BRUSSELS, Jun 21, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) announces that it has signed an agreement with Silk Way Airlines LLC to open a Sheraton hotel in Baku, Azerbaijan this Fall. The opening of the Sheraton Baku Airport Hotel marks the entry of Starwood into the country and is part of the company's strategic expansion plan to open more than 60 Sheraton hotels around the world in the next three years.
According to Roeland Vos, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa, and Middle East, the hotel marks an exciting milestone for Starwood's continued growth throughout Eastern Europe. "Reaching out to new frontiers is a focus of our expansion strategy, so we are delighted to partner with Silk Way Airlines as we debut the first Starwood hotel in Azerbaijan," Vos commented. "Baku is the main economic hub of the country and one of the most important tourist destinations in the region. Sheraton's strong reputation will assist in further positioning Baku as a destination for the international traveller."
The Sheraton Baku Airport Hotel will be located directly in front of the Heydar Aliyev International Airport, the main airport in Baku. The hotel will have 207 guest rooms, including 14 suites, offering the only branded accommodation option in the vicinity of the airport. The hotel will also feature extensive dining, conference and leisure facilities as well as signature Sheraton amenities including the luxurious all-white SweetSleeper beds, a Sheraton Club Lounge and the Link@Sheraton experienced with Microsoft communications hub where guests can socialise and also go online.
"As the country continues to grow economically, Heydar Aliyev International Airport has become more of a focus because it provides travellers with their very first impression of the country. We believe that our partnership with a globally recognized company such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts will have a great impact on the development of hospitality in Azerbaijan going forward," said Mr. Jaouad Dbila, Vice-Chairman, Supervisory Board, Silk Way Holding.
Sheraton recently announced that it has invested more than $100 million into upgrading 120 Club Lounges around the world. The enhancement to Sheraton Club Lounges - one of the most popular Sheraton signature amenities - is the final chapter of the brand's recent $6 billion revitalization effort.
Starwood currently operates 72 hotels in East Central Europe, including three hotels in Moscow and two in Georgia, where the company opened the Sheraton Batumi last year.
Sheraton helps guests make connections at more than 400 hotels in 70 countries around the world and recently completed a $6 billion global revitalization and is now in the midst of a $5 billion global expansion over the next three years. Sheraton is owned by and is the largest and most global brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., 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.
Since the moment Silk Way Airlines has first launched 10 years ago in 2001, the company built up a tremendous fleet and a wide network. Working together with the Azerbaijan Airlines to secure the State reputation as a key regional hub, Silk Way Airlines is a unique air carrier with the newest IL-76 and Boeing freighter built aircrafts. Over the past 10 years, Silk Way gained an extensive experience in establishing regular services into the areas which were far beyond the scheduled flights. Silk Way has been closely co-operating with Governmental and Non-governmental Organizations providing a dedicated solution for group requests on a daily basis. With delivery of B747 Freighters, Silk Way Airlines became able to open regular cargo services and carry out long haul flights between the continents. Our investment into Aviation industry continues, including two more Boeing 767-300F planned to deliver in year 2012.
SOURCE: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.