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ALOFT DEBUTS IN NYC AS HARLEM’S FIRST NEW HOTEL FROM A MAJOR BRAND IN A CENTURY - Dezember 29, 2010
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. and its “style at a steal” Aloft brand today announced the opening of Aloft Harlem, its first New York City hotel.

WHITE PLAINS, NY, December 29, 2010 – The birthplace of jazz is about to get even cooler. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) and its “style at a steal” Aloft brand today announced the opening of Aloft Harlem, its first New York City hotel.  Located in the heart of Harlem at the corner of Frederick Douglass Boulevard and 124th Street, Aloft will soon become the area’s hottest destination and the first hotel from a major brand to open in the neighborhood in a century.

Aloft Hotels is the sizzling design-led, tech-savvy brand from Starwood that is shaking up the hospitality industry.  It has enjoyed the fastest ramp-up of any brand in hotel history with more than 40 hotels open globally since its June 2008 launch.  Aloft offers urban-influenced, modern, open and vibrant design – and a social guest experience with its dynamic re:mix lounge and destination w xyz bar – all at an affordable price point.  Aloft hotels feature stylish guest rooms, a tech-savvy sensibility and atmospheric public spaces, promising a fresh, fun and affordable way for the next generation of traveler to explore New York City.

“Aloft’s vibrant social atmosphere will provide the perfect complement to the dynamic and energetic neighborhood of Harlem,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood.  “Not only is Aloft ushering in a new era of lodging in Harlem, but we’ll be a local neighborhood outpost for the community as well, and we look forward to becoming an integral part of the Harlem landscape.” 

Featuring 124 loft-like guest rooms, Aloft Harlem is part of a mixed-use project which also includes Apex, 44 contemporary condominium residences, and retail space. The hotel offers easy access to Columbia University as well as Harlem’s most buzzed about destinations, from the iconic Apollo Theater to the cutting-edge Studio Museum.  Aloft Harlem is just steps away from the 125th Street subway station and a quick and convenient ride to anywhere in Manhattan.  And, from now through March 31, 2011, guests who book Aloft Harlem will earn double Starwood Preferred Guest points for every stay, as well as a $20 voucher for redemption at the hotel’s w xyz bar or the re:fuel by Aloft 24/7 pantry.

“We’re delighted to celebrate the grand opening of the first Aloft hotel in New York City which will provide a modern and luxurious escape for leisure and business travelers alike,” notes Richard Gorsky, who leads the RCG Longview Development/Ownership team.  “Harlem is a resurgent community which has retained its timeless charm while embracing new lifestyle attractions – particularly along the bustling Frederick Douglass Boulevard corridor.”

Engaged with the local community even before its doors were open, Aloft Harlem put its own spin on the traditional job fair and held “auditions” to recruit the very best local talent at the Apollo Theater.

“We could not be more excited to become a member of one of the richest and most historic New York City neighborhoods,” said Daniel Fevre, General Manager of Aloft Harlem.  “Harlem has long been a highly visited destination in Manhattan and we look forward to providing a unique lodging alternative in the area.”

Always on the forefront of new technology, Aloft will roll out its innovative Smart Check-In program at Aloft Harlem.  Smart Check-In will allow guests to skip the front desk and head directly to their rooms with a special RFID-powered keycard.

Aloft Harlem is managed by Prospsera Hospitality.

About Aloft Hotels
At every Aloft, savvy travelers can read the paper, work on their laptops via complimentary hotel-wide wireless Internet access, play a game of pool or grab a drink with friends at the sassy w xyz bar.  The re:charge SM fitness center gives travelers the opportunity 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.

Guest rooms feature urban-influenced design, while the centerpiece of each Aloft room is an ultra-comfortable plush platform bed. Loft-like nine-foot ceilings and oversized windows create a bright, airy environment.  Large, stylish bathrooms complement the guest experience with walk-in showers featuring rainfall showerheads and signature bath amenities created by Bliss® Spa.  Each Aloft room is also a combination high-tech office and entertainment center, featuring wired and wireless Internet access andplug & play, a one-stop connectivity solution for multiple electronic gadgetry such as PDAs, cell phones, mp3 players and laptops – all linked to a large, 42” flat-panel HDTV-ready television for optimal sound and viewing.

With 40 hotels open in the 18 months since Aloft first arrived on the scene and 10 more opening in 2010, Aloft can be found everywhere from Abu Dhabi and Baltimore to Dallas and Beijing and everywhere in between.  For more information, please visit www.alofthotels.com.

Guests at Aloft can earn free nights at any Starwood Hotels & Resorts property – the world’s most sought-after collection of hotels – through the Preferred Guest program.  To learn more, visit www.spg.com.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1025 properties in 100 countries and territories with 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft®, 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

About RCG Longview
RCG Longview (www.rcglongview.com), a real estate operating and investment management platformformed during 1999, is managed by Ramius LLC (www.ramius.com) and The Feil Organization (www.feilorg.com).  Since inception, RCG Longview has invested in excess of $3.5 billion in real estate comprising over 420 transactions.  RCG Longview’s experience is deep and diverse, spanning quality, ground-up residentialdevelopment projects, such as Apex (www.apexcondominiums.com), as well as redevelopment and core investments in the residential, industrial, office and retail sectors. The managers and their principals have been investing in real estate for over 50 years, and currently own and/or manage in excess of 25,500 residential apartments and over 20.6 million square feet of office/retail/industrial space.

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