From the World Economic Forum Latin America in Panama, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) announced today that it has opened Aloft Guadalajara, expanding its footprint to nearly 80 hotels in Latin America, and plans to open 17 more, increasing its portfolio by 20 percent by 2016. Starwood remains the largest high-end hotel operator in Latin America and its momentum is largely driven by vigorous growth in Mexico, its seventh largest market in the world, and accelerated expansion in Colombia, a market ripe with opportunities in business and leisure travel.
“With sustained GDP growth, a stable influx of foreign direct investment to high-growth markets, and a fast-rising middle class, Latin America continues to be a region filled with growth opportunities for our globally recognized and admired brands,” said Frits van Paasschen, President and Chief Executive Officer, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “Panama provides a perfect backdrop for our discussions this week as we explore the tremendous potential and unique complexities in this dynamic region.”
Starwood Expands Presence in Mexico to 26 Hotels and Plans to Increase Portfolio by 30 Percent by 2016
With the opening of Aloft Guadalajara, Starwood expands its presence in Mexico to 26 hotels, strengthening its position as the largest operator of upper-upscale hotels in the country.
Guadalajara is Mexico’s cultural and technology hub and its second largest city, making it a perfect fit for this innovative brand that was created to redefine the Specialty Select category. The 142-room hotel is located on Avenida de las Americas, one of the city’s most prestigious areas, with easy access to the airport and major businesses, restaurants and shopping. The hotel will feature Aloft’s signature W XYZSM bar; Re:fuelSM, a one-stop, 24-hour grab & go food and beverage area; Re:chargeSM Aloft’s fitness center; Splash, an indoor swimming pool; and Nook, the hotel’s signature all-day dining restaurant, which serves international dishes as well as authentic Mexican food.
Further underscoring its strong growth in Mexico, Starwood also announced today that it will open The Westin Cozumel, its eighth Westin hotel in the country. The 156-room hotel is scheduled to open in the summer of 2016. With the signing of this hotel, Starwood increases its development pipeline in Mexico to seven hotels, representing an increase of 30 percent to its total footprint in the country.
Starwood Accelerates Expansion in Colombia and Will Double its Footprint in the Next Two Years
Responding to strong demand for business and leisure travel in Colombia, Starwood will double its footprint from four to eight hotels by 2016. The company also announced today that it plans to open two more Four Points by Sheraton hotels in Colombia: The 140-room Four Points by Sheraton Bogota in June, and the 119-room Four Points by Sheraton Barranquilla, which will open its doors in September.
Additionally, Starwood will debut its luxury and design powerhouse W Hotels brand in the country with the opening of W Bogota during the third quarter this year. In 2015, Starwood will enter Cartagena, the country’s most important leisure destination, for the first time with the opening of a beachfront Sheraton hotel.
Starwood currently operates four hotels in Colombia, including two Four Points hotels in Cali and Medellin, which benefit from the growing demand in domestic business travel; Sheraton Bogota, the first Sheraton in the country; and the recently opened Aloft Bogota, which marked the entrance of the brand into the country less than two years ago.
Sheraton Continues Global Expansion with its Return to Bolivia
Additionally, Starwood announced today that it will return to Bolivia after 30 years, with the opening of The Sheraton Santa Cruz Hotel. The new 150-room hotel will expand the reach of the Sheraton brand to 13 countries in Latin America.
Sheraton continues to be one of the most appealing brands for developers and investors in Latin America, where Starwood currently operates 33 Sheraton hotels, and plans to open three more in the next two years, including the Sheraton Santa Cruz Hotel, The Sheraton Cartagena Hotel in Colombia, and Sheraton Reserva do Paiva Hotel near Recife in Brazil, which will be the seventh Sheraton in Brazil.
Specialty Select Brands Maintain Upward Momentum for Starwood
Starwood’s Specialty Select brands (SSB) are continuing to drive positive momentum, underscoring the company’s long-term development strategy in this category, particularly in secondary and tertiary cities with a strong demand for domestic business travel. Currently, the company operates 17 hotels under the Four Points by Sheraton and Aloft brands in Latin America, and has eight new SSB hotels under development in Latin America, representing an increase of nearly 45 percent in this category over the next two years.
Consistent with Starwood’s global brand portfolio, Four Points by Sheraton is Starwood’s second largest brand in the region with 12 hotels. The brand has the largest pipeline in the region with plans to open five more hotels in key markets, including the aforementioned Four Points by Sheraton Bogota and Four Points by Sheraton Barranquilla, Four Points Cancun opening in July, and Four Points in Queretaro, Mexico in early 2015. Starwood also announced today that it will open Four Points by Sheraton in Cuenca, Ecuador in the third quarter of 2015.
Aloft continues to see significant growth in Latin America, with five hotels opened since the brand’s launch less than two years ago and plans to open three in the next two years, including Aloft Merida in Mexico; Aloft Asuncion in Paraguay and Aloft Montevideo in Uruguay.
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with nearly 1,200 properties in 100 countries and 181,400 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 Element®. 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.starwoodhotels.com.