Starwood Hotels & Resorts ends 2015 with historic growth

By Reece Alvarez

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For Stamford-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., 2015 was a year of monumental growth with hundreds of hotels added to its portfolio of brands and may lead to even bigger things in 2016.

These achievements set the stage for a possible merger with Marriott International to form the world’s largest hotel company, said Starwood CEO Thomas Mangas.

Starwood closed 2015 with 220 newly signed hotel management and franchise agreements, a 26 percent increase over 2014, marking the sixth consecutive year of increased signings and the most incremental signings in its history. The company also opened a record of 105 hotels in 2015, representing approximately 22,500 rooms in 30 countries, also the highest number of openings in its history.

“This was a remarkable year of record-breaking growth for Starwood Hotels & Resorts with the highest number of both signings and organic openings in any single year in the company’s history,” said Simon Turner, President of Global Development. “We continued to enjoy balanced growth across both mature and emerging markets and across all of our brands, with a notable increase in the number of conversions. Approximately one-third of our openings in 2015 were conversions.”

According to Starwood, the select serve or mid-market segment drove last year’s signings, accounting for slightly more than 50 percent. While Four Points by Sheraton continues to maintain the company’s largest pipeline among its hotel brands, Aloft experienced a 65 percent increase in signings over the previous year.

At the same time, Starwood lengthened its lead in the luxury and lifestyle segment, with 29 deals across its St. Regis, The Luxury Collection and W Hotels brands, an increase of almost 40 percent over the previous year. The company continues to see luxury demand all over the world, with new hotels coming to sought-after destinations like Dubai, Maldives, Punta de Mita and Shanghai, following flagship openings last year in Amsterdam, Mumbai, and Prague.

In the upper-upscale segment, Sheraton, Starwood’s largest and most global brand, had signings that were up over 40 percent compared to the previous year. The company’s newest brand, Tribute Portfolio, which launched in Q2 2015, finished the year with 16 hotels either operating or with signed agreements.

Starwood’s strongest year of organic openings in history allowed the company to reach the following milestones in 2015:

  • 700th hotel in The Americas
  • 250th hotel in Europe, Africa and the Middle East
  • 300th hotel in Asia Pacific
  • 150th hotel in Greater China
  • 300th Mid-Market hotel
  • 200th Four Points by Sheraton hotel
  • 100th Aloft hotel
  • 100th The Luxury Collection hotel

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