Sheraton, Microsoft partner for comms deal

Sheraton Hotels & Resorts and Microsoft Corp. have announced a partnership to implement products and services at the “Link @ Sheraton,” its signature communications hub rolling out in Sheraton lobbies this year. Under the agreement, Sheraton will also co-brand and rename the space “The Link @ Sheraton experienced with Microsoft.” The partnership is one component of a comprehensive effort to enhance and differentiate the guest experience at Sheraton’s 408 hotels across 75 countries, currently rolling out globally.

Sheraton’s Link is a unique virtual and physical lobby lounge space that meets the needs of Sheraton’s core guests by enabling them to work, relax and remain connected with friends and family during their travels. It offers a unique and convenient online experience, including free Wi-Fi and Internet-enabled computer stations, to allow guests to email, search the Web, review local attractions and even print up boarding passes. Through its relationship with Microsoft, the new, enhanced “Link @ Sheraton experienced with Microsoft” will offer Windows-based computers providing visitors with search, maps, email and information. In addition, many Link computers will also feature webcams, allowing guests to have free video-chats or email video postcards back home. Guests will also have access to televisions, daily newspapers, and food and beverage offerings.

“Our guests are intent on making the most of their travels and we’re confident this new partnership with Microsoft will enable Sheraton Hotels & Resorts to provide them with the products, services and tools to keep them connected to what matters most while on the road,” said Hoyt H. Harper, II, Senior Vice President for the Sheraton brand. “The Link reflects Sheraton’s commitment to deliver popular, unique and unexpected offerings to our guests and is an exciting pillar of Sheraton’s comprehensive effort to further differentiate our iconic brand.”

“Today’s traveler is part of a connected digital community, with instant access to information and technology for work, entertainment and social networking,” said Sandra Andrews, U.S. hospitality industry director, Microsoft. “With ‘Link @ Sheraton experienced with Microsoft,’ Sheraton and Microsoft are helping forge the convergence of the digital lifestyle and work-style in the experiences offered to this new breed of guest.”

Currently 66 Sheraton properties around the world feature The Link. Under the Microsoft agreement, Sheraton will roll out the co-branded “The Link @ Sheraton experienced with Microsoft” at more than 300 properties worldwide by the end of 2008.
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