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Starwood and its Ownership Groups to Invest More than $200 in Renovations
for the 13 Le Meridien Brand Hotels in Middle East and Africa Portfolio


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates--Mar. 27, 2013-- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced a significant commitment to its Le Méridien hotels in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region through a comprehensive renovation strategy. Le Méridien and its ownership groups will invest more than $200 million in the renovations of 13 hotels and resorts in the MEA region over the next 3 years. The French-born brand has had a major presence in emerging Middle Eastern and African markets for more than 30 years, and as this region continues to evolve as an international business and leisure travel destination, Le Méridien has developed a focused approach to ensuring its global portfolio continues to meet high brand standards.

“Since acquiring Le Méridien in 2005, Starwood and its hotel ownership groups have made a tremendous effort to enhance and create a consistent portfolio around the world,” said Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader, Le Méridien and Westin. “Le Méridien now boasts the best performance measures in the brand’s history, and our focused efforts on the Middle East and Africa hotels will only help ensure Le Méridien maintains its best portfolio ever.”

Le Méridien recently announced 10 new hotel openings over the next year, an unprecedented number for the brand, and as the European-rooted brand continues to grow globally, the consistency of its portfolio remains a key priority. The 13 Le Méridien hotels and resorts completing or currently undergoing renovations include:




Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort (Fujairah, United Arab Emirates)




Le Méridien Al Khobar (Saudi Arabia)




Le Méridien Dubai




Le Méridien Heliopolis (Cairo, Egypt)




Le Méridien Ile Maurice (Pointe Aux Piments, Mauritius)




Le Méridien Jeddah (Saudi Arabia)




Le Méridien Makkah (Saudi Arabia)




Le Méridien Mandji (Port Gentil, Gabon)




Le Méridien Mina Seyahi (Dubai)




Le Méridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa (Cairo, Egypt)




Le Méridien Re-Ndama (Libreville, Gabon)




Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi




Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa (Dubai)

Additionally, Le Méridien will this year add a new hotel in Egypt, where the brand currently operates four properties. Le Méridien Cairo Airport will open in September 2013. Located at Terminal 3, it will be the only hotel with direct access to Cairo International Airport terminals. Le Méridien Cairo Airport will feature 350 guestrooms, a 24-hour restaurant, specialty restaurant, coffee bar, lobby bar, lounge, fitness center, and swimming pool. The hotel will have approximately 750 square meters of meeting space, including a business center, ballroom, and six meeting rooms, for a variety of business functions.

Many of these renovated hotels along with Le Méridien Cairo Airport will integrate the Le Méridien Hub™ experience into existing public spaces, re-interpreting the traditional lobby into a social gathering place for curious and creative minded travelers to converse, debate, and exchange. Le Méridien Hub offers both guests and locals an inspiring atmosphere where contemporary, curated artwork sets the environment and a sophisticated café experience sets the scene. Le Méridien Hub further builds on the brand’s award-winning arrival experience consisting of four elements: large-scale artwork in high impact areas to reset the mind and stimulate dialogue and curiosity; the sensory experience, illustrated through Le Méridien signature scent, sound and use of light, creating a unique and distinctive atmosphere; UNLOCK ART™ programme, featuring LM100 ™ artist designed key card collections that not only offer access to the guestroom but also to Le Méridien affiliated contemporary cultural centers in the city; and a 24-hour soundtrack.

About Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts
Le Méridien, the Paris-born hotel brand currently represented by nearly 100 properties in more than 40 countries, was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) in November 2005. With over 80 of its properties located in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific, Le Méridien provided a strong international complement to Starwood’s then primarily North American holdings at the time of purchase. Since then, Le Méridien has gone through a brand re-launch, which included a large scale hotels product consolidation as well as redefining its brand strategy. By appointing a full-time Cultural Curator – French arts-provocateur Jérôme Sans – Le Méridien transformed numerous guest touch points, thus bringing unique and interactive experiences to its guests. Plans call for dynamic expansion of Le Méridien Hotels and Resorts within the next five years, concentrating on markets in Asia-Pacific and the Americas. Le Méridien recently opened new hotels in Istanbul, Oran (Algeria), Arlington (Virginia, USA), Coimbatore (India), Koh Samui (Thailand), and Taipei, and will open in the next 12 months in Bali, Atlanta, Chicago, Zhengzhou (China), Mahabaleshwar (India), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Cairo (Egypt), Qingdao (China), and Dhaka (Bangladesh). For more information, please visit www.lemeridien.com or facebook.com/lemeridien.

(Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made. These risks and uncertainties are presented in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although we believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that our expectations will be attained or that results and events will not materially differ. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.)

Contact:

Media:
Susan Magrino Agency
Courtney Marzahn / Dinah Saglio
+1 212-957-3005
courtney.marzahn@smapr.com


 
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