Despite Euro-Zone Crisis, Company Sees Increased Demand for Growth in EuropeContinues to Make Significant Investments in Existing Portfolio. (W Hotel Paris pictured below)
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced that it will open 25 new hotels in Europe over the next four years. The company already opened two new flagship hotels in Europe with a W hotel in Paris and a Le Meridien hotel in Istanbul. Globally, Starwood plans to open 80 new hotels in 2012, after 112 new hotel deals in 2011.Starwood's growth in Europe is being focused on key markets, including Russia, Ukraine and Turkey. Starwood will double its portfolio in Russia and Ukraine by 2014 with openings in Moscow, Rostov-on-Don, Perm and Kiev. In Turkey, Starwood is expanding its pipeline with four new hotels opening in a three-year period, including the recent debut of Le Meridien Istanbul Etiler, marking the brand's entrance into the country. With that, Starwood will operate 10 hotels in Turkey under five of its distinct brands.Starwood has grown its global luxury room count by 75 percent. Turning to 2012, more than 60 percent of Starwood's new hotels will be in the luxury and upper-upscale segment.In Europe, Starwood continues to expand its W Hotels brand. Following the launch of the W brand in Europe just four years ago, Starwood has opened new W hotels in London, Barcelona, St. Petersburg, Istanbul and most recently in Paris with the new W Paris -- Opera. The company will open two additional W Hotels in Europe next year with the new W Milan and the brand's first ski resort, W Verbier Retreat & Spa in Switzerland.Starwood is also making significant investments to enhance its existing luxury portfolio in Europe. The company has invested more than $100 million USD to renovate and restore some of its most iconic Luxury Collection hotels, including the Grand Hotel in Florence, which re-opened last year as a St. Regis hotel, as well as the Hotel Alfonso XIII in Seville, Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastian, Hotel Prince de Galles in Paris and Hotel Gritti Palace in Venice.The enhancement of the Sheraton brand continues to be a focus with a $6 billion USD investment in new hotels and renovations of existing Sheraton hotels. In Europe, there is a major renovation of the Sheraton Edinburgh underway, the UK's flagship Sheraton Hotel.