Westin Hotels & Resorts Expands into Queensland, Australia
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Westin Hotels & Resorts Expands into Queensland, Australia

The Westin Brisbane Empire Square Hotel and Residences will open in 2012, offering a prime location in the state capital of Queensland

SINGAPORE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 13, 2008--Adding even more depth to its rapidly expanding portfolio in Asia Pacific, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced an agreement with Metacap Empire Square Pty. Ltd. to open a new-build Westin hotel and residences in Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland, Australia. The Westin Brisbane Empire Square will offer 306 rooms and a sophisticated, refreshing atmosphere in a convenient downtown location. The new Westin hotel will share a 66-story tower with The Residences at The Westin Brisbane Empire Square - the first internationally branded residential development in Australia. Both the hotel and residences will open in early 2012, marking the return of the Westin brand to this dynamic Australian city.

"We are thrilled to come back to Brisbane with the signing of The Westin Brisbane Empire Square. Brisbane's strong lodging market dynamics, thriving economy and marked increase in tourism arrivals positions the city as a key target destination for many hotel companies," said Miguel Ko, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Asia Pacific. "We are also delighted to partner with Metacap Empire Square Pty. Ltd. to introduce the Westin brand to Brisbane, where we will offer guests the services, products and amenities that allow them to relax and rejuvenate in the heart of downtown."

The Westin Brisbane Empire Square will offer a prime location on Elizabeth Street, close to Central Station, the Convention and Exhibition Center and Brisbane Casino. The hotel and residences will be part of a premier mixed-use development comprised of the hotel, residences and grade A commercial office space. The third largest city in Australia and most populous city of Queensland, Brisbane is a modern, cosmopolitan city offering an appealing blend of historic buildings, beautiful landscapes and waterways. Popular attractions include the Botanic Gardens, King George Square and Queen Street Mall - the entertainment hub of Brisbane.

The Westin Brisbane Empire Square will be the brand's third hotel to open in Australia, joining the Westins in Sydney and Melbourne. Westin is also present in Auckland and Fiji and has a hotel scheduled to open in Queenstown in late 2009. Starwood had experienced phenomenal growth in Asia Pacific, where it currently has 136 hotels in its portfolio an additional 80 hotels under development.

"The Westin Brisbane Empire Square will not only re-establish the Westin brand in the vibrant city of Brisbane, but also inspire personal renewal in one of the most prominent developments in the city," said Sue Brush, Senior Vice President, Westin Hotels & Resorts. "Westin provides a sophisticated, refreshing atmosphere and thoughtfully designed amenities and services designed to restore mind and body."

The Westin Sensory Welcome will create a memorable first impression as guests enter the hotel with its soothing blend of white tea scent, music, botanicals and mood lighting. The hotel's luxurious guest rooms will offer updated technology, flat-screen televisions, a well-designed work area and the signature Westin Heavenly Bed(R) and Heavenly Bath(R). For further pampering, guests and residents will be able to choose among a menu of relaxing treatments at The Heavenly Spa by WestinTM. Additional facilities will include a WestinWORKOUT(R) fitness facility and indoor pool, while the hotel's three restaurants and bars will create an inviting atmosphere to socialize with friends and colleagues. Designed to accommodate groups of all sizes, The Westin Brisbane Empire Square will also offer nearly 8,000 square feet of meeting space.

The Residences at The Westin Brisbane Empire Square will include 98 luxury apartments and six penthouses overlooking South Bank on one side, and the city and ocean on the other. The units will occupy more than 47,000 square feet of residential space from the 47th to the 62nd floor. Residents will enjoy all the benefits of ownership in this premier development, including access to hotel services and certain hotel facilities.

Metacap Empire Square Pty. Ltd. is a private property company established by Newell Palmer Securities, a Sydney base financial advisory firm and Alex Jimenez, a local Brisbane property developer. The company's focus is on prime sites located in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

"The company's strategy is to draw on the top local talent in each of their selected locations and seek strong brand alliances to ensure that each project is an attractive and unique asset. Empire Square is one of the first high-rise developments in Australia to combine offices, hotel and residences and will set new benchmarks," said Jerome Chopard, Director, Newell Palmer Securities.

Westin Hotels & Resorts, with more than 157 hotels and resorts in more than 31 countries and territories, is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT). Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 900 properties in more than 100 countries and 155,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis(R), The Luxury Collection(R), Sheraton(R), Westin(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, W(R), Le Meridien(R), AloftSM and ElementSM Hotels. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.

(Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made. These risks and uncertainties are presented in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although we believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that our expectations will be attained or that results and events will not materially differ. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.)

SOURCE: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.



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