Hillary Clinton Explains Why the Sheraton Brand Survives

Two years ago, when there was still a plan on the table for Starwood to be independent even as their board shopped the chain to other companies, they announced a $100 million marketing plan to revive the lagging Sheraton brand.

In fact in Asia Pacific, the Sheraton brand is strong. It signals quality. Sheratons are generally nicer than nearby Westins. The Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit is a true world class hotel, for instance.

View from the Sheraton Iguazu Falls

In the US it’s pure inconsistency. There are perfectly decent Sheratons such as in Seattle and there are run down Sheratons. The Sheraton name in the U.S. alone doesn’t tell you what you’re going to get, other than the club lounge is likely mediocre.

Sheraton does, to me, mean an excellent bed. I’m a big fan of the Sweet Sleeper.

With Marriott having taken over, they’re intent on keeping all brands because that means more fees.

Sheraton Macao

Something has to be done about properties dragging down the value of the brand, so about 25 are being renovated and just a couple kicked out. That’s hardly the strong plan laid out for Sheraton in 2015. At best they’re ‘in the process of having conversations’ with a couple dozen other laggard properties.

The Sheraton brand can survive, though, in a world where hotels are full and many are in good locations (and still others are among the nicer properties in cities without nice properties). Because at the end of the day, Hillary Clinton reveals a simple truth: you suck it up and stay at Sheraton if that’s where your conference is, where your meetings are near, or where POTUS is staying (HT: Joe Brancatelli).

[Huma] Abedin sent one email on Nov. 14, 2011 to Clinton, asking about hotel arrangements, apparently relating to an upcoming trip to Asia.

“Do you want to stay with potus?” Abedin wrote. “He’s at the horrible Sheraton. We had previously talked about staying elsewhere. Best hotel is peninsula. Presidential is gone and so is second largest but they have some suites left so I want to sign the contract if you are open to that.”

Clinton, labeled “H,” responded: “I think it would be hard not to be in same hotel as POTUS so try to get the best option there.”

Sheraton Port Douglas

I still get choked up at the Belong commercials from a decade ago (though they didn’t really give me a substantive reason why I belonged at Sheraton versus another chain other than they say so).

But Sheratons can still fill rooms and generate fees, even if many of them need some love and investment, and even if the inconsistent product diminishes the brand and therefore the room rates that the superior properties are able to charge. Hillary Clinton still stays, after all. And she stays despite not trusting any of the online reviews, too.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Sheraton grand Sukhummvit bares the name of Sheraton but is now catagorized as a Luxury collecection hotel.

  2. “The Sheraton” in Baghdad is famous as the only decent place for Westerners to stay, but they having paid their licensing fee in about 30 years!

  3. Sheraton Macau which you picture is okay, a little better than the Holiday Inn in the same building also with the Conrad. I haven’t stayed at the Conrad so can’t comment on rooms, but all three are interconnected for restaurants, bars and of course casinos. I like my junior suite at the HI better than a room at the Sheraton.

  4. I don’t think I’ve stayed at a Sheraton in the last 10 years. Before that though, I used to stay at the Sheraton Gateway LAX about twice/year. I thought it was nice enough. There were often $99/night deals, there was a Shula’s Steakhouse in the lobby that had Happy Hour steak bites nachos or something and you could avoid paying for parking by parking on the slightly sketchy street behind the hotel for free. It was half way between two relatives’ houses, plus could save a day on car rental by using the airport shuttle on arrival or departure day. In a weird way I looked forward to staying there (rather than with relatives). Don’t know what it’s like nowadays.

  5. Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit is has not been a part of the Sheraton brand in at least 10 years. Better examples are the Royal Orchid Sheraton, Sheraton Imperial KL, Sheraton Saigon. And as has been noted the Sheraton Macau is ok but not a standout. Funny that everyone mentions the SGS in this context but it fits the article only because it isn’t a Sheraton. This, it doesn’t really fit.

  6. By the way they are debating Peninsula Bangkok versus some Sheraton in Bangkok. Which Sheraton in Bangkok is horrible??

  7. Peninsula is great, Sheraton is u.s Trump(MAGA) kind of place. the deciding factor would be which one of these allows spics & nigers. If they allow spic nigers than choose the other one.

  8. Peninsula Bangkok is no great shakes anymore either. MO or the Siam all the way.

    My leading candidate for being kicked out of the brand (whatever that brand is these days): Sheraton Eatontown, in New Jersey. Truly a disgrace.

  9. Could you imagine what would have happened if Clinton won the election? WE WOULD BE SCREWED!! We finally have someone in the “White House” who is truthful and cares about the lives of Americans.

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