Riyadh – MENA Herald: From the International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) in Berlin, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) today announced its continued expansion in Europe with a record 18 organic hotel openings in 2015 and over 30 hotels already under development and expected to open in the next five years. Looking ahead, Starwood is launching the Tribute Portfolio brand in France, diversifying its brand footprint in Italy and expanding its mid-market brands in the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Russia and Turkey.
In 2015, Starwood further strengthened its lead in the luxury segment with openings including The St. Regis Istanbul and W Amsterdam, as well as four The Luxury Collection hotels in destinations such as Prague, Bodrum and Bratislava. Furthermore, Starwood introduced its new Tribute Portfolio brand, a collection of outstanding independent hotels, to Europe with the Great Northern Hotel in London.
“Our strong growth in Europe was instrumental in Starwood’s record-breaking growth in 2015 as we continue to focus on high-quality portfolio growth in desirable and strategic destinations,” said Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “Our growth forecast for Europe is stronger than ever with over 30 hotels set to open across our 10 distinct lifestyle brands by 2020.”
“We maintained a steady transaction pace in 2015 with conversions driving almost 40 percent of new hotel signings across Europe, reflecting strong owner interest in our design-led brands and confidence in Starwood’s powerful global systems,” said Michael Wale, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East. “We are on track to open close to 10 hotels in Europe this year, introducing our distinct brands to more new markets, and continue to work with our partners on further investments in our existing Sheraton and Le Méridien hotels.”
2016 Opening Highlights in Europe:
Following the W brand’s lauded entry into The Netherlands with W Amsterdam, the hotel will unveil its second building with 66 rooms, complementing the existing 172 rooms. On track to reach over 75 W Hotels globally by 2020, the brand recently announced the signing for a W hotel in Madrid which will open in 2018.
In the upper upscale segment, Tribute Portfolio makes a double debut in France in March with Le Metropolitan and Le Dokhan’s, both located in the upmarket 16th Arrondissement of Paris, within easy reach of landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and Avenue des Champs-Elysées.
The Westin brand has an exciting year ahead with two openings in Europe: The Westin Hamburg, which will offer breath-taking water views from atop the new Elbe Philharmonic Hall on the banks of the river Elbe, and The Westin La Quinta Golf & Spa Resort, a conversion in the famous sun-drenched Golf Valley near Marbella.
Together with its hotel owners, Starwood continues to grow and refresh Le Méridien brand’s European portfolio. Milestone projects this year include: The contemporary lifestyle brand will re-enter Italy by the end of this year with Le Méridien Visconti Rome, which is located in the Prati district near the Vatican, following a conversion and extensive renovation. Furthermore, this year, the brand will complete the renovation of its first and flagship property, Le Méridien Etoile in Paris, alongside the transformation of lobby spaces in Le Méridien hotels in Vienna and Hamburg into lively ‘Le Méridien Hubs.’
Starwood’s largest and most iconic brand Sheraton remains on track to add 150 new Sheraton hotels around the globe by 2020. Echoing the company’s conversion strategy, recent examples include Sheraton Cascais Resort, which became Starwood’s third Sheraton hotel in Portugal when it joined the brand last month, and Sheraton Donnafugata in Sicily, which will welcome guests beginning in May. As part of the Sheraton 2020 plan to solidify Sheraton as a leading global hotel brand of choice, Sheraton Park Lane in London, Sheraton Berlin Grand Hotel Esplanade and Sheraton Paris Airport Hotel & Conference Centre will unveil smart, intuitive and forward-looking design when renovations are finished later this year.
Aloft, Element and Four Points have re-energized the mid-market space and created an unprecedented level of buzz in the development community as they expand across Europe. Keeping up with the rising trend of guests seeking eco-conscious alternatives, Element Hotels introduced its whole-living, sustainable lifestyle to The Netherlands earlier this year with the opening of Element Amsterdam in the vibrant Buitenveldert business hub. Known for its genuine service, stylish comfort and flexible options for developers, Four Points by Sheraton boasts Starwood’s fastest growing pipeline globally. Following its successful entry into Turkey last year, the brand will expand its footprint in the country over the next four years with new signings in Atasehir and Kagithane districts in Istanbul and the coastal city of Izmir. Aloft continues to introduce its passion for live music, vibrant design and innovation across Europe, most recently announcing the Aloft Brighton, which will be the brand’s fourth hotel in the United Kingdom when it opens next year.