Arizona’s premier convention hotel has just finished a series of improvements aimed at attracting guests looking for spaces to meet and work.
The Sheraton Phoenix Downtown has completed a years-long, multimillion-dollar renovation that included adding and enhancing meeting spaces, refreshing guest rooms and introducing a new restaurant and lounge.
“As the brand’s flagship hotel, we look forward to offering the ideal venue for a variety of occasions from corporate groups to modern weddings and beyond,” Richard Romane, general manager of the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, said in a statement.
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Business travel is rebounding
The Sheraton Phoenix Downtown announced its renovation in April 2019, targeting its completion by early 2020. The hotel closed in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, then reopened April 2021 after completing the first phase of the renovation.
Sheraton’s renovation wrapped up just as business travel is showing signs of recovering from the pandemic.
A survey from the Global Business Travel Association found that 81% of business travelers surveyed expected their 2022 domestic business travel spending would be greater than or on par with pre-pandemic levels.
It forecasted that business travel will make a full recovery by 2024, with global spending around $1.48 trillion.
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Sheraton Phoenix Downtown adds meeting, event space
The Sheraton Phoenix Downtown has six new work spaces, called studios, on the first floor. These private, enclosed spaces range from 125 to 600 square feet and are ideal for small meetings.
The goal is to draw not only business travelers but also locals who work remotely, hotel spokeswoman Amy Van Der Werf said.
Studios must be reserved in advance, and the cost of using one is included in the hotel’s $25-per-night destination fee that also covers amenities like bike rentals and food and beverage credits.
Also on the first floor are community tables, common areas that encourage togetherness and sharing drinks and ideas, Van Der Werf said.
Phoenix was one of the first Sheraton hotels to debut these features, which have since become key elements of the Sheraton brand, she said.
Ballroom and meeting space on the second and third floors also received facelifts. They’re now equipped with updated audiovisual technology plus new acoustic boards, lighting, carpets, wall coverings and furniture.
These spaces feature artwork from regional artists and a design inspired by Southwestern desert landscapes.
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Inside the Sheraton’s revamped guest rooms
The Sheraton Phoenix Downtown refreshed its more than 1,000 guest rooms with new platform beds, Van Der Werf said.
Rooms feature 65-inch televisions, adjustable work tables and integrated power sources. The work table and the bed’s headboard have charging outlets for powering electronics.
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New restaurant and Sheraton Club
The hotel’s new restaurant, Carcara, opened in March. Its menu is influenced by the heritage and history of Phoenix and emphasizes local, seasonal and indigenous ingredients.
Carcara replaced District American Kitchen and Wine Bar, which closed in 2019.
Right now, Carcara is open for dinner from 3 to 11 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. It’s expected to open for happy hour and dinner nightly starting Aug. 7, Van Der Werf said.
A newly imagined Sheraton Club lounge is now open, exclusive to Marriott Platinum Members and guests who purchase Sheraton Club access, which costs $50.
Food and beverage offerings in the lounge have been upgraded. Guests can enjoy Starbucks coffee, a water filling station, sweet and savory snacks, fresh pastries in the morning and a dessert bar in the evening.
Storage lockers are available at the Sheraton Club for valuables like luggage and laptops.
Taken together, Van Der Werf thinks the Sheraton renovations will bolster the hotel’s reputation as a destination hotel for business and convention travelers.
“It puts you in the center of it all,” she said. “You’re close to the stadiums, arenas and the city’s best food and nightlife.”
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Reach the reporter at Michael.Salerno@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @salerno_phx.
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