Sheraton Is Introducing New Bath Amenities

Of Marriott’s 30 brands, Sheraton is the one that’s the most confusing to me. It seems to me like the brand has been struggling with an identity crisis for far too long. There are a couple of issues in particular:

  • The variance in quality of properties is huge, to the point that properties like the Sheraton Grand London aren’t being done justice belonging to the same portfolio as properties like the Sheraton Miami Airport
  • More importantly, the brand lacks an identity; Le Meridien is known for their faux French design and excellent coffee, and Westin is known for their Heavenly Beds, gyms, and toiletries, while Sheraton is known for just being mediocre

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Gorgeous suite at the Sheraton Grand London

With that in mind, early last year Tiffany wrote a post entitled “Dear Sheraton, It’s Time To Rethink Your Bath Amenities.” As she explained at the time:

Sheraton has been undergoing a bit of a “soft” rebrand, adding more luxurious properties to the portfolio, and updating others with the “Grand” designation. And I’ve had really great experiences at some of these new-concept hotels — like the charming Sheraton Dubrovnik and the Sheraton Grand Dubai (which I haven’t had a chance to tell y’all about, but was just lovely).

The problem isn’t with the “Shine” amenities as such (although I don’t really get labeling a fragrance as “Mandarin and Mint” when it smells nothing like either of those things), but rather the association.

Matt wrote about this a few months back — fragrances are part of our memories of a place, and can create impressions of a brand.

So it is incredibly jarring to walk through a new or freshly-renovated room in a fun hotel to discover the same crummy Sheraton Shine bath products I’d find at a junky airport hotel (or the Sheraton Catania, which is likely worse than any airport property you’ve been to).

Well, it looks like Sheraton has listened… sort of. Sheraton is introducing new bathroom amenities. Sheraton is discontinuing their “Shine” toiletries and is transitioning to Le Grand Bain as their new brand standard bath amenities. It might be a while until all properties have these, since hotels will first use their existing stock of Shine amenities.

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Sheraton’s current Shine amenities

I’m curious to try these out. This seems to truly be a no-name brand, as I can’t find anything about Le Grand Bain products online. I’m also not sure it’s the best fit based on the name. “Le Grand Bain” means “the great bath” in French, and that’s not something I’d typically associate with a Sheraton.

While I didn’t think the quality of Sheraton’s old toiletries was that bad, it just seemed like a missed opportunity. I’ll have to see the packaging and try the new products to see if this was a good solution. Based on the fact that this is a no-name brand, I’m somewhat skeptical…

What do you make of Sheraton introducing new bath toiletries?

(Tip of the hat to thomas199023)

Comments

  1. I’ll be at London Park Lane in late August. Interested whether they’ll have transitioned to “Le Grand Bain” by then…

  2. I wondered about toiletries (which I almost never do) at the Marriott Kigali last week. Here is a nearly perfect property with lousy Chinese-made amenities; there has got to be at least one source in Southern Africa that could reliably supply them nice toiletries. And as with a recent Marriott stay in Turkey I had to wonder “why” as many reviewers did as well. If your hotel is nearly perfect — where literally everything is great and makes for a dream stay, why do you want to mess that up with cheesy toiletries that are literally the same stuff you get in a $35/night hotel in China? I really don’t get it.

    Interesting you mentioned Le Meridien — was impressed by the Malin + Goetz toiletries in both Marrakech and Malta. It somehow feels unexpected. Which is of course nice. And isn’t that the goal?

    Back to Sheraton: they really need to think about this and not let the bean counters win the argument that each bottle may cost the company no more than X cents

  3. I had the chance to try them at the Sheraton Suites in Plantation, FL a few weeks ago and was actually very impressed. It’s a pleasant, “mature” scent, similar to the Le Meridian amenities. As someone who stays 75+ nights a year with Sheraton, I’m pretty happy with the update.

  4. I spent 200 nights in a single Sheraton a few years back. So I am still working through my personal supply of Shine products.

  5. Personally I think Le Meridien is a more scattered brand than Sheraton … Sheraton does have a branded bed (“Sweet Sleeper”), a color scheme (warm browns and coppers), and these days quite a few of the properties are newly renovated to a solid if unremarkable 3-star standard (while a few like the London one are better than that). Le Meridien on the other hand is all over the place, and many of the properties are pretty bad. It’s also the only Starwood brand where you’re not consistently guaranteed a good bed.

    That said the Sheraton Grand concept really doesn’t make any sense and probably has more to do with turf wars within Starwood … it certainly makes sense to divide those properties up and give them to Westin, St. Regis, Luxury Collection, or now maybe even the likes of JW Marriott, depending where they fit best. But you could say the same thing about Parker and Royal Meridiens. At least Sheraton only has one premium sub-brand!

  6. I stayed in a Sheraton last weekend and they were already using the new products from Le Grand Bain. They were fine but nothing spectacular. Then again, I find it hard to compare different types of shampoos and soaps…it seems like most people’s opinions are swayed primarily by branding.

  7. I just grab the little bottle that says “shampoo” on it and squirt the contents onto my head without looking at what brand it is. I seem to get the same results with all hotel toiletries.

  8. I experienced something even more baffling staying at the St. Regis Bal Harbour. The hairdryer in a Royal Suite (~$2000 a night room) has the same hair dryer that you will find in a Four Points by Sheraton.

  9. Things could be worse… You could be bathing in the dreadful Orange Mess that Hilton serves up. Urgh…

  10. I recently just used these at the Sheraton Birmingham. Meh. They sudsed well and had a mild,
    pleasant scent (which I suppose is all you can ask for). Also, the packaging looks much nice (demi-matte white with black lettering) However, I much prefer the toiletries of Hyatt House (which is supposed to lower end). I appreciated the effort, though I wasn’t sure they were that much better.

  11. I hate the Shine products and I hope the replacement is better! That said….almost ALL hotel toiletries are bad no matter how upscale they are. The shampoo and bodywash are usually the same harsh chemicals, the conditioner does nothing for my dry/ frizzy/ curly hair and the body lotion usually just sits on my skin and doesn’t soak in. I find that I usually have to travel with or purchase my own conditioner and lotion. Since I’m up to about 80 days in a hotel so far this year, it’d be nice to have reliable toiletries and have one less thing to pack. #firstworldproblems

  12. I always bring my own anyway, only thing I use is the soap. Can’t stand the smell of shine! Love it in some Crowne Plaza that they have Elemis products and sometimes the Rotana hotels (amazing Lebanese chain popular in Arabic speaking countries) has Molton Brown.

  13. Was never impressed by Shine but I did think it was a reasonable match for Sheraton’s mixed bag of properties. I actually do care about these amenities but not necessarily swayed by brand. It’s just obvious when a lotion actually moisturizes and when a hair wash tingles nicely and smells good. Is that too much to ask?

  14. First of all, bain means bathroom or tub but also spa (think of towns like Aix-les-bains). Secondly, Sheraton has always been an upscale brand outside of the US, and I think internationally it has a much stronger brand proposition (and recognition) than Westin has. I find Hiltons to be in the same league – mediocre in the US, excellent abroad.

  15. Agree with the consensus–eh, nothing spectacular. They are in the process of making the transition at the Sheraton Philadelphia University City. Only difference is that I would never took home any toiletry in the past named “Shine”. I’m at home now staring at my “le grand bain Bath Bar Citron + Vetiver”. On the back it says “Notes of energizing Citron are balanced by calming Vetiver in this bath bar blended with Shea Butter and Vitamin E to revive and cleanse skin.”
    Not sure if I’m supposed to be energized or calmed, but it sounds so fancy!

  16. I’m more surprised that frequent travelers don’t bring their own bath products.

    As far as the Sheraton products, anything is an upgrade from the garbage lotion they provide. Hopefully they continue to provide mouthwash as that’s one thing that I seem to run out of at inopportune times

  17. I only use the soap at hotels. Everything else I collect — and I normally ask for extras or raid the housekeeping cart in the hallway — to donate to the homeless shelter supported by my church.

    I’ve been known to return with 5 pairs of slippers and 10-15 bottles of shampoo and so forth on a 5-day road trip. The homeless shelter appreciates even the “cheap” toiletries.

    As for Sheraton, it’s a brand without a identity. While you could say that about many brands within the big corporate hotel portfolios, Sheraton is, in my opinion, the worst of Marriott’s brands. With that said, Marriott’s flagship Marriott brand has far too many 1970s or 1980s corporate office park hotels that should be reflagged.

  18. I don’t care about the bath supplies. I’d rather have cheap supplies and instead give me something of value like a cheaper room rate or free (or cheaper) parking, faster wifi, bigger rooms, better maintenance, better breakfasts, better club lounges…..

  19. The Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit in Bangkok offered THANN toiletries, possibly the best hotel toiletries I have ever experienced. I brought home a lot of those mini sizes, and on subsequent visits to BKK ended up going to the brand store to purchase more. That lemongrass fragrance is truly addictive.

  20. @Stein. +1 on all counts. My wife just pulled out the lemongrass scented body lotion for me to smell and it is unique. We didn’t stay at the Sheraton in Bangkok but did stay at other locations in Thailand so I don’t remember where we picked it up.

  21. Saw these ‘Le Grand Bain’ at the Sheraton Suites Philadelphia airport last week. Property was being renovated, so I assumed it was a hotel conversion and they were burning through some old hotel stock on hand.

    Ultimately, I really hated this scent. Smelled like my grandma. I would absolutely take ‘Shine’ products over this.

    I’ve always thought hotels should aim for guests to take their soaps home with them. That’s a measure of success. I certainly do with Le Meridian’s ‘Malin + Goelz’. I won’t Ben at Sheraton.

  22. My big complaint re amenities is the difficulty getting conditioner squeezed out of certain containers.

  23. You’ve used “Sheraton Grand” throughout the article as an example, but Grand/Grande is a separate sub-brand, and I would not expect to see the same bath amenities at a Sheraton Grand/Grande as I would at a run of the mill Sheraton like the Sheraton San Jose.

    -David

  24. These new products stink to high heaven! Frankly I hate using them. I would rather have the Shine products back as these le grand Bain things smell just awful!

  25. Best soap ever. Only wish it was bigger and the smell is incredible! Very relaxing after a hard day in the mighty Sun Ra.

  26. I love the new “la grand Bain” products. I’m trying to find where I can order them. The lotion was great! Not greasy, my skin was soft and smelled great!

  27. Actually, the Shine Shampoo is/was the only shampoo that did not give my wife an allergic reaction! Argh.

  28. The Shine products were ABSOLUTELY THE WORST!!! I can’t begin to tell you how glad I am they switched. The new products are much nicer, and the citron + vetiver has a wonderful smell to it. I’m actually looking forward to staying in a Sheraton again (just got back from the Sheraton New Orleans). I’d rather have the crappy Holiday Inn toiletries than the Shine stuff…it’s soo bad I actually brought my spare Bergamot 22 toiletries from the Park Hyatt on this trip because I was dreading those Shine products.

    Oh, and Sheraton’s do indeed have something that makes them stand out…the smell of the hotel!!! I swear, all Sheraton’s smell exactly the same…it’s quite hilarious.

  29. That is so sad….I loved the mandarin mint Shine!!! I get compliments all the time when I use the lotion….so clean smelling. Too bad.

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