New York, NY – (September 18, 2006) aloha! Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) and its much-anticipated new select-service brand, aloft hotels, announced today it has signed a deal with Asha Companies to develop an aloft hotel in the vibrant community of Chantilly, Virginia. Located minutes from Dulles International and Ronald Reagan Washington International Airports, the 131-room property will feature the aloft brand’s stylish design, accessible technology and hip, urban attitude, making it a refreshing alternative in an otherwise bland travel segment.
Scheduled to open in 2008, the aloft Chantilly will be among the first properties to premier the new brand. As a vision of Starwood’s hugely successful W Hotels, aloft Chantilly will feature all of the brand’s precedent-setting concepts. Its loft-like design incorporates exposed beams and structural steel, natural materials like cork and wood, and guestrooms with nine foot ceilings and oversized windows to allow for more natural light. A combination high-tech office and entertainment center, each guest room features plug & play, a signature one-stop connectivity solution for multiple electronic gadgetry such as blackberries, cell phones, mp3 players and laptops, all linked to a large flat panel HDTV ready television. Accompanying the guest room centerpiece -- the ultra comfortable signature bed -- are custom-designed body and bath amenities created by the renowned bliss™ Spa.
Each aloft will feature public areas designed to facilitate socializing and create energy and atmosphere. The relax communal lobby area and bar w xyz provide a comfortable environment to grab a drink with friends, read the paper, or get some work done via hotel-wide internet access. In the backyard , an open-air area, guests can socialize outdoors or attend aloft hotel events. aloft also satisfies guest’s needs 24-hrs-a-day with re:fuel by aloft , a one-stop food and beverage area offering sweet, savory and healthy food, snacks and beverages to grab & go. The recharge fitness center and splash , the indoor or outdoor pool, provide the weary traveler with outlets to de-stress and re-energize. With business in mind, aloft properties also feature flexible meeting and function space.
“Our mission with aloft is to bring style, convenience and a social environment to an otherwise tired, lonely experience, all at a great price,” said Ross Klein, President of W Hotels. “We have worked with key developers to help us refine our design and signature features, and as a result, we will be launching a third Generation product right out of the gate, which is a huge benefit to the development community.”
“With Starwood’s track record developing meaningful brands, aloft’s unique product offering, and a fantastic location in a thriving destination, we are very excited about this project and are thrilled to debut one of the world’s first aloft properties,” said Heeren Patel of Asha Companies.
Located near the intersection of Route 28 and US 50 at the south end of Dulles International Airport, the aloft Chantilly is near six Fortune 500 companies, the renowned International Air & Space Museum, and George Mason and George Washington Universities, providing a perfect landscape for the debut of a new aloft hotel.
Each aloft Hotel features 90 -180 guest rooms and incorporates W’s heritage: a total sensory experience, with a focus on design integrity and natural materials as well as attention to stylistic details. Design visionary David Rockwell and the Rockwell Group, whose award-winning projects include the Kodak Theater, Nobu and the W Union Square, collaborated on aloft ’s design. In addition to aloft Chantilly , aloft currently has additional sites in various stages of development in Lexington, Mass., Philadelphia Airport, San Francisco Airport and Charleston Airport. Just as it is expanding W Hotels overseas, Starwood also plans to aggressively develop aloft internationally, and anticipates the first aloft hotels to open in early 2008, with 500 properties worldwide expected by 2012.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 850 properties in more than 95 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood® Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, Sheraton®, Westin®, Four Points® by Sheraton, W®, Le Méridien® and the recently announced AloftSM. 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.
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(Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made. These risks and uncertainties are presented in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although we believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that our expectations will be attained or that results and events will not materially differ. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.)