BERLIN, Germany – From the International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) in Berlin, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc today announced it is on track to open more than 40 new hotels and resorts across Europe in the next five years, expanding its portfolio by almost 30% with openings in both fast-growing and established markets. Further underlining its long-term growth strategy, Starwood is set to open five new hotels in Turkey this year, including The St. Regis Istanbul which just opened on March 1st.
“2014 was a record year of deal signings for Starwood in Europe with consistent, sustainable high-quality portfolio growth in key European markets and sought-after destinations,” said Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “Our growth momentum continues this year with 14 hotels on track to open across Europe and strong owner interest in our nine lifestyle brands, backed by our loyalty program, the collective strength of our global platform and our highly-experienced, local teams.”
2015 opening highlights include:
• Five new hotels in Turkey, reaffirming Starwood’s commitment to growth in the country, bringing its portfolio to 15 hotels across seven brands by the end of 2015. Among the openings, is the St. Regis brand launch in Turkey with The St. Regis Istanbul introducing unparalleled luxury and style into the dynamic gateway city. Starwood will also introduce the Four Points by Sheraton brand into the country with two Four Points by Sheraton hotels in Batisehir and in Dudullu, two of Istanbul’s most promising districts. The iconic Sheraton brand will open a hotel in Atasehir, on the Asian side of Istanbul and recently entered the emerging coastal city of Samsun.
• Steady growth in Russia with two new Starwood hotels opening in 2015: Sheraton Ufa and a Four Points by Sheraton in Kaluga, marking the entry of the Four Points by Sheraton brand in the country. With six more hotels in the pipeline, Starwood will double its footprint in Russia over the next three years.
• Growth momentum in Germany with the launch of the Aloft brand in Stuttgart and Munich this summer, strengthening Starwood’s position in this key European travel market to nearly 30 hotels.
• The introduction of the W and Element brands to The Netherlands by year-end with W Amsterdam located in the prestigious Dam square, just steps from the city’s vibrant canal district, and Element Amsterdam, south of the city center.
• Three further additions to the Sheraton brand portfolio in Southern Europe: Entering Romania with the opening of Sheraton Bucharest this fall, a conversion that leverages the brand’s first-mover advantage. The brand will also open the Sheraton Lake Como Hotel, a conversion hotel, overlooking the spectacular Lake Como in Italy, and expand its footprint in Croatia with the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel.
2014 record year for hotel signings in Europe, conversion hotels driving expansion
In 2014 Starwood experienced a record year of deal signings in Europe with almost 60% more signed deals than in the previous year, largely driven by conversion deals. Starwood continues to see increased interest from owners looking to maximize the value of their assets quickly, with many conversion opportunities amidst growing demand coming from the UK, Germany, France and Southern Europe.
Recent conversions such as The St. Regis Moscow Nikolskaya and Excelsior Hotel Gallia, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Milan, have fuelled growth in Starwood’s luxury brand segment, highlighting development interest for strong brands with global selling power. Another key conversion this year is Sheraton Berlin Grand Hotel Esplanade, which marks the launch of the iconic Sheraton brand in Germany’s capital, one of the most important European travel destinations for business and leisure.
“We see many conversion opportunities across Europe through both managed and franchised deals,” said Bart Carnahan, Senior Vice President Acquisitions & Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa & Middle East. “Our conversion-friendly approach allows us to deliver value to our partners through a flexible, cost-efficient process that yields almost immediate results and gives them access to world-class delivery systems as well as our SPG loyalty program, differentiated marketing, and much more.”
Franchise deals are a fundamental part of Starwood’s development strategy, driving nearly 50% of signed hotel deals in Europe last year. The pace of franchise deal signings is expected to continue through 2020 with developers seeing the added value Starwood’s brands deliver to their real estate strategies, particularly in mature markets such as the UK, Germany and France.
Starwood’s mid-market brands build on strong growth momentum
Starwood’s three distinct mid-market brands, Aloft, Four Points by Sheraton and Element, are experiencing unprecedented growth momentum globally. In Europe, the company’s mid-market portfolio is poised to exceed 50% of Starwood’s development pipeline with more than 15 new hotel openings expected across the three brands by the end of 2017.
Aloft will more than double its portfolio in Europe with hotels opening in St. Petersburg and London over the next two years, in addition to two hotels in Germany, opening this summer. Four Points by Sheraton, Starwood’s fastest growing brand will also expand in emerging markets with eight openings planned in Turkey and Russia by 2017. The eco-centric Element brand, introduced to Europe with the opening of Element Frankfurt Airport Hotel last year, will debut in Amsterdam before year-end, and become part of an Aloft and Element dual-hotel development in the historic Tobacco Dock section of East London in 2017.
“The record growth experienced in the last five years in the mid-market segment has set the stage for 2015, where we will see a vigorous expansion in mature and emerging markets” said Michael Wale, President Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa & Middle East. “The increasing demand for conversion and franchise deals from new and existing partners is a strong reflection of Starwood’s powerful network, loyal customer base and commitment to deliver value for owners.”