EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. plans to open 50 hotels in Europe, Africa and the Middle East over the next three to five years.
With growth fueled by demand for its lifestyle and luxury brands, the company expects to launch 12 of hotels in the region this year. Globally, Starwood expects to open 70 to 80 hotels in 2011.
“Starwood’s luxury and design-led brands are driving our growth in all geographic regions as we continue to offer travelers more luxury and more memorable experiences in more destinations,” says Simon Turner, president of global development for Starwood. “We are targeting new-build and conversion opportunities across all nine of our world-class brands, with particular interest in Europe’s fastest-growing markets throughout East Central Europe.”
Key upcoming openings in the region include five new St. Regis hotels in primary destinations such as Italy, Mauritius, United Arab Emirates and Qatar; the debut of W Hotels in London, Paris and St. Petersburg; and the launch of Le Méridien in Turkey.
Starwood will double its portfolio in Russia by 2013 and will see a 60% growth rate in Turkey, opening hotels under three of its brands in these markets. In Turkey, this year’s opening of Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler will be followed by Sheraton Bursa and Aloft Bursa in 2013. And in Russia, Starwood is set to debut the new W St. Petersburg this spring, followed by the opening of Sheraton hotels in Perm and Rostov-on-Don in 2013.
Starwood is making significant investments to enhance its existing portfolio, as well. In Europe, Starwood is investing more than US$100 million in renovations, including landmark Luxury Collection hotels such as Hotel Gritti Palace in Venice, Hotel Alfonso XIII in Seville, Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastian, Imperial Hotel in Vienna and Hotel Prince de Galles in Paris.
Starwood is especially focused on enhancing its largest brands in the region, Sheraton and Le Méridien. Sheraton recently invested nearly US$300 million to renovate existing properties in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Le Méridien expects to complete its investment of US$30 million to renovate 40% of its portfolio in the region by 2014.