From U.S. Phenomenon to Global Powerhouse W Hotels Continues Worldwide Expansion with the Announcement of W Paris-Opera

From U.S. Phenomenon to Global Powerhouse W Hotels Continues Worldwide Expansion with the Announcement of W Paris-Opera

France's First W Hotel Will Open in 2011 Offering Escape, Extravaganza and Stylish Design in the Heart of Paris

White Plains, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced plans to open W Paris-Opéra in 2011, marking the debut of W Hotels Worldwide in France. Located in the chic and bustling Opéra area of Paris, amid lively cafés, contemporary designer boutiques, and buzzing restaurants and nightlife destinations, W Paris-Opéra will occupy an elegant 1870s Haussmann era building, close to the Galleries Lafayette and Place Vendome in an area where Paris earned its praise as the "City of Lights." Owned by Meridia Capital, a Barcelona-based private equity global real estate fund, W Paris-Opéra will feature 90 stylish guest rooms, a world-class contemporary restaurant and destination bar, a state-of-the-art fitness facility with spa treatment rooms, and W Hotels' signature lounge experience where guests are invited to mix, mingle and relax in a chic social atmosphere.

Founded in 1998 in New York City, W Hotels continues to transform into a global powerhouse. W Paris-Opéra will be the W brand's eighth property in Europe, following the opening of W Istanbul in 2008, and the upcoming openings of W Hotels in Barcelona, St. Petersburg, Athens, Manchester, Milan and London. With 10 years of proven success, W Hotels will triple its footprint by 2011 in vibrant primary destinations throughout Europe and the world from Paris to Marrakech, Dubai to Doha, Hollywood to South Beach, and Shanghai to Bali.

"We are thrilled to expand the W brand into Paris, a major milestone in transforming W Hotels into a global powerhouse, debuting in the world's most exciting and vibrant destinations," said Eva Ziegler, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide and Le Méridien. "W Paris-Opéra will offer insider access, extravaganza and cool contemporary design in the heart of Paris, bringing contemporary luxury and a completely new and distinctive product to the Parisian hotel market."

"Paris has been on the hit list for W Hotels for many years and I am delighted we now have a site which is so central and a building which is so quintessentially Parisian," said Roeland Vos, President of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe Africa and Middle East. "With Paris joining the roster of European openings for W over the next two years, our global W guests now have access to some of the most sought after destinations. Meridia Capital will be an excellent partner, with their experience in the luxury branded hotel sector and we hope this is the beginning of a long term partnership with them."

In addition to the many exclusive indulgences at W Paris-Opéra, the hotel will offer a full-service WIRED business center open 24-hours, fully wired, ultra-modern meeting and event space, and the brand's signature Whatever/Whenever® concierge service, providing guests whatever they want - from a gourmet picnic in the Jardin du Luxembourg to exclusive shopping excursions at the emporiums of Faubourg St-Honoré - whenever they want it. Guest rooms and suites, including W Hotels' renowned WOW suites and Extreme WOW suites, will all feature custom-made furnishings, sophisticated accents unique to Paris, the W Hotels signature bed with feather-top mattress, 350 thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets and goose down comforter, creating the ultimate urban escape. Guest rooms will offer the latest in cutting-edge technology and the most advanced in-room entertainment systems in the industry.

"Attracting a prestigious global brand like W Hotels to Paris will make this one of the most significant hotel projects the city has seen in recent years. We are delighted to be part of bringing the W brand to this destination," said Javier Faus, Chairman & CEO, Meridia Capital.

More than a hotel brand, W Hotels has established itself as an iconic lifestyle brand, offering guests unprecedented insider access to a world of "Wow" through contemporary cool design, fashion, nightlife, celebrities, entertainment and other. W Hotels has forever changed the hospitality landscape with a series of industry firsts in the past 10 years, including: the transformation of the hotel lobby into the W Living Room experience; the introduction of the W brand's signature Whatever/Whenever concierge service as a vehicle to fulfil every guest's dreams; extension of the lifestyle experience into retail through W Hotels the Store; a sensorial multiplex experience with branded W CD compilations released each year; the reinterpretation of the hotel mini-bar into the W "Munchie Box" to present the brand's lifestyle point of view; and the reinvention of the presidential suite into W's "Extreme Wow" and "Wow" suites.

W Paris-Opéra will join six sister properties in France under the Sheraton, Le Méridien, Westin and The Luxury Collection brands.

About W Hotels Worldwide®

W Hotels is an innovative luxury lifestyle brand and the hotel category buster with 26 properties in the most vibrant destinations around the world. Inspiring, iconic, innovative and influential, W Hotels provides the ultimate in insider access to a world of "Wow." Each hotel offers a unique mix of innovative design and passions around design, architecture, fashion, music, entertainment, pop culture, and everything in between. W Hotels are unique and individual expressions of modern living, reflected in the brand's sensibility to a holistic lifestyle experience with cutting-edge design, contemporary restaurant concepts, glamorous nightlife experiences, and signature spas. With 10 years of proven success, W Hotels will triple its footprint by 2011. In North America and Latin America, W Hotels have been announced in Austin, Atlanta, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Hoboken, Hollywood, Huntington Beach, Downtown New York, Santiago, South Beach, and Washington, D.C. In Europe, W Hotels have been announced in Athens, Barcelona, London, Manchester, Milan and St. Petersburg. In Asia, W has announced properties in Bangkok, Guangzhou, Macao-Studio City, Shanghai and Yokohama. In Africa and the Middle East, W has announced properties in Marrakech, Amman, Doha, and Dubai. W has plans to open W Retreats in Bali, Koh Samui, Vieques Island and Verbier, the latter of which will serve as W Hotels' first ski retreat.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Worldwide

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 930 properties in approximately 97 countries and 145,000 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 Meridia Capital

Meridia Capital is a private equity group focused on investing in premium hotel properties internationally. The firm acquires and develops hotel real estate in both urban and resort markets and partners with the world's leading international hotel brands. Meridia Capital Hospitality I is Meridia Capital Partners' first fund and was closed in early 2007 with equity of €150 million. Meridia Capital currently owns properties in Santiago (Chile), Paris and Thailand.

(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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