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Starwood Hotels’ Element Brand to Debut in Gainesville, FL

Element Gainesville - University will open in 2017, offering stylish, extended stay lodging next to the University of Florida Campus.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014
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Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) today announced that its eco-wise Element brand will soon arrive in Gainesville, Florida. Element Gainesville – University will open in March 2017 in a convenient location near the University of Florida campus. Operated and developed by H.I. Development Inc., the newly constructed Element hotel will offer a fresh, new option for travelers with 123 stylish, sustainable rooms and a light-filled atmosphere designed to fuel a life in balance and on the move. It will be the fourth new Element hotel slated to debut in Florida in the next three years.

“Our eco-wise Element brand is a great fit for the vibrant city of Gainesville and will provide visitors with a smart, sustainable extended stay hotel right near the University of Florida and leading attractions,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. “At Element, guests enjoy a bright, energizing environment that's conducive to both work and play, as well as innovative brand-led programming.”

Located at the intersection of Southwest Archer Rd. and Southwest 16th Ave., the hotel will be just across the street from the University of Florida’s Shands Hospital and less than one mile from the University of Florida’s main campus. Nearby attractions include Florida Museum of Natural History, Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, home of the Florida Gators football team.

Element Gainesville - University will boast light-filled studios as well as one bedroom suites featuring a fluid design of modular furniture, swiveling flat-screen televisions, large desks with open shelving and custom-designed closets. Rooms will also offer fully equipped kitchens and the signature Heavenly® Bed, and spa-inspired bathrooms will feature an invigorating rain shower and dual-flush toilet. Other brand signatures will include a state-of-the-art, 24-hour fitness center, outdoor pool, and 900 square-foot meeting room with modular furnishings, a flexible layout and state-of-the-art technology that can be customized to meet any business or social needs. Guests can stay on the move with Element’s complimentary bikes to borrow and enjoy fun and free extras including complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, the signature RISE breakfast, RELAX evening reception, and salon bar carts stocked with premium wines and beers, soft drinks and snacks, available after hours.

“Element is gaining momentum across Florida and throughout North America due to the brand’s successful positioning and emphasis on clean, sustainable living,” said Allison Reid, Senior Vice President of North America Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “Equipped with everything guests need for a life in balance, Element Gainesville - University will offer an entirely fresh perspective on the extended stay experience.”

Element is the first major hotel brand to mandate that all properties pursue the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for high-performance buildings. It’s recognized as an industry leader in the eco-space, and offers travelers a fresh, reimagined interpretation of the extended stay hotel experience.

About Element Hotels
Element® Hotels is made to order for guests in the know and on the go. Its bright design defies convention, bathing guest rooms and public spaces in natural light. Stylish and sustainable throughout, Element offers extended stay comfort with a conscience and lots of signature amenities from its healthy RISE breakfast and RELAX evening reception to saline swimming pools, spacious fitness centers, bikes to borrow and electric vehicle charging stations. Starwood’s latest brand innovation, Element made history in 2008 as the only major hotel brand to pursue LEED certification for high-performance buildings brand-wide. To date, there are Element hotels in 11 markets in North America with new domestic and international hotels in development. Visit www.ElementHotels.com or connect on Facebook.

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.

About H.I. Development Inc.
Founded in 1959 by Mr. Robinson Callen, and under the direction of Andre P. Callen today, H.I. Development specializes in development and management within the hospitality industry. H.I. Development and its affiliates have been developing and operating nationally known franchised and independent hotels in the United States, Caribbean, and Europe for over 50 years. It is one of the foremost privately owned hotel management and consulting companies in the United States. In addition to domestic hotel development, acquisition and management, heavily concentrated in Florida and the southeastern United States, H.I. Development has managed international hotels, with a strong presence in France, which holdings were divested in the late 1980’s, and through an affiliate, holdings in Puerto Rico, including launching the El Tropical Casino brand, famous island-wide. Throughout the years, H.I. Development has also successfully provided hotel management and services for unrelated ownership groups, including lenders. For more information, please visit www.hidevelopment.com.

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