Westin Hotels & Resorts

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"Westin" redirects here. For the surname, see Westin (surname).
Westin Hotels Resorts
Industry Hotel
Founded 1930
Founder Severt W. Thurston, Frank Dupar
Headquarters Stamford, Connecticut
Number of locations
Area served
Parent Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
Website starwoodhotels.com/westin

Westin Hotels & Resorts is an upscale hotel chain owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. As of 2013, Westin operated over 192 hotels.


Early History[edit]

In 1930, Severt W. Thurston and Frank Dupar of Seattle, Washington met unexpectedly during breakfast at a diner in Yakima, Washington. The competing hotel owners decided to form a management company to handle all their properties, and help deal with the crippling effects of the ongoing Great Depression.[1] The men invited Peter and Adolph Schmidt, who operated five hotels in the Puget Sound area, to join them, and together they established Western Hotels.[1] The chain consisted of 17 properties, 16 in Washington and one in Boise, Idaho.[2]

Western expanded to Vancouver, British Columbia and Portland, Oregon in 1931, and by 1941 into Alaska and California. By the early 1950s, Western also had properties in Montana and Utah.[1]

Growth and Name Change[edit]

Early management developed each property individually. After more than two decades of rapid growth, many of its properties were merged into a single corporate structure in 1958, focusing on bringing the hotels together under a common chain identity.[1]

Western Hotels managed a floating hotel aboard the ocean liner QSMV Dominion Monarch, during the Century 21 Exposition in Seattle in 1962. The chain also managed the Eye of the Needle restaurant atop the Space Needle, which they continued to manage for many years.[3]

The company was renamed Western International Hotels in 1963,[1] to reflect its growth overseas. That same year, the company went public. In 1970, the chain was acquired by UAL Corporation. For its 50th anniversary in 1980, the company changed its name again to Westin Hotels & Resorts (a contraction of the words Western International).

The restoration of the historic Westin Book Cadillac Hotel (2008) in Detroit.

In 1987, UAL Chairman Richard Ferris announced a plan to make UAL into Allegis, a travel conglomerate based around United Airlines, Hertz Rent a Car, Hilton Hotels, and Westin and linked by Apollo. This strategy failed, however, and Westin was sold in 1988 to Aoki Corporation of Japan. In 1994 Aoki sold it to Starwood Capital, real estate investment firm and parent of Starwood Lodging, and Goldman Sachs, an investment bank. In 1998 Starwood assumed full ownership of the company.[2]

Westin claims to have been the first hotel chain to introduce guest credit cards (in 1946), 24-hour room service (1969), and personal voice mail in each room (1991).[4]


Westin markets certain amenities available in its properties to the public under the brand name Heavenly. In 2005, Westin became the first hotel company to gain a national retail store presence when Nordstrom started carrying the Heavenly Bed line in more than 60 stores.

Westin refreshed its partnership with United Airlines in 2008. United began offering pillows and blankets from Westin's Heavenly Bed line on select United premium service routes between New York City and California, as well as Westin decorations and scents in some Red Carpet Club lounges.[5] These amenities were stopped following the merger with Continental Airlines. Beginning in 2013 Delta Air Lines began an extensive partnership with Westin and Starwood Hotels, this included adding Westin Heavenly In-flight Bedding to all BusinessElite seats on international flight as well as transcontinental flights.[6]

Especially in the last decade, Westin has focused on expanding globally. Since 2005, the number of hotels has grown from 120 locations in 24 countries to over 192 locations in 37 countries as of 2013.

Notable hotels[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e "Westin Hotels and Resorts, The J. Wm Keithan Archives, 1905–2004". Washington State University Libraries. 
  2. ^ a b "Westin Hotels and Resorts Records, 1905–2004". Washington State University Libraries. Retrieved December 28, 2007. 
  3. ^ "World's Fair". The Spokesman-Review (Cowles Publishing Company). 19 March 1962. Retrieved July 13, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Westin History". Starwood Hotels. Retrieved December 28, 2007. 
  5. ^ Everson, Darren (February 19, 2008). "February Special: A 29th Day to Save". The Wall Street Journal. 
  6. ^ "The BusinessElite Experience". Retrieved 11 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "The Westin makes Singapore comeback today The Westin makes Singapore comeback today". TTGmice. November 12, 2013. 
  8. ^ Arnold, Helen (March 25, 2012). "World's 15 most expensive hotel suites". CNN Travel. CNN. Retrieved April 11, 2012. 

External links[edit]