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Starwood to Open First Element Hotel in Asia Pacific - Jul 10, 2013

Suzhou, China – July 10, 2013 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today signed an agreement with Suzhou Science and Technology Town Kexin Cultural Tourism Development Co., Ltd. to open a new-build Element® hotel in Suzhou Science and Technology Town (SSTT), an eco-city adjacent to the commercial and administrative center of the city’s high tech industrial development zone.

Slated for completion in mid-2015, the hotel, Element Suzhou Science and Technology Town (Element Suzhou), marks the Element brand’s entry to Asia Pacific, as well as the presence of all of Starwood’s nine differentiated lifestyle brands in the region.

Launched in 2008, the Element brand has made history as the only major global hotel brand to mandate that all of its properties pursue LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for high-performance buildings. More than just a “green” hotel brand, however, Element hotels are designed to provide the balance that business and leisure travelers need to thrive on the road.

“We are delighted to introduce the Element brand in Asia Pacific with this hotel in China, our fastest growing and most dynamic travel market,” said Qian Jin, President, Greater China, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “Chinese travelers are open to, and seek out, innovative and affordable hotel brands, and Element’s arrival not only completes Starwood’s brand line-up, but also echoes the growing consciousness of sustainable development in China.”

Robert Zhang, Vice President, Acquisitions & Development, Greater China, added, “The Element brand with its trailblazing eco-wise proposition, is a great fit with SSTT’s green concept. We expect this new property to become a flagship Element hotel, re-setting the bar on hotel innovation and sustainability in the region.”

“Starwood is the largest global luxury and upper-scale hotel operator in the world, with nine distinctive brands, including the eco-conscious Element, a perfect match with Suzhou Science and Technology Town, an eco-city that promotes a harmonious relationship among technology, nature, and culture,” said Chen Ming, Deputy Director of Suzhou Science and Technology Town Administration Committee, Suzhou Science and Technology Town Kexin Cultural Tourism Development Co., Ltd. “We are confident that this will become a mutually beneficial collaboration. We look forward to the successful opening of Element Suzhou Science and Technology Town, which will set a new benchmark for the hospitality industry.”

Bordering Shanghai in the east, Suzhou is a prime example of a fast growing secondary city. With over 2,500 years of rich history, Suzhou is transforming into an urbanized, high tech industrial development zone. It currently houses firms engaged in the electronics, IT, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, electrical machinery, and chemicals industries.

Located at the intersection of Jialingjiang and Wuyishan Roads, Element Suzhou will be situated in SSTT, an eco-city adjacent to the commercial and administrative center of the High-Tech District. Since 2003, over 150 state-level research institutes, R&D organizations, tech-based innovative companies, training organizations, and outsourcing and design companies have settled in SSTT.

With seamless access to the Sunan Shuofang International Airport, high speed rail network and modern expressways, Element Suzhou will be conveniently connected to all parts of the city, including the famed Taihu Lake and downtown Suzhou. Also, as Suzhou is adjacent to the Shanghai Municipality, it can be reached via Hongqiao and Pudong Airports.

In keeping with the tenets of the Element brand, Element Suzhou’s 190 stylish and sustainable guestrooms will feature the signature Heavenly® Bed, a fluid design of modular furniture, swiveling flat-screen televisions, large desks, and custom-designed closets. Bathrooms will be spa-inspired, with an invigorating rain shower and dual-flush toilet.

In addition, the hotel will offer approximately 10,764 square feet of versatile meeting space, a well-equipped business center, a 24-hour fitness center, and an indoor heated swimming pool. Other brand signatures will include Element’s healthy breakfast and relaxing evening reception with hot and cold appetizers as well as beer, wine, and soft drinks. All day dining will be available with three to four private dining rooms, and a grab-and-go pantry for quick healthy meals.

“As we establish Element as the region’s most eco- and guest-friendly extended-stay hospitality brand, we will continue to look for development partners who are as committed as Suzhou Science and Technology Town Kexin Cultural Tourism Development to environmental initiatives and sustainable practices,” said Mr. Zhang.

Starwood’s presence in Greater China dates back to 1985 when the Sheraton Great Wall Beijing debuted as the first internationally branded hotel in the country. Today Starwood operates 120 hotels, with more than 100 properties in the development pipeline, making China the company’s second largest hotel market behind only the United States. Adding to Starwood’s long established presence in major Chinese cities, the company is focused on expansion in second and third tier cities.

Starwood currently manages Four Points by Sheraton Suzhou and is on track to open six hotels by 2018. In addition to Element Suzhou, the pipeline includes The 1958, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Suzhou; Four Points by Sheraton Suzhou, Mudu; The Westin Suzhou Xiangcheng; W Suzhou, and Sheraton Suzhou Taihu Resort.

Starwood as a global company always plays an active role in environment protection. Back in 2010, Starwood established a commitment to reduce energy use by 30% and water use by 20% by the year 2020.

For more information, please visit www.elementhotels.com.

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About Element Hotels
Element® Hotels is made to order for guests in the know and on the go.  Its bright design defies convention, bathing guest rooms and public spaces in natural light.  Stylish and sustainable throughout, Element offers extended stay comfort with a conscience and lots of signature amenities from its healthy RISE breakfast and RELAX evening reception to saline swimming pools, spacious fitness centers, bikes to borrow and electric vehicle charging stations. Starwood’s latest brand innovation, Element made history in 2008 as the only major hotel brand to pursue LEED certification for high-performance buildings brand-wide.  To date, there are Element hotels in 10 U.S. markets, and Canada, with new domestic and international hotels in development.  Visit www.ElementHotels.com or connect on Facebook and Twitter.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,146 properties in nearly 100 countries and 171,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood 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, Aloft®, and Element®. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com .

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