White Plains, N.Y. / Mumbai, India – April 5, 2007 – aloha! Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) and W Hotels have done it again. Infused with the DNA of W - aloft hotels formally launched in India today at the 3rd Hotel Investment Conference South Asia in Mumbai.
Drawing on the power of W Hotels - a global lifestyle brand with 21 properties in the most vibrant cities around the world, inspiring and indulging its guests with thoughtful, refreshing and stylish experiences, signature restaurants, bars and destination spas - aloft will raise the bar in the select-service category, offering urban-inspired, loft-like guest rooms, leading edge technology services, and an energetic lounge scene.
“We say aloha! to ‘the land of all seasons’ with the introduction of aloft hotels in India,” said Ross Klein, President of Starwood's Luxury Brand Group and aloft hotels. “aloft will bring style, convenience and a social atmosphere to the diverse and bustling Indian landscape, offering a fun new way to play and stay to a global community of business and leisure travelers."
“We are excited to be introducing aloft to South Asia and are looking forward to offering a fresh, inspiring and ultimately more fun experience to visitors,” said Miguel Ko, President Asia Pacific, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “Our key development partners have assisted us in refining our prototype and signature features to create a product that travelers to aloft in India will love.” added Ko.
Results from surveys indicate a preference for hot food options and a full service restaurant in India, as well as extended banquet facilities. As a result, the North American aloft prototype will be adapted for the Indian market to incorporate a full service restaurant as well as banquet services which will be provided by qualified third party operators. In addition, re:fuel by aloft will offer enhanced food offerings including a range of hot food options.
As a Vision of W Hotels, aloft is shaking up the lodging industry with urban-influenced design, accessible technology, style and a social atmosphere. aloft offers a total sensory experience, with guest lofts featuring loft-like nine-foot ceilings and oversized windows to create a bright, airy environment. The centerpiece of the loft room is the ultra-comfortable signature bed, and large stylish bathrooms complement the guest experience with oversized walk-in showers and amenities created by bliss spa®.Each guest loft is also a combination high-tech office and entertainment center, featuring wireless internet access and plug & play , a one-stop connectivity solution for multiple electronic gadgetry such as PDAs, cell phones, mp3 players and laptops - all linked to a large flat panel HDTV ready television for optimal sound and viewing.
Designed in conjunction with world-renowned David Rockwell and The Rockwell Group, aloft stays true to W’s heritage, offering atmospheric public spaces designed to draw guests from their rooms to socialize and make friends. Guests can read the paper, work on their laptops via hotel-wide wireless internet access, play a game of pool or grab a drink with friends at the re:mix communal lobby area and bar w xyz . The re:charge fitness center and splash , the indoor or outdoor pool, give travelers options to de-stress and re-energize; while re:fuel by aloft , a one-stop food and beverage area, offers sweet, savory and healthy food, snacks and beverages to grab & go, 24-hours a day.
Starwood® anticipates the first aloft hotels to open in early 2008, and is targeting 500 properties globally by 2012, with locations expected all across the globe. With over 100 franchise deals in the pipeline worldwide, aloft has announced properties in locations ranging from Beijing to Brussels to Bay Harbor, Florida. To view a complete list of aloft locations, please visit the website at www.alofthotels.com.
Infused with the DNA of W Hotels, aloft is a new destination sensation featuring loft-inspired design, accessible technology and a stylish urban attitude. Starwood anticipates the first aloft hotels to open in early 2008, with 500 properties worldwide expected by 2012.
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.® is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 870 properties in more than 100 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood® Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, Sheraton®, Westin®, Four Points® by Sheraton, W®, Le Méridien and the recently announced aloft SM and Element HotelsSM. Starwood Hotels also own Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
(Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made. These risks and uncertainties are presented in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although we believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that our expectations will be attained or that results and events will not materially differ. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.)