Starwood Announces Addition of the Celebrated King George Hotel in Athens to its Luxury Collection Portfolio Later this Year
BERLIN - (BUSINESS WIRE - Mar. 5, 2013 - From the International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) in Berlin, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced plans to open 50 new hotels in Europe over the next five years, increasing its European hotel portfolio by 30%. This year, Starwood will open nine new hotels across the continent, primarily in fast-growing markets, a key focus of Starwood's long-term development strategy in Europe. At the same time, Starwood and its partners are making significant investments to restore and enhance some of the company's most iconic European hotels.
"Europe continues to be home to many of the world's most sought-after destinations and to attract travellers from markets around the globe," said Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood. "There is strong demand for all of our brands on the continent and, after years of tight supply, we are seeing great deal signing momentum in Europe both in established and rapidly growing markets."
Since 2009, Starwood has added 25 new hotels to its European portfolio of now 163 hotels in 32 countries. This year alone, the company will open nine new hotels in established as well as fast-growing markets such as Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Turkey. Highlights include:
Bart Carnahan, Senior Vice President Acquisition & Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa & Middle East, said: "In an effort to maintain our rapid growth momentum throughout Europe, we have strengthened our development team with dedicated resources in the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Russia, Poland and Turkey, underscoring our commitment to Europe as a key travel and tourism destination."
As the company continues to expand its portfolio throughout Europe, Starwood is also focused on enhancing its existing portfolio of iconic European luxury hotels. Along with its owner partners, Starwood is investing more than $200 million to renovate and restore its Luxury Collection hotels, bringing these heritage properties into the 21st century, while preserving the authentic elegance and distinct personality valued by today's luxury traveller.
Last year, Starwood re-opened two illustrious hotels in Spain following meticulous multi-million dollar restorations: Hotel Alfonso XIII in Seville and Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastian. Just last month, the world-famous Gritti Palace in Venice was re-introduced after a careful restoration, to be followed by the legendary Hotel Prince de Galles in Paris, which will re-open its doors in May.
"As part of Starwood's strategy to strengthen our Luxury Collection brand portfolio, together with our partners, we are making major investments to renovate and restore some of our most iconic hotels," commented Roeland Vos, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East. "At the same time, we see a large landscape of independent luxury hotels looking for a strong brand and the ability to tap into Starwood's powerful systems, so we expect some well-established conversion opportunities in key European cities this year."
Starwood continues to grow its Luxury Collection portfolio through flagship conversions in major European capitals, including the recent conversions of Metropol Palace in Belgrade (Serbia), Hotel Bristol in Warsaw (Poland) and Hotel King George in Athens (Greece).
Starwood is seeing strong momentum for its Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft and Element brands in markets around the globe where there is a long runway to grow reliable and affordable hospitality. The company's mid-market portfolio has grown over 60% worldwide since 2009, reflecting the global appeal of each of these brands.
In Europe, Starwood's mid-market brands make up approximately half of its pipeline and by 2015 the company will have nearly doubled its current mid-market portfolio in the region through a mix of franchise and management contracts. Strong demand is coming from markets like the UK/Ireland, Benelux, Italy, France, Russia, Poland, Turkey as well as Germany, where Starwood will open four new mid-market hotels by 2015. This includes the European debut of the Element brand with Element Frankfurt Airport Hotel, a Four Points by Sheraton hotel at Berlin Brandenburg International Airport as well as the entry of the Aloft brand into Germany with the openings of Aloft Munich and Aloft Stuttgart.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,134 properties in nearly 100 countries and 171,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and ElementSM. 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 also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
Source: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts