|Founded||1937 in Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.|
Number of locations
|441 (worldwide, as of December 31, 2018)|
Number of employees
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.
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.
Henderson and Moore purchased Boston's famed Copley Plaza Hotel in 1944, 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. Sheraton Hotels merged with U.S. Realty and Improvement Corp. in 1948, forming Sheraton Corporation of America.
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. 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. In 1957, Sheraton, which had previously focused on acquiring existing hotels, opened its first newly built hotel, the Philadelphia Sheraton Hotel. 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. In 1959, Sheraton acquired its first properties outside North America, purchasing four hotels owned by the Matson Lines on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii.
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 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. In 1965, the 100th Sheraton property, the Sheraton-Boston Hotel, opened. In 1967, Sheraton unveiled Reservatron II, a computer system for personalized reservations. The multinational conglomerate ITT purchased the chain in 1968, after which it was known as ITT Sheraton.
In 1985, ITT 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, which became the Great Wall Sheraton.
By 1987, The New York Times described them as "50 years old, the world's largest hotel chain, and .. consumer-driven."
On January 13, 1992, ITT Sheraton designated 28 of its premier hotels and 33 of the Sheraton Towers, the luxury "hotel-within-a-hotel" facilities located within Sheraton's largest and most exclusive hotels, as the ITT Sheraton Luxury Collection. 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, the Compagnia Italiana Grandi Alberghi, or Italian Grand Hotels Company, which had been seized from its previous owner, the Aga Khan, by its creditors. The chain had begun by operating hotels in Italy, but over-expanded across Europe just as a recession hit. The majority of these hotels were placed in the ITT Sheraton Luxury Collection, though a few were placed in the Sheraton division. After Sheraton's purchase by Starwood, The Luxury Collection was marketed as a separate division, though it contained a large number of hotels still named Sheraton. Most have been renamed over the last few years, there are only three such hotels remaining today - Sheraton Addis (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit (Bangkok, Thailand), and Sheraton Kuwait (Kuwait City, Kuwait).
In April 1995, ITT Sheraton introduced a new, mid-scale hotel brand, Four Points by Sheraton Hotels, to replace the designation of certain hotels as Sheraton Inns.
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.
ran throughout the decade and into the eighties
the world's largest hotel chain