The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts Invests $200 Million to Restore Iconic Heritage Hotels in Europe

  The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts Invests $200 Million to Restore
  Iconic Heritage Hotels in Europe

  Hotel Alfonso XIII in Seville, Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastian, The
   Gritti Palace in Venice, and Prince de Galles in Paris, Brought Back to
                              Original Splendour

Business Wire

CANNES, France -- December 04, 2012

From the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), The Luxury Collection
Hotels & Resorts, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:
HOT), today announces that the company and its owners are investing $200
million to renovate and restore some of its most celebrated hotels in Europe.
The brand is already off to a strong start with the reopening of two iconic
hotels in Spain this year: Hotel Alfonso XIII in Seville and Hotel Maria
Cristina in San Sebastian. This will be followed by the debut of the restored
Gritti Palace in Venice and Prince de Galles in Paris in 2013.

“The Luxury Collection has an intimate understanding of today’s luxury
travellers who, more and more, aim to stay with a brand that offers a
consistent level of impeccable service, while celebrating each hotel's
heritage and unique character,” said Paul James, Global Brand Leader, The
Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts, St. Regis and W Hotels Worldwide. “We are
delighted to reintroduce these historic icons, carefully restored by some of
the world’s most renowned architects, interior designers and craftsmen who
have preserved the authentic elegance and distinct personality so beloved by
its guests, while bringing the landmark hotels into the 21^st century.”

The Luxury Collection is an ensemble of more than 80 of the world’s finest
hotels and resorts around the world, spanning 30 countries, offering the
brand’s signature concierge service, luxury amenities and indigenous cultural
experiences. There are currently 40 Luxury Collection hotels in Europe, Africa
and Middle East and the four restored hotels in Spain, France and Italy will
reinforce the brand’s distinguished portfolio as portals for guests to
discover new, exciting destinations throughout the region.

“As part of Starwood’s strategy to strengthen our Luxury Collection brand
portfolio and as the world’s leader in luxury hospitality, we are making major
investments to renovate and restore some of our most distinguished hotels,”
comments Roeland Vos, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and
Middle East. “The refurbishment of these legendary hotels allows us to
continuously exceed guest experiences by offering unparalleled service and
authentic experiences that reflect the local spirit of the destination.”

Hotel Alfonso XIII, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Seville (reopened March 2012)

Located on the historic Calle San Fernando in the heart of Seville, Hotel
Alfonso XIII is considered to be one of the grandest hotels in Europe and was
commissioned by King Alfonso XIII for the 1929 Ibero-American Exhibition. The
restoration spanned 10 months and was led by renowned Sevillian architect
Demopolis, with interiors designed by The Gallery at HBA London. Recently
recognised for “Best Historic Renovation” at the annual Gold Key Design Award,
Hotel Alfonso XIII is a magnificent showcase of Moorish architecture and
regional Andalusian design infused with Arabic accents. The hotel features 151
luxuriously-appointed guest rooms and suites and distinct culinary
experiences, including Spanish cuisine at Bodega Alfonso and Andalusian
specialties at San Fernando, the poolside Taifas restaurant and bar, and the
Art Deco-inspired American Bar.

Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian (reopened July
2012)

The renovation of Hotel Maria Cristina was completed in time for its 100^th
anniversary in July, celebrating a century of elegance renewed. Situated in
the storied city centre of San Sebastian, Spain’s culinary capital, this Belle
Epoque gem was originally designed by famed French architect Charles Mewès and
was christened in 1912 by its namesake, Queen Maria Cristina. Carried out over
nine months, the refurbishment was led by Idom Engineering & Architecture,
with interiors restored by The Gallery at HBA London. The hotel’s 107 lavish
guest rooms and 29 suites are dressed in sophisticated pastel tones and
decorated with elegant gold furnishings, evoking the élan and striking
presence of all the leading ladies who have graced the environs of the hotel.
Following the restoration, the hotel introduced haute Chinese cuisine at Tse
Yang, complemented by Basque and international selections at Easo Restaurant
and excellent cocktails at DRY bar.

The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice (reopening 31 January
2013)

Located along the city’s enchanting Grand Canal, the historic Gritti Palace is
slated to open on 31 January next year, in time for the city’s celebrated
annual carnival and the Venice International Biennale of Contemporary Art,
following a significant 15-month restoration. Working closely with the
renowned Venetian fabric house Rubelli and leading interior design firm
Donghia, the restoration will return the hotel to its former glory using rare
archival fabrics and stunning chandeliers and glassware from Murano. The
hotel’s design is inspired by the Gritti Palace’s origins – dating back to
1475 as a private home for the noble Pisani family followed by the
distinguished Doge of Venice, Andrea Gritti – to provide a home away from home
for global travellers. In addition to the hotel’s famous terrace, The Gritti
Palace will feature 61 guest rooms and 21 sumptuous suites as well as Club del
Doge restaurant and the restored Bar Longhi. Soon to be unveiled are the
reintroduction of the iconic culinary school, The Gritti Epicurean School, the
new Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo SPA and the Explorer’s Library at The
Gritti Palace.

Prince de Galles, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Paris (reopening Q2 2013)

Built in 1928 along Avenue George V, Prince de Galles is one of the finest
addresses in the City of Lights. The celebrated Art Deco treasure is set to
offer the epitome of elegance and understated luxury when it reopens in the
second quarter of 2013 following an extensive two-year renovation. With the
acclaimed Pierre-Yves Rochon leading the design direction, the iconic hotel
will feature 159 exquisite guest rooms and 44 suites in authentic Art Deco
style, reviving its original grandeur and splendour. The hotel’s famous mosaic
courtyard will be fully restored and together with a new signature restaurant
led by acclaimed Chef Stéphanie Le Quellec, set the stage for an intimate
Parisian social scene.

Starwood Strengthens Luxury Position

In the last five years, Starwood has doubled its global luxury room count to
meet growing global demand. With more than 150 luxury hotels operating under
the St. Regis, Luxury Collection and W brands, Starwood has the largest
footprint of luxury hotels in the industry.

In addition to its commitment to restore some of the Europe’s most emblematic
hotels, The Luxury Collection is enhancing its extraordinary portfolio with
historic and contemporary icons around the world. The brand continues its
remarkable global growth and is on track to surpass 90 hotels by 2014,
including nine new hotels and resorts that are slated to open in Asia Pacific
in the next two years.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and
leisure companies in the world with 1,128 properties in nearly 100 countries
and 154,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood 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 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.starwoodhotels.com.

About The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts

The Luxury Collection® is an ensemble of hotels and resorts offering unique,
authentic experiences that evoke lasting, treasured memories. For the global
explorer, The Luxury Collection offers a gateway to the world's most exciting
and desirable destinations. Each hotel and resort is a unique and cherished
expression of its location; a portal to the destination's indigenous charms
and treasures. Magnificent decor, spectacular settings, impeccable service and
the latest modern conveniences combine to provide a uniquely enriching
experience. Originated in 1906 under the CIGA brand as a collection of
Europe's most celebrated and iconic properties, today The Luxury Collection
brand is a glittering ensemble of more than 80 of the world's finest hotels
and resorts in more than 30 countries in bustling cities and spectacular
destinations around the world. The Luxury Collection includes award-winning
properties that continuously exceed guest expectations by offering
unparalleled service, style and class while celebrating each hotel's
distinctive heritage and unique character. All of these hotels, many of them
centuries old, are internationally recognized as being among the world's
finest. For more information, please visit www.luxurycollection.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.)

Contact:

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Simon Neggers, +1-212-380-4029
simon.neggers@starwoodhotels.com
or
Katie Roberts, +1-212-380-4049
katie.roberts@starwoodhotels.com
 
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