Starwood Hotels & Resorts to Debut New Luxury Hotel in Milan, as Excelsior Hotel Gallia Joins the Luxury Collection Brand

Scheduled to open in November 2014, the Iconic Hotel Marks The Luxury Collection’s Seventh Hotel in Italy

MILAN, Italy--()--Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) today announced that the internationally-renowned Excelsior Hotel Gallia in Milan will join The Luxury Collection® portfolio. Owned by Katara Hospitality, Excelsior Hotel Gallia, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Milan will open this November following an extensive renovation. The opening will mark The Luxury Collection’s seventh hotel in Italy, as the brand remains on track to surpass 100 hotels globally in the next five years.

“I would like to thank Katara Hospitality for putting their trust in Starwood as we extend our partnership to bring The Luxury Collection brand to Milan,” said Michael Wale, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East. “With the brand’s origin in Italy, we are delighted to open this newly renovated hotel in Milan. Historic architectural gems such as Excelsior Hotel Gallia are perfectly suited to The Luxury Collection brand, which offers authentic travel experiences and exceptional service for global explorers and the local community.”

“We always embrace the local spirit wherever we invest in hotel assets around the world and the Excelsior Hotel Gallia in Milan is no exception,” said Sheikh Nawaf Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al Thani, Chairman, Katara Hospitality. “We have made a major investment to bring this grand property back to its true glory. Today, it gives us great pleasure to share our Italian flagship property with Starwood Hotels & Resorts.”

Hamad Abdulla Al Mulla, Chief Executive Officer, Katara Hospitality added, “We are confident the ethos of The Luxury Collection brand is a strategic fit for our hotel as it is important that we have an operator which understands and respects the heritage of this wonderful hotel, ensuring it occupies its rightful position in the Italian and global market-places when it re-opens later this year.”

Located in the Piazza Duca d’Aosta, Excelsior Hotel Gallia opened in 1932 in central Milan as one of the city’s most prestigious hotels. Now undergoing a meticulous renovation and strategic expansion, the hotel will return its original grandeur where Milan’s most fashionable mix and mingle. Marrying contemporary design with the Belle Époque architectural style, the hotel’s new architecture and design concept - led by Studio Marco Piva - has already won an Italian tourism industry award*, recognising its outstanding combination of historical and contemporary elements.

The hotel will offer 235 elegant guest rooms and suites, a signature restaurant and a roof-top bar with panoramic views of the city, an elegant lounge bar and cigar room, plus 1,000 square metres of wellness facilities including a spa, indoor swimming pool and fitness centre. Excelsior Hotel Gallia will also offer unparalleled event and meeting spaces for special celebrations including a congress centre spanning more than 1,000 square metres and comprising two ballrooms, six meeting rooms and a business centre.

“As an established market, Italy offers exceptional potential to expand our presence across all brands, especially in the luxury sector,” said Bart Carnahan, Senior Vice President Acquisition & Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa & Middle East. “The iconic Excelsior Hotel Gallia joins other historic landmark Luxury Collection hotels in Italy, in Venice and Naples as well as exceptional resorts in Costa Smeralda in Sardinia.”

Starwood currently has 21 hotels in Italy, representing five of its lifestyle brands – St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin and Four Points by Sheraton. In Milan, the company is represented by The Westin Palace, Sheraton Diana Majestic, Sheraton Milan Malpensa Airport Hotel & Conference Centre and Four Points by Sheraton Milan, and is set to launch W Milan in 2016. Last year, The Luxury Collection restored and reopened The Gritti Palace in Venice, enhanced the public spaces and guest accommodations including the addition of unique suites at Hotel Danieli in Venice and introduced new villas to Hotel Pitrizza and Hotel Romazzino in Costa Smeralda in Sardinia.

Katara Hospitality is a global hotel owner, developer and operator with a collection of iconic hotels in key markets across Europe, Africa and Asia.

*The “Tourism for Italy” award in the “New Hospitality Structures” category was announced at the Expo Italia Real Estate exhibition in Milan and accepted by Studio Marco Piva, the architecture and design firm overseeing the hotel refurbishment.

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About The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts
The Luxury Collection® is an ensemble of hotels and resorts offering unique, authentic experiences that evoke lasting, treasured memories. For the global explorer, The Luxury Collection offers a gateway to the world's most exciting and desirable destinations. Each hotel and resort is a unique and cherished expression of its location; a portal to the destination's indigenous charms and treasures. Magnificent decor, spectacular settings, impeccable service and the latest modern conveniences combine to provide a uniquely enriching experience. Originated in 1906 under the CIGA brand as a collection of Europe's most celebrated and iconic properties, today The Luxury Collection brand is a glittering ensemble of more than 85 of the world's finest hotels and resorts in more than 30 countries in bustling cities and spectacular destinations around the world. The Luxury Collection includes award-winning properties that continuously exceed guest expectations by offering unparalleled service, style and class while celebrating each hotel's distinctive heritage and unique character. All of these hotels, many of them centuries old, are internationally recognized as being among the world's finest. For more information, please visit www.luxurycollection.com

About Katara Hospitality
Katara Hospitality is a global hotel owner, developer and operator, based in Qatar. With over 40 years’ experience in the industry, Katara Hospitality actively pursues its strategic expansion plans by investing in peerless hotels in Qatar while growing its collection of iconic properties in key international markets. Katara Hospitality has set a target of owning and / or managing 30 hotels by 2016 and 30 more over the following decade. Aiming to become one of the leading hospitality organisations in the world, the company is supporting Qatar’s long term economic vision. Katara Hospitality currently owns properties spread across three continents, in Qatar, Singapore, The Maldives, Switzerland, France, Italy, Egypt, Morocco, The Gambia and the Union of Comoros. While partnering with some of the finest hotel operators, Katara Hospitality also owns its own operator brands: The Bürgenstock Selection and Merweb Hotels.

Contacts

Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Angelina Hue, Tel. +32 2 204 5518
Manager Brand Communications & Events – Europe, Africa & Middle East
angelina.hue@starwoodhotels.com
www.starwoodmediacentre.com

Façade of the Excelsior Hotel Gallia in Milan, Italy (Photo: Business Wire)

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Release Summary

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. today announced that the internationally-renowned Excelsior Hotel Gallia in Milan will join The Luxury Collection® portfolio.

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Contacts

Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Angelina Hue, Tel. +32 2 204 5518
Manager Brand Communications & Events – Europe, Africa & Middle East
angelina.hue@starwoodhotels.com
www.starwoodmediacentre.com