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CHICAGO, July 30, 2015 -- Strategic Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: BEE) today announced that it has acquired the remaining 49 percent ownership interest in the 514-room JW Marriott Essex House hotel.  The Company previously owned a 51 percent ownership position in the asset through a joint venture with certain affiliates of KSL Capital Partners, LLC ("KSL").  Pursuant to the terms of the joint venture agreements, KSL exercised a contractual put option of its equity interests in the asset and the Company will issue to certain affiliates of KSL an aggregate of 6,595,449 shares of common stock priced at $12.82 per share, or an implied valuation of $84.6 million.  The transaction values the asset at a gross valuation of approximately $397.6 million, which includes $6.3 million of value for three owned condominiums, $2.2 million of cash currently held within the joint venture, and the existing $225.0 million mortgage financing. 

"We are very pleased to acquire the remaining interest in the JW Marriott Essex House hotel from our partner, KSL," commented Raymond L. "Rip" Gellein, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Hotels & Resorts, Inc. "Under our joint ownership we created substantial incremental value, with EBITDA projected to have increased over six times by the end of 2015.  There continues to be significant upside in this iconic hotel, which is situated on Central Park.  The New York City market is long-term one of the most outstanding travel markets in the world, and we are confident that our efforts to reposition the hotel will drive favorable future growth.  This transaction also represents the acquisition of the sole remaining joint venture interest in our best-in-class portfolio of hotels and resorts, further simplifying our balance sheet."

The net hotel purchase represents an approximately $757,000 per key valuation.  The acquired 49 percent interest in the hotel is projected to generate an incremental approximately $5.5 million of EBITDA in the remaining five months of 2015.    

About JW Marriott Essex House

Towering 40 floors and offering commanding views of Central Park, Essex House is among the most luxurious and recognized hotels in Manhattan.  Quintessentially New York, the Hotel has played host to world dignitaries and celebrities alike since opening in 1931.  The building underwent a comprehensive $90 million renovation in 2007.  Today, the Hotel features world-class amenities including a full-service spa and fitness center, a fine-dining restaurant and well-appointed meeting and event spaces.  The 514 guestrooms offer stylish furnishings that celebrate the property's rich history while offering guests all the comforts of a luxury hotel.

About Strategic Hotels & Resorts, Inc.

Strategic Hotels & Resorts, Inc. is a real estate investment trust (REIT) which owns and provides value enhancing asset management of high-end hotels and resorts in the United States and Europe.  The Company currently has ownership interests in 18 properties with an aggregate of 8,199 rooms and 851,000 square feet of multi-purpose meeting and banqueting space.  For a list of current properties and for further information, please visit the Company's website at

Contact: Diane Morefield, EVP, Chief Financial Officer

(312) 658-5740

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