Starwood's Luxury Brands to Continue Aggressive Expansion

IHG has planned to expand the two brands in emerging CBDs.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates / Image: Kemel Kestall / CC BY-ND 2.0

Starwood Hotels & Resorts execs are convening in Dubai for the inaugural General Managers Summit, and we hear quite a bit of buzz coming out of the conference rooms. The company announced its luxury footprint has nearly doubled worldwide in the past five years. 

Starwood's luxury brands include The Luxury Collection, St Regis and W brands, of which there are more than 160 hotels in 39 countries. 

"We are on the cusp of a new golden age of luxury travel as technology and globalization drive new trade routes, capital flows and wealth creation," said Frits van Paasschen, Starwood's president and CEO. "Dubai is at the epicenter of this change and we are delighted to welcome our general managers from around the world to cultivate a deeper understanding of a new and growing luxury landscape."

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The summit has brought together more than 100 hoteliers from around the world. 

So who is in the crosshairs? We hear from the summit that 85 percent of Starwood's luxury guests are of generations X and Y, so the company is going to aggressively invest in the creation, renovation and restoration of its luxury pipeline to match the growth of the luxury demand from these demographics. 

"Modern luxury has not replaced tradition; they sit at the same table, but in slightly different clothes," says Paul James, Global Brand Leader, St. Regis, the Luxury Collection and W Hotels Worldwide. "Today's luxury consumer is multi-national and cross-generational, defined more by their interests and mindset than their geography and demographic. This growing cadre, which we call Generation LuXurY, moves across our portfolio of luxury hotels for business and leisure, and demands personalized service at every turn."

W Hotels has more than doubled its portfolio in the past five years, with 43 hotels worldwide. Going forward, the brand is scheduled to reach 60 hotels by the end of 2015. W Verbier is slated to debut in December, while W Guangzhou, set to open this month, will mark the debut in mainland China.

St. Regis will continue its global growth with resorts opening in Changsha, Chengdu, Kuala Lumpur, Lijian and Zhuhai in Asia Pacific, as well as debuts in Egypt and Jordan in the next two years. 

The Luxury Collection is on track to surpass 100 hotels in the next five years. Already in the past year, six hotels and resorts have debuted under The Luxury Collection umbrella. Still to come are the Palacio del Inka in Cusco, Peru and The Castle in Dalian, China. 

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