Marriott International made a down payment of sorts on a sweeping overhaul of the Sheraton brand last year, buying the Sheraton Grand Phoenix for $255 million to remake it into a prototype for the new face of the brand.
Work began in March on an extensive renovation of the 1,000-room hotel. Guest-room furniture will be lighter in color and more streamlined. There will be adjustable tables in lieu of desks, updated lighting and multiple seating options. Public spaces are being restyled to be gathering places, with semiprivate studios and phone-booth-like pods in the lobby where people can retreat for private calls.
Sheraton was one of the brands that came with Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels in 2016, and Marriott knew from the start that travelers saw the chain — now 82 years old — as tired and dated. As Douglas DeBoer, chief executive of Rebel Design & Group, a hotel design consulting firm that is not working for Marriott on the rebranding, put it, Sheraton is “the epitome of the beige hotel.”
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