W HOTELS DEBUTS IN FRANCE WITH W PARIS - OPERA INTRODUCING ANEW EXPERIENCE TO THE CITY OF LIGHTS
W Paris - OpéraBrings Vibrancy and Energy, Fused withthe Sophisticated Radiance of Paris,tothe Heart of the Eclectic 9th Arrondissement
PARIS – February 29, 2011 – Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) announces today the debut of W Hotels Worldwidein France with the highly-anticipated opening of W Paris - Opéra. Owned by Barcelona-based Meridia Capital, the hotel is set inside a historic 1870s Haussman-era heritage building near OpéraGarnier, Galeries Lafayette and Place Vendome in the eclectic, historic 9th Arrondissement in Paris. Through W Hotels’ unique and distinctive programming, which is inspired by the brand’s roots in New York where it was founded in 1998, W Paris - Opéra will set a new scene in the city for both guests and Parisians alike. The opening of W Paris - Opéra marks a significant milestone in the W brand’s global expansion as it gears to enter Singapore, Thailand and China later this year.
“Taking the W brand into Paris, a global fashion capital, marks a true milestone in W’s global expansion into the world’s most exciting and vibrant destinations”, says Eva Ziegler, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide and Le Méridien. “Fashionable global jetsetters can now be on the runway with W from New York to London and Paris. Unique lifestyle programming within a cutting-edge, designed environment will bring a new, distinctive experience to Paris and the Parisians alike.”
Roeland Vos, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East comments, “We are delighted to partner with Meridia Capital as we launch the iconic W brand in Paris. The opening of the new W Paris - Opéra is a significant addition to the W brand’s impressive global portfolio and underlines our commitment to grow this brand in key markets around the world. This hotel is the perfect addition to our W portfolio in the Europe, Africa and Middle East region after openings in Istanbul, Doha, Barcelona, and most recently, London and St. Petersburg.”
Javier Faus, Chairman and CEO, Meridia Capital, comments, “In 2008, we acquired this heritage building and launched the flagship Apple store in 2010. We are thrilled to work with Starwood to bring the prestigious W brand to Paris, and are confident that the new W Paris - Opéra hotel will be a major success following the effort and energy put into the refurbishment and design of the building.”
W Paris - Opéra will provide a cutting-edge lifestyle experience, featuring 91 stylish guest rooms, including 20 suites and two Extreme WOW Suites (W’s interpretation of the Presidential Suite). The hotel’s signature restaurant, Arola, marks the debut of Michelin-starred chef, SergiArola in France. The hotel offers spectacular views of the OpéraGarnier from its ground level and mezzanine floors, including W Lounge, W’s take on the traditional lobby, a buzzing social space where visitors can sip, drink and flirt around cocktails. W Paris – Opéra features a SWEAT® fitness centre, as well as stylish meeting and event spaces. Guests can expect the brand’s signature Whatever/Whenever® service philosophy, providing guests whatever they want – from the latest in fashion, design, and music in Paris, to the city’s most exclusive events and nightspots.
Design – “The Spark” Inspired by New York’s Energy and the Sophisticated Radiance of Paris
Designed jointly by W Global Brand Design and the award-winning Rockwell Group Europe, W Paris - Opéra was conceptualised to create a dynamic dialogue between the building’s historic façade, Paris as the “City of Light” and W Hotels’ DNA by infusing New York’s dynamism and never-ending energy into the quintessentially sophisticated Parisian neighbourhood. GCA Architects, a renowned architecture and interior design firm, also advised Meridia Capital in this project.
Arola– Bringing Spanish Innovation to Paris
A renowned Spanish Michelin-starred chef from Barcelona, Sergi Arola has been appointed as the executive chef at W Paris - Opéra's signature restaurant, Arola. The restaurant introduces the innovative "Pica Pica" culinary concept of creative dishes and tapas, seasonal products and French classics, served on a platter for all to share. Regarded as one of the most creative minds in Spanish haute cuisine, the Catalan chefhas also designed the menu for the hotel’s W Lounge and in-room dining.
W Lounge – To See and Be Seen
Set on the ground floor, the W Lounge is set to attract Parisians and jetsetters with its private entrance and wide bay windows looking out to the bustling streets. Guests can enjoy a wide range of tapas and signature cocktails offered by the hotel’s mixologist.
W Paris - Opéra is now accepting reservations, including group arrivals and event bookings. Rooms start from EUR340 ($474) per room per night plus VAT. For further information and bookings, call W Paris-Opéra on +33 (0)1 44 77 10 68 or visit www.wparisopera.com.
W Paris-Opéra will be Starwood’s sixth hotel in France, joining Le Méridien Etoile, Le Méridien Nice, The Westin Paris-Vendôme, Sheraton Paris Airport Hotel & Conference Centre, as well as Prince de Galles, a Luxury Collection hotel, which is currently closed for a complete refurbishment and slated to reopen next year.
About W Hotels Worldwide
W Hotels is a contemporary, design-led lifestyle brand and the industry innovator with 42 hotels and retreats, including 14 W-branded residences, in the most vibrant cities and exotic destinations around the world. Inspiring, iconic, innovative and influential, W Hotels provides the ultimate in insider access, offering a unique mix of cutting-edge design and passions around fashion, music and entertainment. W Hotels offers a holistic lifestyle experience that is integrated into the brand’s sensibility through contemporary restaurant concepts, glamorous entertainment experiences, stylish retail concepts, signature spas and inspiring residences. With more than 13 years of proven success, W Hotels is on track to reach 60 hotels by the end of 2015. W Hotels have been announced for Guangzhou, Singapore, Milan, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Athens – Astir Palace, Muscat, Mumbai, and Sante Fe, Mexico, while upcoming W Retreats include Verbier and Mexico’s Riviera Maya. For more information, visit www.whotels.com. To live the W Hotels lifestyle 24/7/365, visit www.wresidences.com.
About Meridia Capital
Meridia Capital is a private equity group focused on investing in premium hotel properties internationally. The firm owns and asset manages hotels in urban markets which are operated by the world’s leading international hotel brands. Meridia Capital Hospitality I is Meridia Capital Partners’ first fund and was closed in 2007 with equity of €150 million. Aside from its hotel in Paris, Meridia Capital has become a widely-recognised institutional investor in Latin America and currently owns various properties in the region, namely in Brazil, Mexico and Chile. For further information please visit www.meridiacapital.com.