Much has been made of Marriott’s plans to revitalise Sheraton. June this year, Marriott International unveiled the latest rehab of the 81-year-old Sheraton brand, which has struggled for decades to maintain consistency and relevancy around the globe.
Marriott acquired Sheraton late 2016. January 2017, Sheraton Uganda was also taken over after due diligence. The deal put Sheraton Uganda under the world’s largest hotel company-Marriot International.
“The hotel will provide a living and breathing showcase of our new vision for the Sheraton brand, underscoring our commitment to restore the brand to its leadership position,” said Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International.
“Going back to Sheraton’s roots as being the heart of the community, the renovated hotel will showcase the brand’s new focus on services and design that enable socialization, productivity and personalization, featuring collaborative venues and technology that enable unique experiences […]”
The owners committed $500 million to the renovations, which will transform the lobbies into town square-style gathering areas with what Marriott calls coffee bar-bars (the coffee bar will transform into a regular bar in the evening), partially open small meeting rooms, communal work spaces with locking drawers, and sound-proof privacy booths where guests can duck in to make quick phone calls.
The guestrooms will be modernized with a focus on larger bathrooms and a desk that can be raised or lowered to function as a sitting or standing work station, even a dining room table.
Marriot’s main strategies in this regard are upgrading and modernising Sheraton’s brand identity and by converting existing underperforming or redundant Sheraton properties into different Marriott brands, such as Courtyard or Four Points.
While Sheraton was still under Starwood, a number of light renovations took place, the most recent of which was the Sheraton 2020 project. But none of the attempts were very successful at improving brand perception, Marriott seems to be making inroads into making Sheraton a success.
A spokesperson for Marriott commented that “60 percent of Sheratons globally are committed to undergo renovation by 2020.”
How Sheraton can succeed
A new research report conducted by Skift analysed three key areas that explore Marriott’s history of successful brand overhaul in an attempt to see how Sheraton could itself succeed. These three areas are RevPAR Index, RevPAR, and Loyalty Contribution to Occupancy.
Findings from analysis on the RevPAR Index of Marriott branded hotels that had undergone a revamp in the guest rooms indicated that the RevPAR Index increased by 6.3% in a year following the room overhaul.
Entire Marriott properties that have been renovated have seen a 9% increases on the RevPAR Index, Marriott confirmed in June. If this data is extrapolated to include the proposed renovations and upgrades to Sheraton properties, the report estimates that increased revenue to the tune of between $75m and $150m could be returned.