The Sheraton brand is making some changes, currently in the process of wrapping up a $6 billion global revitalization this year. It is also in the midst of an $8 billion global expansion over the next three years. The brand continues its “social traveler” concept in the renovations and redesigns of Sheratons across North America—several of which are in various stages that will debut over the next year. The new modern design of the Sheraton Nashville Downtown Hotel (completed last year) stands out as a prime example of where the brand is headed, while other hotels such as Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel and Sheraton Centre Toronto will soon debut their major makeovers.
Prevue spoke with Bob Jacobs, vice president of brand management for Sheraton & Westin North America, to catch up on the brand’s new developments for meetings.
Prevue: Can you please describe Sheraton’s “social traveler” concept. Who exactly is the social traveler?
Jacobs: We learned from our guests that they want to get out of their room and into a social setting. We’ve dubbed these guests “social travelers” and have created several initiatives designed to encourage social interaction.
What are some of the key spaces being incorporated into Sheraton hotels that reflect this concept?
Keeping the social traveler in mind, Sheraton transformed the lobby into a social space, creating the Link@Sheraton. The Link really struck a chord and now more than 50% of guests use the space during their stay—that’s more than eat breakfast, use the gym or visit the bar—driving high guest satisfaction scores.
Are there other initiatives such as Sheraton Social Hour that are being launched at Sheratons nationwide?
As an extension of our success with the Link@Sheraton, we created Sheraton Social Hour wine tasting events, also designed to foster social interaction among our guests. New this year in North America, Sheraton Social Hour has grown to include the Sheraton Select’s Spotlight program, an ongoing series of promotions that feature growing trends in premium wine, in a social setting. These wines are featured on our Sheraton Selects menu, which is comprised of wines that are all rated by Wine Spectator above 85 and at least four offerings are rated 90 or higher.
Can you describe the partnership with Core Performance and how that can be incorporated into meetings and events?
More than half of our guests were telling us that they like to workout when they travel, so we created Sheraton Fitness Programmed by Core Performance. Core Performance is a fitness solution originally developed by the trainers of elite athletes to help improve health and performance.
We went a step further and also incorporated fitness into meetings and events by collaborating with Core Performance to create a FIT Meetings Menu, which includes Basic Fit Meetings, Personalized Fit Meeting Programs and FIT Meeting Breaks. The Basic Fit Meetings include an assortment of meetings amenities with health and wellness tips, nutritious snacks for meetings breaks, stretches and exercises provided to meeting leaders to teach the group and a special invite to visit the Sheraton Fitness Center where their meeting is taking place.
Personalized Fit Meeting Programs build on the Basic Fit Meetings, with opportunities for workouts led by Core Performance or local trainers and no-sweat meeting break workouts led by the FIT Meetings Ambassador. You can also customize your experience with tailored snacks, nutritional information, specific exercise tips and elevated meeting gift bags based on your areas of interest.
During our FIT Meeting Breaks, we serve nutritious snacks, and we can provide healthy lunch bags. A Sheraton Fitness Expert will lead stretches to energize the group without the usual sugar and caffeine, and can also conduct no-sweat workouts.