Starwood Preferred Guest Announces New Benefit to Help Members Earn and Maintain Elite Status Faster

SPG Free Night Awards, Promotional Awards and Cash & Point Stays Now Count Toward Elite Status

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Sep 29, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT), today announced a new change to the Starwood Preferred Guest(R) (SPG(R)) program that offers members a faster way to earn elite status - a coveted standing matched with benefits like welcome amenities, room upgrades and more Starpoints(R) earned per dollar. Beginning October 1, 2011, SPG Free Night Awards, promotional awards and combined cash and point stays now count toward Gold and Platinum status.

″We believe loyalty isn't something that you can buy and we value every night a SPG member chooses to stay at a Starwood hotel,″ said Chris Holdren, Senior Vice President, Starwood Preferred Guest. ″We want our guests to know how much their loyalty means to us. That's why we've strengthened the program to count Award nights and stay redemptions toward elite status.″

As a member of the SPG program, guests are welcomed into a tier based on stay activity. These tiers include Preferred Guest, Gold Preferred and Platinum Preferred. Gold Preferred (reached after 10 stays or 25 nights in a calendar year) and Platinum (reached after 25 stays or 50 nights in a calendar year) are considered elite and enjoy additional benefits.

SPG offers travelers more luxury, in more destinations. With this program change, more members can earn elite status and enjoy their new privileges at over 1,000 incredible hotels and resorts around the world.

To learn more about these exciting changes to the SPG program visit spg.com/awardnightscount.

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 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1058 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. The company boasts one of the industry's leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. 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.

SOURCE: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

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