ALOHA! Charlotte, North Carolina

ALOHA! Charlotte, North Carolina

The New twist in Travel Brings Style and Savvy Lodging to Uptown Charlotte

January 09, 2009 // Franchising.com // White Plains, NY / Charlotte, North Carolina – aloha! Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.® (NYSE:HOT) and its much-anticipated new lifestyle brand, Aloftsm hotels, opens its doors today in Charlotte, making Aloft Charlotte Uptown at the EpiCentre the first Aloft to open in North Carolina.

Developed by owner and operator Noble Investment Group, the new Aloft Charlotte Uptown at the EpiCentre, is located in the heart of the nation's second largest financial and banking city and is vertically integrated above the new, $275-million mixed-use EpiCentre complex. Featuring premier shopping, entertainment and fine dining, the EpiCentre serves as a central link of Overstreet Mall and provides a pedestrian bridge connecting the headquarter buildings for Bank of America and Wachovia. Known for its historic warmth and genuine hospitality, Charlotte was recently named "one of 2008's best places to live and launch" by CNN Money.

"The urban design aesthetic and lively social atmosphere of Aloft hotels will inject even more energy into the Charlotte scene," said Brian McGuinness, senior vice president of Aloft hotels worldwide. "Bold and stylish, Aloft Charlotte Uptown at the EpiCentre is the perfect addition to city, offering an electric and eclectic experience to visitors and residents alike."

"Uptown Charlotte is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing areas in the Southeastern United States, and our location amongst first class dining, office, sports and retail is both convenient and attractive to business and leisure travelers," said Mit Shah, Noble's senior managing principal and chief executive officer. "Noble's dedicated team of service-focused professional's are driven to fulfilling their mission of being an intricate part of the vibrant Charlotte Uptown community."

As a Vision of W Hotels, Aloft is shaking up the lodging industry with urban-influenced design, accessible technology, style and a social atmosphere. Aloft offers a total sensory experience, with guest rooms featuring loft-like nine-foot ceilings and oversized windows to create a bright, airy environment. The centerpiece of the guest room is the ultra-comfortable signature bed, and large stylish bathrooms complement the guest experience with roomy walk-in showers and amenities created by bliss® spa. Each guest loft is also a combination high-tech office and entertainment center, featuring wireless internet access and a one-stop connectivity solution for multiple electronic gadgetry such as PDAs, cell phones, mp3 players and laptops - all linked to a 42" flat panel television for optimal sound and viewing.

Designed in conjunction with world renowned David Rockwell and the Rockwell Group, Aloft stays true to the W Hotel brand's heritage, offering atmospheric public spaces designed to draw guests from their rooms. Guests can read the paper, work on their laptops via hotel-wide wireless internet access, play a game of pool or grab a drink with friends at the re:mix communal lobby area and bar w xyzSM. The re:charge fitness center and splash, the indoor or outdoor pool, give travelers options to de-stress and re-energize; while re:fuel by aloftSM, a one-stop food and beverage area, offers sweet, savory and healthy food, snacks and beverages to grab & go, 24-hours a day.

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®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched AloftSM, and ElementSM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts.

About Noble Investment Group

Noble is a leading sponsor of private equity real estate funds and an integrated operating and development organization that specializes in making value-added investments in hotels and resorts throughout North America. An award winning operator of more than 8,000 hotel and resort guest rooms, convention and conference centers with approximately 1 million sq. ft. of meeting space, as well as championship golf, day and resort spas, upscale restaurants, and branded retail coffee stores, Noble and its predecessors have realized superior risk-adjusted returns while acquiring and developing over $2.5 billion in lodging and hospitality assets. Noble's current discretionary private equity fund represents $310 million of equity commitments, which provides the organization the ability to invest more than $1 billion in lodging-related assets.

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