Sheraton Hotels & Resorts Accelerates Portfolio Growth with New Hotel in Miami

Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel & Executive Meeting Center Opens Today, Featuring an IACC-certified Executive Meeting Center and Convenient Access to Miami International Airport, Miami Intermodal Center, Downtown Miami and South Beach

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Dec 15, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced the opening of Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel & Executive Meeting Center. Located less than a quarter mile from Miami International Airport, the former Wyndham hotel owned by Thayer Lodging Group has undergone extensive upgrades prior to opening as a Sheraton.

The addition of Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel & Executive Meeting Center is part of the Sheraton brand's strategic expansion plan that will add approximately 50 new hotels and more than 20,000 rooms to the Sheraton portfolio over the next three years.

"We are thrilled to grow our presence in Florida with the opening of Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel & Executive Meeting Center, where business and leisure guests will enjoy resort amenities, as well as convenient proximity to the airport and Miami's leading attractions," said Hoyt Harper, Senior Vice President, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts. "This hotel will exemplify the new look and feel of Sheraton following the brand's recently completed $6 billion brand-wide revitalization, including $400 million in signature brand initiatives designed to create community and make it easy to stay connected."

Boasting panoramic city and water views, Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel & Executive Meeting Center is nestled on the banks of the Miami River, just four miles from downtown Miami. The hotel features 405 guest rooms, including 50 rooms that offer the PURE Air system, 20,000 square feet of state-of-the-art, IACC (International Association of Conference Centers) appointed Executive Meeting Center, the first full-service EMC in south Florida. In addition, guests enjoy PURE Air circulated throughout the Executive Meeting Center to further enhance the meeting experience. Additional facilities include a health club, outdoor pool and bar, full-service restaurant, Club floor and complimentary 24-hour airport shuttle service. Miami's Melreese Golf Course is located adjacent to the property, offering 18-holes of championship golf.

Following further renovations, the reconfigured lobby will soon feature the brand's signature "Link@Sheraton(R) experienced with Microsoft(R)" - the brand's signature social hub where connections, whether face-to-face or webcam-to-webcam take place.

"This new Sheraton in Miami is representative of the brand's strategic growth in key markets across the United States not only through new-builds, but also through conversion opportunities," said Paul Sacco, Senior Vice President of North America Development. "The Sheraton brand's comprehensive revitalization has significantly improved guest satisfaction and loyalty, which in turn has greatly increased the brand's appeal among owners and developers. As a result, Sheraton is leading Starwood's market share growth."

Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel & Executive Meeting Center is close to South Beach shops, nightclubs and restaurants, vibrant downtown Miami, exclusive Coral Gables and several shopping malls. Guests will enjoy easy access to top area attractions such as Gulfstream Race Track, Miami Seaquarium, Metro Zoo, Dolphin Mall and American Airlines Arena. Also nearby are several prominent business parks and the offices of numerous multinational companies.

A top choice for prestigious corporate conventions and meetings of all sizes, Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel & Executive Meeting Center features 20,000 square feet of versatile meeting space including 20 conference rooms, a 4,000-square foot ballroom, and comprehensive meeting services.

"Starwood has done an excellent job enhancing the Sheraton brand. We are delighted to fly the Sheraton flag at Miami's leading business hotel, following an extensive investment in our property to meet the brand's new standards," said Carroll Warfield, Managing Director of Operations and Asset Management, Thayer Lodging Group. "We look forward to turning on the power of Starwood and reaching even more travelers through the innovative and award-winning Starwood Preferred Guest(R) program."

Stylish and comfortable, the guest rooms and suites are equipped with an oversized work desk, custom-designed ergonomic chair, high-speed Internet, LCD flat panel television, iPod home docking station and the all-white Sheraton Sweet Sleeper(R) bed. The hotel's fully equipped fitness facility features the brand's revolutionary new health and fitness program, Sheraton Fitness, Programmed by Core Performance, designed exclusively for Sheraton guests through its partner Core Performance.

Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, like all brands within Starwood's robust 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.

About Thayer Lodging Group

Thayer Lodging Group, based in Annapolis, Maryland, is a privately-held hotel investment company that was formed in 1991 by Frederic V. Malek and Leland Pillsbury. Thayer has a lengthy and successful track record that spans multiple investment cycles. Since forming its first private equity fund in 1991, Thayer has completed 37 hotel investments with a total acquisition cost of approximately $1.8 billion. Thayer's Realized and Substantially Realized investments, which represent 26 hotels and approximately 66% of Invested Equity, have cumulatively returned a Realized Multiple on Invested Equity of 2.6x. The Company has successfully invested during periods of financial and hotel market distress and has extensive experience in resurrecting the operating results of troubled hotels. Thayer's currently owns a portfolio of 15 hotels and 3,391 guest rooms. Thayer employs a disciplined approach to asset selection and targets investments with significant value-add opportunities. Thayer seeks to invest in hotels where the Company's expertise can add value through its time-tested strategies which include extensive renovation, market repositioning, expense reduction and rebranding as methods of improving net operating incomes.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1025 properties in 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. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.

(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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