Starwood expands ownership at St.John

Starwood Vacation Ownership, a division of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, has announced major expansion plans for the Westin St. John Resort & Villas in St. John, USVI.The new Bay Vista phase will include a total of 94 two and three bedroom villas overlooking the island and the picturesque Great Cruz Bay.

Construction plans call for the conversion of 186 hotel rooms in seven buildings in the hillside section of the resort to become vacation ownership villas. Construction of the first phase includes 54 villas and will begin in July, 2006 with an expected occupancy in late 2007. The second phase of 40 villas will begin shortly thereafter. Sales of the new phase will also begin in July.

“This is an ambitious project based on the increasing demand of luxury vacation ownership resorts in the Caribbean. Our Westin Resort & Villas in St. John has been one of the most successful vacation ownership resorts in the region and we are excited to extend our presence and continue our commitment to the island,” said Raymond L. “Rip” Gellein, Jr., chief executive officer of Starwood Vacation Ownership.

The Westin Resort & Villas currently has a total of 92 studio, one, two and three bedroom villas. Owners and guests at the resort have full access to all the amenities of the award winning Westin St. John including the breathtaking pools, spa, Westin Workout facility, beachside water sports, tennis, Westin Kids Club and hotel restaurants. There will be a total of 186 villas upon completion of phase two of construction.

“Vacation ownership continues to play a larger role in the overall tourism market in St. John and throughout the Caribbean. We are basically doubling the size of our vacation ownership resort in St. John to meet the demand of consumers. Our newest phase will raise the standard of luxury vacation ownership resorts with the best furnishings, the highest commitment to detail and unparalleled customer service,” said Graeme Davis, area managing director, South Florida and Caribbean.

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Starwood Vacation Ownership’s portfolio of resorts in the Caribbean includes the recently announced Westin Aruba Resort & Spa and Harborside Resort at Atlantis adjacent to the acclaimed Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, The Bahamas. SVO will now have eight Westin-branded vacation ownership resorts either completed or in the development process.
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