Prevue May/June 2015 - (Page 14)

fresh meets Sheraton Expands in China New product is rapidly emerging around major urban centers including those opening soon, has already exceeded the number of hotels it has in Hawaii." Five more Sheraton resorts are scheduled to open across China in 2015, including Sheraton Beijing West Mountain Resort. Altogether, a total of 33 new Sheraton properties are in the Chinese development pipeline over the next five years. TAKING SHAPE Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort at dusk S heraton Hotels & Resorts has been aggressively expanding in China since entering the country in 1985 with The Great Wall Hotel Sheraton Beijing. However, over the past few years, there's a new emphasis on developing more resort product around the major urban centers and the fast growing tropical island of Hainan in the South China Sea. At present, Sheraton operates the highest number of resorts in China in the upper-upscale tier, with 16 group-friendly resort properties in operation. The most notable new Sheraton resorts include modern landmarks such as Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort west of Shanghai; urban resorts including Sheraton Dameisha Resort; Shenzhen and Sheraton Guangzhou Huadu Resort; ski resorts like Sheraton Changbaishan Resort northeast of Beijing, and Sheraton Sanya Resort on Hainan Island. Sheraton Sanya Resort has hosted major international events like The Boao Forum and BRICS Summit, utilizing 35,000 sf of indoor meeting and event space, as well as the verdant resort grounds leading to the sea. "Through Sheraton's first mover advantage, Starwood has become the largest luxury hotel group on Hainan Island," says Hoyt Harper, global brand leader of Sheraton Hotels & Resorts. "The current number of hotels owned by Starwood on Hainan Island, Last year, the Sheraton Huzhou Hot Springs Resort grabbed worldwide attention for its dramatic ring shape rising out of Lake Taihu. Harper says it is easily one of the most architecturally innovative properties in Sheraton Hotels' global portfolio. Designed by lead architect Ma Yansong and a team of internationally renowned designers, the resort incorporates traditional Chinese symbolism, referencing the pursuit of a harmonious relationship with nature. The circular shape represents unity, wholeness and infinity, which Harper explains are important concepts behind Sheraton's brand positioning as "The World's Gathering Place." For VIP incentive programs, Sheraton Huzhou Hot Springs encompasses 39 Hot Spring Villas including two Presidential Villas and a Spa Village incorporating five different spa and hot spring experiences. "Sheraton's design team continues to work with the divisional teams to understand guest expectations for China in terms of design," says Harper. "Given the pace of development for Sheraton in China and the importance of this market, Sheraton is focusing on various guest experience insights around design to create the upscale experience Sheraton is known for. We're finding that many design ideas from our properties in China have relevance for other locations in different countries." Harper explains that the growing number of middle-class business people domestically and rampant interest from North American companies to do business in China are driving the brand's surging development. In addition, Starwood's new SPG Pro loyalty program is spurring increased group bookings at Sheraton and its sister Starwood flags. "To cater to the North American meeting and incentive travel attendee, Sheraton leverages SPG Pro, a larger offering through Starwood and an all-new comprehensive loyalty program for meeting and travel professionals," explains Harper." It debuted in October 2014 and it offers meeting and travel professionals SPG elite status, upgrades and Starpoints for B2B business booked at any of Starwood's properties around the world."-Greg Oates 14 | prevue magazine 14-15_Fresh.indd 14 4/23/15 7:13 AM SHRH_

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue May/June 2015

Planner’s Pick: South Africa
Fresh Meets: Sheraton Expands in China
Bureau Buzz: Meet Hawaii
Good Business: Accor on Gender Equality
Sea Shores: Windstar Cruises
Experience Luxury
On Location: Destination Resorts
On Location: Northeast Florida
On Location: Iberostar Playa Mita
On Location: Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
Checkout: Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall & Zilara Rose Hall

Prevue May/June 2015