Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide will continue its expansion in China with the Feb. 9 debut of the Westin Xian. The chain is celebrating the opening with a package rate that includes a guest gift.
The 326-room Westin Xian will be the fifth Westin to open in China since the beginning of 2011, joining new hotels in Nanjing, Wuhan, Guangzhou and, earlier this year, Ningbo. A sixth property, a 304-room hotel in Xiamen, is due to open its doors on April 18.
Westin will offer a portfolio of 16 hotels in China by April and aims to double its footprint in the country by 2014. In a related move further emphasizing China's increasing importance, Starwood recently moved its global headquarters to Shanghai for a month.
"Westin is rapidly branching out across China, fueled by growing enthusiasm among owners and developers who are eager to introduce the popular global brand to some of the country's fastest-growing cities," Brian Povinelli, global brand leader for Westin Hotels & Resorts, said in a statement. "Our emphasis on well-being is resonating with travelers across China and around the world. More than 90% of Westin hotels currently in development will open outside the U.S."
A hotel museum first
The new Westin Xian, set in an entertainment and commercial area near cultural attractions, ruins and temples, will boast a Heavenly Spa, opening in April; five restaurants and bars (the Chinese restaurant opens in May); a gym and indoor swimming pool, to open in March; 5,705 square feet of state-of-the-art meetings facilities; and an art and artifacts museum located below the hotel.
(Highly popular with Western visitors, Xian is home to numerous historical attractions, such as the third century B.C. Terracotta Army of China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang.)
In addition to its guestrooms, the hotel offers 32 one- and two-bedroom apartments. Guestrooms and apartments feature Westin Heavenly Beds, rainfall showers, extra-large closets and minibars.
"We are delighted to introduce the Westin brand to Xian, one of the most culturally significant cities in Chinese history, and we are extremely proud to have the honor of being the first Westin in the world to feature its own museum," said Magdy Anis, general manager.
"We are confident that the entry of Westin is timely as Xian continues to see a rise in corporate and leisure travel as a result of economic progress and industrial development," Anis added. "Both business and leisure travelers can now enjoy the relaxing and rejuvenating services, products and amenities that are synonymous with the Westin brand."
A divine package
To mark the opening of the Westin Xian, management is enticing guests with a Divine Package that includes a reduced nightly rate and a take-home gift of linens as a souvenir of the chain's noted Westin Heavenly Collection of beds, pillows, bathrobes and other items.
With the Divine Package, priced from about $219 per night for deluxe double accommodations (not including a 15% service charge), guests have their pick of one gift item: a bathrobe, pillow or set of towels. The deal is available through June 30.
In Ningbo, the new 312-room Westin offers six restaurants and bars, a Heavenly Spa and more than 14,000 square feet of meetings space. Meanwhile, the imminent Westin Xiamen will offer the 304 rooms as well as three restaurants, a Heavenly Spa and an indoor pool.
For more, see www.westin.com.
For destination news and updates worldwide, follow Ken Kiesnoski on Twitter @kktravelweekly.