Sheraton Hotels and Resorts

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Sheraton Hotels and Resorts
Founded1937 in Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
FounderErnest Henderson
Robert Moore
Number of locations
441 (worldwide, as of December 31, 2018)[1]
Number of employees
ParentMarriott International

Sheraton Hotels and Resorts is an international hotel chain owned by Marriott International. As of December 31, 2018, Sheraton operates 441 hotels with 155,617 rooms globally, including locations in North America, Africa, Asia Pacific, Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East and the Caribbean.[1][3]


Early years[edit]

The origins of Sheraton Hotels date to 1933, when Harvard classmates Ernest Henderson and Robert Moore purchased the Continental Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1937, Henderson and Moore purchased the Standard Investing Company and made it the company through which they would run their hotels. Also in 1937, they purchased their second hotel, and the first as part of the new company, the Stonehaven Hotel in Springfield, Massachusetts, a converted apartment building. The chain got its name from the third hotel the pair acquired, in Boston, which already had a large lighted sign on the roof saying "Sheraton Hotel," which was too expensive to change. Instead, Henderson and Moore decided to call all of their hotels by that name.[4]

Henderson and Moore purchased Boston's famed Copley Plaza Hotel in 1944,[5] and continued expanding rapidly, buying existing properties along the East Coast from Maine to Florida. In 1947, Sheraton was the first hotel chain to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.[6] Sheraton Hotels merged with U.S. Realty and Improvement Corp. in 1948, forming Sheraton Corporation of America.

International expansion[edit]

In 1950, Sheraton expanded internationally, paying $4.8 million to purchase Cardy Hotels, a chain of six properties in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.[7] In 1956, Sheraton paid $30 million to buy the Eppley Hotel Company, which was then the largest privately held hotel business in the United States, with 22 properties across six Midwestern states.[8] In 1957, Sheraton, which had previously focused on acquiring existing hotels, opened its first newly built hotel, the Philadelphia Sheraton Hotel.[9] In 1958, Sheraton became the first hotel chain to centralize and computerize its reservations when it introduced Reservatron, the hotel industry's first automatic electronic reservations system.[10] In 1959, Sheraton acquired its first properties outside North America, purchasing four hotels owned by the Matson Lines on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii.[11]

The early 1960s saw the arrival of the first Sheraton hotels outside the US and Canada, with the opening of the Sheraton-Tel Aviv Hotel in Israel in March 1961; the Sheraton-Kingston Hotel in Jamaica[12] and the Sheraton-British Colonial Hotel in Nassau, Bahamas, both in 1962; and the Macuto-Sheraton Hotel outside Caracas, Venezuela, in 1963. In 1962, the Sheraton Motor Inns franchise division was created to operate large highway motels providing free parking.[13] In 1965, the 100th Sheraton property, the Sheraton-Boston Hotel, opened.[14] In 1967, Sheraton unveiled Reservatron II, a computer system for personalized reservations.[10]

ITT Purchase[edit]

The multinational conglomerate ITT purchased the chain in 1968. That same year, ITT sold eighteen aging Sheraton properties to New York-based Gotham Hotels.[15] Under ITT's ownership, Sheraton quickly moved away from ownership and operation of its properties to a new model of franchising and management, as the chain expanded greatly both in the US and abroad.[16]

In late 1969, Sheraton introduced the hotel industry's first[10] nationwide toll-free number,[17] which displaced two hundred local Sheraton reservation numbers.[18] The radio jingle for "Eight-Oh-Oh, Three-Two-Five, Three-Five Three-Five"[19][20] "ran throughout the decade and into the eighties" but the jingle's lifespan went even beyond.[21]

In 1970, Sheraton introduced the Sheraton Towers concept, a line of luxury "hotel-within-a-hotel" facilities designed for business travelers and located within Sheraton's largest and most exclusive hotels. The first Sheraton Towers to open was in the chain's flagship Sheraton-Boston Hotel.[16]

In 1985, Sheraton became the first western chain to operate a hotel bearing the name of an international company[a]in the People's Republic of China, when it assumed management of the Great Wall Hotel in Beijing, a financially troubled two-year-old Chinese-American joint venture,[24] which became the Great Wall Sheraton.[25]

By 1987, The New York Times described them as "50 years old, the world's largest hotel chain, and .. consumer-driven."[26]

The chain was rebranded as ITT Sheraton in 1990.

ITT Sheraton Luxury Collection[edit]

On January 13, 1992, ITT Sheraton designated 28 of its premier hotels and 33 of the Sheraton Towers as the ITT Sheraton Luxury Collection.[27] The flagship of the division was The St Regis in New York City.

In 1994, ITT Sheraton purchased a controlling interest in the Italian CIGA chain,[28] the Compagnia Italiana Grandi Alberghi, or Italian Grand Hotels Company. The chain had begun by operating hotels in Italy, but over-expanded across Europe just as a recession hit, and had been seized from its previous owner, the Aga Khan, by its creditors.[29] The majority of these hotels were placed in the ITT Sheraton Luxury Collection, though a few were placed in the Sheraton division.

Four Points by Sheraton[edit]

In April 1995, ITT Sheraton introduced a new, mid-range hotel brand, Four Points by Sheraton, to replace the designation of certain hotels as Sheraton Inns.

Starwood purchase[edit]

In 1998, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. acquired ITT Sheraton, outbidding Hilton. Under Starwood's leadership, Sheraton began renovating many hotels and expanding the brand's footprint.

Starwood also began marketing The Luxury Collection as a completely separate brand, even though it contained a large number of hotels still named Sheraton. Most of those properties have since been renamed. Only three such hotels remain today - Sheraton Addis in (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit in (Bangkok, Thailand), and Sheraton Kuwait in (Kuwait City, Kuwait).

In 1999, Sheraton bought the remaining shares in CIGA that it did not already own, giving it complete ownership.[30]

Marriott purchase[edit]

In 2016, Marriott International purchased Starwood Hotels, and the newly merged company became (once again[26]) the largest hotel and resort company in the world.



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels had opened the Jianguo Hotel in Beijing in 1982[22] and Holiday Inn had opened the Beijing Lido Hotel in 1984,[23] but neither hotel operated under the name of an international chain as of 1985.


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ "Profile: Sheraton Hotels and Resorts", Hoover's
  3. ^ "Starwood Hotels & Resorts". Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  4. ^ "Running to Cover". Time. July 13, 1962. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Starwood Hotels & Resorts". Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  7. ^ Lemon, Mark; Mayhew, Henry; Taylor, Tom; Brooks, Shirley; Burnand, Sir Francis Cowley; Seaman, Owen (1851). "Punch".
  8. ^ "HOTELS: Closing the Gap". 4 June 1956 – via
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b c "ITT SHERATON CORPORATION - Company Profile". Reference for Business.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Jakle, John A.; Sculle, Keith A.; Rogers, Jefferson S. (1 April 2002). The Motel in America. JHU Press. ISBN 9780801869181 – via Google Books.
  14. ^ "Starwood Hotels & Resorts".
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b "ITT SHERATON CORPORATION History". FundingUniverse.
  17. ^ "Hotel History: The Magic of 800-325-3535".
  18. ^ Time, Newsweek and BusinessWeek (1970, various issues) ran advertising boasting "800-325-3535. Sheraton Hotels and Motor Inns announce the reservation number to end all reservation numbers. 800-325-3535 The one reservation number for all Sheraton Hotels and Motor Inns in the world. 800-325-3535 Call it free. Anytime from anywhere in the Continental United States. 800-325-3535. Call it as you would any long distance number from your area. 800-325-3535 Call it free anytime and you'll get an immediate confirmation. 800-325-3535 Call it ... or your travel agent will call it for you. Sheraton Hotels & Motor Inns - A WORLDWIDE SERVICE - ITT"
  19. ^ "1970's Sheraton Hotel Radio Commercial - 800-325-3535".
  20. ^ Gary West (July 14, 2015). "Famous Sheraton Radio Ad, 1970s, 800-325-3535". ran throughout the decade and into the eighties
  21. ^ Bob Garfield (January 3, 2006). "Plop, plop: Jingles drop out of favor". The Seattle Times.
  22. ^
  23. ^ Street, Nancy Lynch; Matelski, Marilyn J (2009-12-11). American Businesses in China: Balancing Culture and Communication, 2d ed. ISBN 9780786451579.
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ a b Philip H. Dougherty (January 30, 1987). "A Smiling Sheraton Campaign". The New York Times. the world's largest hotel chain
  27. ^
  28. ^ News, Bloomberg. "COMPANY NEWS; ITT's Sheraton Unit in Pact To Buy Ciga Hotels of Italy". Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  29. ^ Adam Zagorin (June 7, 1993). "How the Aga Khan Stumbled". Time. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
  30. ^

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