Recognized as one of the world’s largest hotel and leisure companies, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is comprised of nine internationally renowned brands and the award-winning loyalty program Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG)®. Our brands include: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft℠, and Element℠.
Starwood Capital Partners, a real estate acquisition company backed by high net worth families, is formed in Chicago.
Starwood Capital buys its first hotels, and by 1994 owns interests in more than 30 properties.
In September, Starwood Lodging announces an agreement to purchase Westin Hotels & Resorts for $1.8 billion. The following month Starwood Lodging announces an agreement to purchase ITT Sheraton Corporation for $14.3 billion, acting as a white knight against a hostile bid from Hilton. Starwood is set to become a global enterprise. Starwood stock ends the year up by 57.48%.
In January, Starwood Lodging completes the acquisition of Westin Hotels & Resorts. With the completion of the purchase, Starwood is renamed Starwood Hotels & Resorts. In February, Starwood completes the acquisition of ITT Sheraton Corporation. Starwood’s portfolio now includes more than 650 hotels and resorts in more than 70 countries worldwide.
The first W Hotel opens in December in New York City. Designed to offer the personality and individuality of an independent, one-of-a-kind hotel – while guaranteeing the reliability and superior level of amenities and services travelers desire – the W brand adds style and personality to the industry.
Starwood acquires Vistana, Inc., a vacation ownership company, to establish an immediate presence in the growing vacation ownership market. It later becomes Starwood Vacation Ownership, one of the most profitable segments of the company.
Starwood launches Starwood Preferred Guest to reward and recognize frequent travelers. The program makes headlines with its policy of no blackout dates and no capacity controls – both industry firsts.
Three of our brands make big news in 1999. Westin Hotels & Resorts introduces the Heavenly Bed®, featuring a pillow-top mattress, down comforter and luxurious, all-white bed linens. It is an immediate success. The St. Regis brand grows from one hotel in New York City to six hotels all named to Condé Nast Traveler’s “Gold” list for 1999. The Four Points by Sheraton brand opens its 100th hotel, the Four Points by Sheraton Santa Monica in California.
In 2001 Starwood is recognized by major players in the travel industry. Starwood is named the World’s Leading Hotel Group at the Eighth Annual World Travel Awards. And Starwood Preferred Guest is voted Program of the Year for the second consecutive year during the 13th Annual Freddie Awards (since renamed the Frequent Traveler Awards), one of the most prestigious honors in the travel industry.
Westin Hotels & Resorts introduces the Heavenly Bath® in North American hotels, offering guests a temptation to leave the Heavenly Bed in the morning. Starwood introduces the Westin Heavenly Crib® and the Sheraton and Four Points by Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Crib in North America.
Starwood announces that Sheraton, Westin and W hotels will welcome dogs in the U.S. and Canada. As part of the Starwood LTD (Love That Dog) program, four-legged guests receive luxurious dog beds and amenities like plush robes, doggie toys and canine massages.
Sheraton Hotels & Resorts introduces the Sheraton Sweet Sleeper® Bed, featuring an 11.5-inch-thick high coil count Sealy Posturepedic Plush Top mattress, down and allergy-sensitive pillows, and crisp cotton sheets. This is the latest in a series of enhancements designed to elevate the brand to the top of the upscale hotel segment.
For the sixth year running, Starwood Preferred Guest is voted Program of the Year in both America and internationally during the 17th Annual Freddie Awards.
Starwood acquires Le Méridien, a brand created to share and extend the international experience. 137 properties, primarily located in Europe and the Middle East, become part of the Starwood family.
Starwood announces its much-anticipated new brands in the select-service hotels category: Aloft Hotels and Element Hotels. Conceived by the team that created W Hotels, Aloft Hotels will raise the bar in the select-service category, offering urban-inspired, loft-like guest rooms, enhanced technology services, landscaped outdoor spaces for socializing day and night, and an energetic lounge scene. Inspired by Westin Hotels & Resorts, Element Hotels intends to promote balance through flowing, multi-purpose spaces with an emphasis on environmentally-friendly design.
The first Aloft and Element hotels open in Lexington, Massachusetts.
Starwood invests $6 billion in enhancements as part of the Sheraton Revitalization project. 60 new and 120 newly renovated Sheraton hotels and resorts around the world benefit from the revitalization effort which includes 300 new lobbies, 70,000 new guest rooms, 100,000 new beds and the brand’s unique wired lobby lounge, the Link@Sheraton℠ experienced with Microsoft®.
Starwood launches a partnership with global environmental non-profit Conservation International. The partnership leads to an environmental strategy addressing priority environmental issues including hotel-level initiatives to conserve water, reduce energy consumption, enhance indoor environmental quality, and minimize waste.
Starwood celebrates a significant milestone with the opening of its 1,000th hotel. The Sheraton Qiandao Lake Resort opens on the shores of China’s famed Qiandao Lake.
Expanding on its company-wide commitment to conservation and sustainable operations, Starwood plans to significantly reduce energy and water consumption at every one of its 1,000 hotels within the decade. The target is a 30 percent reduction in energy use and a 20 percent decrease in water consumption per available room by 2020.
In April, Starwood becomes the first corporate partner to join Clean the World’s efforts to promote a global hygiene revolution. Clean the World, a social enterprise committed to saving lives and protecting our planet, announces a corporate agreement to collect and recycle hotel soaps, shampoos, conditioners, lotions and gels to help fight the global spread of preventable diseases. An estimated 1.6 million pounds of hotel soap may be recycled each year through this partnership.
Starwood’s CEO, Frits van Paasschen, and senior management move to Shanghai for the month of June. The move reflects the company’s global evolution and boom in China, its second largest market after the United States. Relocating global headquarters to China provides senior management with an on-the-ground view of the immense growth occurring in that part of the world. “Eighty percent of our future pipeline is outside of North America, and nowhere is more emblematic of our global growth than China, where we will open one hotel every two weeks this year. China’s spectacular transformation is hard to grasp unless experienced firsthand – it’s the proverbial, ‘you can’t really understand a culture until you buy groceries there.” – Frits van Paasschen
New York City becomes the first, and only, city in the world to fly all nine Starwood brand flags. Set to reach 25 hotels in New York City by 2014, Starwood has the largest portfolio of four and five star hotels in the five boroughs of New York City.
In November, Starwood hits 200th hotel milestone in Asia Pacific and widens its lead as Asia’s largest operator of four and five star hotels with a flurry of new openings at year end.
December brings the announcement of Starwood’s acquisition of 49.8% of the shares of Design Hotels AG from Arabella Hospitality SE, one of Starwood’s longtime partners in Germany. Berlin-based Design Hotels, a publicly traded company and provider of distribution, sales, marketing and consulting services for hotels boasts a portfolio of over 200 member hotels in 40 countries. Design Hotels’ hand-picked collection of hotels are independently owned, but united by a passion for thought-provoking design, aesthetic and service-driven experiences.
Starwood Preferred Guest® launches richest elite traveler benefits in history for global mega travelers – this small, but powerful, group drives 30% of the company’s profit. The more SPG members stay, the more choices are available and the more personalized the benefits become with standouts like lifetime status, first-of-its-kind 24-hour check-in and a dedicated Starwood ambassador who provides one-on-one service to uniquely tailor the guest experience.
The highly anticipated St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort & Residences opens in the affluent Florida enclave of Bal Harbour. In just five years the brand nearly tripled its global portfolio and plans to continue that dynamic growth with the upcoming openings of The St. Regis Doha, The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort in Abu Dhabi and The St. Regis Mauritius Resort, in addition to the debut of the newly renovated St. Regis Aspen Resort this year.