WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) announced today that the company has reached an important milestone in its history, opening its 1000th hotel and resort. Starwood's 1000th hotel, which debuts today, is the Sheraton Qiandao Lake Resort located on the shores of China's famed Qiandao Lake, also, aptly known as the Lake of Thousand Islands.
"We are delighted to welcome our 1000th hotel, and the fact that it is a Sheraton in China seems pre-destined," said Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO of Starwood. "This hotel is emblematic of both our history and our bright future. As Starwood's largest and most global brand, Sheraton provided us early footholds in emerging markets, including China in the early 1980s when we were the first international hotel there. Today, Starwood is the world's most global hotel company - with plans to open 300 hotels in the next three to four years - and for the first time we have more hotels outside the U.S. than inside. And there is no more fertile ground to grow than in China where we plan to double our footprint to 100 hotels by 2012."
Beyond its 1,000th hotel, Starwood expects to open 80-100 additional hotels in 2010 - 70% of which will be outside the United States, with the majority in Asia Pacific. In China, Starwood is slated to open more than 20 hotels this year. Growth is also accelerating in India where Starwood already has 26 hotels and plans to increase its portfolio by 60% by the end of 2012.
"Some expect that more than 70% of the world's growth over the next decade will come from emerging - or what we like to call 'fast-growing' - markets, which is consistent with Starwood's global pipeline of new hotels and skew towards development in markets like China and India," said Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood. "By working with the right partners in the right places on the right properties, we are well poised to continue to lead the charge in growth throughout these critical markets."
Sheraton Qiandao Lake is Illustrative of Starwood and the Sheraton Brands' Growth
Located in Chun'an County of Hangzhou, Qiandao Lake is 140 kilometers from downtown Hangzhou. The 250-room Sheraton Qiandao Lake Resort is located on the scenic lakeshore of Qiandao Lake, a popular tourist destination for mountain climbing, cycling and other outdoor activities. The pure waters of the lake flow directly from the Yellow Mountain Range, and the region is China's largest state forest park, spanning almost 1,000 square kilometers. Qiandao Lake is well known as home to "the Atlantis of the East," the 1,800 year-old remains of an ancient Chinese city, an archeological treasure submerged beneath the water. The city walls and architecture have remained preserved and are heralded as some of the most substantial sunken artifacts in the world.
"With its fascinating cultural and historic location, the new Sheraton Qiandao Lake Resort is symbolic of the diversity of Starwood's portfolio across nearly 100 countries," said Miguel Ko, Chairman and President of Starwood's Asia Pacific Division. "Our portfolio includes some of the world's oldest, most famed hotels dating back centuries and also nearly 200 brand new hotels opened in the last two years, many of which are fast becoming icons of their own."
A key feature of Sheraton Qiandao Lake Resort is the brand's signature hotel offering: The Link@SheratonSM experienced with Microsoft(R), a unique lobby lounge that enables guests to stay connected with instant access to information and technology for work, leisure and social networking. Designed as a social environment, the Link@Sheraton invites guests to interact with each other while they check their email, research local attractions and share stories and photos of their travels with friends and family using the Internet-enabled computer stations.
Sheraton Qiandao Lake Resort is also introducing a revolutionary new health and fitness program, Sheraton Fitness, Programmed by Core Performance. Created in partnership with Core Performance, a training and lifestyle brand built by the experts who train professional athletes in every major sport, the program helps travelers train and eat healthy while on the road, as well as refresh, recharge and refocus their minds and bodies. This comprehensive offering features a state-of-the-art gym experience and healthy dining options. In addition, the first Shine Spa by Sheraton in Greater China will debut at Sheraton Qiandao Lake Resort in August 2010. Shine Spa is designed to facilitate the fundamental need to revitalize when traveling. Sheraton guests will enjoy being pampered with Shine Spa's exclusive treatments, inviting aromas and professional spa consultants in the Sheraton brand's signature warm and welcoming atmosphere. Additional elements include:
Sheraton Qiandao Lake Resort, like all hotels 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. SPG(R) offers members the ability to redeem awards at more resorts, more luxury properties, more European hotels and more golf properties than any other hotel program in the world.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world, with 1000 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 ElementSM. 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.