Yesterday, Tara Mastrelli and I had the pleasure of driving up to Westchester to check out not only some beautiful fall foliage, but also Starwood’s new guestroom designs for its two largest brands, Westin and Sheraton. Erin Hoover, Starwood’s vice president of design, led us through the nature-inspired, clean Westin rooms, and the more masculine, graphic Sheraton rooms (there are two schemes for each brand), which took cues from its namesake, 1800s furniture designer Thomas Sheraton. Don’t think major overhaul here, but instead an update, a tweak if you will, incorporating suggestions from owners and guests. As Hoover says, brands evolve, and every three to four years they do an update.
Besides the asking-to-be-touched wallcoverings in all the rooms, the other aspects that stood out to us include Westin’s accent table that folds out to fit a service tray or laptop; space-saving club chairs in the Sheraton rooms where the ottoman fits underneath like a suitcase; Sheraton’s custom bedside tables with built-in outlets and wire-hiding capabilities (yup, no more unplugging the lamp for a plug!); the fact that more eco-friendly products were used throughout the Westin rooms, making them 60 percent more sustainable; residential touches throughout, like the wood floored entry in both Westin schemes and the use of brass touches throughout the Sheraton rooms; and last but not least, Sheraton’s artwork vignette, that included four pieces of art: an object, a silhouette, a pattern, and a vignette (which are customizable for location).
The first Westin hotels to showcase the new room designs will be the Westin Phoenix, opening in February, and the Westin Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego, opening early next year. As for Sheraton, look out for them in the Sheraton Red Deer in Alberta Canada and the Sheraton Syracuse University HOtel & Conference, both scheduled to be renovated early next year.