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W Retreat & Spa–Vieques Island, Located off the Coast of Puerto Rico,
Appoints Francisco Blanch as Director of Sales & Marketing for
Starwood Hotel & Resorts Caribbean & Florida Metro Markets


VIEQUES, PUERTO RICO (December 2011) – W Retreat & Spa-Vieques Island, the Caribbean’s ultimate destination escape, announces the appointment of Francisco Blanch as Director of Sales & Marketing for Starwood Hotel & Resorts Caribbean & Florida Metro Markets. Located eight miles off the southeast coast of Puerto Rico, W Vieques will be one of the 13 hotel properties Blanch will focus on within the South Florida and Caribbean cluster.

Blanch brings more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience as he joins Starwood from his previous role at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. There he oversaw leisure sales for the more than 1,500-room resort. Blanch has also worked with other international hotel brands including Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Westin, Allied Tours and ACC Tours/AccessUSA.

Blanch was previously a member of the Starwood team from 2006-2008. During that time, he worked on pre-opening projects in the Dominican Republic, as well as on the Hurricane Katrina task force for the two W properties and the Sheraton in New Orleans. He was also a member of the Caribbean Leisure Cluster during that tenure.

About W Retreat & Spa-Vieques Island

W Retreat & Spa-Vieques Island opened its doors on March 25, 2010 as the first W Retreat & Spa in North America. Located eight miles off the Southeast coast of Puerto Rico on the peaceful and untouched island of Vieques, the Retreat & Spa features 157 stylish guest rooms and suites, all with private patios and balconies, providing unparalleled views of the Atlantic Ocean. The hotel offers a mix of serenity and natural beauty, inviting guests to escape to an untainted paradise that blends soft adventure with soothing relaxation. A Caribbean wonderland blessed with two private palm-lined beaches, the property flaunts waterfront leisure spots such as Living Room, Fire Pit, Lawn and Paradise Edge; four scrumptious dining options from highly acclaimed chef, Alain Ducasse and the beachfront seafood grill, La Pescadora; an AWAY spa for ultimate revitalization and relaxation; and a contemporary seaside sanctuary full of natural wonders and pure indulgence. W Vieques is an undiscovered oasis created by an innovative team of designers including lead designer, Patricia Urquiola, of Milan based Studio Urquiola, renowned design firm, Rockwell Group Europe who collaborated with Patricia Urquiola on the spa and public spaces and architectural firms, Sierra Cardona Ferrer and EDSA. For more information, please visit www.WVieques.com.

About W Hotels Worldwide
W Hotels is a contemporary, design-led lifestyle brand and the industry innovator with 40 hotels and retreats in the most vibrant cities and exotic destinations around the world. Inspiring, iconic, innovative and influential, W Hotels provides the ultimate in insider access, offering a unique mix of cutting-edge design and passions around fashion, music and entertainment. W Hotels offers a holistic lifestyle experience that is integrated into the brand's sensibility through contemporary restaurant concepts, glamorous entertainment experiences, stylish retail concepts and signature spas. With more than 12 years of proven success, W Hotels is on track to reach more than 50 hotels by the end of 2012. W Hotels and W Retreats have been announced for Paris, St. Petersburg, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Bali, Bangkok, Athens – Astir Palace, and Verbier, among other international destinations.  For more information, visit www.whotels.com.

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Contact::

Jessica Milton/Annelisa Sichel
Harrison & Shriftman PR for W Retreat & Spa- Vieques Island
JMilton@hs-pr.com  / ASichel@hs-pr.com 
305.534.0008


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Also See: Jennifer Findlay Appointed as Spa Director for AWAY® Spa at the 157-room W Retreat & Spa–Vieques Island / November 2011

W Hotels Appoints Virgil Napier as Director of Sales & Marketing for the 157-room W Retreat & Spa–Vieques Island Located off the Coast of Puerto Rico / July 2011

W Hotels 2011 Designers of the Future Award Winners Reveal Innovative Works at Design Miami/ Basel / June 2011

With Design at the Forefront, W Hotels Worldwide Prepares to Open Six New Distinctively Designed Hotels in 2011 / February 2011

First W Hotel in Southeast Asia Opens with the All Villa W Retreat Koh Samui on the North Shore of Thailand’s Samui Island / November 2010

W Hotels Appoints Coetzer Deysel as General Manager of W Retreat - Koh Samui, Thailand / April 2010

Langham Hotels International Signs Management Contract with Gurich Company in Koh Samui, Thailand to Open Designer Boutique Resort in November 2009 / July 2009
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