Starwood expands presence throughout region

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Starwood is busy signing management agreements and opening new hotels in Asia, where it will have an increased presence under several of its hotel brands.

The following are a few of the major developments:

• Starwood opened its 11th Sheraton hotel in China last month, the 623-room Sheraton Shenyang Lido Hotel.

Located in Shenyang's central business district, the hotel is the chain's 14th property in China.

The city's largest hotel, the Sheraton Shenyang caters to business travelers with dual-line phones with voice mail and data ports, along with work desks with task lighting.

Executive floors feature butler service, a private lounge with separate check-in area, business center, bars, restaurants and conference facilities that can accommodate 500.

• At the beginning of the month, the company assumed management of the 110-year-old Miyako Hotel in Kyoto, Japan, which was rebranded the Westin Miyako.

The 516-room property will be the only internationally branded and managed hotel in Kyoto.

The move marks a return of the landmark property to the Westin brand; the Miyako previously was affiliated with Westin from 1965 to 1995 under a marketing agreement.

The hotel caters to both leisure and business travelers with six food and beverage venues, 13 meeting rooms and extensive recreational facilities.

A renovation program is underway at the lobby, restaurants and guest rooms, many of which will receive Westin's signature Heavenly Beds.

• W Hotels, Starwood's newest brand, will open its second hotel in the Asia-Pacific market in early 2003 when it takes the wraps off the 253-room W Walker Hill in Seoul, South Korea.

The hotel, only the third W property outside the U.S., will cater to upscale leisure travelers.

It is being touted as a major player in the redevelopment of the Walker Hill resort area, which will feature extensive recreational, dining and entertainment facilities.

• Starwood in February signed an agreement to manage the 100-villa Rayavadee on Thailand's resort destination of Krabi.

The hotel will be operated under Starwood's Luxury Collection. Rayavadee is the third Luxury Collection member in Thailand, joining the Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket and Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit in Bangkok.

Rayavadee features 100 deluxe pavilions and villas, all built among 20 acres of a mature coconut plantation, adjacent to three beaches.

Resort amenities include a beachside swimming pool, restaurants serving Thai and international cuisine, two meeting rooms, a spa and health club and a water sports facility.

For more information or reservations, call (888) 625-5144 for Westin and Sheraton; (800) 325-3589 for the Luxury Collection; and (877) W-HOTELS for the W brand, or visit the company's Web site at www.starwood.com.

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