Aloft Hotels Eyes Global Expansion in 2010: Openings Includes Brussels, Bangalore - and Brooklyn

Growth Comes on the Heels of the Fastest Brand Launch in Hospitality Industry History

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (BUSINESS WIRE) -- After a year of tremendous growth that made it one of the fastest and most successful hospitality industry launches ever, Aloft(R) Hotels this week announced expansion plans for key global markets from Brussels to Bangalore - and one of Aloft's first New York City properties, in downtown Brooklyn.

Aloft, the much-talked-about brand from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) is set to open ten new hotels in the coming year, with half of its 2010 pipeline consisting of international properties. With nearly 40 hotels open since its June 2008 debut, the Aloft brand became the talk of the hospitality industry by going global while in launch mode, opening China's Aloft Beijing Haidian and Aloft Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates in the brand's first 15 months.

"The Aloft brand is an important source of fuel for Starwood's strategic, global expansion, with owners, developers and guests embracing the game-changing concept," said Simon Turner, President of Global Development. "The brand, which has an existing presence in four countries, is at a pivotal point in its growth cycle and is poised to continue to break new ground in 2010 as it debuts in India and Europe, while further establishing its presence in the U.S. and China."

Created to offer an alternative to the traditional select service segment of the hotel industry, the Aloft brand delivers style at a steal, with urban-influenced, modern, open and vibrant design - and a social guest experience - all at an affordable price point. In the same way that W Hotels broke through the clutter of conformity in the upscale hotel arena a decade ago, Aloft is shaking up the industry for the next generation of traveler.

"Along with sharp design, smart technology, and accessible price points, there's a genuine buzz inside Aloft properties that's been appealing to guests around the world," said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Starwood's Specialty Select brands. "The energy of Aloft matches the dynamic business environments where we're expanding."

This year, three Aloft hotels will open in India alone, where the corporate travel market is estimated at more than $3 billion by Business Traveler magazine. The Aloft brand plans properties for Chennai, India's fifth-largest city and its second-largest exporter of software and infotech; Bangalore, the "Silicon Valley" of India; and Coimbatore, one of India's fastest-growing cities and a powerhouse in textiles and engineering.

Europe's first Aloft hotel will open its doors in Brussels, near the heart of the Belgian capital and European Union hub. And stateside, the Aloft brand will open two New York City properties - one in the Big Apple's Brooklyn and the other in the heart of Harlem.

About Aloft Hotels

Created to shake up the staid, traditional select service segment of the hotel industry, the Aloft brand delivers style at a steal with urban-influenced, modern, open and vibrant design - and a social guest experience - at an affordable price point. In the same way that W Hotels broke through the clutter of conformity in the upscale hotel arena a decade ago, Aloft is shaking up the industry for the next generation of traveler. Aloft hotels are geared toward savvy, design-conscious consumers who grew up with the democratization of design. Building on its tech-savvy DNA, the brand recently pioneered the industry's first "keyless entry" automatic check-in program at Aloft Lexington in Massachusetts. With 40 hotels open in the 18 months since Aloft first arrived on the scene and 10 more opening in 2010, Aloft can be found everywhere from Abu Dhabi and Baltimore to Dallas and Beijing and everywhere in between.

Aloft Hotels, like all brands within Starwood's portfolio, is proud to offer the Starwood Preferred Guest(R) program, which made headlines when it launched in 1999 with a breakthrough policy of no blackout dates on Free Night Awards.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 992 properties in almost 100 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(R), The Luxury Collection(R), W(R), Westin(R), Le Méridien(R), Sheraton(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft(R), 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.) The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

SOURCE: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

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