Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.® (NYSE:HOT) continues to strengthen its position as a leading global hotel operator in Africa with the signing of three new Sheraton hotels, marking the entrance of the company into Mauritania, Guinea and South Sudan by 2017. With these signings, Starwood is on track to increase its African portfolio by over 30% with more than 15 new hotels set to open over the next five years. This growth will add more than 5,000 guest rooms to the continent and create thousands of local employment opportunities. Emphasizing the importance of the region as one of the world’s fastest-growing hotel and travel markets, Chief Executive Officer Frits van Paasschen and members of Starwood’s senior executive team just returned from visiting Africa for the fourth time in the last year. The team met with hotel owners, customers, government officials and investors in Rwanda, Guinea and South Sudan as the company remains focused on increasing its footprint in Africa. “Africa is home to many of the world’s fastest growing economies, and there could not be a better time to expand our footprint here,” said Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “With increasing stability, vastly improving infrastructure, rapid economic growth and a booming mobile industry, this is Africa’s shining moment and we are committed to being a part of it.” Sheraton’s First-Mover Advantage With the largest footprint among Starwood’s portfolio and one of the world’s most recognized hotel brands, Sheraton is often the first international hotel brand to enter a market, paving the way for the introduction of other Starwood brands. This holds true in Africa where Starwood entered the market with the opening of Sheraton Cairo in 1971. The signings of Sheraton Nouakchott (Mauritania), Sheraton Conakry (Guinea) and Sheraton Juba (South Sudan) further emphasize the strength of the Sheraton brand in driving Starwood’s growth. These hotels bring the Sheraton pipeline in Africa to six new hotels joining three currently in development in Dakar (Senegal), Annaba (Algeria) and Tripoli (Libya). “Our Sheraton portfolio is stronger than ever following a highly successful, global brand revitalization over the past several years, and today’s announcement further underscores the brand’s record-breaking growth as it stays on track to open its 500 th hotel in 2016,” said Michael Wale, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa & Middle East. “Our development strategy is focused on working with the right partners on the right deals in the right locations. We are proud to enter these long-standing partnerships with three landmark agreements to grow Starwood’s portfolio in key markets throughout Africa.” The Sheraton Conakry Hotel (2015) Starwood is set to enter the Republic of Guinea with the opening of the Sheraton Conakry Hotel in 2015. Owned by Palma Guinea S.A, the hotel will mark a milestone as it becomes the first IFC green-certified hotel in Africa. Sheraton Conakry Hotel will be located in the exclusive Kipe district of the capital, and offer 282 guest rooms, all-day dining and speciality restaurants, a lobby bar as well as an outdoor swimming pool with a bar and grill. Conveniently located just 15 minutes from Conakry International Airport, the hotel will also feature more than 1,100 square meters of modern meeting and function space, including a ballroom for special events, and is set to become the gathering place of choice for global business travellers.
The Sheraton Juba Hotel (2015)In East Africa, the world’s newest country – the Republic of South Sudan – will welcome its first international hotel development in 2015 when the 235-room Sheraton Juba Hotel opens. Owned by Tuscana National Limited, the hotel will be situated on a picturesque 25,000 square meter site on the banks of the Nile, four kilometres from the international airport. The Sheraton Juba Hotel will feature river views from all guest rooms, extensive landscaping and an outdoor swimming pool as well as restaurant, sports and conference facilities, and is expected to become a focal meeting and social venue as the country steps out onto the world stage. The Sheraton Nouakchott Hotel (2017) The Sheraton Nouakchott Hotel will be the first internationally-branded hotel in the Mauritanian capital when it opens in 2017. Owned by Société Nationale Industrielle et Minière (SNIM), the hotel will be located in the central business district of Nouakchott, just four kilometres from the international airport. The modern hotel will be designed with Mauritanian-style architecture and will feature an all-day dining restaurant and a specialty restaurant, a bar, an outdoor pool as well as more than 1,500 square metres of meeting space. All three hotels will feature signature Sheraton experiences including the luxurious all-white SweetSleeper beds, the Sheraton Club Rooms and Lounge, the Link@SheratonSM experienced with Microsoft® and Sheraton Fitness by Core Performance. Starwood’s African Portfolio Starwood currently operates 37 hotels in 15 African countries, representing more than 10,000 rooms in Algeria, Cameroon, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Libya, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Seychelles, South Africa, Tunisia and Uganda. “Starwood has a long history of being first movers in Africa and around the world, and our entry into three new African markets speaks to Sheraton’s strong, global brand recognition and Starwood’s reputation as a leading high-end hotel operator,” said Bart Carnahan, Senior Vice President Acquisition & Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa & Middle East. “These signings enhance our growing network of hotels on the continent as we continue to look for opportunities to expand our presence in this important growth market.”
About Sheraton Hotels & ResortsSheraton helps guests make connections at more than 400 hotels in nearly 70 countries around the world and recently completed a $6 billion global revitalization and is now in the midst of an $8 billion global expansion over the next three years. Sheraton is owned by and is the largest and most global brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,169 properties in nearly 100 countries and 171,000 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 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 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,169 properties in nearly 100 countries and 171,000 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.starwoodhotels.com.