Bay Harbor Island, FL – March xx, 2007 - aloha! Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) and its much-anticipated new lifestyle brand, alofthotels – a vision of W Hotels - announced today it has signed a deal with an entity affiliated with Martin W. Taplin & Associates, Inc. to develop an aloft hotel in Bay Harbor Islands, Florida.
aloft Bay Harbor, located at1177 Kane Concourse, is just blocks from shopping mecca Bal Harbour Shops and offers a refreshing alternative to the current lodging options in Bay Harbor Islands. The 135-room hotel is part of a mixed-use project, featuring office and retail space, restaurants, and residential units. Construction is expected to begin in late 2007.
“aloft is infused with the DNA of W to create a new destination sensation, conceived in response to a mega-mundane marketplace,” said Ross Klein, President, Starwood Luxury Brand Group and aloft hotels. “aloftbrings style and atmosphere to a segment of the industry that has been anything but fashionable, offering guests a fun way to play and stay.”
“We are excited to be working with Starwood on this venture and feel the development of this property will aid in the revitalization of the Bay Harbor area and fill the void of a less expensive yet stylish hotel segment that is not currently being catered to,” said Neil Sazant, Principal of Martin W. Taplin & Associates. “We are actively seeking other attractive sites and intend to expand our ownership of aloft hotels as part of our growth strategy.”
Martin W. Taplin & Associates is a highly-esteemed real-estate investment and development firm with more than 30 years of experience in the office, residential and commercial sectors. The company has bought, managed and sold more than $6 billion in real estate throughout the United States. In 2002, they revitalized the ever popular oceanfront Sagamore hotel on South Beach to a stunning all-suite property boasting Miami’s most diverse contemporary art collection with Taplin as the curator.
As a Vision of W Hotels, the aloft brand is shaking up the lodging industry with urban-influenced design, accessible technology, style and a social atmosphere. aloft offers a total sensory experience, with guest lofts featuring nine-foot ceilings and oversized windows to create a bright, airy environment. The centerpiece of the loft room is the ultra-comfortable signature bed, a large stylish bathroom, which complements the guest experience with an oversized walk-in shower and amenities created by bliss spa®.Each guest loft is also a combination high-tech office and entertainment center, featuring wireless internet access and plug & play , a one-stop connectivity solution for multiple electronic gadgetry such as PDAs, cell phones, mp3 players and laptops - all linked to a large flat panel HDTV ready television for optimal sound and viewing.
Designed in conjunction with world renowned David Rockwell and the Rockwell group, aloft stays true to W’s heritage, offering atmosphericpublicspaces designed to draw guests from their rooms to socialize and make friends. Guests can read the paper, work on their laptops via hotel-wide wireless internet access, play a game of pool or grab a drink with friends at the re:mix communal lobby area and bar w xyz . The re:charge fitness center and splash , the indoor or outdoor pool, give travelers options to de-stress and re-energize; while re:fuel by aloft , a one-stop food and beverage area, offers sweet, savory and healthy food, snacks and beverages to grab & go, 24-hours a day.
The first aloft hotels are targeted to open in first quarter, 2008, with locations expected to be anytown/anywhere… For more information on aloft, please visit www.alofthotels.com.
Infused with the DNA of W Hotels, aloft is a new destination sensation featuring loft-inspired design, accessible technology and a stylish urban attitude. Starwood anticipates the first aloft hotels to open in early 2008, with 500 properties worldwide expected by 2012.
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Worldwide
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 aloft SM. Starwood Hotels also own 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.
About Martin W. Taplin & Associates, Inc.
Martin W. Taplin & Associates, Inc., a real-estate investment firm established in 1975, offers mixed-use, residential and commercial development and management services. The company, located in Miami, has bought, managed and sold more than $6 billion in real estate throughout the United States and was one of several companies approved by the FDIC to manage troubled real estate portfolios over $1 billion. The company is affiliated with Harbour Realty Advisors, Inc., an investment firm that owns and manages a large portfolio of rental apartments in Florida and Connecticut. In addition, MWT&A owns and has developed several key pieces of real estate in South Florida including an office building on Brickell Avenue in Miami’s banking and business district and the rehabilitation and development of an all-suite boutique hotel on South Beach called The Sagamore.
(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.)