WHITE PLAINS, NY – November 17, 2006 – W Hotels, the world’s fastest growing style hotel brand, today announced plans to open its first hotel in Thailand. W Retreat & Residences-Koh Samui will be the brand’s third retreat in the world, following W Maldives which opened in September 2006 and W Vieques, scheduled to open in late 2007. The newly built 70-villa W Retreat & Residences-Koh Samui will cater to upscale leisure travelers when it opens in late 2008. There will also be approximately 20 luxury residential villas on the grounds of the retreat that will be available for purchase.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT), the parent company of W Hotels, has entered into a management agreement with Amburaya Resorts to manage the hotel.
“The signing of W Retreat & Residences-Koh Samui marks the entry of the W brand into Thailand, undeniably one of the top-rated destinations for its value and unforgettable beauty, luxury, culture and adventure,” said Ross Klein, President of W Hotels Worldwide. “Koh Samui will be the first destination in Thailand to have W Residences, which have become the ultimate expression that our guests want to live with us 24/7, checking-in and never needing to check-out.”
“We are thrilled that we will open W Retreat & Residences-Koh Samui, the first W retreat in Southeast Asia, and to expand our partnership with Starwood Hotels in Thailand,” said Ashwani ‘Sunny’ Bajaj, Managing Director of Amburaya Resorts, which also owns the year-old Sheraton resort in Pattaya. “Koh Samui is known as one of the most popular island destinations in Thailand and is definitely a great brand fit with W, given the energy and style of the island.” added Bajaj. W Koh Samui will be located on a 26 acre site on Maenam Beach, at the north shore of Koh Samui, arguably the best location on Koh Samui, given its secluded beach and interesting topography which will provide all rooms with excellent views. The retreat will feature 70 villas, each approximately 1,722 square feet (160 square meters ), W’s signature Living Room and lounge, one signature restaurant, a pool bar and a signature spa. Guests can indulge in W’s infamous beds as well as be treated to W’s signature Whatever/Whenever service commitment, the hotel’s 24-hour concierge that provides guests with whatever they want, whenever they want it.
Koh Samui is located in the Gulf of Thailand, 435 miles south of Bangkok, and is the third largest Thai island, following Phuket and Koh Chang. W Retreat & Residences-Koh Samui will be located on Maenam Beach, on the north shore of Koh Samui. Maenam is one of the island’s more secluded and private beaches and offers one of the best windsurfing and snorkeling sites, as well as intimate restaurants in the village. Maenam is also within close proximity to the Koh Samui airport, golf course and Chaweng town.
W Hotels is a global lifestyle brand with 21 properties in the most vibrant cities around the world. Inspiring and indulging its guests with thoughtful, refreshing and stylish experiences, signature restaurants, bars and destination spas, W has become the fastest growing luxury hotel brand in the world. Each hotel offers a unique mix of innovative design, comfort and cultural influences from fashion to music to art and everything in between. W’s first Retreat & Spa, W Maldives, opened in September of 2006 following a highly successful opening of the brand’s first residential property, W Dallas Victory, in June of 2006. W Residences, offering the W lifestyle at home, have been announced for Las Vegas, Hollywood, South Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Philadelphia, Downtown Atlanta, and Hoboken. Internationally, W has announced plans for hotels in Vieques, Barcelona, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Santiago, Athens, Istanbul, Doha and Dubai. For more information, visit www.whotels.com.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 850 properties in more than 95 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood® Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, Sheraton®, Westin®, Four Points® by Sheraton, W®, Le Méridien® and the recently announced AloftSM and ElementSM Hotels. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
Amburaya Properties is a vibrant Thai based developer bringing new and innovative lifestyle oriented accommodation and residential development to new and well established destinations and currently has properties in Bangkok, Pattaya, Koh Samui, India and continues to look for opportunities to grow their portfolio within Thailand and the region. (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.)