White Plains, NY –– Ten years later, consumers and critics agree – Westin Hotels & Resorts is still the best in bed. Westin Hotels turned the travel industry on its head and sparked a hotel bedding revolution with the 1999 launch of the Heavenly Bed®: an icon that inspired countless imitators ignited the hotel-bed wars and jump-started the hotel retail phenomenon. In the decade since, more than 75 million guests have tucked themselves into Heavenly Beds at Westin hotels around the world including U.S. Presidents, Hollywood royalty and professional athletes and more than 30,000 beds and 100,000 pillows have been sold. The sumptuous, 10-layer Heavenly Bed has grown from cult favorite to well-loved classic, and Westin has expanded Heavenly into a full-lifestyle brand, with similarly luxurious offerings for the bath, the baby, and even the dog. Today, Westin announces a five-month global celebration of this momentous anniversary, and unveils plans for new additions to the growing Westin "Heavenly" family.
Westin's commitment to wellness and a good night's sleep is as strong today as it was 10 years ago and the brand's five-month Heavenly Celebration will bring a little bit of "heaven" to guests and consumers around the world. Throughout 2009, Westin will introduce several new additions to the Heavenly product line and host Heavenly White Sales and experiential events in high-profile locations worldwide. From Beijing to Boston, every one of Westin's 169 properties and more than 29,000 employees will participate in the celebration with special events, Heavenly promotions and giveaways.
The brand will also recognize the hard-working room attendants who've kept the luxurious 10-layer beds beautiful over the years, and will also offer meeting-planner incentives around the Heavenly theme.
Ten years ago, Westin received a wake-up call from travelers, who said in a survey that the most important service a hotel can offer is a good night's sleep. Westin spent more than $30 million to create the perfect night's sleep and introduce 52,000 new Heavenly beds in its 39,500 guest rooms, becoming the first hotel brand to take sleep seriously. In fact:
"Westin's custom Heavenly Bed forever changed the hotel industry's bed offerings 10 years ago; and we are extremely proud that today the bed and the Heavenly lifestyle brand continue to grow," commented Nancy London, Vice President, Global Brand Management, for Westin Hotels & Resorts. "Since we launched the bed in 1999, we've strengthened our commitment to bringing a little bit of Heaven to our guests through new retail items and innovative programming—a rewarding mission that has earned Westin tremendous trust and loyalty."
Following an overwhelming guest response and unmatched media attention, "Heavenly" soon became synonymous with "Westin." Over the next 10 years, Westin introduced several additions to the Heavenly portfolio, including the Heavenly Crib in 2000, Heavenly Shower in 2001, Heavenly Dog Bed in 2002 and Heavenly Spa brand in 2008.
After introducing the bed that changed it all, Westin continued to look for other ways to strengthen its commitment to guests' wellness, pledging to "help guests feel better when they leave than when they arrived." Wellness-inspired offerings introduced over the past decade included several more industry firsts: the high-performance WestinWORKOUT program and runWestin (a series of running concierges, maps, and amenities) in 2005; Breathe Westin (a commitment to a smoke-free environment) and signature White Tea scent in 2006, and a SuperFoods menu in 2007. Westin once again made waves last year with the unveiling of The Concept Room at The Westin Chicago River North: a hotel-room laboratory aimed at minimizing sleep deprivation and jetlag through a series of exclusive, high-tech gadgets.
Westin Hotels & Resorts, with 169 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 960 properties in 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 Aloft®, 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.
(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.)