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Ex-Starwood Chief Plans Luxury Chain

Barry Sternlicht is back in the game.
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Barry Sternlicht's Starwood Capital set plans to launch a new international luxury brand called the Crillon and said it would develop European-style Crillon hotels and serviced residences in major destinations throughout the world.

Sternlicht, the exec behind the

Starwood

(HOT)

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chain who left last year to chart his own course, said the Crillon's flagship is the Hotel de Crillon in Paris, located on Place de la Concorde and one of only six six-star palace hotels in that city.

The Crillon brand will build on Paris' Hotel de Crillon's name recognition and reputation for impeccable service among discerning travellers internationally. Starwood Capital plans to develop Crillon hotels on its own and to partner with other developers and owners and will target properties in the world's most sophisticated cities, which may include London, Rome, Barcelona, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Delhi, Mumbai, Dubai and Qatar. Resort destinations may follow in one-of-a-kind locations in the Caribbean, the Far East and in ski markets like Starwood's recently acquired Mammoth Mountain in California. Starwood Capital is already working on sites in several of these cities with potential partners.

"When Starwood Hotels & Resorts acquired ITT in 1998, there was only one St. Regis Hotel. In my 10-year tenure as CEO, we were able to grow the brand to a dozen hotels open or under construction and a significant pipeline under development, including the recently completed St. Regis San Francisco. At my departure from Starwood Hotels & Resorts, we had successfully moved St. Regis into the resort market in places like Anguilla and Punta Mita, Mexico," said Sternlicht.

In 2005, Starwood Capital raised over $3 billion of equity capital and invested more than $1.7 billion in the hospitality area on behalf of its investors. In early January, Starwood Capital completed the $3.2 billion acquisition of Societe du Louvre, Hotel de Crillon's parent company, whose controlled affiliates include Taittinger Champagne, Baccarat and Annick Goutal, a luxury fragrance brand. Societe du Louvre's assets also include the world famous Hotel Martinez in Cannes, the Hotel Lutetia in Paris and Europe's second largest budget hotel chain with 805 hotels in six countries.