Starwood Opens New Phase Of The Westin St. John Resort & Villas

The newest phase of The Westin St. John Resort & Villas has opened, according to a report from owner Starwood Vacation Ownership Inc., the fractional and vacation ownership division of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. The Bay Vista phase overlooks Great Cruz Bay on the island of St. John. This phase will contain 54 new units: 22 two-bedroom, eight two-bedroom lofts, and 24 three-bedrooms. The resort features a spa facility, market and tennis facilities. “The resort is one of the most popular mixed-use resorts in the region, according to Sergio Rivera, president, real estate development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Demand was the reason that the firm decided to add another 54 luxury villas to the facility. Westin isn’t the only brand Starwood is developing. As CPN reported last week, it is planning the largest pipeline for Sheraton in that brand’s history. As part of a multi-year strategy it will open 54 hotels and add 20,000 guest rooms by next year. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Inc. said the company will spend $2 billion in North America alone on the growth plan. Sheraton, Starwood’s largest and most global brand, will open one hotel every 12 days in 2008. On Jan. 31, a CPN. story noted the chain would be opening its 900th hotel early this year and planned to increase its portfolio by 50 percent over the next five years across its brands. New brands, Aloft and Element, are expected to help fuel that growth. Other high-profile brands beside Westin and Sheraton include Westin, W, St. Regis and Le Meridien. Starwood is growing significantly in the Asia Pacific market, where it plans to increase its portfolio by more than 70 percent. Much of that growth will be Sheratons and Four Points by Sheraton properties that will be opened in China. Two Four Points by Sheratons have opened in China this year and at least four more are expected to begin operating in the Asia Pacific region in 2008, including Four Points by Sheraton Beijing, Haidian, which is scheduled to open in July, and properties in Malaysia and Vietnam, which have third quarter openings planned.Starwood Vacation Ownership’s portfolio has properties under the Westin and Sheraton brands, as well as luxury fractional resorts under St. Regis and The Luxury Collection brands. It currently has resorts open or under development in Colorado, Hawaii, Arizona, California, Florida, South Carolina, the Bahamas, Mexico and the Caribbean.