I know the "Brand Standards" were supposed to have improved/be improving. My 3 stays at this brand in 2012 have been of a very high quality standard. (If I'd never have stayed at Sheraton, I'd have been impressed.) I don't know if things have improved overall, but my stays in Tel Aviv, Sacramento, and Chicago were in what appeared to be high quality business-level hotels with attractive lobbies, pleasant well-appointed rooms, and pleasant staff. (I won't speak to SPG benefits at the specific properties, as this is a different issue.) After years of Sheraton stays at properties that had "seen better days," I'm hoping that better days are back. At least as to these 3 places, they were likely better than the average Westin.