For Training Only Sheraton Parsippany Responding to the needs of its pharmaceutical company clients, the Sheraton Parsippany Hotel in New Jersey recently transformed 20 guest rooms into dedicated meeting rooms specially equipped for training purposes.

The new rooms have "been arranged from head to toe, from lighting to wall treatments to audiovisual equipment," according to the specifications of clients such as Novartis Pharmaceuticals, says Greg Mount, area managing director for Starwood Hotels.

Companies are doing more and more role-playing in small training sessions of 10 to 15 people, he says, so the new rooms feature special seating arrangements, video capabilities, and portable walls, that allow trainees to role-play, while others watch on video.

The rooms were also built to accommodate companies' high-tech requests, and are outfitted with wireless Internet access. Each room features ergonomically designed leather chairs, black-out curtains, tackable walls, lighting with dual dimmer switches, storage space, and rest rooms.

For more information, call Phyllis Wiltshire, director of sales and marketing at (973) 560-5150. --Tamar Hosansky

NEW AND IMPROVED The 306-room Hotel Sofitel Philadelphia opened in May. Its 16,000 square feet of meeting space include the 4,636-square-foot grand ballroom and 12 other meeting rooms, one of which is a dedicated videoconferencing room. The hotel is in the former Philadelphia Stock Exchange building.