MUMBAI (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced the signing of a Non-Exclusive Master Agreement with D.I.H (Cyprus) Limited (an affiliate of Duet India Hotels Ltd.) and JHM Interstate Hotels India Pvt. Ltd. The agreement was signed concurrently with the execution of the agreement for the Four Points by Sheraton Pune, Nagar Road. The Non-Exclusive Master Agreement also covers the Four Points by Sheraton Jaipur City Square which opened in October 2009 and Four Points by Sheraton Visakhapatnam. Four Points by Sheraton Pune, Nagar Road and Four Points by Sheraton Visakhapatnam are both targeted to open in October 2010.
In a significant vote of confidence for India's burgeoning travel market, Starwood Hotels & Resorts - which already boasts the largest upper-upscale and luxury Indian footprint of any U.S.-based hotel company - is launching a major expansion of its mid-market brands, Four Points by Sheraton Hotels and Aloft Hotels, in India. Starwood is well on track with its plans to grow its existing portfolio of 26 hotels in India by 60 percent by 2013 with the opening of the first Four Points by Sheraton in Navi Mumbai, Vashi in partnership with the Rahejas Group.
Starwood's legacy in India began in 1973, when its Sheraton brand debuted in Mumbai. The company has since grown the portfolio to 26 hotels under its Westin, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, The Luxury Collection and Le Méridien brands. By 2013, Starwood expects to have an additional 15 new hotels in India across the Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton and Aloft brands.
Four Points by Sheraton with its timeless and stylish comfort offering, has proved a huge hit for Starwood worldwide, and debuted in India in 2009 with the openings of Four Points by Sheraton Jaipur City Square and Four Points by Sheraton, Navi Mumbai, Vashi. Because of the "halo" of the iconic Sheraton brand, Four Points by Sheraton is already a "developer darling" in India.
"Starwood has spent the last two years laying the groundwork for the debut of the Four Points by Sheraton brand in India, and we are thrilled to see our plans come to fruition with the opening of two Four Points hotels last year and the signing of this partnership with D.I.H. Cyprus Limited and JHM Interstate," said Miguel Ko, Chairman & President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Asia Pacific. "We look forward to continuing to grow this brand in key markets throughout India and Asia Pacific with Duet India Hotels, JHM Interstate and other development partners."
Dilip Puri, Chief Executive Officer, Duet India Hotels added "Our focus on the development of first class international hotels in central and secondary business district locations in India is completely in sync with the vision of the Four Points by Sheraton brand. We are very happy and look forward to a fruitful partnership with the Starwood Group."
All Four Points properties in India, including the hotels in Navi Mumbai, Jaipur and the soon to open hotels in Puneand Visakhapatnam, are new builds, bringing a new generation of sleek, modern, and stylish mid-market hotels to the country.
"Starwood has responded to India's acute need for mid-market lodging by working with proven development partners to open best-in-class conversion and new-build hotels throughout this dynamic emerging market," said Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood. "Four Points by Sheraton continues to experience substantial growth around the world based, in part, on its flexibility which has proven to be an appealing option in a variety of markets. For example, in 2010, Four Points will debut with new build hotels in Lagos, Nigeria, as well as Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand."
"In keeping with the Four Points brand's commitment to providing honest, uncomplicated comfort, our hotels will offer travelers to and within India timeless style and 'can-do' service combined with simple pleasures like free high-speed Internet access in all public spaces, a great local craft beer at the end of a long day, our signature breakfast and a great night's sleep," said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. "We are very excited about the signing of Four Points by Sheraton Pune, Nagar Road and Four Points by Sheraton Visakhapatnam and look forward to welcoming travelers."
Four Points by Sheraton Pune will be located on Nagar Road, and guests will enjoy convenient access to the airport, leading retail centers and offices. The hotel will feature 216 rooms (168 hotel guestrooms and 48 serviced apartments) along with two food and beverage outlets, a lounge bar and nearly 10,500 square feet of meeting and function space. The serviced apartments are designed for extended stay guests and will consist of a bedroom, living area and kitchen. Pune is one of the largest cities in India, with many colleges and universities, and is fast emerging as a prominent hub for information technology and manufacturing companies.
Scheduled to open on 31 October 2010, Four Points by Sheraton Visakhapatnam is strategically located minutes from the main business areas, the airport and local sightseeing ensuring that the guests enjoy the best of both worlds whether travelling for business or leisure. The hotel will feature 122 guest rooms, three restaurants and bars, a swimming pool and spa along with a fully equipped Business Center and 6,232 square feet of flexible meeting and function space.
With more than 150 properties in 24 countries, Four Points offers the self-sufficient traveler style and comfort combined with a spirited "can-do" service - all at the right price. Four Points by Sheraton hotels are everywhere the traveler wants to be - located in easy-to-reach areas, close to major airports, suburban centers, urban hot spots and resort and vacation destinations. And with the Simple Pleasures of Four Points, the brand celebrates the little things in life that make a big difference in guests' travel such as free high-speed Internet access, complimentary bottled water and a great beer at the end of a long day.
Guests at Four Points by Sheraton can earn free nights at any Starwood property - the world's most sought-after collection of hotels - through the Starwood Preferred Guest program.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1000 properties in nearly 100 countries and territories with 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.