Accelerating portfolio growth in Latin America, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced the opening of its second Westin hotel in Panama. Ideally located in Costa del Este, Panama City's newest, upscale corporate and financial center, The Westin Panama is the third Starwood property developed and operated by Bern Hotels & Resorts, Panama's largest hotel developer and operator. With the opening of The Westin Panama, Starwood Hotels now has seven hotels in Panama.
"We are delighted to expand our partnership with Bern Hotels & Resorts and open another spectacular Westin hotel in Panama, Latin America's fastest growing market and a strategic business hub," said Osvaldo Librizzi, Co-President of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Americas. "In the past few years, Starwood has emerged as one of the leading global hospitality companies in Panama, which is experiencing an influx of foreign investment and large-scale infrastructure improvements, including the soon-to-be-completed enlargement of the Panama Canal."
The Westin Panama boasts 218 rooms, including 45 suites, world-class dining and 14,460 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting and function space. The newly constructed hotel is a key element of the Costa del Este financial center, which includes several luxurious real estate developments, numerous multi-national corporate offices and a boardwalk lined with shops and restaurants. Costa del Este is just 15 minutes from downtown Panama City and less than 30 minutes from Tocumen International Airport via the Corredor Sur.
"Global travelers now have the option of staying with Westin in more than one great location within Panama, as we continue to aggressively expand the brand throughout Latin America," said Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader for Westin Hotels & Resorts. "The phenomenal success of the Westin brand's distinct wellness positioning has attracted great interest among owners and developers in many of the world's fastest growing economies."
Starwood's portfolio in Latin America continues to grow. More than 2,500 rooms were added to in the past 24 months, representing an increase of 20 percent after the opening of The Westin Panama. Contributing to that growth, Westin has nearly doubled its portfolio in Latin America in just the past 18 months as part of the brand's strategic expansion in emerging markets. With the opening of The Westin Panama, Westin now has 12 hotels in Latin America, spanning five countries including Panama, Mexico, Peru, Costa Rica and Guatemala. On track to open its 200th hotel in 2013, Westin will open the vast majority of its new hotels outside of North America.
The sensory-rich environment at Westin offers a respite from the rigors of travel and sets a welcoming tone. The Westin brand's innovative programs and instinctive service transform every aspect of a guest's stay into a revitalizing experience. All guestrooms and suites at The Westin Panama feature the world-renowned Westin Heavenly® Bed - an oasis of lush sheets, down and a patented pillow-top mattress, which cradles and contours to the body for truly restorative sleep. Guests can revive in the Heavenly® Bath enhanced with the brand's Heavenly® Shower, Heavenly® Robe and White Tea Aloe bath amenities, in-room and high-speed Internet access. The hotel also offers the Westin brand's signature SuperFoodsRX® menu, which includes nutrient-rich and delicious options to tempt every palate.
"We are proud to open The Westin Panama, following the recent opening of The Westin Playa Bonita Resort & Spa," said Glen Champion, Vice-president of Bern Hotels & Resorts Panama. "Our partnership with Starwood has accelerated the introduction of high-caliber global hotel brands in Panama, one of the most dynamic markets in Latin America."
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About Westin Hotels & Resorts
Westin Hotels & Resorts offers innovative programs that transform every aspect of a stay into a revitalizing experience. All Westin signature services - like the Heavenly Bed, delicious SuperFoodsRX® and WestinWorkout® studio - have been designed with the guests' well-being in mind. Westin hotels, with more than 186 hotels and resorts in nearly 40 countries and territories, is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT). Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,128 properties in nearly 100 countries and 154,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood 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 ElementSM. 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 also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.westin.com.
About Bern Hotels & Resorts
Bern Hotels & Resorts Panama is the tourism and hotels division of Empresas Bern, a Panamanian company with 35 years of experience in the development of Real State and Sales, Construction, Investment and with a big compromise with educational programs. Bern Hotels & Resorts currently operates eight hotels in Panama City; five city hotels including Le Méridien Panama and the new The Westin Panama, and three resorts including The Westin Playa Bonita.
(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.)