Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel Opens in the Historic Palmetto Building

The unique new hotel offers an energetic ambience and stylish decor in the heart of the city's financial district

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Jul 21, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) announces the opening of Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel as a crowning jewel of Columbia, South Carolina. Owned and managed by London 1 LLC, the unique 135-room property represents the latest evolution of the city's nationally registered, historic Palmetto Building.

Located in the center of the city's downtown financial district, Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel is blocks from the state capitol, the University of South Carolina and the Historic Vista District - a lively neighborhood lined with shops and restaurants. Just twelve miles from the Columbia Metropolitan Airport, the hotel is close to the offices of Deloitte, Wachovia, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.

Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel occupies one of the city's finest landmark buildings, where guests will enjoy an inviting ambiance, superior service and the full range of Sheraton signature comforts. A prime example of early 20th century skyscraper, the superbly restored building is sheathed in Gothic revival details and incorporates the Palmetto tree motif. Originally built in 1913, the Palmetto Building was once a bank and even housed a hidden tavern during prohibition. Design accents include rich mahogany paneling and original, hand-laid mosaic floor.

"Sheraton is delighted to open this extraordinary new hotel in one of Columbia South Carolina's most compelling, fully restored, historic buildings," said Hoyt Harper, Senior Vice President, Sheraton Hotels. "At Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel, guests will appreciate the hotel's rich history, while enjoying spacious, comfortable accommodations, updated technology and a sense of community."

The former bank vault remains as a unique centerpiece and the rich attention to detail create a memorable first impression as guests enter the hotel's lobby. As Columbia's living room, the lobby offers a friendly retreat to share laughs with colleagues, sip refreshing beverages or enjoy the newspaper. Perk Up proudly serves Starbucks coffee and features the Sheraton brand's state-of-the-art communications hub called Link@Sheraton(SM), where guests can check email, research local attractions and even print out boarding passes.

Offering sweeping views of downtown Columbia, the hotel's warmly decorated guest rooms are furnished with comfortable seating, oversized work desks and flat panel LCD televisions. Rooms also include the signature Sheraton Sweet Sleeper(TM) Bed - a nine-layered custom-designed ensemble boasting an exquisitely comfortable, plush mattress, fluffy down hypoallergenic pillows, crisp cotton sheets, cozy blanket and signature blanket and duvet.

Distinctive features unique to Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel include flat screen televisions in the bathroom, frameless shower doors with two massaging shower heads, the original 1913 hardwood floors, and an intimate, ten rooms per floor layout. There is a complimentary fitness center and an array of dining outlets: The Rooftop, The Vault martini lounge, P.O.S.H. - an upscale dining experience, and Main Street tavern.

London 1 LLC is a South Carolina-based hotel management company.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

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, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis(R), The Luxury Collection(R), W(R), Westin(R), Le Meridien(R), Sheraton(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft(SM), and Element(SM). 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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