Starwood has won a tender for the management of the Astir Palace Hotel on the Athens Riviera area of Vouliagmeni and is to invest 45 million euros in the hotel complex over 18 months. The investment is expected to focus on creation of a spa centre and conference facilities, Takis Arapoglou, chairman and managing director of National Bank of Greece, Astir’s owner, told a news conference.
Starwood will formally take over management on July 1.
The world-renowned Astir Palace is a luxury resort consisting of three five-star hotels, the Arion, Nafsika and Aphrodite, and seventy-six bungalows, with a total of 526 guest rooms.
Sprawling across 75 acres of gardens on a pine-dotted private peninsula, the resort complex boasts breathtaking views of the Saronic Gulf on the Mediterranean Sea and three private beaches.
In July, Starwood will raise its Luxury Collection flag on the Arion Hotel and the Westin flag on the Nafsika Hotel. In 2008, W hotel will take over the Aphrodite Hotel, following an extensive renovation. The resort complex is owned by Astir Palace Vouliagmeni S.A. which is publicly traded on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASTIR GA).
“We are delighted to bring our brands to this premiere resort, and expand Starwood’s footprint in Greece which is such a vital European destination,” said Roeland Vos, President of Europe, Africa and Middle East Division of Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
“I would like to thank Astir Palace Vouliagmeni S.A. for their commitment to Starwood, and their confidence in the power of our brands. The distinctive lifestyle positioning of our Luxury Collection, Westin and W brands will provide a unique and memorable guest experience at each one of these magnificent hotels.”
“I welcome the Board’s decision to select Starwood after an extensive and disciplined review of more than 20 interested parties,” noted Takis Arapoglou, Chairman and CEO of Astir Palace Vouliagmeni S.A. “Astir Palace is a unique resort in Greece and the introduction of a world-class luxury operator will enhance its reputation and the quality of the services that it offers. This is a move that will prove beneficial for all stakeholders in Astir and for the entire Greek leisure sector.”
Starwood manages four other hotels in Greece under the Luxury Collection brandname, including the Grande Bretagne Hotel in central Athens.