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Element, Starwood’s Trailblazing Eco-Chic Boutique Brand, Debuts in New Jersey - Jan 7, 2010

WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK – January 7, 2010 –Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announces the opening of its first ElementSM hotel in New Jersey and the seventh Element hotel globally, Element Ewing-Hopewell in Ewing, New Jersey, just 10 minutes outside Princeton.  The hotel is owned through a joint venture between American Properties Realty, Inc. and Hersha Hospitality Management, L.P., which is also the manager of the hotel.

Element, Starwood’s green trailblazer, made history when it launched as the only major hotel brand to mandate that its properties pursue the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for high-performance buildings.  With 127 guest rooms and more than 2,000 square feet of meeting space, Element Ewing delivers a no-compromise, eco-chic experience with inviting and inspiring public spaces, modern amenities and smart design.  As an example of the hotel’s commitment to sustainable operations, Element Ewing will offer a curbside charging station for electric vehicles for local residents and guests alike.

Element Ewing provides a refreshing new choice for Mercer County business and leisure travelers alike.  The hotel is strategically located between Princeton and Trenton, and Ewing and the surrounding area is home to corporations including Merrill Lynch,  Bristol-Myers Squibb , Johnson & Johnson, Medeikon, Solar Energy Corporation, Redpoint Bio, Thermo-Temp Corporation, and Educational Testing Services, along with the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton at Ewing.

“In a region where business thrives on fresh ideas and bold thinking, we’re pleased to introduce Element’s inspiring, invigorating guest experience,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood.  “Whether they’re staying for three nights or three weeks, guests will appreciate the energizing atmosphere they’ll find at Element Ewing.”  The hotel’s opening will also bring more than 35 new – and green – jobs to Mercer County, McGuinness added.

“We are very excited to launch the first Element Hotel in New Jersey and to offer a newly built and smartly designed longer stay alternative for business and leisure travelers in the Ewing-Hopewell market,” said Naveen P. Kakarla, Executive Vice President of Hersha Hospitality Management.  “We designed this hotel along with our partners at American Properties Realty with renewed focus on improving energy and environmental performance metrics, including energy savings, water efficiency, CO2-emissions reduction and improved indoor environmental quality.  Our development objectives align closely with our ongoing operational initiative on the environment and sustainable hotel operations across approximately 70 hotels under management,” Kakarla added.

Smart from the Start

Element Hotels’ unique design philosophy is evident the moment a guest arrives at Element Ewing-Hopewell.  After passing through the hotel’s signature portal, guests are greeted with an energizing environment of clean design and a large open space flooded with natural light from a multi-storied window wall. The vitality of the interior lobby is matched by the energy of the hotel’s outdoor fire pit, barbecue and soothing water feature.

In guest rooms, multi-purpose, modular furniture, swiveling flat-screen televisions, large desks with open shelving and custom-designed closets allow guests to customize their space.   Guest rooms feature the signature Westin Heavenly® Bed, and each morning guests will be recharged in the spa-inspired shower.  Perfectly suited for longer-stay guests, all rooms offer a fully equipped kitchen that features modern, ENERGY STAR-rated appliances and all the utensils necessary to prepare a gourmet meal.

A signature complimentary Rise breakfast offering, free wired and wireless Internet access, 24-hour Restore gourmet pantry, state-of-the-art Motion fitness center, chlorine-free pool and uninterrupted indoor/outdoor public spaces delivers everything guests need to work, relax or socialize on their schedule.

Green from the Ground Up

At Element, green features are cleverly designed to be as aesthetically appealing as they are eco-friendly, so guests never compromise on style and comfort.  Eco-friendly materials are used whenever possible and natural light is maximized throughout the hotels. To reduce waste, guest room bathrooms are equipped with amenity dispensers, kitchens are supplied with silverware and glassware instead of plastic utensils and paper cups, and filtered drinking water is available rather than plastic water bottles.  Recycling bins are available in guest rooms and public areas.  Element hotels conserve water and energy with low-flow faucets and fixtures, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and energy-efficient appliances.  Even the ubiquitous “Do Not Disturb” sign has been replaced with an environmentally-friendly magnet.  For more information, please visit www.elementhotels.com.

Element Hotels, like all brands within Starwood’s portfolio, is proud to offer the Starwood Preferred Guest® program, which made headlines when it launched in 1999 with a breakthrough policy of no blackout dates on Free Night Awards. To learn more, please visit www.spg.com.

About American Properties Realty, Inc.

American Properties is a fully integrated development, investment and management company operating in New Jersey for over 40 years.  American Properties has constructed over 10,000 homes, apartments and condominiums.  In addition, it has completed over 1,000 hotel rooms and 3 million square feet of office space.  The company has active projects in Ewing, Chesterfield, Matawan, and Eatontown.  The company is headquartered in Woodbridge, New Jersey.  It is one of the first building companies in New Jersey to obtain LEED certification and has received awards from the NJ DEP for its development practices.  Many of its communities have received the highest awards from the NJ Builders Association.

About Hersha Hospitality Management

Hersha Hospitality Management currently operates approximately 70 hotels in the nation’s leading markets, including six hotels in the Princeton-Trenton corridor in New Jersey. The company provides turnkey hotel management and asset management for properties with leading brand affiliations, including Starwood, Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, and InterContinental Hotel Group, and a newly launched “Independent Collection” (www.independentcollection.com). Including hotels under construction, HHM operates hotels under 20 brands. The company’s clients include publicly traded companies, joint ventures, institutional real estate owners and private investors. Additional information about HHM may be found at www.hershahotels.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 960 properties in 97 countries and 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.