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2013-02-21

Le Méridien Continues Strong Growth Momentum with Opening of Le Méridien Atlanta Perimeter

NEW YORK – February 21, 2013 – Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced the opening of Le Méridien Atlanta Perimeter, the first Le Méridien hotel to open in the Atlanta metropolitan area and one of nine new Le Méridien hotels slated to open within the next 12 months.  Located in the bustling Perimeter Center business district, just minutes from downtown Atlanta, the hotel is owned by RockBridge Capital and managed by Wischermann Partners.

“The opening of Le Méridien Atlanta Perimeter is a true milestone as we kick off a year marked by strong growth momentum for Le Méridien,” said Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader, Le Méridien and Westin Hotels. “Since its acquisition by Starwood, Le Méridien has transformed under the company into a contemporary, design-led lifestyle brand, and we are proud to debut Le Méridien in the Southeast’s capital of business and culture with such great partners as RockBridge Capital and Wischermann Partners.”

Following a comprehensive, 12-month, $20 million renovation, Le Méridien Atlanta Perimeter boasts 275 spacious guest rooms and suites along with an outdoor pool, fitness center, spacious 12th floor club lounge, and 10,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting and event space. Guests can also enjoy a selection of coffees, cocktails and fine wines at Longitude 84, the hotel’s sleek new lounge, and Portico, the hotel’s ground-floor restaurant slated to open this spring, will feature an eclectic menu of globally inspired cuisine and a spacious terrace ideal for private gatherings and special events.

“The inspiring design featured throughout the spacious guest rooms and public areas, the newly created club lounge and the addition of a new restaurant with an expansive patio complete the transformation of this property,” said Jim Merkel, President and CEO of RockBridge. “The rebranding coupled with the strength of the Starwood system, will position Le Méridien Atlanta Perimeteras the premier hotel in the market.  We are excited about adding this showcase property to our portfolio.”

Le Méridien Atlanta Perimeter features the Le Méridien Hub™ experience, which re-interprets the traditional lobby into a social gathering place for creative people to converse, debate, and exchange. Le Méridien Hub offers both guests and locals a creative atmosphere where contemporary, curated artwork sets the environment. Le Méridien Hub further builds on the brand’s award-winning arrival experience and coffee culture, curated by Le Méridien brand’s Cultural Curator Jérôme Sans. Le Méridien arrival consists of four elements: large-scale artwork in high impact areas to reset the mind and stimulate dialogue and curiosity; the sensory experience, illustrated through Le Méridien signature scent, sound and use of light, creating a unique and distinctive atmosphere; UNLOCK ART™ programme, featuring LM100 ™ artist designed key card collections that not only offer access to the guestroom but also to Le Méridien affiliated contemporary cultural centers in the city; and a 24-hour soundtrack curated by Sans.

Le Méridien Atlanta Perimeter is close to numerous Fortune 500 businesses and the shops and restaurants in the adjacent Perimeter Mall. The prestigious Buckhead shopping district, Atlanta Botanical Gardens, Zoo Atlanta and High Museum of Art are all nearby, and the hotel is located just five miles from DeKalb-Peachtree Airport (PDK) and 27 miles from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).

“Our associates are very excited about reaching this milestone,” said Paul Wischermann, President of Wischermann Partners. “We will build memorable and personal experiences one customer at a time, positioning Le Méridien Atlanta Perimeter for future success and offering Starwood’s most loyal guests another great choice when visiting Atlanta.”

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About Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts
Le Méridien, the Paris-born hotel brand currently represented by 100 properties in more than 40 countries, was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) in November 2005.  With over 80 of its properties located in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific, Le Méridien provided a strong international complement to Starwood’s then primarily North American holdings at the time of purchase. Since then, Le Méridien has gone through a brand re-launch, which included a large scale hotels product consolidation as well as redefining its brand strategy. By appointing a full-time Cultural Curator – French arts-provocateur Jérôme Sans – Le Méridien transformed numerous guest touch points, thus bringing unique and interactive experiences to its guests. Plans call for dynamic expansion of Le Méridien Hotels and Resorts within the next five years, concentrating on markets in Asia-Pacific and the Americas. Le Méridien recently opened new hotels in Istanbul, Oran (Algeria), Arlington (Virginia, USA), Coimbatore (India), Koh Samui (Thailand), and Taipei, and will open in the next 12 months in Bali, Atlanta, Chicago, Zhengzhou (China), Mahabaleshwar (India), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Cairo (Egypt), Qingdao (China), and Dhaka (Bangladesh).  For more information, please visit www.lemeridien.com or facebook.com/lemeridien.

About RockBridge
RockBridge is an integrated hotel investment firm that has executed on over 300 debt and equity hotel investments in the U.S. over the past two decades.  Since 1992, RockBridge’s team has invested nearly $3 billion in the hospitality industry as part of approximately $5 billion of total transaction capitalization.  The principals of RockBridge have formed and managed nine hospitality-focused investment funds across multiple platforms with predominantly institutional investors.  For additional information about RockBridge, visit www.rockbridgecapital.com.

About Wischermann Partners, Inc.
Wischermann Partners, Inc. is a national hospitality firm, focused on the operations of upper upscale and luxury hotels.  Recognized by clients, peers and industry experts, Wischermann Partners brings a unique mix of knowledge, experience and insight to hospitality management, development and acquisitions.  Currently, Wischermann Partners operates a hotel portfolio of nearly 2,200 rooms. For more information about Wischermann Partners, please visit www.wischermannpartners.com.

Media Contacts:
Courtney Marzahn
Dinah Saglio
Susan Magrino Agency
+1 212-957-3005 // courtney.marzahn@smapr.com