Breaking News

Banco Espirito Santo Drops as Much as 41.5% in Lisbon Trading
Tweet TWEET

Le Meridien to Debut in Chicago Metropolitan Area with the Signing of Le Meridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center

  Le Meridien to Debut in Chicago Metropolitan Area with the Signing of Le
  Meridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center

   Following $20 million Interior and Exterior Transformation, Le Méridien
              Chicago – Oakbrook Center to Open in January 2014

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- January 9, 2013

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced the
signing of Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center. Located in Greater Chicago
directly adjacent to Oakbrook Center, one of the most prestigious shopping
destinations in the United States, the 10-story building is set to undergo a
$20 million transformation prior to its 2014 debut. Owned by RockBridge and
managed by Wischermann Partners Inc., Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center
will combine timeless, chic design with sophisticated offerings.

“We are excited to bring Le Méridien to Chicago as part of our plan to
accelerate the expansion of this dynamic, global brand across North America,”
said Allison Reid, Senior Vice President of North America Development,
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. “Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center
will mirror the style and sophistication of metropolitan Chicago and attract
both business and leisure travelers who appreciate the brand’s creative flair
and upscale comfort.”

Located 18 miles west of the Chicago loop, along the Interstate 88 corridor,
Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center will serve as a hub for both business
and leisure. The hotel is just steps away from large corporate offices, luxury
boutiques and highly sought after restaurants, making it a destination of
choice for visitors to Oak Brook and other western Chicago suburbs.

“We are excited about the opportunity to expand our strong relationship with
Starwood Hotels, with our second Le Méridien project,” said Jim Merkel,
President and CEO of RockBridge. “The comprehensive renovation and rebranding
of the hotel, coupled with the strength of the Starwood system, will position
Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center as the premier hotel in the market.”

Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center will boast a spectacular new outer
façade, a new arrival experience and completely reimagined public spaces. The
ninth floor will feature a proprietary new bar and restaurant concept with a
variety of meeting spaces. In addition, Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center
will offer a spacious fitness center outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment
and a roof-top terrace. The hotel’s 172 rooms and suites, including a
presidential suite and two spa suites, will be refurbished and feature the
signature Le Méridien Bed.

“Le Méridien has undergone a significant brand transformation in recent years,
and the opening of Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center will be another
milestone in our accelerated global growth,” said Brian Povinelli, Global
Brand Leader, Le Méridien & Westin. “With the strongest portfolio ever in the
brand’s forty year history, we’re thrilled to introduce Le Méridien to greater
Chicago, offering a distinct and compelling experience for our guests.”

Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center will showcase the newly developed Le
Méridien Hub™ experience, which re-interprets the traditional lobby into a
social gathering place. Le Méridien Hub offers both guests and locals a
creative atmosphere where contemporary, curated artwork sets the environment.
Le Méridien Hub further builds on the brand’s award-winning arrival experience
and coffee culture, curated by Le Méridien brand’s Cultural Curator Jérôme
Sans. Le Méridien arrival consists of four elements: large-scale artwork in
high impact areas to reset the mind and stimulate dialogue and curiosity; the
sensory experience, illustrated through Le Méridien signature scent, sound and
use of light, creating a unique and distinctive atmosphere; UNLOCK ART™
programme, featuring LM100 ™ artist designed key card collections that not
only offer access to the guestroom but also to Le Méridien affiliated
contemporary cultural centers in the city; and a 24-hour soundtrack curated by
Sans.

“Our goal is to create memorable guest experiences by pairing exceptional
product design and functionality with a service culture of excellence,” said
Paul Wischermann, President of Wischermann Partners. “Oakbrook Center is the
perfect location for us, and we very much look forward to engaging with our
local retail neighbors, extending the lifestyle experience to Starwood’s
strong upper-upscale and luxury customer base.”

For more information, please visit www.lemeridien.com.

About Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts

Le Méridien, the Paris-born hotel brand currently represented by 100
properties in more than 40 countries, was acquired by Starwood Hotels &
Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) in November 2005. With over 80 of its
properties located in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific, Le
Méridien provided a strong international complement to Starwood’s then
primarily North American holdings at the time of purchase. Since then, Le
Méridien has gone through a brand re-launch, which included a large scale
hotels product consolidation as well as redefining its brand strategy. By
appointing a full-time Cultural Curator – French arts-provocateur Jérôme Sans
– Le Méridien transformed numerous guest touch points, thus bringing unique
and interactive experiences to its guests. Plans call for dynamic expansion of
Le Méridien Hotels and Resorts within the next five years, concentrating in
the U.S., Latin America, and Asia-Pacific markets, including destinations such
as India, Thailand and China. Le Méridien recently opened new hotels in
Istanbul, Oran, Arlington (Virginia, USA), Coimbatore (India), and Koh Samui
(Thailand), and will open in the next 12 months in Bali, Atlanta, Cairo, Ho
Chi Minh City, Dhaka, Qingdao and Zhengzhou, China and Mahabalehswar, India.
For more information, please visit www.lemeridien.com or
www.facebook.com/lemeridien.

About RockBridge Capital

RockBridge Partners was formed as the equity platform of RockBridge Capital,
LLC. RockBridge provides capital to the hospitality industry through its
Hospitality Funds and focuses on both debt and equity investments. The
principals of RockBridge have formed and managed eight investment funds
totaling nearly $1 billion, across multiple platforms with both institutional
and private investors. Focused on creating value for their hotel operating
partners, RockBridge invests first mortgage, mezzanine, and equity capital in
hotels throughout the U.S. Since 1992, RockBridge has invested in over 300
assets nationwide with aggregate transaction capitalization of nearly $5
billion. For additional information about RockBridge, visit
www.rockbridgecapital.com.

About Wischermann Partners, Inc.

Wischermann Partners, Inc. is a national hospitality firm, focused on the
operations of upper upscale and luxury hotels. Recognized by clients, peers
and industry experts, Wischermann Partners brings a unique mix of knowledge,
experience and insight to hospitality management, development and
acquisitions. Currently, Wischermann Partners operates a hotel portfolio of
more than 2,200 rooms. For more information about Wischermann Partners, please
visit www.wischermannpartners.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:

Media:
Ashley Chapman
Global Public Relations, Le Méridien
T +1 212 380 4015
ashley.chapman@starwoodhotels.com
or
Courtney Marzahn
Susan Magrino Agency for Le Méridien
T +1 212 957 3005
courtney.marzahn@smapr.com