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Westin Hotels Reinventing the Happy Hour; Nightly Evening Experiences
Featuring Local Indulgences in 129 Hotel Lobbies Worldwide 
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.- February 23, 2007 - Westin Hotels & Resorts today debuts a new signature social experience, Unwind… A Westin Evening RitualSM, featuring the tastes, sights and sounds of each destination. From lessons on mixing a Bellini in Venice to learning about fine Scottish Whisky in Turnberry to whipping up a spicy batch of guacamole in Tucson, each of the Westin brand’s 129 hotels worldwide have carefully curated social experiences which are rolling out in hotels over the next month. 

Designed to bring new energy to its hotels, the Westin Unwind events transform each lobby into a gathering spot, encouraging guests to socialize and helping to combat the loneliness many travelers sometimes experience on the road. In fact, a recent study by Westin Hotels & Resorts found that 34% of frequent travelers feel lonely away from home. 

Experience Unwind SM 

From chocolate and wine pairings to live jazz and rotating art exhibits, the Westin Unwind rituals feature a rich array of experiences. The following selection provides a snapshot of Unwind experiences around the world: 

  • A performance of the Lali, a traditional Fijian wooden Drum, at The Westin Denarau Island, Fiji Resort & Spa 
  • An indulgent chocolate tasting at The Westin Portland 
  • A live performance by a traditional bagpiper and lessons on fine Scottish whisky at The Westin Turnberry Resort in Scotland – sipping encouraged! 
  • Live jazz and wine tasting flights at The Westin Charlotte in North Carolina 
  • A lesson in mixing a perfect Bellini, paired with a sampling of traditional Italian foods at The Westin Excelsior, Venice Lido 
  • Rotating art exhibits featuring local artists at The Westin Long Beach in California 
  • A sampling of Chinese traditions, including a candle-lighting ceremony, tai chi, watercolor painting and treats prepared with fruits and herbs indigenous to China at The Westin Beijing, Financial Street 
  • Instruction in whipping up a perfect batch of guacamole at The Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa in Tucson, Arizona 
“By transforming our lobbies from a place guests pass through to an inviting social and sensory setting, Westin hopes to provide a richer guest experience, where guests can indulge, socialize and maybe even learn a new skill to bring home courtesy of each destination,” said Sue Brush, senior vice president, Westin Hotels & Resorts. “If we can provide our guests with a place to relax at the end of the day, lift their spirits and perhaps meet new people in a warm environment, we believe we are doing our job well.” 

Hotels Transform from Day to Night… 

In order to set the stage for its signature evening rituals, the Westin lobbies evolve from day to evening through a variety of subtle sensory cues—everything from music, to scent, to lighting. Warm, natural lighting is dimmed at the start of the evening while scented candles are lit and carefully placed around the lobby. Westin music moves from the background to the foreground with musical cues and selections that change from day to night. Westin partnered with eMusic, the world’s largest digital retailer of independent music, to develop the custom soundtracks for Unwind. 

Westin is rolling out the Unwind experience in all of its properties globally in the first quarter of 2007, following a successful three-month pilot in 20 hotels last year. For more information on the Westin brand’s Unwind ritual and local Unwind experiences please visit www.westin.com/unwind. 

Westin Hotels & Resorts, with more than 127 hotels and resorts in more than 31 countries and territories, is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT). Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 850 properties in more than 95 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood® Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, Sheraton®, Westin®, Four Points® by Sheraton, W®, Le Méridien® and the recently announced AloftSM and ElementSM Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com. 

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made. 

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Contact:

Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Nadeen Ayala, 914-640-8259

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Also See: Starwood Details Clear Strategies for its 8 Brands; New Signature Service Elements Created in Each Brand / May 2006

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