive hotel amenities, including top-rated restaurant concepts and renowned chefs, superior gyms, unique Sheraton Club lounges, and an array of idyllic spa options
- Inspiring and state-of-the-art function space for events, meetings, and conferences
To me, this sounds like a lot of random marketing language, something that could be projected onto a lot of properties that don’t necessarily qualify as ‘special’ or ‘grand’.
Sheraton Grand Bangalore, India
Sheraton Grand Beijing Dongcheng, China
Sheraton Grand Dubai, UAE
Sheraton Grand Edinburgh, Great Britain
Sheraton Grand Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sheraton Grand Ocean Resort, Japan
Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit Bangkok, Thailand
Sheraton Grande Taipei, Taiwan
Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay, Japan
Sheraton Grande Walkerhill, South Korea
I have stayed at a couple of these hotels before. The Beijing property is a bit of a mystery to me though how this could be classified as a Grand Hotel. It’s a nice business hotel but nothing more. I’m looking forward to stay in Rio again and have a look at the property. The Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit used to be part of the Luxury Collection brand which was always a bit confusing to guests due to the Sheraton name.
It seems like Starwood is trying to set a new standard for some of their Sheraton hotels, maybe after realizing that the Sheraton brand standard itself really slipped in the recent years. I have stayed at Sheraton hotels worldwide where I thought ‘How can this dump even be part of Starwood?’ since it was such a borderline horrible experience. The Sheraton Brussels must have been one of the worst, Sheraton Great Wall Beijing follows right after (but at least for the price it’s a solid property).
Instead of re-branding the really good Sheraton’s into Westin or LeMeridien which would require huge investments due to bedding and other brand features the easiest is indeed to establish a Sheraton Premium brand.