Starwood Continues Expansion in Gateway European Cities
- Mar 09, 2016
By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor
Berlin–From the International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has announced the opening of a record 18 hotels across Europe in 2015, as well as its plans to develop more than 30 properties in the region over the next five years.
Going forward, the company is launching the Tribute Portfolio brand in France this month. Starwood also intends to diversify its brand footprint in Italy and expand its mid-market brands in the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Russia and Turkey.
In 2015, Starwood’s luxury segment strengthened with openings that included The St. Regis Istanbul and W Amsterdam, as well as four The Luxury Collection hotels in cities like Prague, Bodrum and Bratislava. Last year, Starwood introduced Europe to its new Tribute Portfolio brand, a collection of outstanding independent hotels, with the opening of the Great Northern Hotel in London.
“We maintained a steady transaction pace in 2015 with conversions driving almost 40 percent of new hotel signings across Europe, reflecting strong owner interest in our design-led brands and confidence in Starwood’s powerful global systems,” stated Michael Wale, president of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East. “We are on track to open close to 10 hotels in Europe this year, introducing our distinct brands to more new markets, and continue to work with our partners on further investments in our existing Sheraton and Le Méridien hotels.”
Looking ahead, the company’s 2016 European opening highlights include W Tel Aviv – Jaffa, which is set inside a 19th-century heritage building located in the revitalized ancient port neighborhood of Jaffa, Israel. Furthermore, the 172-key W Amsterdam, which brought the lauded W brand into The Netherlands, will add a second building with 66 guestrooms. On track to reach more than 75 W Hotels globally by 2020, the brand announced the signing for a W hotel in Madrid, which is set to open in 2018.
In the luxury segment, Starwood’s Tribute Portfolio is making a double debut in France this month, with the opening of two new locations in the 16th Arrondissement of Paris. Le Metropolitan and Le Dokhan’s both offer easy access to landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and Avenue des Champs-Elysées.
As for the Westin brand, the year ahead will bring two openings in Europe: The Westin Hamburg, which will offer breath-taking water views from atop the new Elbe Philharmonic Hall on the banks of the river Elbe, and The Westin La Quinta Golf & Spa Resort, a conversion in the famous sun-drenched Golf Valley near Marbella.
Starwood will also expand the Le Méridien brand in Europe this year. Milestone projects include the Le Méridien Visconti Rome in Italy’s capital city. The property, which is located in the Prati district near the Vatican, will open by the end of this year, following a conversion and extensive renovation. The brand will also complete the renovation of its first and flagship property, Le Méridien Etoile in Paris, alongside the transformation of lobby spaces in Le Méridien hotels in Vienna and Hamburg into lively ‘Le Méridien Hubs.’
Sheraton, Starwood’s largest and most iconic brand, is on track to add 150 new Sheraton hotels around the globe by 2020. Recent European projects include Sheraton Cascais Resort, which became Starwood’s third Sheraton hotel in Portugal when it joined the brand last month, and Sheraton Donnafugata in Sicily, which will welcome guests in May. Echoing the company’s conversion strategy, Sheraton Park Lane in London, Sheraton Berlin Grand Hotel Esplanade and Sheraton Paris Airport Hotel & Conference Centre will unveil smart, intuitive and forward-looking design when renovations are complete later this year.
Starwood’s mid-market brands including Aloft, Element and Four Points will continue to expand in Europe. Keeping up with the rising trend of guests seeking eco-conscious alternatives, Element Hotels introduced its whole-living, sustainable lifestyle to The Netherlands earlier this year with the opening of Element Amsterdam in the vibrant Buitenveldert business hub. Known for its genuine service, stylish comfort and flexible options for developers, Four Points by Sheraton boasts Starwood’s fastest-growing pipeline globally. Following its successful entry into Turkey last year, the brand will expand its footprint in the country over the next four years with new signings in Atasehir and Kagithane districts in Istanbul and the coastal city of Izmir. Continuing to introduce its passion for live music, vibrant design and innovation, Aloft announced the opening of the Aloft Brighton next year, which will mark the brand’s fourth hotel in the United Kingdom.
Image courtesy of Starwood Hotels & Resorts