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Back in June, Starwood announced a 10-point plan called “Sheraton 2020” that includes plans to revitalize its down-at-the-heels brand by launching a $100-million marketing campaign, opening 150 new hotels by 2020, improving Sheraton Clubs, instituting better service standards, reclaiming the meetings-travel market share and launching a new Sheraton Grand tier of hotels, among other steps.
According to Skift, Starwood has now followed up with more information about its plans for the Sheraton Grand name, which is already in use at dozens of hotels around the world, but which will now be reserved for about 100 or so premier properties. Presumably, it will also mean the consolidation of Sheraton Grand and Sheraton Grande, both of which are currently in use, into just Sheraton Grand (no “e”).
Sheraton announced that the new sub-brand will launch with 10 properties, seven of which are in Asia, and one each in the Middle East, Europe and South America:
- Sheraton Grand Hotel Dubai
- Sheraton Grand Edinburgh
- Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel & Resort
- Sheraton Grand Beijing Dongcheng
- Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit in Bangok
- Sheraton Grande Taipei
- Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel
- Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort in Japan
- Sheraton Grande Walkerhill in Seoul
- Sheraton Grand Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway
It’s interesting to note that all these hotels already bear “Grand” or “Grande” in their name, so this is more of a repositioning move that doesn’t involve reinvestment or renovation. However, the launch of a new Sheraton Grand tier is meant to get individual property owners to renovate, as the one in Edinburgh did recently, and according to Starwood’s previous announcement, will focus on global gateways to lure high-value travelers.
By the end of the year, Sheraton will designate 40 more properties as part of the Sheraton Grand portfolio, and hopes to have a total of 100 bearing the name by early 2017. There’s been no word yet on when/if existing Sheraton Grand hotels that aren’t mentioned in the announcement — such as the Sheraton Grand Sacramento — will lose or re-qualify for their Grand status.
This is another big step for Sheraton as it rolls out its 2020 campaign. With the exception of some high-end hotels in the Asia-Pacific region, the brand has for years tended to lag behind some of Starwood’s other full-service brands such as Westin, St. Regis and W. However, with 435 hotels out of Starwood’s 1,200 or so properties, it’s a cornerstone for the company, and good to see Starwood focusing on it again.
As a reminder, both the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express are offering sign-up bonuses of 25,000 points when you apply for a new card and make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months with the personal card, or $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months with the business card. Both cards now offer a slew of new features including waived foreign transaction fees, free in-room premium internet access, complimentary unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi at hotspots worldwide, and the $95 annual fee is waived the first year.
We see this offer come around about once a year, so if you’ve been waiting to apply, now is the time to do so. And who knows? Maybe those points will come in handy for a stay at one of the new Sheraton Grand properties in the near future. There’s no telling how much longer these cards will be around and available for new applications because of the Marriott takeover, so now might just be the perfect time to apply. Apart from hotel redemptions, you can transfer Starpoints to over 30 airline partners, and now also transfer points from Starwood to Marriott Rewards at a 1:3 ratio, opening up even more redemption options.
There’s no telling how much longer these cards will be around and available for new applications because of the Marriott takeover, so now might just be the perfect time to apply. Apart from hotel redemptions, you can transfer Starpoints to over 30 airline partners, and now also transfer points from Starwood to Marriott Rewards at a 1:3 ratio, opening up even more redemption options.