It’s taken longer than expected, but Sheraton Hotels & Resorts is beginning to reveal its much-anticipated new look and vibe as the world and the travel industry begins to feel a sense of renewed optimism in what is hoped to be the latter stages of the pandemic. That endeavour includes three newly reimagined properties in Toronto and Montreal, all reflecting the Marriott brand’s new ethos of bringing people together.
Planning for the physical and philosophical transformation at Sheraton began in 2018, and fortunately, the mission not only survived the changing world of the past two-plus years but took on even greater resonance.
“I think it’s spot on,” Amanda Nichols, Global Brand Leader, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, told Travel Industry Today, of the company’s vision, and particularly its welcoming design strategy. “I try to find a silver lining in things, and I think the way travel was so disrupted, and we were so disrupted, I think the way that people wanted to actually gather and come together, it actually persisted through all of what happened in the pandemic. I think the need to gather is always going to be there.”
Indeed, when it began planning the modernization of its hotels – 50 of which are expected to be completed globally by the end of the year – Sheraton had already identified several new trends, including the advent of hybrid and communal workplaces.
“So, we were understanding that the traditional office space may not look the same anymore; so, what should our lobbies look like… and how should they function?” says the Maryland-based exec.
And with changing the nature of work accelerating during the pandemic, including remote and virtual aspects, “it really showed us that we had the right vision all along,” she adds.
Of course, any hotel caters to more than just business travellers, notably its leisure guests, as well as local users, and Sheraton’s new approach is designed to create an intuitive and holistic experience with spaces to connect, be productive, and help all travellers feel connected to the local community.
Featuring seamless technology integration and an elevated food and beverage philosophy, the layered design balances a sense of timelessness with a fresh and modern feel that aims to create an environment in which guests feel comfortable, no matter their need.
“The mission for our brand, the vision, is to be where the world comes together,” says Nichols. “It sounds like a marketing tagline, and to some degree it is, but the beauty of it, and why I feel confident when I talk about that as the path for our brand, is that it’s just so inherent in who we are and what our hotels have been doing for many years.
“We’ve already been this place where people come together; and when you pair it with the new design strategy and what the space looks like, and the programming that goes with it, its all just so intuitive…”
And now Canadians (and others visiting Canada) can see for themselves what its all about with the debuts of a three of Sheraton’s flagship properties in this country (and among the first in the world to complete the transformations):
Following nearly two years of renovation work, renovations are complete at Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto International Airport. The 484-room hotel, one of Canada’s busiest, has undergone a massive $30-million makeover bringing technology, design, and style to the international stopover, showcasing an emerging generation of airport hotels that are intended to function as destinations, places where one might reasonably stay longer than a single night.
A captivating new arrival experience greets guests as they walk from the terminal through the doors of the hotel, the only property directly connected to the Toronto airport. Featuring a contemporary aesthetic, the lobby serves as the heart of the guest experience featuring brand signatures such as the Community Table, The Studios, sound-proof Booths – all fostering productivity, and &More by Sheraton – the brand’s signature bar, coffee, market concept. Additional amenities include a sophisticated Sheraton Club lounge, swimming pool and whirlpool, 24-hour fitness room and Peloton studio, updated meeting spaces, and completely remodeled guest rooms and suites.
The iconic Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel has been a staple in the city’s downtown core for decades. The hotel has been completely reimagined with renovations and enhancements from top to bottom that will continue to roll out throughout 2022 and mark the most extensive renovation in the hotel’s 50-year history.
As part of the first phase of the property’s reimagining, the exclusive Sheraton Club – floating in the clouds on the 43rd floor – welcomed a new look, experience, and service style in October. Available to Marriott Bonvoy Elite members and guests who upgrade their stay, the premium gathering space is welcoming, elevated, and purposefully designed for a layered and engaging experience that transitions seamlessly with activations from morning to evening. Guests will find updated food and beverage offerings, premium amenities, enhanced connectivity, and 24/7 access to provide a private environment.
The second phase introduces two new food and beverage outlets, including the recently opened Dual Citizen – a coffeehouse style grab-and-go during the day, transitioning to a lobby bar in the evenings. Opening this spring, 43 Down will be a departure from the traditional hotel restaurant. With its beverage-forward concept, 43 Down focuses on mixology as an art form, delivering perfectly on the classics through handcrafted cocktails. Offering locally inspired flavours from Toronto’s diverse culinary scene, 43 Down blends intimacy and connectedness, acting as a backdrop for an informal business meeting or social gathering.
The final phases are expected to roll out this spring with the unveiling of public spaces and amenities that foster community-building and productivity. This can be seen through the bustling spaces featuring the brand’s signature Community Tables, tech-enabled Studios, and soundproofed Booths, and purpose-built workspaces, found in the expansive hotel lobby. Additionally, the indoor/outdoor heated pool experience is slated to re-open summer 2022.
Le Centre Sheraton
Located in the heart of downtown Montreal, the newly renovated Le Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel is welcoming guests to its 825 newly renovated rooms and suites. The serene, light-filled spaces range in size from a generous 29 sq. m. to a sprawling 180 sq. m. for the Presidential Suite. In the new rooms and suites, guests are welcomed into a bright, well-lit space with warm, residential appeal, along with new tools for productivity, such as a height-adjustable worktable, integrated power and charging and layered lighting.
The Sheraton Club, located on the 37th floor of the hotel, is expected to reopen in May with a bold new look and breathtaking views. True to the brand’s vision, the stylish and exclusive space is welcoming, elevated, and purposefully designed for an engaging experience, along with complimentary breakfast, evening appetizers, and a selection of refreshments.
The hotel caters to leisure travellers, and is prized for its central location and ‘urban oasis’ offerings, including sixth-floor terrace, indoor lap pool, Jacuzzi, spa, and 24-hour Sheraton Fitness Centre.
The three newly reimagined hotels add to the growing number of transformed properties in Canada including Sheraton Laval Hotel. In total, Sheraton has nearly 20 hotels in the country with six slated for transformation completion by end of 2023.
First published at Travel Industry Today