Le Méridien Continues Growth Momentum in North America with Signing of Le Meridien Indianapolis

Following Transformation of Historic Landmark Hotel, Le Méridien to Debut in Downtown Indianapolis in November 2014

NEW YORK - January 15, 2014 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) today announced that its Le Méridien brand will soon add Indianapolis to its rapidly growing North American portfolio. Le Méridien Indianapolis will debut in November 2014 following a $9.5 million renovation of The Historic Canterbury Hotel, a landmark property in the heart of downtown. Owned by Rockbridge and managed by Azul Hospitality, Le Méridien Indianapolis will feature a timeless chic design ethos that juxtaposes the hotel’s historic architecture with a contemporary, modern style.

The historic Canterbury site, dating back to 1858, was rebuilt in 1928 as a hotel infused with the charms of Canterbury, England. As part of the comprehensive renovation, Le Méridien Indianapolis will feature 100 modern guest rooms, local cuisine in a re-designed restaurant and lounge, an expanded fitness centre and more than 1,750 square-feet of upgraded meeting and event space.

"Le Méridien Indianapolis will bring a renewed energy to this historic landmark building, offering travellers a modern hotel experience in the heart of the city’s vibrant downtown," said Allison Reid, Senior Vice President of North America Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. "We are proud to expand our relationship with both Rockbridge and Azul Hospitality as we prepare to introduce this contemporary lifestyle brand to Indianapolis."

Le Méridien Indianapolis will feature the brand’s signature Le Méridien Hub™, which re-interprets the traditional lobby into a social gathering place, and further builds on the brand’s award-winning arrival experience and coffee culture. Le Méridien arrival consists of four elements: large-scale artwork in high impact areas; the sensory experience, illustrated through Le Méridien signature scent, sound and use of light; UNLOCK ART™ programme, featuring artist designed key card collections that offer access to Le Méridien affiliated contemporary cultural centers in the city; and a 24-hour curated soundtrack. The Hub at Le Méridien Indianapolis will also feature the signature Master Barista, a recently launched initiative to meet the growing demands of coffee lovers at every Le Méridien hotel worldwide. Master Baristas lead coffee-related initiatives at each hotel, serve as a coffee cultural ambassador, and maintain knowledge of current coffee trends within the destination.

"The major revitalization and rebranding of this special property will bring back the character of this hotel in a new and modern way," said Jim Merkel, President and CEO of Rockbridge. "The rebranding coupled with the strength of the Starwood system, will position Le Méridien Indianapolis as the place to stay in Indianapolis."

"We look forward to the debut of Le Méridien in Indianapolis as we continue to accelerate portfolio growth across North America," said Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader, Le Méridien and Westin. "Since acquiring the brand in 2005, Starwood has made significant investments in redeveloping Le Méridien, which unlocks the destination for guests through the arts, culture and cuisine in key cities around the world."

Le Méridien Indianapolis is walking distance to the Indiana Convention Center, Indiana Statehouse and the offices of numerous corporations including Eli Lilly, Brightpoint and Wellpoint. The hotel is convenient to the city’s theatres, museums, galleries and music venues, and a private entrance directly connects the hotel to the Circle Centre Mall, where guests can access the city’s climate-controlled, indoor Skywalk system.

About Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts

Le Méridien, the Paris-born hotel brand currently represented by nearly 100 properties in more than 40 countries, was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYS: HOT) in November 2005. With more than 80 of its properties located in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific, Le Méridien provided a strong international complement to Starwood's then primarily North American holdings at the time of purchase. Since then, Le Méridien has gone through a brand re-launch, which included a large scale hotels product consolidation as well as redefining its brand strategy. Through creation of the LM100 artist community, Le Méridien has transformed numerous guest touch points, thus bringing unique, interactive and curated experiences to its guests. Plans call for dynamic expansion of Le Méridien Hotels and Resorts within the next five years, concentrating on markets in Asia-Pacific and the Americas. Le Méridien recently opened new hotels in Bali, Atlanta, Dallas, Istanbul, Oran (Algeria), Arlington (Virginia, USA), and Coimbatore (India), and will open in the next 12 months in Chicago, Zhengzhou (China), Mahabaleshwar (India), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Cairo (Egypt), Qingdao (China), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Tampa (Florida, USA) and Columbus (Ohio, USA). For more information, please visit www.lemeridien.com or www.facebook.com/lemeridien. Follow @lemerdienhotels on Instagram.

About Rockbridge

Rockbridge is an integrated hotel investment firm that has executed on over 325 hotel investments in 44 states over the past two decades. Since 1992, Rockbridge’s team has invested nearly $3 billion in the hospitality industry as part of approximately $5 billion of total transaction capitalization. The principals of Rockbridge have formed and managed ten hospitality-focused investment funds with predominantly institutional investors. For additional information about Rockbridge, visit www.rockbridgecapital.com.

About Azul Hospitality

Azul Hospitality Group, a Preferred Management Company for the Le Meridien brand, has a robust infrastructure of industry professionals with extensive experience in all aspects of hotel management and development services. The company’s primary focus is on upscale hotels and resorts, with unique destination and product attributes. Other recent projects with Starwood Hotels and Resorts include the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, California, the Aloft Cupertino in Cupertino, California, and the Sheraton Redding at Sundial Bridge in Redding, California. For additional information about Azul, visit www.azulhospitalitygroup.com.

Source: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Media Contact:

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Ashley Chapman
1-212-380-4015
Global Public Relations
Le Méridien
ashley.chapman@starwoodhotels.com

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