Starwood Hotels & Resorts doubling footprint in China

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Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. recently announced that it had reached a historic milestone with 103 hotels open and in operation and now another 100 signed hotel deals in the pipeline for Greater China, Starwood’s second largest market outside of the United States.  The announcement was made as part of celebrations at the Sheraton Shanghai Hongkou Hotel on the heels of Starwood’s Asia Pacific Investor Day.

“Our celebration of our more than 100 hotels in operation and 100 hotels in the pipeline marks another significant milestone for Starwood’s growth and development in China as we double our footprint in the region,” said Vasant Prabhu, Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.  “Our success in China reflects our first mover advantage, the strength of our brands and the entrusted partnerships we have fostered with our developers, partners, and guests since our first landmark debut with The Great Wall Sheraton Hotel in Beijing in 1985.”

Sheraton Macao Hotel will be Starwood’s largest hotel globally. Sheraton Macao Hotel will be Starwood’s largest hotel globally.

Starwood has already opened 11 hotels in China in 2012 and expects to open another 13 by year’s end.

“With more high-end hotels in China today than any of our competitors, our long lead will be enhanced by the record number of new hotels we have in our pipeline,” said Starwood’s President of Global Development, Simon Turner.  “China continues to present tremendous growth opportunities for Starwood as we drive to introduce our valued, world class brands into new markets that do not yet have a major international branded hotel.”

Sheraton Hotels, in particular, will continue to play a leading role in maintaining Starwood’s premier position in the region, as its growth trajectory is on track to reach 90 hotels in Greater China by 2016.  Driven by strong demand in second and third tier cities, Sheraton Hotels is slated to open seven new properties across China, including Changbaishan, Dalian, Huzhou, Hefei, Jiaozhou, Fuzhou and Macao by the end of 2012.

In addition, the Sheraton brand will celebrate its 75th anniversary with another distinguished landmark as the brand opens Starwood’s largest hotel globally, Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central, which will also become the largest hotel in Macao.

Located on Asia’s own bustling Las Vegas strip, Sheraton Macao will open the first phase of its 3,863-room in September 2012 and be fully open by the end of first quarter of 2013.  Featuring a main ballroom the size of over 11 basketball courts combined, the hotel will offer over 15,000 sq m of meeting space with access to a further 5,000 sq m within the Cotai Central complex.  Leisure facilities will include three restaurants, poolside cafes and the world’s largest Sheraton Club.  The opening will further strengthen Starwood’s lead as China’s largest luxury and upper-upscale international hotel group.

The Westin brand boasts a pipeline of 11 new hotels set to join its existing portfolio of 16 award-winning properties, including The Westin Bund Center Shanghai and The Westin Guangzhou.

Globally renowned Le Méridien Hotels features 8 hotels in Qingdao, Chongqing, Xiamen, Shanghai, Shimei Bay, Sheshan, Taipei and Hong Kong, with an additional 6 hotels in the pipeline.

Industry innovator W Hotels will debut the first W hotel in mainland China with W Guangzhou by the beginning of 2013.  It is also preparing to open another 4 hotels by 2017 in Macau, Beijing, Shanghai and Changsha.