Steve Hanson and BR Guest to Deliver Unique
Dining Concepts for '1'
GREENWICH, Conn., Oct. 18, 2006 - Starwood Capital Group, led by Barry
Sternlicht, announced today the launching of "1" Hotel and Residences,
the first luxury, eco-friendly global hotel brand. The concept will combine
the best of environmentally sustainable architecture and interior design
with impeccable service and luxurious comfort. "1" will adhere to green
construction and operating principles and commit to environmentally sensitive
consumption of natural resources. "1" will demonstrate that green principles
can coexist and enhance a luxury hospitality experience and healthy residential
lifestyle. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has agreed to be
an environmental advisor on "1" with the initial goal of setting a new
standard for environmental excellence and, over time, to transform the
entire hotel industry.
"We are incredibly excited to be able to bring a whole new concept
to the hospitality industry with the launch of the "1" brand. As a CEO
and parent of three young children, I have grown acutely aware of the personal
responsibility we each have to help preserve and protect our planet, which
can only happen through the accumulation of small efforts by millions of
individuals. It is the perfect time for "1". With such critical issues
facing us as foreign energy dependence and global warming, we cannot afford
to ignore the growing consumption of our natural resources and the inability
to sustain our enterprises," said Mr. Sternlicht.
"While some hotel brands pay lip service to the environment by asking
guests to reuse towels, and adding plants to a lobby, "1" is not using
eco-friendly jargon simply as a marketing tool. Our intention with "1"
is to build hotels and residences that are truly green and minimize their
impact on their environment. We are excited about our partnership with
the NRDC. Each property will donate one percent of its revenue to local
environmental organizations guided by a steering committee with NRDC representation.
All of our buildings will be built to LEED standards and all of our interiors
will be LEED-compliant," continued Mr. Sternlicht.
"1" will be about light and air. "1" will be fresh, invigorating and
an alternative way of traveling and living. Guests and residents will not
necessarily be conscious of all of the green aspects at "1," but they will
be delighted by the richness, beauty and variety of colors, textures and
materials. The green theme will only be noticeable to the extent that it
will help create a healthy and invigorating environment. Enhancing this
experience, we are thrilled to announce a new exclusive partnership with
Stephen Hanson, perhaps the premier multi-site restaurant operator in the
United States. Steve's team at BR Guest will power the dining, banqueting
and room service experiences at each of the "1" properties," Mr. Sternlicht
The initial four properties in the United States will all be new construction.
The first hotel will be the "1" Hotel and Residences Seattle expected to
open in late 2008. Following Seattle, "1" will open in the ski resort of
Mammoth Mountain, California; in Scottsdale, Arizona; and in Ft. Lauderdale,
Florida. The first international "1" hotel will be located in Paris, France
and will be a renovation of a historic property. In addition, we expect
"1" to enter New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and other major urban
markets, as well as premier resort destinations, within the next 12 months.
The aim will be to have 15 hotels signed or under construction within 24
months. The five hotels are owned by controlled affiliates of Starwood
Capital Group Global, LLC.
The development of "1" is being guided by an exemplary advisory Board
which includes, among others, Prosper Assouline, Founder and Creative Director
of Assouline, Sandra J. Brant, President and CEO of Brant Publications,
Inc., Kevin Huvane, Managing Partner, Creative Artists Agency and Candy
Pratts- Price, Executive Fashion Director of Style.com. "I have been working
with this Advisory Board for quite some time. They bring unique insight
and vision to modern-day brand building and are equally committed to the
preservation of our environment," said Mr. Sternlicht.
The NRDC strives to help create a new way of life for humankind, one
that can be sustained indefinitely without fouling or depleting the resources
that support all life on Earth. For more than three decades, NRDC has fought
successfully to defend wilderness and wildlife and to protect clean air,
clean water and a healthy environment. "NRDC looks forward to working with
the creators of "1" to help create exemplar environmental projects that
can be models for the entire hotel industry," said Ashok Gupta, an energy
expert with NRDC.
Each new "1" will be built to LEED standards. The Leadership in Energy
and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System(TM), created
by the U.S. Green Building Council, is the nationally accepted benchmark
for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.
LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing
performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable
site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection,
and indoor environmental quality.
Also important to the brand's identity will be its unique operating
model. Each operating unit of hotel properties will be managed by industry
leaders. Mr. Hanson's restaurant company, BR Guest, will provide an innovative
restaurant, banqueting and room service program. "I'm thrilled to be a
partner on the "1" concept, as it mirrors many of our values such as environmental
stewardship and supporting local farmers," said Mr. Hanson. "We will seek
the premier local chefs who understand and support our mission. Barry Sternlicht
is a great visionary, one that I've worked with for more than five years,
and there is no one I'd rather be partners with in this exciting venture."
The spas at "1" will also be managed by a world-class operator and
will be an extension of the brand experience featuring unique treatments
and programs for the revitalization of body and soul. Additionally, a new
concierge concept with unparalleled personalization will ensure all that
is needed, and most of what can be imagined, will be provided effortlessly.
Each "1" will also include a state-of-the-art fitness center as well as
several other components to be announced in the near future.
Barry Sternlicht is widely known for revolutionizing the hospitality
industry during his tenure as Chairman & CEO of Starwood Hotels and
Resorts. He is credited with innovations such as his creation of W Hotels
brand, the repositioning and revitalization of Westin Hotels & Resorts
(led by innovations such as the Westin Heavenly Bed, and Heavenly Bath)
and the brand development of the St. Regis Hotels which started with a
single hotel as well as the creation of the award-winning Starwood Preferred
Guest frequent stay program.
STARWOOD CAPITAL GROUP GLOBAL LLC:
Starwood Capital Group Global LLC has been a leader in real estate
investments since its inception in 1991. Its international investor base
includes some of the United States' largest state and corporate pension
funds, endowments and foundations, and high-net worth families. During
the past fifteen years, Starwood Capital and its affiliates have invested
approximately $5.8 billion of equity capital in transactions totaling more
than $25 billion. Starwood has closed and/or advised on more than 215 transactions,
acquiring equity interests in thousands of residential lots, multifamily
and condominium units, hotels, office, retail, industrial, and golf and
leisure-related properties. Starwood Capital's most recent transactions
include the $3.2 billion acquisition of Groupe Taittinger and Societe du
Louvre, (Europe's second-largest hotel network which owns and operates
a unique collection of 14 luxury hotels in France, Switzerland and Europe
in addition to the more than 800 budget hotels under four flags located
throughout Europe); and the $973 million acquisition of the Le Meridien
hotel portfolio comprised of 32 luxury hotels located primarily in Europe,
North America, Africa and South America. Starwood Capital has led the formation
and growth of several successful companies including iStar Financial, the
leading publicly traded finance company specializing in commercial real
estate mortgage, mezzanine and net lease financing; Starwood Hotels &
Resorts Worldwide, a leading global owner/operator of hotels, with ownership
of brands such as Sheraton, Westin, The St. Regis Luxury Collection and
"W"; and National Golf Properties/American Golf Corporation, the largest
owner/operator of golf courses in the United States.