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Q: INTERNATIONAL HOTEL CHAINS ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Question  
Subject: INTERNATIONAL HOTEL CHAINS
Category: Sports and Recreation > Travel
Asked by: mich2g4-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 31 Mar 2005 05:26 PST
Expires: 30 Apr 2005 06:26 PDT
Question ID: 503120
Compare and constrast the strategies of 3 international 
hotel companies which i have chosen to be Hilton, Marriott and Starwood.
Particularly, look at thier merger and aquisition strategies, room 
design/decor strategies, location strategies, internationalisation 
strategies, finance, innovation, culture and any other strategy important to 
these hotel chains.
Answer  
Subject: Re: INTERNATIONAL HOTEL CHAINS
Answered By: adiloren-ga on 31 Mar 2005 15:11 PST
 
Hello, thank you for the question. As you probably know, I am not
allowed to provide you with a "paper" comparing and contrasting these
hotel companies. I can, however, provide you with all the necessary
information to do so. Below I have provided the information requested
for each of the respective hotel companies and have also included
recent news on these companies and their dealings. I hope this is of
use to you. Please request clarification if you need further
assistance. Good luck!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HILTON

General Information

Hoover's Company Records - Basic Record
2005

"If you need a bed for the night, Hilton Hotels has a few hundred
thousand of them. One of the largest hoteliers in the US, the
company's lodging empire includes more than 2,200 hotels operating
under such names as Doubletree, Embassy Suites, and Hampton, as well
as its flagship Hilton brand. Most of its hotels serve the mid-market
segment, though its Hilton and Conrad hotels offer full-service,
upscale lodging. In addition, its Homewood Suites chain offers
extended-stay services. Hilton owns or has stakes in about 120
properties and either franchises or manages the others. All of the
company's hotels are in the US except for about 70 locations."

Hilton International

Hoover's Company Records - In-depth Records
March 15, 2005

"Hilton International wants to give new meaning to "global warming." A
division of UK-based hospitality giant Hilton Group, Hilton
International owns the rights to the Hilton brand outside the US and
operates more than 400 hotels in more than 70 countries. Its portfolio
of hotel brands includes Hilton (250 hotels), mid-scale Scandic (150
hotels), and luxury Conrad (15 hotels). An alliance with US-based
Hilton Hotels Corporation provides joint marketing efforts; the US and
UK Hiltons are also joining forces on an initiative to add more Conrad
Hotels. In addition to its hotels, Hilton International runs the
UK-based LivingWell health clubs, with more than 100 clubs in nine
countries.
Hilton International is looking toward franchising as a way to growth
its business without adding capital expenditures. It plans to
franchise the Scandic brand, primarily in Europe, as well as the
Hilton brand, mainly in markets where Hilton International does not
currently operate. "

Business Strategies

Hoover's Company Records - In-depth Records
March 15, 2005

"Hilton managed to come through the travel sector recession in good
shape partly due to some well-timed deals and restructuring efforts by
CEO Stephen Bollenbach that made the company less dependent on revenue
from hotels owned by Hilton. Franchise and management fees now account
for more than a third of the company's sales. Now with a recovery
underway, Hilton is looking to invest in upgrading its hotels and
expanding its chains with the addition of about 150 properties. It is
especially keen on growing its Conrad Hotel brand, appointing Hilton
veteran Dieter Huckestein to oversee the chain. Hilton is also eying a
possible merger with UK-based Hilton Group, which operates the Hilton
brand outside the US. A combination of the two enterprises would
create an international powerhouse with more than 2,500 properties."

Gaming

Hoover's Company Records - In-depth Records
March 15, 2005
"Hilton expanded its gaming operations in the 1990s, buying Bally's
Casino Resort in Reno in 1992 and launching its first riverboat
casino, the Hilton Queen of New Orleans, in 1994. Two years later it
acquired all of Bally Entertainment, making it the largest gaming
company in the world. Also that year, Stephen Bollenbach, the former
Walt Disney CFO who negotiated the $19 billion acquisition of Capital
Cities/ABC, was named CEO -- becoming the first non-family member to
run the company."

Acquisitions and mergers

Hoover's Company Records - In-depth Records
March 15, 2005

"Hilton formed an alliance with Ladbroke Group PLC in 1997 (now Hilton
Group, owner of Hilton International and the rights to the Hilton name
outside the US) to unify the Hilton brand worldwide. Hilton also put
in a bid that year to acquire ITT, owner of Sheraton hotels and
Caesars World, but was thwarted when ITT accepted a higher offer from
Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Hilton was foiled once again in 1998 when a
deal with casino operator Circus Circus (now Mandalay Resort Group)
that would have separated Hilton's hotel and casino operations fell
through. With a downturn in the gambling industry translating into
sluggish results in Hilton's gaming segment, the company spun off its
gaming interests as Park Place Entertainment (now Caesars
Entertainment) later that year.
In 1999 Hilton made a massive acquisition with the $3.7 billion
purchase of Promus Hotel Corp. The following year Hilton sold its
Flamingo Casino-Kansas City, a remaining casino property left over
from the Park Place spinoff, to Isle of Capri Casinos for $33.5
million. In 2001 it sold 56 of its leases and management contracts to
RFS Hotel Investors for about $60 million.
Hilton continued selling properties in 2002 with the sales of two
Doubletree hotels and all 41 Red Lion hotels to WestCoast Hospitality
for about $51 million. It also sold its Harrison Conference Center
portfolio (14 conference centers and university hotels) to ARAMARK for
$55 million. At the end of that same year, the company formed a $400
million venture with CNL Hospitality (now CNL Hotels & Resorts) to buy
and refurbish hotel properties. "

NEWS:

Hilton upgrades computer systems
http://www.computerworld.com/databasetopics/data/datacenter/story/0,10801,82522,00.html

On the Road: Sleeping Easier
http://www.inc.com/magazine/20030301/25201.html

"Hilton Hotels took the most comprehensive approach to better sleep
with its Sleep-Tight rooms, a program that ended last December. The
rooms featured Serta pillow-top mattresses; Sharper Image Heart and
Sound Soothers to re-create relaxing environmental sounds; a Bio-Brite
Sunrise clock with simulated morning light; and white noise CDs and a
CD player. At the conclusion of the four-year program, Hilton
discovered that the most popular component of the room was -- yes, the
mattress. Serta worked with Hilton to design an even better mattress
that is currently being distributed to Hilton's approximately 260
hotels. Hilton may also incorporate other Sleep-Tight features in
future rooms."

http://www.ehotelier.com/browse/chains.php

Hotels Loading Rates Before Final Contract
Business Travel News
December 6, 2004

"Hilton Hotels Corp. and Marriott International have begun widespread
preloading of negotiated 2005 rates, raising a red flag among travel
buyers that, when final prices differ, the wrong rates will remain in
global distribution systems. The practice exacerbates the problem for
buyers who have been frustrated with preferred hotels for inaccurately
loading negotiated rates in GDSs. This is particularly troubling for
buyers in a negotiating season in which hotels are proposing rate
increases of 3 percent to 5 percent.
Hotels preload rates to ensure that annually negotiated prices are
available for booking rooms as of Jan. 1. With hotels asking for
higher prices, any discrepancy in rate-loading errors likely will be
in hotels' favor.
"We do a lot of preloading of proposed rates in order to make sure
we're able to keep our commitment to have rates available and bookable
for Jan. 1," said Maureen Mackey, Hilton managing director for
business travel sales."

Hilton Provides Online Folio Access
Business Travel News
October 4, 2004

"Hilton Hotels Corp. last month began offering individual guests at
all of its 2,216 properties online retrieval of hotel folios to ensure
expense accounts are accurate and complete. Accessing a
password-protected Internet site, travelers who have a profile on file
with Hilton may retrieve and print the final folio between 48 hours
and three months after checkout.
The Hilton version of electronic folio is distinct from buyers'
efforts during the past few years to persuade hotels to submit
line-by-line, level-three folio data electronically directly from the
property into their companies' expense reporting tools. Hilton and
some of the other major chains offer that functionality, but only to
select clients.
"Online folio retrieval is helpful, but having the data sent to the
card company would be even more beneficial," said Colleen Guhin,
global travel manager, external manufacturing supply management for On
Semiconductor. Guhin noted the Hilton feature would be of most value
as a back-up system for catching potential discrepancies between the
original folio and credit card data before travelers file expense
reports."

MENTORING SCHEME: HITLON INTERNATIONAL
Travel Trade Gazette UK & Ireland
July 2, 2004

"Hotel chain Hilton International has a mentoring scheme for its staff
- men and women - at all levels. We look at the scheme from both a
mentor and mentee's perspective
THE MENTOR
Tea Colaianni is human resources development vice-president for Hilton
International, responsible for 25,000 staff across 250 hotels in
Europe and Africa.
She set up a mentoring scheme for Hilton in response to "extremely
poor" results from assessment centres run by an external company for
staff looking for promotion.
Colaianni explained: "We wanted a formal way of supporting staff in
their career development. In theory the mentoring scheme was a great
idea but it got more difficult in practice as we started at the top
and made our 15 vice-presidents go through training to become mentors.
"After this, we did a pilot with the general managers and over a nine-
month period set up 20 mentors with 20 mentees.
"We realised that the traditional definition of mentoring - someone
older and more experienced offering guidance and advice - is not
necessarily relevant in today's working environment. So our scheme is
all about helping the mentee take ownership of their career
development and mentors are often peers of the mentee doing similar
jobs."

CITYDEV PICKS HILTON TO RUN HOTEL
Thai Press Reports
June 8, 2004

"The Millennium Hilton Bangkok, which will have a ballroom for 800, is
slated to open in the first half of 2005. CityDev's announcement
yesterday did not state the total development cost for the hotel, but
according to recent reports from Thailand, the acquisition and
renovation cost for the property will come to about 2.4 billion Thai
baht. The five-star hotel will the first in Bangkok for Millennium &
Copthorne Hotels (M&C), CityDev's hotel arm. CityDev and Westbrook
bought the asset as an uncompleted property under a 50:50 joint
venture last year for US $ 50 million."

Internet Wars;
The battle between the brands and the intermediaries is all about
rate, inventory and automation. The good news is that there may be
win-win solutions in sight.
Hotels
May 1, 2004

"Marriott International, Hilton Hotels, IHG and other leading brands
are leveraging an improving economic picture and the power of
proprietary sites that deliver 70% to 80% of their Internet bookings
to win reduced intermediary margins estimated at 18% to 20%. It still
means bookings may cost nearly one-third more than room nights sold
through proprietary sites, but it is helping chains address owners'
mandate to drive down reservation costs. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC),
New York City, recently reported that while the Web put an extra
US$715 million into hotel companies' coffers last year, pricing
pressures actually cost the industry US$2 billion in potential
revenue.
Despite those numbers, Stax Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts,
confirms hotel companies "are seriously gaining ground lost to online
reseller models post 9/11." In fact, Hilton Hotels Corp. reported its
Web sites delivered 530,000 reservations in February 2004, a 34%
increase over February 2003. And Stax Research predicts as chains'
online incentives and best rate guarantees drive more business through
proprietary sites, merchant models will "soften their terms" to keep
saleable brands within the fold. Many already have. In addition to
margin concessions, new contracts are dismantling complaints about
inventory control with hyperlinks directly into the brands'
yield-managed central reservation systems, provisions for no minimum
inventory and, for companies with sufficient pull, the flexibility for
hotels to switch inventory on or off."

HILTON OPEN TO PICK UP EQUITY IN HOTEL CHAINS
The Hindu
April 3, 2004

"One of the biggest names in the global hospitality industry, Hilton
International, is open to equity participation in Indian hotel chains.
Hilton, which has signed strategic-cum-franchisee alliance with the
Trident brand of East India Hotels Ltd, said that the tie-up was a
first step towards its more active role in India.
"The recent tie-up with Trident Hotels is our springboard to many more
things in India for which all possible options are open for us. It can
also include equity participation," Koos Klein, President of Hilton
International (Middle East and Asia Pacific) told reporters here. Mr.
Klien said Hilton can also tie-up with more hotel chains, and enter
into a strategic and franchisee arrangements with them."

Brand Campaign Takes Root At Doubletree
Hotels
March 1, 2004

"BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - With business conditions steadily
improving, hotel companies are shifting their marketing strategies
from tactical to strategic, launching brand-building campaigns
designed for long-term benefit in addition to the effective,
short-term, "get heads in beds" promotions. One such company is
Hilton-owned Doubletree Hotels. It has been more than three years
since Doubletree launched any new brand-building campaign, having
spent the majority of that time focused on promoting its affiliation
with Hilton, which acquired the brand in 2000.
Doubletree's positioning has long been centered on such catch phrases
as "down to earth," and "upscale but not uptight." In the new ads, the
focus is on further exploiting that positioning and adding a welcoming
and comforting feeling to its creative. "This is a brand campaign to
build awareness and value," says Dave Horton, senior vice president,
brand management for Doubletree. "Our aim is to freshen up our image,
take it to next level and create stronger brand identity. There are so
many choices out there, oftentimes when the rates are the same, it
boils down to how familiar you are with the brand and what feeling you
have about it."

HILTON LOOKS TO BESPOKE WEB-BOOKING
Newswire (VNU)
July 8, 2003

"The Hilton hotel chain is investing 8m in an e-commerce strategy to
offer localised marketing though country specific websites in its
biggest markets. The company believes the investment will dramatically
boost online bookings and achieve cost savings through the
consolidation of call centres.Tim Davis, senior vice president of
distribution and e-commerce at Hilton International, explainedthat the
project would underpin efforts to drive a quarter of revenues through
Hilton-brand websites over the next five years. "This is a significant
investment for Hilton. As customers migrate from using the telephone
to using the internet for selecting and booking hotels, we want to be
more competitive and build out market share," he said. "There are cost
savings with this project but this really is about driving market
share."Approximately $ 1bn of the Hilton Group's $ 16bn revenues were
generated online during 2002, and 11 per cent of all rooms were booked
through the web. "We want to grow that to 20 per cent by 2007," said
Davis.The country-specific websites are based on a single global
technology platform using an Oracle database, a BEA web engine and
content management from Interwoven. Prime contractor Sapient will
provide integration between applications, including Hilton's
reservation and customer profiling systems and bespoke development.
"Sapient built the website for Opodo, which was a good reference, and
Sapient was also very cost competitive. All the physical development
is done in India but they have experts in all our source markets,"
said Davis. "

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MARRIOTT

General Information

Hoover's Company Records - In-depth Records
March 15, 2005

"Host Marriott will leave the chandelier on for you. The largest hotel
real estate investment trust (REIT) in the US, Host Marriott owns more
than 100 luxury and upper-upscale hotels in North America. Most of its
hotels operate under the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton brands and are
managed by sister firm Marriott International. Other brands include
Four Seasons, Swiss˘tel, and Hyatt. In order to maintain REIT status,
the company operates through its majority-owned Host Marriott LP and
all properties are leased to management companies. Host Marriott also
holds interests in partnerships owning more than 100 full- and
limited-service hotels and a $67 million leasehold interest on a
portfolio of some 50 other hotels."

Marriott International Information

Hoover's Company Records - In-depth Records
March 15, 2005

"Marriott International signs in at the top of the lodging industry.
The company is the world's leading hotelier by revenue with about
2,600 operated or franchised properties in more than 65 countries. Its
hotels include full-service brands such as Renaissance Hotels and its
flagship Marriott Hotels & Resorts, as well as select-service and
extended-stay hotels under the names Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, and
TownePlace Suites. It also owns the Ritz-Carlton luxury hotel chain.
In addition, Marriott owns several resort and time-share properties,
including those operated by its Marriott Vacation Club International
unit. The Marriott family, including CEO J. W. Marriott, Jr., owns
about 24% of the company.
Marriot operates more than 950 of its hotels and gets most of its
revenue through lease agreements and management fees collected from
property owners. It has more than 1,600 franchised hotels which pay
the company fees and royalties as well as a percentage of their food
and beverage revenue. The company owns and operates just six
properties. While the bulk of its hotels are located in the US,
Marriott gets about 10% of its revenue from international operations.
In addition to its hotel business, Marriott provides more than 2,500
rental units for corporate housing and it manages more than 30 golf
courses. The company also has an investment interest in four synthetic
fuel production facilities."

Business Strategies

Hoover's Company Records - In-depth Records
March 15, 2005

"The majority of Host Marriott's additional investments is its 50%
ownership of a joint venture (with Marriott International) which owns
120 Courtyard by Marriott properties. Host Marriott plans to sell 85%
of its interest in the venture in 2005.
The REIT targets properties located in central business districts or
near airports. It has built up its resort holdings in tourist areas
and sold some of its noncore properties located in smaller suburban
markets (still about one-third of its portfolio)."

"The company has rebounded well after struggling through a recession
in travel brought on by economic woes, fears about war and terrorism,
and the SARS epidemic in Asia. It opened more than 160 new hotels in
2004 and hopes to add between 25,000 and 30,000 rooms to its inventory
in the next year. While the bulk of its sales come from the
full-service segment, Marriott is keen to increase its share of the
extended-stay and select-service market, which typically has higher
margins since those hotels offer fewer amenities. The company has also
seen healthy increases in its vacation and time-share businesses.
While its respected brand commands customer loyalty and premium
prices, Marriott continues to court new and repeat business by
offering increasing levels of luxury for its guests. The company is
investing about $200 million to upgrade its hotel beds with higher
thread-count sheets and triple-sheeted tops. It is also working to
improve its Courtyard chain of extended-stay properties."

Acquisitions and Mergers

Hoover's Company Records - In-depth Records
March 15, 2005

"However, the company is slowly returning to its purchasing strategy
in a buyer's market: Among its more recent acquisitions are the Hyatt
Regency Maui Resort and Spa, the Fairmnot Kea Lani Maui, and Boston's
Copley Marriott hotel."

"In 1993 Marriott Corp. divided into Marriott International (hotel
management services) and Host Marriott (real estate and food service),
leaving Host Marriott with most of the corporation's debt. Host
Marriott began focusing on full-service hotels. It raised money to buy
more hotels (many of which belonged to its old limited partnerships)
by taking loans from Marriott International and selling assets
(including 14 retirement properties and 30 Fairfield Inns). In late
1995 the company further refined its focus by spinning off its food
service and concessions business as Host Marriott Services (now
Italy-based restaurant operator Autogrill).
Host Marriott acquired three Ritz-Carlton hotels in 1995 through
Marriott International, which owns the Ritz-Carlton name, and in 1997
acquired the Forum Group, owner of 29 retirement communities. The next
year it spun off Crestline Capital (now Barcelo Crestline Corp.) to
own its retirement properties and to lease its hotels.
In 1999 the company expanded its hotel brands, adding controlling
stakes in 13 luxury Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, Swiss˘tel, and Hyatt
properties bought from the Blackstone Group investment firm in
exchange for a stake in Host Marriott. It also restructured as a real
estate investment trust, or REIT."

"The company entered three new market segments in 1987: Marriott
Suites (full-service suites), Residence Inn (moderately priced
suites), and Fairfield Inn (economy hotels). It also began developing
"life-care" communities, which provide apartments, meals, and limited
nursing care to the elderly, in 1988.
Marriott split its operations into two companies in 1993: Host
Marriott to own hotels, and Marriott International primarily to manage
them. However, Marriott International still owned some of the
properties, and in 1995 it bought 49% of the Ritz-Carlton luxury hotel
group.
In 1996 Marriott purchased the Forum Group (assisted living
communities and health care services) and merged it into Marriott
Senior Living Services.
Marriott introduced its Marriott Executive Residences in 1997. Also
that year the firm expanded overseas operations with its purchase of
the 150-unit Hong Kong-based Renaissance Hotel Group, a deal that
included branding rights to the Ramada chain."

"In 1998, after the division of its lodging and food distribution
services, the new Marriott International then began trading as a
separate company. Also in 1998 Marriott acquired the rest of
Ritz-Carlton and established SpringHill Suites by Marriott.
Marriott entered the corporate housing business in 1999 through its
acquisition of ExecuStay Corporation (renamed ExecuStay by Marriott),
which provides fully furnished and accessorized apartments for stays
of 30 days or more. The following year the company set up a $3.7
billion investment fund with Ripplewood Holdings (Marriott owns about
20%) that would buy Japanese hotels to operate under Marriott
management. It also agreed to pay $400 million to settle a lawsuit
brought by stockholders who contended the company defrauded them.
Marriott also announced plans in 2000 to join rival Hyatt in launching
a joint venture to provide an electronic procurement network serving
the hospitality industry. The following year it joined Italy's
Bulgari, the world's #3 jeweler, in a $140 million venture of luxury
hotels sporting the Bulgari name.
Marriott refocused its operations on the lodging market in 2003 when
it exited both the senior living and distribution services businesses.
It sold Marriott Distribution Services (food and beverage
distribution) to Services Group of America, and sold Marriott Senior
Living Services to Sunrise Assisted Living (the management business)
and CNL Retirement Properties (nine communities). The following year
Marriott sold the US branding rights to the Ramada and Days Inn chains
to Cendant for about $200 million."


NEWS:

WHITBREAD TO SELL OFF MARRIOTT HOTELS
FT Investor (Pulses)
March 14, 2005

"Shares in Whitbread, the diversified leisure group, were down 0.9 per
cent to 957p on Monday after it confirmed it would sell its entire UK
chain of Marriott Hotels, bringing a large cash windfall for
shareholders. The company has agreed to form a joint venture with
Marriott through which it expects to realise at least GBP1bn over the
next two years for its 52 Marriotts, which will be held in the joint
venture until sold. Marriott will operate the hotels under long-term
management contracts while held by the joint venture and will continue
to operate them following their sale."

Hotels invest in more comfortable bedding in attempt to lure customers
(Comparitive)
The Dallas Morning News
February 19, 2005

"Marriott International Inc. launched a $ 190 million bed program last
month that will upgrade 628,000 beds in full- and limited-service
hotels worldwide this year.
The chain is offering higher thread-count sheets with fitted bottoms
that don't easily come undone and triple sheeted tops that do away
with bedspreads that are expensive to clean.
Marriott and Renaissance hotels will get plush mattress toppers. Its
limited service properties, such as Fairfield Inn, Courtyard and
SpringHill Suites, will get mattresses that are more than twice as
thick.
Irving-based La Quinta Corp. recently upgraded some 45,000 pillows at
75 of its Inns & Suites properties with versions that are twice as
expensive."

Hotels Limit Corp. Access To Inventory

<<Large and small hotel chains alike have adopted the practice of
limiting the amount of rooms business travel buyers can book,
including Hilton Hotels Corp., Marriott International, Starwood Hotels
& Resorts Worldwide, Millennium Hotels and Resorts and Shangri-La
Hotels.
As prevailing market rates have risen in gateway cities at peak times
and buyers have resisted significant rate increases, hotels have begun
to restrict availability at corporate negotiated rates. This practice
is expected to spread as the lodging industry rebound continues. The
recovery gained traction through 2004 and is forecast to continue
through 2006, which would include the bid season for 2007 rates.
"There are situations where we have to say to clients, 'Your volume
projection is too high,' " said Maureen Mackey, Hilton managing
director for business travel sales. "There is such a thing as too much
market share. It depends on the hotel and amount of volume under
discussion, but we have said to customers, 'It's too much. We can only
take this amount of business.' ">>

Hotels Limit Corp. Access To Inventory (comparitive)
Business Travel News
January 17, 2005

"Hotel companies have begun to restrict the amount of volume they
accept from corporate accounts, specifically in high-demand cities on
the midweek nights when business travel demand is greatest.
Large and small hotel chains alike have adopted the practice of
limiting the amount of rooms business travel buyers can book,
including Hilton Hotels Corp., Marriott International, Starwood Hotels
& Resorts Worldwide, Millennium Hotels and Resorts and Shangri-La
Hotels."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

STARWOOD HOTELS


General Information

"Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide knows how to shine a light on
hospitality. The company is the one of the world's largest hotel and
leisure companies, with more than 730 properties in about 80
countries. Its hotel empire consists of luxury and upscale brands such
as Four Points, Sheraton, St. Regis, and Westin. Starwood operates
more than 50 high-end resorts and hotels through its Luxury
Collection, while its chain of 20 W Hotels offers ultra-modern style
for sophisticated business travelers. More than 300 of Starwood's
hotels are owned and operated by franchisees; the company owns or
leases 140 locations. In addition, the company's Starwood Vacation
Ownership subsidiary operates about 20 time-share resorts."

Business Strategy

"Starwood managed to weather three tough years of recession in the
travel industry on the strength of its luxury brands and has seen
booming business since the recovery. With the increase in business and
optimism for the future, the company announced plans in 2005 to build
70 new hotels over the next couple years. Its plans include additional
units for the W Hotel chain and a build out of spa services under the
Bliss brand (acquired in 2004). Starwood is also moving to increase
the size of its managed hotels portfolio and has expanded its
franchising efforts.
One of the target areas for Starwood's expansion is Las Vegas, where
it had once owned Caesars Palace (now owned by Caesars Entertainment)
and the Desert Inn (sold to Steve Wynn's Wynn Resorts). Early plans
call for a new W Hotel (with plans for a casino) on the Strip along
with a new St. Regis Hotel. Starwood may also build a time-share
resort in the city. In addition, it is looking to expand its W Hotels
chain into Europe."

Acquisitions and Mergers

"Also in 1995 Sternlicht bought Hotel Investors Trust (a hotel REIT)
and Hotel Investors Corp. (hotel management), two struggling firms
whose chief attraction was their rare paired-share status, allowing
management company profits to flow through the REIT to investors
exempt from corporate income tax. (The structure was banned in 1984,
but four such entities were grandfathered in under the law.) The
companies were renamed Starwood Lodging Trust and Starwood Lodging
Corp. (together, Starwood Lodging). Through more acquisitions,
Starwood had amassed a collection of about 110 hotels by 1997.
Starwood's industry standing took a quantum leap in early 1998 when it
acquired the 50% of the Westin hotel chain that Starwood Capital
didn't already own and bought lodging giant ITT, the former telephone
industry conglomerate and owner of the Sheraton hotel chain. ITT --
with more than 400 hotels and gaming properties (Desert Inn, Caesars)
-- fought off a hostile takeover bid from Hilton Hotels and accepted
Starwood Lodging's $14.6 billion offer. (Starwood Capital made $22
million in advising fees on the deal.) Later that year the firm
changed its name to Starwood Hotels & Resorts, bought four former
Ritz-Carlton hotels, and sold eight all-suite hotels to FelCor Suite
Hotels (now FelCor Lodging Trust). Sternlicht then chose Walt Disney
executive and Harvard classmate Richard Nanula to take the reins of
Starwood's operating company. In late 1998 it launched W Hotels."

"Before Congress closed the paired-share loophole for new
acquisitions, Starwood Hotels went on a shopping spree, becoming a
standard corporation in 1999."

Clarification of Answer by adiloren-ga on 31 Mar 2005 15:22 PST
(continued)

Starwood News:


GDS Total Hotel Pricing Is Limited: Non-Participating Chains Keep
Offerings From Being Complete
Business Travel News
March 21, 2005

"The move by global distribution systems to display complete hotel
pricing, begun in 2003 with much fanfare, has stalled, leaving buyers
frustrated. Total pricing promises buyers and travelers the nightly
rate, taxes and other fees, but most hotel chains do not provide it.
Cendant's Galileo International last month became the last of the four
GDSs to announce complete pricing but, as has been the case with
similar announcements, few hotels actually have agreed to provide the
expanded pricing information. In fact, Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Worldwide is the only major hotel company participating with Galileo,
limiting its usefulness."

Starwood Deals Fuse Trans., Mtgs.
Business Travel News
September 20, 2004

<<Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide very recently began signing
standardized contracts that include combined corporate group and
transient rates and terms in locations where both volumes are high.
The chain has limited the contracts to its largest corporate clients,
provided they have strict policies and demonstrated abilities to
govern meeting attendee and transient traveler behavior.
The contracts focus on cities and properties that Starwood clients
frequently use for group and transient travel. The contracts include
standard room rates for all events held at those locations--though
those rates may not be identical for transient and meeting
bookings--and other marketing considerations, said Starwood senior
vice president of global sales and development Marietta Baldwin.
"We are looking at strategic account management much more so than we
have," said Baldwin, who characterized the extent of this program as
"very limited." The specific terms of the contracts vary by client,
she said.>>

Hotels Chains Try Self-Serve Kiosks for Check-In, Check-Out (comparitive)
Chicago Tribune
March 4, 2004

"Hilton Hotels Corp., and at least one other hotel chain, Starwood
Hotels & Resorts, are betting a lot of travelers share Bergquist's
quest for fast, hassle-free travel. Hyatt Hotels Corp. hopes to test a
system by the end of the year.
Toward that end they are stealing a page from the airlines by
introducing automated check-in and checkout via computerized kiosks.
They are testing the devices in big, urban hotel properties that draw
large numbers of time-conscious business travelers.
"The airlines have trained our customers, so they have a penchant to
go self-service," said Conrad M. Wangeman, general manager of the
2,035-room Hilton New York.
His hotel and the 1,544-room Hilton Chicago are the company's two test
sites for the kiosks developed by IBM. Though the kiosks have been in
place at the Hilton New York for less than two months, 5 percent to 20
percent of its customers use the kiosks on any given day, he
estimated.
The hotel chain installed the kiosks at the Hilton Chicago last month
with plans to expand the service to another 23 hotels by year-end,
executives said Wednesday during a press briefing on the rollout.
Starwood is testing a similar product at the 1,215-room Sheraton
Boston Hotel and the 509-room W New York-Times Square. It plans to
expand the program to 20 or 30 properties by mid-year."

Marriott Joins Starwood In Displaying Total Pricing In GDS 
Business Travel News
July 7, 2003

"Both Marriott and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide--which last
year began providing total pricing data to Worldspan (BTN, Jan.
20)--intend to display the information on other GDSs in the coming
months, raising the bar for the industry.
Since corporate online booking tools pull rates from the GDSs,
Marriott and Starwood total hotel pricing also is available to
travelers booking on Worldspan's Trip Manager tool. Worldspan
officials said they expect to start receiving similar data from other
large hotel companies by year-end."

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Comments  
Subject: Re: INTERNATIONAL HOTEL CHAINS
From: sujit123456-ga on 22 Apr 2005 02:29 PDT
 
Its better, to check out the facilities offered, the package cost and
what actually we need then decide which international hotel chain is
the best.

If you want to know diffeent prices of international hotels, do visit
http://www.cheapesthotels.com where, its specified about major
important International hotels.

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