Starwood Hotels Make The Switch From Coca-Cola To Pepsi

Filed Under: Hotels, Starwood Preferred Guest

While Marriott’s takeover of Starwood closed in September 2016, the two companies have been slow in aligning policies. In many ways I appreciate that, since it means that the Starwood I love sticks around for longer. However, slowly we’re seeing aspects of Starwood change, with the full integration coming in August of 2018, and the latest such change has been implemented over the past few weeks.

Pepsi products at the Marriott Newark Airport club lounge

Given the number of hotels that the major chains have, they can obviously negotiate great bulk deals on everything from towels to furniture to drinks. Starwood will now be matching Marriott in another area. In the past Starwood typically served Coca-Cola products at their hotels, though they’re slowly making the switch to Pepsi, which is what Marriott offers at most of their hotels.

Starwood’s history with both Coca-Cola and Pepsi is an interesting one. From 2006 to 2011 Starwood had a contract with Pepsi, and then from 2011 until now Starwood had a contract with Coca-Cola. However, in this case it looks like Marriott’s partnership with Pepsi wins out.

Coca-Cola products at the Sheraton Lake Como club lounge

This doesn’t mean that you’ll never see another Coca-Cola drink at a Starwood hotel. First of all, hotels will presumably be going through their existing inventory of Coca-Cola. Furthermore, you may find that some hotels still choose to serve Coca-Cola, which could be for a variety of reasons. For example, individual dining outlets in Starwood hotels could still choose to serve Coca-Cola, and for that matter I can’t imagine them serving Pepsi at their Atlanta properties.

However, over time you should see more Pepsi products and fewer Coca-Cola products at Starwood properties. There are already many reports on FlyerTalk of Starwood hotels having made the switch.

Obviously soft drink preferences are highly personal. I do get the sense that a lot more people prefer Coke products to Pepsi products (myself included). While I try to drink less soda than in the past, I do still occasionally have a Diet Coke, while Diet Pepsi just doesn’t do it for me in the same way. On the bottled water front, this means we should see the switch from Dasani to Aquafina. Personally I don’t love either water, and wish they’d make the switch from filtered water to spring water.

I imagine a lot of people will have strong feelings about this change.

How do you feel about Starwood making the switch from Coca-Cola to Pepsi?

  1. I rarely drink soft drinks, either. Moves like this, while they may save the corporation some money, never have made much sense from a customer service perspective. They have, when you come right down to it, decided to alienate a large segment of their customer base. But I doubt they really care what the customer prefers to drink.

  2. I’m not happy about this. I will always choose coke over Pepsi anyway. But that being said I rarely buy pop in hotel because it’s always over priced haha

  3. Don’t drink either so couldn’t care less. Last time I drank soda was probably 20 years ago. Don’t miss at all.

  4. Fucking ridiculous. May whoever made this call die in a fiery car wreck (preferably after colliding with a Pepsi truck).


  5. Back when Marriott was on the verge of bankruptcy (1991) and were trying to save the company they went to Coke, one of their largest, and asked for a $100m loan. Coke denied them. Pepsi stepped in. Obviously they saw a chance to be the exclusive provider of soft drinks at Marriott. Since that time Pepsi has been exclusively served at all Marriott hotels.

  6. UGH – I hate Pepsi products. Will it impact my staying decisions, though, no. I hardly ever drink soda these days. Sometimes I’ll have a glass of Coke or Sprite when I go out for lunch or dinner, but that’s not very often. I’ll live if I have to stick with water when staying at an SPG property.

  7. I kind of find it interesting that this matters to people. If it’s free, why not, and if I really want one over the other, I’ll just pay for it.

  8. This is sad because it means the club lounges will never have Coca Cola Freestyle machines. Freestyles are God’s gift to the world.

  9. Grow up people. Coke and Pepsi taste the same. Anyone who says otherwise has too much time on their hands.

  10. Both are poison , either full of sugar or carcinogenic chemicals. Much of America is in uproar over fondled breasts but the poisoning of children via these soda products, and many others, remains ok.

  11. I often do events at Marriott and usually if you ask nicely they do have Coke. Some Marriotts even know me at this point and will ask if I want a Diet Coke! This made me realize I need to drink less pop/soda!

  12. Great. Pepsi sucks, it’s too sweet and just tastes weird.

    Hotels of this caliber should offer both, not either. It’s so nickel and dimey.

  13. Love Pepsi and welcome this. I love the attitude of some people as they decry they never drink soda. As though it’s bejng forced on them.

  14. Americans and your branded sugar drinks. So weird.
    Couldn’t care less if there’s Pepsi or Coke really. But hey…

  15. Most Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott properties have Coke upon request, especially in executive lounges.

  16. “Hey, yeah how’s it going? Can I get a uhhhhh… Jack and Pepsi?” NEVVVVVER NO YOU CANNOT PLS LEAVE. Not that I drink that but it sounds RIDICULOUS. I drink sodas like once a month and this still annoys me.

  17. I’m a Diet Coke fan, and will choose restaurant chains based on the soft drink they serve.

    When it comes to hotels, however, that doesn’t factor in my choice – I can always purchase Diet Coke outside the hotel, and drink it in my room (not something you can do in a restaurant…)

  18. As a Starwood employee, I’m thrilled about this!!! I heard about this a few mi this ago and my hotel just switched over last week. I don’t drink a lot of pop, but when I do, I prefer Pepsi.

  19. This is disappointing. When I order a Diet Coke and they ask me: “Is Diet Pepsi OK?” I always say NO!

    There IS a difference.

  20. I reported this in the SPG Platinum Facebook Group last year and was surprised that it seemed most people were delighted by it. Like most, I don’t drink soft drinks either and have trouble understanding their appeal. It’s dumbfounding that airlines and hotels will offer multiple varieties of this poison and yet generally no spring or sparkling water (tonic water doesn’t count). I wish Marriott would focus on quality rather than cost-cutting. It’s shocking that they expected a soda company to bail them out of financial problems and even more so that Pepsi actually did it.

  21. Well it may not matter, but there sure are a lot of Pepsi haters. Me included, so it’s around 20 for Coke, 2 Pepsis and an RC (which last time I had one had a really nice bite to it, but that was 30 years ago- also better than Pepsi).

    It’s the one thing I hate about Marriotts because I always remember after the Pepsis in the room remind me I forgot to buy some Cokes.

  22. @Lucky you’re probably right about Atlanta. At one point Georgia Tech had the only Pizza Hut in the the world that served coke products. For those of you not familiar, Pepsico once owned Pizza Hut. So yes, coke rules Atlanta. Thankfully.

  23. There are always a few people who think they all taste the same. However if you are a Diet Coke drinker and they bring you a Diet Pepsi, you immediately can tell the difference.
    When they say “we only have Diet Pepsi” I say “water please.”

  24. Can’t stand coke – they are diferent. However I was very upset with Pepsi when they canceled Pepsi Next. Tasted very good with very little sugar – has Sucralose.

    You do a line of coke and drink a Pepsi.

  25. For anyone wondering why Marriott would do this, or thinks it is just them being tied into a contract of their own, it’s not. In 1991, Marriott was on the verge of bankruptcy. Coke held their contract for about 20yrs, so Marriott asked them for a loan and Coke said no. Pepsi said yes, and 27yrs and many attempts by Coke later, Marriott states it will never forget that. THAT is why Marriott only serves Pepsi. I’m a Coke person, but I respect their loyalty.


  26. This is disappointing to say the least. 5 star hotels should offer guests both. I noticed these changes at Le Meridien KL and its disappointing as they also changed from Perrier Mineral water to a lower quality Pepsi product. Diet Coke tastes better than Diet Pepsi.

  27. As a long time Hilton Honors member, this decision is enough to make me seriously consider switching to Marriot. It’s a big deal to soda drinkers as to whether you drink Pepsi or that battery acid they put in those red and white cans. I can’t believe places in Atlanta are allowed to make an exception. Living there must be like hell.

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