Starwood Hotels Continues Portfolio Growth in Latin America with the Opening of a Second Westin in Panama

  Starwood Hotels Continues Portfolio Growth in Latin America with the Opening
  of a Second Westin in Panama

The Westin Panama is situated at the Center of Panama City’s Prestigious, New
                        Corporate and Financial Center

Business Wire

STAMFORD, Conn. -- January 8, 2013

Accelerating portfolio growth in Latin America, Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced the opening of its second Westin
hotel in Panama. Ideally located in Costa del Este, Panama City’s newest,
upscale corporate and financial center, The Westin Panama is the third
Starwood property developed and operated by Bern Hotels & Resorts, Panama’s
largest hotel developer and operator. With the opening of The Westin Panama,
Starwood Hotels now has seven hotels in Panama.

“We are delighted to expand our partnership with Bern Hotels & Resorts and
open another spectacular Westin hotel in Panama, Latin America’s fastest
growing market and a strategic business hub,” said Osvaldo Librizzi,
Co-President of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Americas. “In the past few years,
Starwood has emerged as one of the leading global hospitality companies in
Panama, which is experiencing an influx of foreign investment and large-scale
infrastructure improvements, including the soon-to-be-completed enlargement of
the Panama Canal.”

The Westin Panama boasts 218 rooms, including 45 suites, world-class dining
and 14,460 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting and function space. The
newly constructed hotel is a key element of the Costa del Este financial
center, which includes several luxurious real estate developments, numerous
multi-national corporate offices and a boardwalk lined with shops and
restaurants. Costa del Este is just 15 minutes from downtown Panama City and
less than 30 minutes from Tocumen International Airport via the Corredor Sur.

“Global travelers now have the option of staying with Westin in more than one
great location within Panama, as we continue to aggressively expand the brand
throughout Latin America,” said Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader for
Westin Hotels & Resorts. “The phenomenal success of the Westin brand’s
distinct wellness positioning has attracted great interest among owners and
developers in many of the world’s fastest growing economies.”

Starwood’s portfolio in Latin America continues to grow. More than 2,500 rooms
were added to in the past 24 months, representing an increase of 20 percent
after the opening of The Westin Panama. Contributing to that growth, Westin
has nearly doubled its portfolio in Latin America in just the past 18 months
as part of the brand’s strategic expansion in emerging markets. With the
opening of The Westin Panama, Westin now has 12 hotels in Latin America,
spanning five countries including Panama, Mexico, Peru, Costa Rica and
Guatemala. On track to open its 200^th hotel in 2013, Westin will open the
vast majority of its new hotels outside of North America.

The sensory-rich environment at Westin offers a respite from the rigors of
travel and sets a welcoming tone. The Westin brand’s innovative programs and
instinctive service transform every aspect of a guest’s stay into a
revitalizing experience. All guestrooms and suites at The Westin Panama
feature the world-renowned Westin Heavenly^® Bed – an oasis of lush sheets,
down and a patented pillow-top mattress, which cradles and contours to the
body for truly restorative sleep. Guests can revive in the Heavenly^® Bath
enhanced with the brand’s Heavenly^® Shower, Heavenly^® Robe and White Tea
Aloe bath amenities, in-room and high-speed Internet access. The hotel also
offers the Westin brand’s signature SuperFoodsRX^® menu, which includes
nutrient-rich and delicious options to tempt every palate.

“We are proud to open The Westin Panama, following the recent opening of The
Westin Playa Bonita Resort & Spa,” said Glen Champion, Vice-president of Bern
Hotels & Resorts Panama. “Our partnership with Starwood has accelerated the
introduction of high-caliber global hotel brands in Panama, one of the most
dynamic markets in Latin America.”

For more information on Westin Hotels & Resorts, please visit,
Facebook or follow Westin on Twitter.

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 SuperFoodsRX® 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. (NYSE: HOT). 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

About Bern Hotels & Resorts

Bern Hotels & Resorts Panama is the tourism and hotels division of Empresas
Bern, a Panamanian company with 35 years of experience in the development of
Real State and Sales, Construction, Investment and with a big compromise with
educational programs. Bern Hotels & Resorts currently operates eight hotels in
Panama City; five city hotels including Le Méridien Panama and the new The
Westin Panama, and three resorts including The Westin Playa Bonita.

(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
Nadeen Ayala, 203-351-2542
Starwood Hotels and Resorts Latin America
Gina Carriazo Hickey, 786-219-5846
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