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Joint Venture Between Shashi Corporation and Somera Capital Management to
Open the 123-room Aloft Cupertino in California in Summer 2013

STAMFORD, Conn.--Mar. 26, 2012-- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.® (NYSE:HOT) today announced its new destination sensation brand, Aloft® Hotels, will open a new property in Cupertino, California in early 2013. Aloft Cupertino will be the third Aloft to open in California and its second in Silicon Valley, following the opening of Aloft San Francisco Airport in 2012. Owned by a venture between Shashi Corporation and Somera Capital Management, Aloft Cupertino will deliver style at a steal with 123 spacious, loft-like rooms, forward-thinking technology and a vibrant, social atmosphere.

“The Aloft brand is perfectly suited for Cupertino, one of the most dynamic cities in Silicon Valley,” said Allison Reid, Senior Vice President of North American Development for Starwood. “Aloft is now 55 plus hotels and, fueled by the brand’s popularity among savvy travelers, we continue to aggressively grow the brand across North America and around the world.”

Located in the heart of Cupertino’s business district, the new Aloft will be convenient to numerous high-tech businesses such as Apple Computer’s world headquarters, Hewlett Packard and IBM. Also nearby are Santa Clara University, HP Pavilion, Winchester Mystery House, and a selection of wineries and world-class golf courses. Amenities will include an indoor pool, w xyz sm bar, 24-hour fitness center and 2,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, ideal for both business meetings and social gatherings.

“Aloft Cupertino will offer a compelling blend of style and social interplay that will appeal to both travelers and professionals in this energetic high-tech hub,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President, Speciality Select Brands for Starwood. “Aloft’s emphasis on high design combined with its tech-savvy features and social atmosphere all at an affordable price is attracting a growing group of loyal travelers who expect their lodging to reflect their evolving lifestyle.”

“We are thrilled to bring Aloft’s highly innovative and lifestyle oriented guest experience to Silicon Valley, the epicenter of global innovation,” said Dipesh Gupta, CEO of Shashi Corporation.

“We are excited to join forces with Shashi Corporation and Starwood Hotels & Resorts on this unique opportunity,” said Christopher Herthel, Executive Vice President of Somera Capital Management.

Los Angeles-based Canyon Capital Realty Advisors (CCRA) provided the senior construction loan for the project. The loan proceeds are being used for the purchase of the land and construction of the hotel. “We are pleased to provide the construction financing for Aloft’s newest property in California,” said CCRA Managing Director Richard Bosworth. “We see opportunity in Cupertino because of the thriving job market and severe lack of hotel supply in the city.”

About Aloft Hotels
Created to shake up the staid, traditional select-service segment of the hotel industry, the Aloft brand delivers style at a steal with urban-influenced, modern, open and vibrant design – and a social guest experience – all at an affordable price point. With more than 55 hotels open in the three years since Aloft first arrived on the scene, Aloft has changed the hotel landscape offering style at a steal everywhere from Abu Dhabi and Baltimore to Dallas and Beijing and everywhere in between. For more information, please visit www.alofthotels.com

Aloft, like all brands within Starwood's portfolio, is proud to offer the Starwood Preferred Guest(R) program, which offers a breakthrough policy of no blackout dates on Free Night Awards. To learn more, please visit www.spg.com

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1090 properties in 100 countries and territories with 154,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and Element SM. The company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG®), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com

About Shashi Corporation
Founded in 2004 in Silicon Valley, Shashi Corporation is a privately held real estate development and asset management firm, with a special focus on hospitality. Shashi specializes in creating long term value by penetrating high barrier to entry markets with lifestyle oriented designs and leading world-class brands.

About Somera Capital Management
Somera Capital Management, LLC is a fully integrated real estate investment and portfolio management company with headquarters in Santa Barbara, California and an additional office in Washington, D.C. From its formation in 1994, Somera has managed approximately $600 million of total transaction equity committed to over 70 transactions throughout the United States, representing a total transaction cost basis of approximately $2.0 billion. Please visit www.someracapital.com for more information.

About Canyon Capital Realty Advisors LLC

Canyon Capital Realty Advisors LLC and its affiliate Canyon Capital Advisors LLC are registered investment advisors and money management firms based in Los Angeles, California, with approximately $18 billion of capital under management. Our real estate funds focus on providing value-added debt and equity capital to, among others, real estate owners, operators, developers, mortgage lenders and corporations, allowing them to meet their needs for time-sensitive and complicated transactions where reliable execution provides a substantial financial advantage. Canyon’s investment platforms include: (a) the Canyon Value Mortgage Funds which originate and/or purchase senior and mezzanine mortgage debt, (b) the Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds, a series of closed-end real estate funds and joint venture with Earvin “Magic” Johnson focusing on inner-city and urban real estate development and (c) the Canyon-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund, a joint venture with Andre Agassi focusing on the development of learning friendly, environmentally responsible charter school facilities for best in class charter school operators.


Contact:

Meg Connolly Communications
Meg Connolly, 212-505-8200
meg@mcc-pr.com


 
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