MELBOURNE, Australia – Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc is set to continue its expansion momentum across Asia-Pacific backed by a strong pipeline and comprehensive guest and customer outreach programmes.
Starwood Senior Vice President, Sales – Asia Pacific, Ms. Alison Taylor, said: “2015 is another exciting year for us with continuous spotlight on Asia Pacific. We continue to grow our footprint in both cities and resorts destinations with new markets including Bhutan, Samoa and Sri Lanka.”
Strong Pipeline and New Destinations
In 2014, Starwood opened 30 new hotels and signed 71 new hotels across the region. This year, Starwood continues to widen its reach across Asia Pacific with more than 30 hotels expected to open in 2015. The company will embark on a major milestone as it is surpassing the 500th hotel in operation and pipeline. Growth will continue to be led by China and India, followed by Southeast Asia.
In January 2015, Starwood opened Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Resort, marking the company’s entry into Samoa and soon to open is another resort on the island – Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel and Bungalows in October 2015. The two Samoan properties are owned by the Grey family, whose Tahitian hotel, Le Méridien Tahiti, is also managed by Starwood.
Following its entry to Bhutan with Le Méridien Thimbhu, Starwood will open its second property in the kingdom, Le Méridien Paro, Riverfront later this year. The company is also set to enter a new destination – Sri Lanka, with the Sheraton Colombo Hotel in 2015.
New Meeting Venues (Asia)
As growth continues in China, Starwood is forging ahead with providing world-class meeting venues in secondary and tertiary cities.
Starwood will welcome its eco-conscious brand Element Hotels to Asia Pacific with the opening of the Element Suzhou Science and Technology Town. The 200-room property will be located in Suzhou’s eco-friendly High-Tech District and will have seven meeting spaces, the largest of which will be 600 square meters.
Over in Zhuhai, located on the waterfront with stunning views of the glittering Macau skyline, is the Sheraton Zhuhai Hotel, opening in April 2015 and which will be Starwood’s first hotel in the city. It will add another 545 well-appointed guestrooms to Zhuhai and 2,070 square meters of flexible meeting space, the largest of which is a 1,000-square-meter grand ballroom.
Meeting planners will also see new meeting venues in the luxury space as Starwood’s luxury brands continue their expansion across Asia Pacific. The exclusive St. Regis brand is set to debut in both Macao and Langkawi this year.
Due to open in the second half of 2015, the 400-room St. Regis Macao, Cotai Central will feature 1,250 square-meters of function space and guests will have access to the further 14,000 square meters of meeting space offered by sister property, Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central, which is located within the same integrated complex.
Meanwhile opening in late 2015 is the St. Regis Langkawi Resort, which will be part of an exciting new integrated nautical development that will include the Langkawi International Convention Centre, which is expected to put Langkawi on the map as a MICE destination.
On the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia, Starwood will bring its Four Points by Sheraton brand to Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi. Slated to open in the second half of the year, Four Points by Sheraton Makassar will feature Makassar’s largest convention center totaling approximately 6,500 square meters, with the largest ballroom having an area of 3,200 square meters.
Le Méridien Saigon will mark the brand’s debut in Vietnam when it opens in May 2015. Located beside the Saigon River, the 345-room property will feature over 700 square meters of meeting space, the largest of which is a 400-square-meter ballroom.
New Meeting Spaces (Pacific)
With a slew of new openings in the Pacific in 2014, Starwood now operates 18 hotels in the Pacific including three hotels in Fiji, two in New Caledonia and one in Samoa. These new properties have added significant meeting space to the region.
The Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Resort has a 144-square-meter ballroom and when its sister property, Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel and Bungalows opens in October 2015, it will add another 1,900 square meters of premium function space to the destination.
At the Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Resort & Spa, outdoor space together with 555 square meters in flexible indoor space, provide the ideal setting for any meetings.
Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, Darling Harbour is embarking on a $200 million redevelopment project which will see the hotel expand with an additional 4,800 square meters of convention, meeting and event space. The first-rate facilities will include two pillarless ballrooms, the largest with seating up to 1,100 theatre-style, breakout and meeting rooms, dedicated pre-function space and state-of-the-art audio visual technology.
The Sheraton Melbourne and the Four Points by Sheraton Brisbane offer 660 square meters and 300 square meters respectively.
Leading Loyalty Program SPG Pro
In 2014, Starwood broke new ground in customer loyalty and personalization with the debut of SPG Pro, an all-new, comprehensive loyalty program for meeting and travel professionals that offers SPG elite status, upgrades and Starpoints for B2B business booked at any of Starwood’s nearly 1,200 properties around the world.
Since the launch of SPG Pro, members of Starwood’s guest loyalty program, SPG, regardless of if they are a travel professional or not, can now also earn Starpoints and status for the business they influence including group stays, events or corporate business meetings.