Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide
|Traded as||NYSE: HOT
S&P 500 Component
|Founded||1969 as a REIT
1980 as a corporation
Number of employees
|Footnotes / references
Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is an American hotel and leisure company headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut. One of the world's largest hotel companies, it owns, operates, franchises and manages hotels, resorts, spas, residences, and vacation ownership properties under its 11 owned brands. As of 1 December 2014[update], Starwood Hotels and Resorts owned, managed, or franchised over 1,200 properties employing over 180,400 people, of whom approximately 26% were employed in the United States.
- 1 History
- 2 Brands
- 3 Starwood Preferred Guest
- 4 Controversy
- 5 Gallery
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Starwood Hotels and Resorts was originally formed by the real estate investment firm Starwood Capital to take advantage of a tax break; at the time the company was known as Starwood Lodging. Initially, Starwood Lodging owned a number of hotels throughout North America, all under different brand names. The Westin Hotel Company was purchased in 1994 from Aoki Corporation of Japan. Starwood acquired the Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, and The Luxury Collection brands from ITT Sheraton in 1998.
In 1999, Starwood launched their "W" Hotels brand. In September 2005, Starwood announced the launch of Aloft, a new hotel brand based on W. Aloft Hotels catered toward business travelers. In 2005, Starwood purchased the Le Méridien brand.
In 2004, Starwood's founder and CEO Barry Sternlicht stepped down as CEO to focus his attention on his other firm, Starwood Capital. He remained on the Board of Directors until 2005. He was succeeded as CEO by Steven J. Heyer, and Starwood began selling a number of its company-owned hotels, instead focusing on becoming a management company and franchiser for its current and future hotel brands. In April 2007, Steven J. Heyer left the company on the request of the Board of Directors because of an issue with Heyer's management style and after allegations of personal misconduct. Chairman of the Board Bruce Duncan served as interim CEO until September 2007, when the company announced Heyer's successor, Frits van Paasschen. Van Paasschen served as CEO until February 2015, when he announced that he was resigning in a mutual decision with the board of directors.
Starwood has customer contact centers (CCC) in nine locations: Wichita, Kansas; Austin, Texas; Fall River, Massachusetts; St Thomas, Ontario; Cork, Ireland; Singapore; Tokyo, Japan; Guangzhou, China; and Gurgaon, India.
In December 2015, Thomas B. Mangas, former head of Armstrong World Industries' flooring business, became the CFO at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide effective December 31, 2015.
(The following list of Starwood brands is chronological, according to each brand's entry into Starwood)
The Westin Hotels and Resorts brand is Starwood's largest upscale hotels and resorts brand. It was bought by Starwood in 1994 and is also the oldest brand within Starwood, dating back to 1930 and still continuing with it.
Sheraton is Starwood's "flagship" brand, providing luxury hotel and resort accommodation. It began operating in 1937 and was sold to Starwood in 1998 by ITT. Also under the Sheraton brand are 7 Vacation Ownership properties.
The Luxury Collection
The Luxury Collection brand began when ITT Sheraton purchased a controlling interest in CIGA (Compagnia Italiana Grandi Alberghi, or Italian Grand Hotels Company), an Italian hotel chain, in 1994. Those hotels, as well as a number of top-tier Sheraton Hotels, were then marketed as ITT Sheraton Luxury Hotels. After Starwood bought Sheraton, they established a separate brand identity for The Luxury Collection and expanded it.
Both ITT Sheraton and later Starwood kept CIGA's original logo (the four horses of St. Mark) for The Luxury Collection brand logo until 2010; each Luxury Collection hotel now uses its own logo. Many hotels in The Luxury Collection are smaller establishments in converted palaces or other significant buildings, others are restored historic hotels.
Confusingly, some hotels in The Luxury Collection which were originally part of the ITT Sheraton Luxury group kept their Sheraton name when the Luxury division was spun off as a completely separate brand under Starwood. There are four such hotels remaining today, operating with the name Sheraton, but not technically part of Sheraton. These hotels are the Sheraton Addis (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit (Bangkok, Thailand), Sheraton Algarve Hotel (Albufeira, Portugal), and Sheraton Kuwait Hotel (Kuwait City, Kuwait).
A part of the Collection, the Royal Penthouse Suite, at Hotel President Wilson in Geneva, billed at US$65,000 per night, is listed at number 1 on World's 15 Most Expensive Hotel Suites list complied by CNN Go in 2012.
Four Points by Sheraton
Launched in 1995 under the Sheraton Group's brand, this brand is a set of mid-range hotels that replaced the Sheraton Inn sub-brand of Sheraton.
W Hotels is Starwood's luxury boutique hotel brand, generally marketed towards a younger crowd. It was launched in 1998 with the W New York, a conversion of the old Doral Inn hotel at 541 Lexington Avenue in Manhattan and the brand has since expanded with over fifty hotels and resorts around the world.
Though the hotels vary from newly built flagship properties to more modest conversions of previous hotels, they have a common theme of spare, minimalist modern decor and hip, informal names for categories of rooms and public areas. For example, the lobbies of all the hotels are known as the "Living Room." W Hotels attempt to include the letter W wherever possible - the swimming pool is known as "Wet", the concierge is known as "Whatever Whenever", the laundry bag in every room is known as "Wash", and so on.
St. Regis is Starwood's main luxury brand, launched in 1999. It is named for The St. Regis Hotel in New York, which was built in 1904 in Manhattan at 5th Avenue and 55th Street by John Jacob Astor IV, who also founded the Astoria Hotel (which later became the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel) and who died in 1912 on the RMS Titanic. In the 1930s, head bartender Fernand Petiot, introduced the Bloody Mary cocktail. The St. Regis was a Sheraton from 1966 on, and following a lavish restoration from 1985 to 1991 was part of the ITT Sheraton Luxury division before it became the cornerstone of Starwood's new brand.
Le Méridien was founded by Air France in 1972 and was sold to Starwood in 2005, by which point it was based in the UK. It has 130 properties worldwide and its first property was Le Méridien Etoile in France. Le Méridien is positioned as an upper-upscale brand in the Starwood hierarchy and offers properties with an edge towards art, design and local destination, with each hotel customized to its respective location with the intent of "unlocking" the locale to guests.
Aloft, a Vision of W Hotels
Aloft is a mid-scale, urban-style business / boutique hotel brand. The brand was launched in 2005, in a relationship with W similar to Four Points by Sheraton and its 'brand parent', Sheraton.
Element by Westin
Announced in 2006, this is Starwood's first brand of hotels intended to be environmentally friendly. The designs include energy and water efficient features. The first Element hotel opened in Lexington, Massachusetts in July 2008. Element hotels are built eco-friendly from the ground up, from the floors made of recycled materials to energy-efficient lighting and plumbing fixtures. In 2013 the first Canadian location opened in Vaughan, Ontario. In September 2014 the first German location opened in Frankfurt.
Launched in April 2015, Tribute Portfolio is the 10th brand of Starwood. Similar to The Luxury Collection brand, Tribute Portfolio is a collection of independent hotels but with a focus on four-star hotels instead of five-star ones. Individual hotels under this brand gain access to Starwood's sales platform and participate in the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program but do not share their look and feel.
Berlin-based Design Hotels provides hospitality services to a network of nearly 300 independently owned and operated hotels. Starwood has been a majority investor in the Design Hotels since 2011. In October 2015, Starwood announced that it would add Design Hotels to its brand portfolio through a new marketing partnership. Member hotels of the Design Hotels collection have the option to join the Starwood Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program and gain access to Starwood's sales platform. Design Hotels continues to operate independently.
Starwood Preferred Guest
Starwood has a credit card partnership with American Express. A former partnership with MBNA Canada Bank in Canada was replaced by American Express in 2010. Starwood Preferred Guest also has a partnership with 32 affiliated airlines allowing guests to redeem their points for flights under the "SPG Flights" program. According to Starwood Hotels and Resorts' corporate profile, the SPG program has over 21 million members.
In 2008 an employee of Starwoods hotels was raped at the Meridien Al Aqah beach resort in the UAE. The employee Alice Gali was raped by her co-workers and then charged for illicit sex outside marriage, she was jailed for 8 months before being released.
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- STARWOOD HOTELS & RESORTS WORLDWIDE, INC.Form 10-K, Securities and Exchange Commission, February 24, 2014
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- "ELEMENT Lexington opens its doors". TTG MENA. Archived from the original on January 25, 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2009.
- "Opening Day of ELEMENT Lexington Marks the World Premiere of Starwood Hotels' Newest..." (Press release). Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. 1 July 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
- "Starwood Hotels Introduces Tribute Portfolio" (Press release). Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. April 16, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
- "Why Starwood Launched Tribute Portfolio". Forbes. April 16, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
- "Starwood unveils a new 10th brand; Loews adds a third". USA TODAY. April 16, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
- "More Access, More Destinations: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Expands Partnership with Design Hotels" (Press release). Starwood. December 01, 2015. Retrieved February 1, 2016. Check date values in:
- "New Starwood brand to be partnership with Design Hotels". Travel Weekly. October 30, 2015. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
- "Hotel and Tour News: A Lodge in Kenya Evokes ‘Out of Africa’". The New York Times. December 23, 2015. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
- "SPG Flights". SPG Flights. Retrieved 2014-05-14.
- "Alicia Gali, Woman Who Spent 8 Months In UAE Jail After Being Raped, Tells Her Story". Huffington Post. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
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