Name: Tim Sheldon
Title: President, Caribbean & Latin America
Company, city: Marriott International, Inc.; Plantation, Fla.
Number of employees: More than 45,000 associates serve our guests in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Recent project: Opening Four Points in Havana, Cuba, was a highlight for 2016.
First job: I was a busboy/server in a Sheraton hotel in Fort Wayne, Ind., 31 years ago.
Little-known fact about you: I studied six years to become a Lutheran pastor while waiting tables at a hotel restaurant.
What innovations/initiatives do you foresee in the industry over the next years?
I believe digital and mobile platforms will be a priority, while an increasing emphasis on enabling and delivering local experiences will be the most compelling.
Marriott launched innovative projects such as Content Studio, through which we lead conversations surrounding the travel sphere, as well as the integration of new technology including Alipay, Apple Pay, Mobile Checkin and Mobile Request to instantly connect with guests. Others include Canvas, a co-creation food and beverage incubator involving local startups, and Meetings Imagined, which reinvented how meetings are planned, making them more visual, social and purposeful.
What is the best career advice you’ve received?
The best advice is from Mr. Marriott himself: “Take care of the associates and they will take care of the guests.” This remains a key element of Marriott’s people-first culture.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the field?
Be willing and ready to take on any role or job. This industry rewards the curious and dedicated, and every opportunity brings learning and experience that will help you in the future.
Tim Sheldon as a Traveler
Favorite travel memory or story: Having traveled to 62 countries, it is hard to pick one, but I’d highlight the trip down the Nile River in Egypt with my wife, Janet, and a few friends. Quite the history lesson in style.
One travel tip you cannot live without: I always travel with Bose noise-canceling ear pods, which fit in my pocket.
Best advice for business travelers: Keep it super simple. Use technology. Ditch the briefcase. I use the iPad Pro for notes and reports; digital/ mobile technology for hotels, planes and everything on the ground. Never check a bag.
About Marriott International, Inc.
What can premium travelers expect from Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood?
Guests can choose from the hotel industry’s most diverse portfolio of brands with the largest luxury portfolio in the industry: 30 brands representing more than 5,700 properties in more than 110 countries. Members of Marriott Rewards — which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards — and Starwood Preferred Guest will be able to link their accounts and unlock the benefits of each program.
With the acquisition of Starwood, Marriott’s portfolio in the CALA region nearly doubled. Tell us about the region’s most unique properties.
The 180-room Four Points in Havana is the first and only U.S.-branded hotel in Cuba. It is located in the beautiful Miramar residential district, part of the modern municipality of Playa, surrounded by contemporary architecture. Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is only a few miles away.
JW Marriott El Convento Cusco is built atop ancient Incan ruins and around a 16th-century convent. This resort is a true museum in the historic city of Cusco, with 153 rooms, two exhibition halls to showcase Peruvian artifacts and daily tours of the San Agustín Convent. We are steps away from the historic Plaza de Armas and only three hours from Machu Picchu.
The iconic Sheraton Libertador Hotel in Buenos Aires is intimate and inviting, with breathtaking city views. Located on Avenida Cordoba in the buzzing city center, designer boutiques, fine-dining venues, museums, cultural centers, modern theaters and cinemas surround the hotel.
Eight miles off the coast of Puerto Rico, the W Retreat & Spa – Vieques Island welcomes visitors to an undiscovered Caribbean paradise surrounded by pristine beaches, wild horses and the world’s brightest bioluminescent bay. It features 156 stylish rooms and suites conceived by Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola.
What can travelers expect from Marriott in the CALA region in 2017?
CALA remains a key region, where we have operated since 1969 with the opening of the Paraiso Marriott in Acapulco. We see tremendous opportunity, especially in Brazil and Central America, and will expand our footprint there. We are working to create unforgettable experiences in the region for our Marriott Rewards members such as attending a samba school during Brazil’s Carnival or an NFL game in Mexico City, while we enter new markets like Nicaragua and Bolivia in 2017.
Once an abandoned 1923 constructed warehouse in Asheville, North Carolina, it took a creative group of designers, artists, musicians, chefs and business folks to transform a neglected, 100-year-old structure into one of Asheville’s most interesting and daring hotel projects.
Don’t risk losing all the money you’ve spent if you must cancel your trip at the last minute. Allianz Travel Insurance can give you:
Early on, pickleball had something to do with pickles. Pickles the dog, that is. In one story, the game was named for a family dog that ran off with the ball between sets.
The Saronic or Argo Saronic Islands of Greece call travelers to explore its seven small islands and islets brimming with history, natural sites and more. With most easily accessible by boat, the islands’ proximity to ports of Athens make the Saronic Islands an ideal destination for those preferring shorter boat rides. In fact, trips from Athens ports to the islands take only between 10 minutes and two hours, depending on the island you choose, making them perfect for day or weekend trips. From Piraeus port, you can access Hydra, Spetses, Aegina and Poros directly. Come explore these stunning islands with us and find the inspiration to plan your next trip to these islands. Hydra Hydra town curves around a slope overlooking the Argosaronic Gulf like an amphitheater and is considered one of the most romantic destinations in Greece. Most unique to the island is its lack of vehicles. People on the island get around on mules and donkeys as well as water taxis, making for a peaceful and laid-back day. Hydra lies a two-hour ferry ride from Piraeus port in Athens.
JW Marriott Hotel Mexico City Polanco recently completed renovations of its entrances, lobby, culinary concepts and meeting space. This marks the final stage of the renovation, which began in 2021 with the revitalization of its 269 guestrooms and 45 suites.
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You know what you’re going to get at an Aman hotel, and also you don’t. Expect peerless service, obsessive attention to detail, architectural elegance worthy of a fashion magazine, a holistic approach to wellness and astounding levels of comfort. But each property is also intimately connected to its setting, and that’s where the surprises lie. For instance, finding yourself on your knees on a sidewalk in Luang Prabang handing out sticky rice to Buddhist monks at 5:30 a.m. isn’t something we expected.