White Plains, NY - December 20, 2007 – aloha! Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.® (NYSE:HOT) today announces that its much-anticipated new lifestyle brand, aloft SM hotels, will partner with Urbanedge Hotels Private Limited, a joint venture between Citigroup Property Investors and Auromatrix Hotels Private Limited, to develop aloft hotels across India. The brand’s first two hotels to open in India will be aloft Bangalore, Whitefield and aloft Chennai, OMR - Sholinganallur.
“Its exotic landscapes, rich cultural heritage and booming economy make India one of the world’s most vibrant markets and a perfect match for the energy and vitality of aloft hotels,” Brian McGuinness, Vice President of aloft and element hotels. “We're thrilled to bring a bold new lodging alternative to the ‘land for all seasons’ with the arrival of our two new aloft hotels in Bangalore and Chennai."
Starwood has been quick to respond to India’s increased need for lodging, driven by the country’s brisk economic growth. In the past year, Starwood has aggressively expanded its footprint in this fast-growing market, signing deals to open new hotels in markets throughout India across several of its brands including two new Sheratons, three new Westins and these two new aloft hotels. Starwood now offers a total of seven hotels in India, including properties already in operation as well as those under development.
Developers in India have expressed a keen interest in aloft hotels, particularly in newly developing sub-markets in both major urban centers and secondary cities. In response, Starwood has tailored aloft to meet the needs of the Indian market by including an all-day dining restaurant and more space for meetings
“We are excited to introduce aloft to India and look forward to offering visitors a fresh, fun and inspiring atmosphere,” 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.”
aloft Bangalore, Whitefield
aloft Bangalore, Whitefieldwill provide visitors with an exciting new alternative to current lodging options when it opens in 2010. Facilities will include 170 rooms, a large restaurant and more than 8,500 square feet of meeting space. The hotel will be located in Whitfield, Bangalore, one of the city’s two major clusters of Information Technology industries, home to several IT parks and an export promotion zone. Bangalore is the capital of the state of Karnataka and is often referred to as the “Silicon Valley” of India.
aloft Chennai, OMR - Sholinganallur
Also scheduled to open in 2010, the 140-room aloft Chennai, OMR - Sholinganallurwill be located on the Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR), the hub for IT development in Chennai. The hotel will also offer over 5,000 square feet of meeting space and a restaurant. The city of Chennai is located on the east coast of India and is the capital of Tamil Nadu. Traditionally, an important automobile manufacturing center, Chennai has become a leading destination for software development and business process outsourcing in recent years.
As a Vision of W® Hotels, the aloft brand wasformally launched in India at the Hotel Investment Conference South Asia (HICSA) in Mumbai in April 2007, and 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 loft rooms featuring nine-foot ceilings and oversized windows to create a bright, airy environment. The centerpiece of the aloft room is the ultra-comfortable signature bed. 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 Bangalore, Whitefield and aloft Chennai, OMR-Sholinganalur will offer atmosphericpublicspaces 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 SM. 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 SM, a one-stop food and beverage area, offers sweet, savory and healthy food, snacks and beverages to grab & go, 24-hours a day.
The first aloft hotels are targeted to open in 2008, with locations expected to be anytown/anywhere… For more information on aloft, please visit 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 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 890 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®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft(SM), and Element(SM). Starwood Hotels also owns 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.)