Sheraton Hotels – Who are they and what experience you can expect

Sheraton is the flagship brand in the Starwood portfolio with more hotels than any of their other brands. It’s a midscale, full-service hotel chain. I’ve had pretty mixed experiences with Sheraton hotels, so read on to find out what you can expect from a Sheraton property.

So, who are they? With more than 440 hotels worldwide, Sheraton is the second largest brand in the Starwood portfolio (35% of all hotels) and you will find them all around the world. They are positioned between the upscale Westin and the lower end Four Points hotels.
In their own words, “Sheraton makes it easy for guests to explore, relax and enjoy the possibilities of travel through smart solutions and effortless experiences at more than 440 hotels in more than 72 countries around the world. The brand is currently in the midst of implementing Sheraton 2020, a 10 point plan designed to make Sheraton the global hotel brand of choice, everywhere. Sheraton …has already rolled out a variety of initiatives under Sheraton 2020, including Paired, a new imaginative lobby bar menu; the richest SPG promotion in the brand’s history; and Sheraton Grand, a new premier tier that recognizes exceptional Sheraton hotels and resorts.
Yup, that description doesn’t say much and that is part of the problem with Sheraton. The brand standards are unclear and so is the targeting. While Starwood describes it as a luxury and upscale brand, I’d really consider it a mid-scale brand. Some properties are so run down that they don’t even deserve that classification. It remains to be seen how much the recently announced Sheraton 2020 plan will do to improve the situation.
Just recently, Marriott made a bid to acquire the Starwood group, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens with Sheraton. I’d think that Sheraton is one of the brands under intense scrutiny – I’d hope they move the better Sheraton properties to another brand and let the rest slowly die out…

Lombok1What experience can I expect? From my personal experience, it’s very difficult to set expectations for the Sheraton brand. I’ve seen run-down airport hotels that make many motels look good and I’ve stayed at beautiful resorts that deserve the “upscale” classification. The trouble is, there are no reliable standards when compared to let’s say Marriott, leaving you with no clear expectations!
As part of the Sheraton 2020 initiative, the best Sheraton properties will be elevated to Sheraton Grand – something to look out for when selecting a Sheraton. You should be able to avoid the worst properties that way! They have also launched the “Paired” initiative to enhance the bar menu – a nice touch, but not necessarily at the heart of the decision to select a hotel. The remainder of the 10 steps in the initiative is more geared towards the hotel owners than guests, including marketing and advertisement campaigns, so I don’t have high hopes that customers will see a lot of improvement!
Overall, while I’m a fan of W, Westin and aloft hotels, I tend to avoid Sheraton hotels due to the brand inconsistency, unless the hotel received great reviews online or from friends. If you are a SPG fan, I suggest to research your hotel carefully before booking to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Sheraton participates in the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Rewards program, so you can earn and use your hotel points at over 1,200 properties worldwide.

To see more photos and get a better idea of the experience you can expect, you can read my reviews of Sheraton properties:
Sheraton Senggigi, Lombok, Indonesia

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