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Sonesta International Hotels Developing a
 Domestic Hotel Franchise Program

BOSTON, June 1, 2009 -  Sonesta International Hotels Corporation (Nasdaq:SNSTA) announced today the launch of its U.S. franchise program. The Company, which has licensed properties internationally for over 30 years, has just issued the Sonesta Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) required to franchise domestically and is applying for registration of the franchise offering in the franchise registration states.

"We are very enthusiastic about bringing the Sonesta brand into the upscale/upper- upscale domestic franchise market," said Philip Silberstein, Sonesta's executive vice president of development. "Sonesta's 40 years of experience and recognition as a top-tier brand, coupled with our proven market awareness and superior RevPAR performance, will provide hotel owners seeking market share premiums and upscale brand affiliation with an exciting new option."

Sonesta takes great pride in delivering superior results. In 2008, Sonesta achieved an average RevPAR of $129.42 for their U.S. hotels, with an average RevPAR Index of 111.4%. Additionally, the Sonesta system contributed an average of 45.5% of room revenue to its U.S. hotels. Sonesta plans on jump-starting its U.S. franchise development efforts by offering an array of benefits not widely available to up market franchisees.

Clarence A. Davis and Jacqueline Sonnabend elected
 to the Board of Directors of the Company


May 13, 2009 - After serving four years in the Marines, Clarence Davis attended Long Island University, graduating in 1967 with a B.S. in Accounting. Mr. Davis has worked as an educator, a Certified Public Accountant, a business consultant, a Chief Financial Officer, a Chief Operating Officer and, most recently, as a Chief Executive Officer. From 1998 to 2000 he served as CFO of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“AICPA”), and from 2000 to 2005 was AICPA’s CEO. From August 2007 until January 2009, Mr. Davis was CEO of Nestor, Inc. He currently serves as a director of Gabelli SRI Fund and Gabelli Global Deal Fund. He is a business consultant involved in a number of business community and professional organizations. 

Jacqueline Sonnabend graduated from Brandeis University in 1976, and from Columbia University’s School of Education in 1977. From 1977 to 1983, Ms. Sonnabend worked in career development at Pace University. She then attended New York University’s School of Business Administration, graduating in 1984. From 1984 to 1985, Ms. Sonnabend served as Director of Human Resources at Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston, before moving to the Company’s Corporate Office as Vice President-Human Resources, in 1985. She was named Executive Vice President in 1991, and assumed her additional responsibilities as Senior Quality Officer in 2008.

"We believe that we have a franchise program that will really resonate in the marketplace," Silberstein continued. "For example: our standard franchise agreement has a franchisee termination right with no termination fees; and Sonesta capital contributions in the form of key money that may be available to prospective franchisees who qualify."

Sonesta will continue to be defined as a brand focused on the overall guest experience and whose unique high quality hotels and resorts reflect the environment where they are located. Silberstein added, "The Sonesta domestic franchise program will appeal to distinctive independent hotels that would benefit from an upscale/upper-upscale brand affiliation, yet want to retain their unique identities. After all, Sonesta is a collection of unique hotels."

For over 60 years, Sonesta has owned, managed, designed, built, marketed and licensed hotels throughout the world. There are presently 27 Sonesta hotels and resorts, including 6 Nile cruise ships. The Sonesta Collection can be found in Boston, Miami, New Orleans, St. Maarten, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Egypt. New properties are under development in Chile, Costa Rica, Peru, Mexico and Miami, FL. Sonesta's stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global stock market under the symbol SNSTA. For more information visit www.Sonesta.com.

About Sonesta:
The Sonesta Collection is a distinctive international collection of upscale hotels, resorts and cruise ships. Every property reflects the energy, style and spirit of its location. Locally-inspired and artfully-presented cuisine, luxurious accommodations and passionate personal service create an authentic and memorable guest experience. Discover the Sonesta Collection in Boston, New Orleans, Miami, St. Maarten (2), Brazil (2), Peru (6) and Egypt (12). Look for Sonesta opening soon in Jaco Beach, Costa Rica. Visit www.sonesta.com or call 800.Sonesta (800.766.3782) in the U.S. and Canada.
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Contact:

Lorie Juliano
Corporate Director of Media Relations
Sonesta Collection: Hotels, Resorts, Cruises
617-421-5429
ljuliano@sonesta.com


 

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Also See: Florida East Coast Realty Poised for June 2009 Construction of Sonesta Mikado Hotel Miami, a 40 Story Mixed Use Hotel / May 2009

Wavestone Properties Appoints Sonesta International Hotels to Operate the 249 room Miami Sole on the Ocean Condo/Hotel / October 2008
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