Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers recently completed the first phase of a $150 million renovation, and the improvements are pretty sleek. The brand's flagship property has updated its guest rooms, added a state-of-the-art teleconferencing suite, and redesigned its Sheraton Club Lounge.
With the completion of the first phase, 1,080 rooms have been expanded and done up with modern details and graphic patterns by interior design firm Wilson Associates. For starters, guest room doors are now equipped with radio frequency identification locks that will do away with annoying lockouts when your phone gets too close to your key card. Flat screen TVs and mini-bars have been recessed into the walls while the bed and wood-and-granite credenzas have been raised to free up storage space. A chaise lounge chair includes a roll-away bed and the bathrooms are brighter and more spacious with walk-in showers.
The rooms' energy efficiency has also been brought up to date with a new four-pipe HVAC system and a digital climate control that allows guests to set thermostats to their own comfort level.
Business travelers can conduct video conference meetings in the new Cisco TelePresence Suite and premium members staying in rooms on the 44th to 50th floors have round-the-clock access to the Sheraton Club Lounge, a cushy space with complimentary breakfast and hors d'oeuvres, five televisions, a business center, WiFi and amazing views of Midtown Manhattan.
Sheraton New York's modern kick has been in an upswing for several years now in the hopes of setting the hotel brand apart from the rest of those in the Starwood Hotels and Resorts collection. In 2009, the hotel redid its entire lobby and added the Link@Sheraton lounge area that provides complimentary WiFi through a partnership with Microsoft. Another bar area serves Starbucks drinks during the day and cocktails in the evening. And acknowledging that guests prefer to grab something quick before exploring the city, they also turned their restaurant into a buffet and à la carte burger joint instead of a formal dining room.
This fall, Sheraton New York became one of the first in the brand to introduce Sheraton Fitness Programmed by Core Performance. Now guests (as well as outside members) can use the renovated facilities, take fitness classes, book personal trainers and relax after a long journey with a spa treatment.
The second phase to update the remaining 700 rooms will begin in December and be finished by April 2012. These renovations will soon roll out to other Sheraton properties.
Dorkys Ramos is a former editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure and freelance writer. You can follow her on Twitter at @dorkysramos.