Starwood Hotels Celebrates Key Partner Relationships at Annual North America Owners Conference

The Prestigious President's Award Recognized the Exceptional Achievements of DiamondRock Hospitality Company, Rockbridge and Shashi Corporation

Top Developer Awards were Conferred on White Lodging Services Corporation and Grupo Puntacana

STAMFORD, Conn. - April 11, 2014 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) honored its leading hotel development partners this week at the 2014 North America Owners Conference, held in Dana Point, California. Starwood gave out a total of 14 awards in six categories including the President's Award and Developer of the Year.

“We are thrilled to once again honor our most outstanding development partners and highlight their extraordinary contributions to Starwood's portfolio growth,” said Serge Rivera, President of the Americas for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “By working in tandem with our valued partners, Starwood has enjoyed another strong year throughout North America and is well-positioned for future success in this important market.”

DiamondRock Hospitality Company, Rockbridge and Shashi Corporation all received President's Awards for demonstrating exceptional or unique achievements and sharing Starwood's vision for the future. DiamondRock Hospitality Company, led by Mark Brugger and Rob Tannenbaum, was recognized for the purchase and comprehensive renovations of The Westin San Diego and The Westin Washington, D.C. Center. Starwood's long-time development partner Rockbridge, headed by Jim Merkel, was hailed for the acquisition and renovation of numerous Starwood properties in recent years including Le Méridien Atlanta Perimeter, The Westin Portland Harborview, The Westin Chicago North Shore, Sheraton Stamford Hotel and Le Méridien Indianapolis. And Shashi Corporation, led by Dipesh Gupta and Manish Gupta, was cited for the successful debut of Aloft Cupertino, which debuted a year ago adjacent to the Apple Computer campus and has piloted a variety of innovative new Aloft programming.

Developer of the Year awards were conferred on Starwood development partners that went above and beyond to ensure development was on-time, on-strategy and on-brand. The Specialty Select Developer of the Year award winner was White Lodging Services Corporation, one of Starwood's most active development partners, whose opening of Aloft Chicago City Center last year met with great success. Grupo Puntacana was recognized as Developer of the Year in the Full-Service category for its successful collaboration with Starwood on the launch of The Westin Puntacana Resort & Club on the heels of Four Points by Sheraton Puntacana Village.


2014 Owner Awards Winners


President's Award:

      DiamondRock Hospitality Company
        (Mark Brugger and Rob Tannenbaum)
        (Jim Merkel)
        Shashi Corporation
        (Dipesh Gupta and Manish Gupta)

Developer of the Year:

Specialty Select       White Lodging Services Corporation
Full-Service       Grupo Puntacana

Environmental Sustainability Awards – Operations:

      The Westin Bellevue Hotel

Social and Cultural Sustainability Award:

      The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa

Renovation of the Year:

Specialty-Select       Four Points by Sheraton Minneapolis Airport
Full-Service       Sheraton New Orleans Hotel
Luxury       W Chicago Lakeshore

Conversion of the Year:

Specialty Select       Four Points by Sheraton Jacksonville Beachfront
Full-Service       Sheraton Columbus Hotel at Capitol Square

New Build of the Year:

Specialty Select       Element Vaughan Southwest
Full-Service       The Westin Birmingham

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with nearly 1,200 properties in 100 countries, and 181,400 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and Element®. The Company boasts one of the industry's leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit

SOURCE Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Media Contact:

Carrie Bloom
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.


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Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences.


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