Sheraton hotels - the business traveller's first choice
What should you look for when travelling on business? Research conducted by ITT Sheraton revealed that customers want control of their time. They need to be more efficient. So, when ITT Sheraton launched their Business Traveller Services programme in early 1995, they broke new ground in servicing the business travel community by creating a range of services business travellers really needed and which few would now be without.
To ITT Sheraton, business travel is not a new market. In fact, the company has flourished as the business traveller's first choice for more than 60 years and now, more than ever, they define the standards and set the pace for business hotels. They know that the business traveller requires the closest attention to service, provision of the latest business equipment and a consistency in those qualities across the group.
But what exactly does Business Traveller Services offer? Above all, it is a consistency of standards across all the Sheraton Hotels and Resorts. Standards which today's business traveller demands: the use of a 24-hour Business Centre with all the latest technology, a range of software programmes, laser printer, photocopier, stationery, fax, telephone and rentable portable phones. Messages are particularly important to the business traveller and both phone and fax messages are given to guests within five minutes of arrival, assuring their peace of mind.
Late night opening of the hotel restaurants and 24-hour in-room dining ensures that guests can arrive late and still enjoy a full meal, and if they are leaving before the restaurant opens, early morning complimentary tea, coffee and pastries are available in the reception area.
For additional comfort, a range of equipment can be requested for the guest room - such as personal computers, slide projectors, printers, Dictaphones, modems, overhead projectors, speakerphones and flipcharts.
Check in/out is quicker and easier with ExpressPass - a system available to all members of the ITT Sheraton frequent traveller scheme, the Sheraton Club International. As a little charitable aside, ITT Sheraton guests are invited to contribute $1 or its equivalent at the end of their stay, for the Check Out For Children initiative developed by ITT Sheraton and UNICEF to raise money for children's immunisation against six deadly diseases.
Location, location, location...What could be more important than location in choosing a hotel for that business trip?
ITT Sheraton is the most global hotel group in the world, covering more locations and countries than any other hotel group, with nearly 420 luxury, upscale and midscale hotels in 60 countries. Sheraton hotels are located in major gateway cities and business centres around the world and are complemented by a range of Sheraton Resorts found in world class golf, tennis and beach destinations, with exotic locations such as Hawaii. Mostly titled with the 'Sheraton' name, look out for the handful that operate under their own names such as the newly acquired Park Lane Hotel in London, the Pulitzer in Amsterdam and the Europa & Regina in Venice.
Exceptional facilities are core to ITT Sheraton's hotels: comfortable rooms including 'Club Level' executive rooms, swimming pools, fitness centres, entertainment facilities and excellent restaurants are standard at our hotels. At all levels, the Sheraton hotels seek to exceed expectations.
Increasingly, guests are realising the great deals they can enjoy by extending their stay taking advantage of the seasonal offers such as Hot Winter Rates, Hot Summer Rates and Endless Weekends with special prices for a leisure break with a partner.
Frequent stays pay...ITT Sheraton's regular guests can also benefit from a range of superb benefits through Sheraton Club International (SCI), the company's frequent guest programme.
The programme, which covers more than 400 hotels in over 60 countries, has two levels of membership: Basic Level is free to join, and Gold Level (VIP level), costs $50 per year or is free after four stays at Sheraton Hotels. Club Miles are collected not only on the cost of the room but also on all purchases in the hotel. They are redeemable against Sheraton Hotel stays and can be used for car hire and flights with ITT Sheraton's partners.
In addition, Gold Level members enjoy further benefits including upgrade to Club Level rooms, late check out to 4pm (both subject to availability), and upgraded in-room amenities including bath robes and hair dryers. ExpressPass is a further benefit, with no hassle check in/out service (also available to Basic Level members).
The business of airportsLocation may sometimes mean not leaving the airport! Those with busy schedules can enjoy the convenience of hiring a meeting room or enjoying a meal or a stay (even for just a few hours) in the comfort of a hotel situated at the airport.
ITT Sheraton is the leading European provider of airport hotel services and has introduced an original concept, the Airport Hotels Programme, to help travellers all over Europe beat the 'Travel Blues'.
The programme features several services ranging from several hour stays called 'Daybreaks' to a 'Transit Survival Kit' (that includes toothbrush, T-shirt, face cream, razor, deodorant, mouth wash, slippers, comb/brush and other useful stopover items), complimentary transfers between the airport and hotel where required, re-confirmation of flights, coffee and tea makers, coffee available at reception for early check-out and luggage storage. A comprehensive laundry and pressing service allows guests to travel 'light' and be impeccably turned out at any time, and the Express Service returns laundry within four hours from 7am to 6pm.
'Body Clock Cuisine' is also available, with its tailored selection of menus designed by leading nutritionists to help guests adjust to new time frames and overcome flight fatigue.
Sheraton Airport Hotels feature a range of excellent meetings facilities to meet a growing demand for small meetings through to large corporate conferences at international communications hubs.
The programme operates at the new Sheraton Paris Airport Hotel, Charles de Gaulle, inside Terminal 2; the Sheraton Skyline Hotel & Conference Centre and Sheraton Heathrow at London Heathrow, Sheraton Frankfurt Hotel, attached to the main terminal of Frankfurt Airport, Sheraton Aerogolf in Luxembourg and Sheraton Brussels Airport Hotel, located at the main terminal of Brussels Airport.
So for all your business needs, in all your business locations, check out the nearest ITT Sheraton hotel - no hotel could be better equipped to cope with your business!
ITT Sheraton's Luxury Collection hotelsUnashamed luxury, often set in the surroundings of an historic building, is the hallmark of the succinctly-named Luxury Collection by ITT Sheraton.
This brand was built on the restoration of the renowned St Regis Hotel in New York which attracted worldwide attention in 1991, and the acquisition of the outstanding Arizona resort, The Phoenician in Scottsdale, in April 1994. It was given major international impetus in October of the same year with the acquisition of Ciga Hotels, a deal which brought 21 hotels into the fold, among which were included some of the world's most renowned hotels and resorts in Europe.
From this foundation, the brand has grown to 50 of the world's finest hotels and resorts in 21 countries, with four more planned this year. Part of the appeal of the Luxury Collection brand is that all the properties are individual, sharing only the attributes of highest quality and service. Some, such as the fabulous Gritti Palace in Venice and the Imperial in Vienna, come with a rich history, while others, including The Phoenician, bring an air of relaxed resort elegance to the collection.
But wherever the property, whether historic city centre palace or beach resort, the common thread that runs through all is quality.
"Being such a selective group of hotels and resorts, the Luxury Collection attracts a very discriminating clientele - a clientele who expect and demand a high level of personalised hospitality," said The Luxury Collection vice-president director of sales, Doug McKenzie. "With this in mind, we ensure that each of our hotels provides a high level of personalised hospitality - a tailor-made guest experience - because we know that our guests appreciate not just quality but also individuality."
While ITT Sheraton seeks out properties combining the best in quality and ambience to join its top of the range portfolio of hotels, it also works to improve those that come within the orbit of The Luxury Collection.
An example is the Principe di Savoia, in Milan, which is one of Europe's great hotels.
But while the hotel was already an outstanding property, ITT Sheraton recently added a new Presidential Suite which covers 500 metres, making it one of the largest in the world. Facilities within the new suite, overlooking one of Milan's parks, include its own private elevator leading to a complex that contains three bedrooms, a large private dining room, a furnished kitchen outfitted with French crystal, Limoges china and silver, a living room with fireplace, library and piano, and recreation facilities that include a spa, swimming pool, whirlpool, sauna and Turkish bath.
With its determination to provide such levels of service within its new brand of top hotels, ITT Sheraton realised that it needed to provide the highest level of support for its prospective guests and the agents who might be handling their bookings.
With this in mind the group launched The Luxury Collection Reservations Desk, staffed by specially trained agents. Working with exclusive toll-free telephone numbers set up in 17 countries, the special desk provides the specialised, individual service which luxury agents and customers demand. Whether the need is for a pre-arranged car and driver at the destination, or an assistant at the hotel who speaks a certain language, The Luxury Collection reservations agents will oblige.
The Luxury Collection Reservations Desk now features voice mail as an option to both customers and agents who prefer to speak with a specific reservations agent and with whom they have developed a personal arrangement. If the preferred reservations agent is busy at the time of a call, a message can be left and the agent will call back as soon as he or she is free. This service is an example of The Luxury Collection philosophy which seeks to stamp its service with the highest levels of personal attention.
The Luxury Collection Advisory Board is another initiative mounted by ITT Sheraton in its efforts to find ways of tailoring its Luxury Collection service to the needs of its customers and the travel industry. The board is made up of 14 travel agents who primarily book luxury travel worldwide. They meet regularly at Luxury Collection hotels or resorts around the world to provide ITT Sheraton with feedback and input on programmes and services in the development stage, and the operation of Luxury Collection properties.
The Luxury Collection Customer Advisory Board was instrumental in helping ITT Sheraton design a new reservation confirmation form that goes way beyond the industry norm. The form contains information about the confirmed room and bed type, the rate and any inclusions, and the name of the general manager, front office manager and concierge at the hotel, among other information. This is mailed or faxed within 24 hours of reservation to travel agents or customers who book at any Luxury Collection hotel worldwide.
For those wired up to the Internet, ITT Sheraton's World Wide Web site, now into its second phase, will give an insight into The Luxury Collection, along with the ITT Sheraton Corporation's two other brands, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts and Four Points Hotels. The vastly enhanced site at http://www.Sheraton.com or http://www.ITTSheraton.com, includes some industry firsts for Web sites, including extensive interactive account activity information for members of ITT Sheraton Club International (SCI). The site also includes the option to use Java, providing additional graphics, special text overlays and extra detail on the on-line world map.
"We have been on the World Wide Web with a preliminary site for over a year and have been bookable through TravelWeb since 16 May last year, but now, we deliver a new Web site, designed specifically for ease of use and providing for interactive communication with our customers around the world," said marketing and strategic planning director David Van Kalsbeek.
The global reach of the Internet is one of several tools used by ITT Sheraton to keep customers and agents in touch with developments, and from the point of view of The Luxury collection, that means new properties continually coming online.
This year, additions to The Luxury Collection include: The Beijing International Club, opening in March; The Imperial, in Kuala Lumpur, in May; the Sheraton Addis, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during the first quarter; and a new 20-floor luxury tower now under construction at the Sheraton San Cristobal Hotel, in Santiago, Chile.
ITT Sheraton's Four Points hotelsSince the Gulf War in 1991 and the subsequent worldwide recession, business travel has taken on a new ethic.
While the high-spending 1980s were characterised by conspicuous consumerism among a new elite of young, highly-paid traders and executives, the 1990s have been marked by retrenchment and caution.
These years of corporate carefulness had the effect of re-establishing the company accountant as a key figure in the field of business travel arrangements. Economies in all sectors of the business travel package became the norm and included a previously unheard of insistence that executives travel in airline economy cabins and stay in value-for-money hotels.
It is against this background that the ITT Sheraton Corporation launched the first of its Four Points brand of hotels - a brand that offers full-service guest amenities at a value-driven price. That this concept has been taken to the heart of the international business community is made evident by the fact that the Four Points Hotel brand has broken all growth records in the Americas.
In the year following the first of the brand opening in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, on 17 August 1995, the new midscale hotel group raced to more than 40 properties in 20 US states, two Canadian provinces and in Latin America.
In 1996, the charge continued with 20 further properties opening on the US and international stage, while further development plans call for Four Points portfolio of 90 hotels by the end of the first quarter of 1997 and more than 200 by the end of 1998.
"When we launched this brand, we knew we had developed a successful hotel product, as all indications were that the market was ready for a full-service, midscale hotel brand that offers consistency and the quality assurance that is the hallmark of ITT Sheraton," said Sheraton president and Chief Executive Officer Daniel P Weadcock.
"We are extremely pleased that the growth of Four Points Hotels has not only met our expectations in the US, but is also exceeding our original timetable for worldwide expansion.
Having initially concentrated its launch efforts in the US, ITT Sheraton have recently turned its attention to Latin America and the Middle East. Scene-setting development for Latin America has included the signing of an agreement for the establishment of 11 Four Points properties in Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador, with the first two opening in the summer of 1996 in Bogota and Medellin.
As well as those two cities, ITT Sheraton's agreement with Prointel Ltd and its associated management company, Hotels Limitada, opened the door to the establishment of the Four Points brand in Colombia's Santa Marta, Cali, Cartegena, Barranquilla and Bacaramanga. Quito and Guayquil are earmarked for development in Ecuador, while in Venezuela, Caracas will be a target city.
On signing the deal with Prointel, ITT Sheraton franchise division president S Kirk Kinsell said: "This agreement marks the beginning of our planned expansion of Four Points Hotels into Latin America.
"In addition to Colombia, we see tremendous opportunity for mid-market, full-service hotels primarily targeting business travellers in Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and in such Central American countries as Costa Rica and Panama."
In the Middle East, the first of the new brand opened in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, in autumn 96, while in Israel, a strategic partnership with Koor Tourism Enterprises, the operator of the former Paradise Hotels, marked the entry of four Four Points properties into an increasingly important market.
At the time of the partnership signing last summer, ITT Sheraton Europe division president Robert F Cotter indicated a deeper involvement with Israel. "We look forward to identifying new management and franchise opportunities with our new partner as part of this exciting new relationship," said Mr Cotter.
The Europe division president also spelled out the benefits that flow to guests, including the hotel group's frequent guest programme, ITT Sheraton Club International (SCI), and its corporate rate and relationship programme, Global Preference, as well as many programmes for leisure travellers.
Growth of the Four Points Hotel brand is expected to come from conversions of existing properties which meet brand standards rather than from new construction. The majority of hotels will be franchised, and on a limited basis, managed by ITT Sheraton.
While the management of many of the Four Points Hotels will not be undertaken by Sheraton, the full weight of the group's international marketing, sales support, reservations and guest programmes is being thrown behind the brand concept.
All Four Points Hotels owners and operators have access to ITT Sheraton's training and field support programmes and derive business from the company's global marketing programmes such as the ITT Sheraton Club International frequent guest programme and strategic alliances with corporate giants in other related industries.
Four Points Hotels are fully linked to ITT Sheraton's Reservation IV reservations system and to all global delivery systems.
In its search for new properties to be added to the Four Points family, ITT Sheraton will add properties of approximately 100 to 350 rooms that are located adjacent to commercial areas on the perimeters of major cities, near airports, in smaller cities and vacation destinations. All have a restaurant and lounge and can offer meeting space in a range from 700 to 1,000 square metres.
As part of the Four Points brand, member hotels are required to meet a minimum and consistent standard in full-service amenities. All four Points Hotels have room service, meeting space and catering services, an on-premises restaurant serving three meals a day, laundry and dry cleaning services, and fitness facilities. Standards in guest room facilities include a comfortable work space with a desk and a telephone equipped with computer data port, as well as a complimentary newspaper delivered to the door.
With the successful creation and expansion of the Four Points Hotels brand, ITT Sheraton has clearly defined its products for its customers in all three price segments of the full-service market it serves - The Luxury Collection, the upscale Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, and the mid-priced Four Points Hotels.