Westin Hotels to Make Landmark Debut in the Dominican Republic

  Westin Hotels to Make Landmark Debut in the Dominican Republic

  The Westin Puntacana Resort will Inspire Well-Being in a Prime Beachfront
            Location within the Exclusive PUNTACANA Resort & Club

Business Wire

STAMFORD, Conn. -- April 23, 2012

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) plans to debut its
Westin brand in the Dominican Republic in late 2013 at the exclusive resort
property, PUNTACANA Resort & Club. The franchise agreement for The Westin
Puntacana Resort was announced today by Starwood’s development partner Grupo
Puntacana at the Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange (DATE), the 13^th annual
conference hosted by the Ministry of Tourism. Construction on The Westin
Puntacana Resort will begin this summer with an opening scheduled for the
winter of 2013.

“The Westin Puntacana Resort is a highly anticipated addition to our growing
resorts portfolio, offering travelers a refreshing, island retreat on one of
the most popular islands in the Caribbean,” said Brian Povinelli, Global Brand
Leader for Westin Hotels & Resorts. “The new resort will offer all of the
Westin brand’s signature programs and amenities, designed to inspire wellbeing
and send guests home feeling better than when they arrived.”

At The Westin Puntacana Resort, guests will enjoy the full suite of Westin
signature amenities in a picturesque beachfront location, minutes away from
the Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) within the picturesque Playa Blanca
area of PUNTACANA Resort & Club. The 204-room resort will offer 16 suites,
meeting and wedding facilities, an expansive outdoor pool, poolside grill,
lobby bar, cigar bar, children’s club and walking trails. Additional amenities
will include a full-service spa, 24-hour business center and the brand’s
signature Westin WORKOUT® gym experience.

Guests of The Westin Puntacana will have complete access to the first-class
amenities available at PUNTACANA Resort & Club, including 3 miles of white
sand beaches, 45-holes of championship golf, nine restaurants, a Six Senses
Spa, and a 1,500 acre ecological reserve.

“We are delighted to expand our partnership with Starwood Hotels & Resorts to
be able to share the PUNTACANA experience with even more travelers as they
visit the Dominican Republic,” said Alberto Abreu, executive director of
hospitality at PUNTACANA Resort & Club. “The Westin Puntacana Resort will
allow even more visitors from around the globe to experience the one-of-a-kind
beaches, weather, and activities available in our country, and at our resort.
We look forward to welcoming more guests into the PUNTACANA family as we move
forward with this project.”

“The upcoming opening of The Westin Puntacana Resort underscores the strength
of the Westin brand as we expand in sought-after destinations across the
globe,” said Allison Reid, Senior Vice President, North America Development
for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “Westin boasts brand awareness
well ahead of its competitive set and phenomenal international growth, with
more than 90% of its new hotels and resorts opening outside of North America.”

The Westin Puntacana Resort will be the second Starwood property to open in
the Dominican Republic. Last year, Starwood announced plans to partner with
GrupoPuntacana to open the Four Points by Sheraton Puntacan Village Hotel in
late 2012.

For more information on Westin Hotels & Resorts, please visit www.westin.com
or www.facebook.com/westin.

For more information on PUNTACANA Resort & Club, please visit

About PUNTACANA Resort & Club

The development of Grupo PUNTACANA dates back to 1969 when Dominican
businessman Frank R. Rainieri and Theodore W. Kheel, the prominent New York
attorney and labor mediator, created a partnership to construct a resort and
real estate community that respects the natural habitat of Punta Cana while
offering a world-class vacation experience. Maintaining a dedication to
sustainable tourism, PUNTACANA Resort & Club has since grown to encompass over
26 square miles and now includes Tortuga Bay; Six Senses Spa; the PUNTACANA
Ecological Foundation; four residential communities (Corales, Hacienda, Marina
and Arrecife); a full-service marina; nine restaurants; a shopping village; 45
holes of championship golf and Punta Cana International Airport, a modern
facility that incorporates innovative and eco-friendly design. In 1997, Julio
Iglesias and Oscar de la Renta joined the Group as co-investors and have made
PUNTACANA Resort & Club their home. Currently, Punta Cana is the most highly
visited Caribbean destination and is easily accessible from all over the

About Westin Hotels & Resorts

Westin Hotels & Resorts offers innovative programs that transform every aspect
of a stay into a revitalizing experience. All Westin signature services – like
the Heavenly Bed, delicious SuperFoods and WestinWorkout studio – have been
designed with the guests’ well-being in mind. Westin hotels,with more than 186
hotels and resorts in nearly 40 countries and territories, is owned by
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. one of the leading hotel and leisure
companies in the world with 1090 properties in 100 countries and territories
with 154,000 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, Aloft®, and Element^SM. 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 Hotels 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.westin.com.

(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.)


Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Nadeen N. Ayala, 203-351-2542
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