W Hotels Worldwide Continues Its Rapid Global Expansion with the Debut of W Retreat & Spa Kanai - Riviera Maya

Slated to Open in 2014 in Riviera Maya, Mexico, W Kanai will be the Fifth W Retreat Worldwide, Joining W Maldives, W Bali, W Koh Samui and W Vieques Island

NEW YORK, Mar 31, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- W Hotels Worldwide today announced plans to open W Retreat & Spa Kanai - Riviera Maya, located within an exclusive beachfront community surrounded by the natural beauty of the Mayan Rivera's lush lagoons and pristine mangroves. Nestled on the eastern coast of Mexico's magnificent Yucatan Peninsula, the 180-room Retreat is being designed by acclaimed architect Richard Meier. Owned by ALHEL and GIM Desarrollos, W Kanai will be the centerpiece of the Kanai Resort, which will include four hotels and a Beach Club.

"We are excited to further expand W's exclusive retreat portfolio with W Retreat & Spa Kanai - Riviera Maya, another fantastic location for the global jetsetters to escape and play when the hustle and bustle of the city gets to be too much," said Eva Ziegler, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide and Le Méridien. "W Kanai will offer guests a new way to escape, amidst innovative design and programming, on the coast of one of the world's most scenic beaches."

"The signing of W Retreat & Spa Kanai - Riviera Maya is another sign of Starwood's commitment to developing its brands in great destinations such as Mexico," said Osvaldo Librizzi, President of Starwood Hotels & Resorts in Latin America. "We are delighted to be working with ALHEL and GIM Desarrollos on this new project, and we look forward to developing a long-term, successful partnership with them."

Designed by renowned architecture firm Richard Meier & Partners Architects, W Kanai will appear to float on a carpet of mangroves set against the infinite horizon of sea and sky. Buildings and landscape will flow into one another, as meandering gardens and courtyards, sinuous pools and waterworks intersect with brilliant terraces and foot paths, seamlessly connecting the Retreat's indoor and outdoor spaces. Guestrooms, designed by the New York-based firm Meyer Davis Studio, will have unobstructed views of the sea. Designed as continuous living areas, interior spaces will merge with an exterior deck furnished with lounge seating, cocktail bar, exterior tub and shower. The decks will be enclosed by retractable privacy screens and sun shading louvers.

"We are absolutely delighted that this development will carry the W name, an iconic design-led lifestyle brand. This exciting project is part of a multi-property development of four hotels and 600 rooms built on a 135 acre- site with more than a mile of secluded beach,"said Abraham Metta and Fredy Helfon partners and developers of ALHEL and GIM Desarrollos. "Designed by legendary architect, Richard Meier, we knew that this landmark site presented the perfect opportunity to create one of the best W Retreats in the world."

Only six miles from Playa del Carmen and 24 miles from Cancun International Airport, guests will be able to choose from the Retreat's extraordinary line up of lifestyle programming, water sports, and wellness activities, including W's signature Away Spa, offering a detox from a long, playful night out or a refuel for whatever comes next. Boasting more than 10,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor treatment space, Away Spa will feature a range of treatments incorporating local Mexican influences in an unexpected cool and playful way. W Kanai will feature W's signature Whatever/Whenever(R) service philosophy, providing guests and residences with whatever they want whenever they want it (as long as it's legal!).

W Retreat & Spa Kanai - Riviera Maya will serve as an ideal island venue for weddings, special events, and innovative meetings. Featuring 7,500 square feet of event space overall, the Retreat's Great Room (W's take on the traditional Ballroom) will be 3,000 square feet and wired with the latest in meetings technology.

About W Hotels Worldwide

W Hotels is a contemporary, design-led lifestyle brand and the industry innovator with 41 hotels and retreats in the most vibrant cities and exotic destinations around the world. Inspiring, iconic, innovative and influential, W Hotels provides the ultimate in insider access, offering a unique mix of cutting-edge design and passions around fashion, music and entertainment. W Hotels offers a holistic lifestyle experience that is integrated into the brand's sensibility through contemporary restaurant concepts, glamorous entertainment experiences, stylish retail concepts and signature spas. With more than 12 years of proven success, W Hotels is on track to reach more than 50 hotels by the end of 2012. W Hotels and W Retreats have been announced for Paris, St. Petersburg, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Athens - Astir Palace, and Verbier, among other international destinations. For more information, visit www.whotels.com.

About AWAY(R) Spa

AWAY(R) Spas, exclusively developed for W Hotels, provide jetsetters and in-the-know locals with an escape within an escape, a place where the whirlwind of W winds down to allow a detox from a long, playful night out or a refuel for whatever comes next. The AWAY experience blends vivid colors, playful scents, imaginative sounds and energizing light with detoxifying potion used during a mood-boosting menu of recharging and reinvigorating treatments. There are currently 11 AWAY Spas around the world, including W Austin, W Retreat Koh Samui, W Retreat & Spa Vieques Island, W Seoul, W Retreat & Spa - Maldives, W San Diego, W Mexico City, and W Montreal, with three AWAY Spas planned for upcoming W Hotels in Guangzhou, Singapore, and Bangkok. For more information, visit www.whotels.com.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) 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 ElementSM. 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.

About Starwood Preferred Guest

The SPG program's breakthrough policy of No Blackout Dates at the world's most sought after collection of hotels, reinvented the hospitality loyalty program when it launched in 1999. By creating a program centered on its members, SPG has developed the most passionate and knowledgeable membership base in the hotel loyalty space. Through its use of new technologies and innovative channels such as SPG.com, SPG.com/stayconnected, SPG.com/flights and others, SPG continues to innovate and lead the industry. By offering No Blackouts on standard rooms at over 1,000 hotels and resorts in nearly 100 countries, No Blackouts on hundreds of airlines, and once in a lifetime experiences available through SPG Moments at spg.com/moments, the program has proven to be a big draw for the world's most frequent travelers, and a significant competitive advantage for Starwood. For more information about Starwood Preferred Guest please visit SPG.com or call (877) - STARWOOD.

About AlHEL and GIM Desarrollos

ALHEL and GIM Desarrollos are among the biggest and best Real Estate developers in Mexico that have been active for 40 years and have successful examples of developments in all kind of Real Estate development, form low and middle income housing to the very High end residential, and in the commercial Real Estate from the biggest corporate office buildings to impressive shopping malls and power centers including the most successful Industrial Parks and mixed uses facilities. On the Tourism segment they have developed a number of Master Planned communities throughout Mexico's shores including Punta Ballena home of the famous Esperanza by Auberge, offering a range of products from Residential lots, to furnished condos, villas and residences. They are the developers of the recently opened 280 room Westin Santa Fe in Mexico City and the soon to open Westin Expo Guadalajara, and are working in the 135 room W Santa Fe, Mexico City (2013), and Kanai Resort, Riviera Maya which among others will have a 200 room Park Hyatt, a 180 room W Retreat a 125 room St.Regis Resort and the Auberge Resort featuring 50 suites. For more info on the developers please refer to: www.alhel.com.mx and www.gim.com.mx.

SOURCE: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

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