Sheraton to join Romanian hotel market

Starwood will join the Romanian hotel market in the next three years, vice-president for acquisitions and development in Europe, Africa and the Middle East Karl Biebirach told Ziarul Financiar daily. The company portfolio includes brands such as Sheraton, Le Meridien, W Hotels, St Regis or The Luxury Collection.

“We have received five or six offers recently, most of them in Bucharest, but we have not finalised any project,” the Starwood Hotels official explained. He added that the chain considered a project in Sibiu (central Romania), but that the city was not sufficiently attractive to the company. “We are interested in Bucharest, but also in secondary cities such as Cluj-Napoca [central Romania] or Timisoara [western Romania]. But we want to join the market with a management or franchise contract, and we would prefer greenfield properties,” says Karl Biebirach.

He added that, in extremely rare cases, the company might affiliate an already built hotel, on condition that it is renovated according to the company’s standards, but that no such property was identified in Romania up to this point. Under these circumstances, Starwood is talking with investors willing to build a unit which might be subsequently affiliated under one of the brands. The Starwood Hotel policy does not include company investments in accommodation facilities. In Bucharest, for instance, the only investment made by an international chain was made under the French Group Accor’s brand, which has announced plans to bring its Novotel brand in Romania this year, further to an over 30 million euro investment.