Acquisitions & Hotel Openings

Starwood to Debut its First All-inclusive Resort

The Westin Playa Conchal Resort & Spa in May 2011

October 21, 2010 - Accelerating growth in Latin America, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced its return to Costa Rica with the opening of The Westin Playa Conchal Resort & Spa in May 2011. Marking a milestone in Starwood's history, The Westin Playa Conchal Resort & Spa will also be the first all-inclusive resort in Starwood's global portfolio. Starwood and Desarrollos Hoteleros Guanagaste, a fully owned subsidiary of Reserva Conchal signed a management agreement to re-flag the Paradisus Playa Conchal Resort in Guanacaste as a Westin. The property will undergo extensive renovations to its 406 spacious suites and all public areas.

"We are delighted to once again establish a presence in Costa Rica with next year's opening of The Westin Playa Conchal Resort & Spa, one of four new Westin properties slated to open in Latin America by the end of 2011. The Westin brand is at a pivotal point in its life cycle with an unprecedented opportunity for global growth and well on its way to establishing itself as an international market leader," said Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood.

The Westin Playa Conchal Resort & Spa is set on one of Costa Rica's most breathtaking beaches, Playa Conchal in Cabo Velas, just 45 minutes from Guanacaste International Airport. Centered around an expansive lagoon-style pool, the resort features beautiful gardens, luxurious suites, thatch-roofed bungalows and breathtaking ocean and forest vistas. Inspiring wellness with its signature Westin Spa, the resort will also offer a variety of outdoor recreation and nightly entertainment. The resort is located adjacentto the championship Robert Trent Jones II golf facility, and features several restaurants serving both local and international cuisine.

"Starwood is proud to expand the Westin Resorts portfolio with the addition of The Westin Playa Conchal Resort & Spa. Recent growth in the all-inclusive luxury resort market in Mexico and Central America, coupled with increasing demand from our SPG members seeking vacation packages have created fertile conditions for our entry in the all-inclusive market," said Osvaldo Librizzi, President of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Latin America. "Known for its spectacular beaches, volcanoes and tropical forests, Costa Rica is a popular tourist and leisure destination and a terrific choice for the expansion of the Westin brand, which expects to nearly double its portfolio in Latin America by 2014."

The Westin Playa Conchal Resort & Spa will be the first Starwood property in Costa Rica in 20 years and the newest member of the Westin brand's resorts portfolio, which offers 40 resorts in the world's most sought-after vacation destinations. Westin currently has five hotels in Mexico and one in Guatemala, and will be opening five more in Latin America in the next four years including The Westin Playa Conchal Resort & Spa, Costa Rica; The Westin Libertador, Lima, Peru; The Westin Guadalajara, Mexico; and two in Panama: The Westin Panama and The Westin Playa Bonita.

"We are especially proud to be associated with Starwood in the management of The Westin Playa Conchal Resort & Spa," saidHelmuth Sauter, Director of Reserva Conchal. "The conversion of this scenic and restful retreat allows us to maintain our commitment of bringing outstanding all-inclusive service to our guests, while introducing the Westin brand's signature services and amenities to one of Costa Rica's most desirable destinations."

The soothing Westin Sensory Welcome will create an oasis of calm as guests enter the resort with its subtle White Tea by Westin fragrance, gentle music, botanicals and mood lighting. The brand's world-renowned Heavenly BedTM is an oasis of lush sheets, down cushioning, and a patented pillow-top mattress. With ten layers of comfort, this custom bed is designed for a deep, undisturbed sleep that energizes body and brain. The Westin Heavenly Bath experience will transform guests shower or bath time into an intensely rejuvenating spa-like experience. In-room, high-speed Internet access and an ergonomic work space will offer travelers convenience and productivity in a tranquil setting.

An ideal venue for weddings, social galas and business functions, The Westin Playa Conchal Resort & Spa will feature6,500 square feet of meeting and banquet facilities, as well as a WestinWORKOUT gym, enabling guests to maintain their exercise program and stay in the best possible shape, physically and mentally.

About Westin Hotels & Resorts
Westin Hotels & Resorts makes the healthiest choices irresistibly appealing, so guests leave feeling better than when they arrived. With over 170 hotels and resorts in over 36 countries and territories, Westin is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. Starwood Hotels is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1000 properties in nearly 100 countries and territories with 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis(R), The Luxury Collection(R), W(R), Westin(R), Le Méridien(R), Sheraton(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft(R), and Element SM. 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.

About Desarrollo Hoteleros Guanacaste and Reserva Conchal
Desarrollos Hoteleros Guanacaste is a fully owned subsidiary of Reserva Conchal, an upscale mixed-use development located in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Reserva Conchal is an environmentally-sensitive development. Reserva Conchal is a fully owned subsidiary of Florida Ice & Farm Co., a publicly traded company in the Costa Rican stock exchange.

Coming Up In The May Online Hotel Business Review


Feature Focus
Hotel Sustainable Development: Integrating Practices for the Environment and the Bottom Line
The term “sustainable development” was first coined in 1987. In a report entitled, “Our Common Future,” the Brundtland Commission defined sustainable development as follows: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This definition immediately caught on. In the business world, it is sometimes referred to as a triple bottom line – capturing the concept that investments are profitable, good for people and protective of the environment. Within the hotel industry, companies have taken an active role in committing themselves to addressing climate change and sustainability. Hotel operations have realized that environmentally sound practices not only help the environment, but can lead to cost reductions, business expansion, and profit growth as consumers increasingly seek environmentally sustainable products and services. In a recent survey by Deloitte, it was noted that 95% of respondents believe that the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives. Additionally, 38% of respondents said they made efforts to identify “green” hotels before traveling, and 40% said they would be willing to pay a premium for the privilege. These results suggest that consumers want and expect sustainability in their travel plans. In response to these trends, many hotel companies and on-line travel agencies have even begun offering their consumers an opportunity to purchase carbon offsets to reduce the environmental impact of their trips. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document how some leading hotels are integrating sustainability practices into their hotels and how their operations, consumers and the environment are profiting from them.