W brand set for Milan debut

Starwood has announced plans with Statuto Group to open a W Hotel in Milan, in a deal representing another milestone in W Hotels’ aggressive global expansion.Scheduled to convert in December 2008, W Milan will be the first W Hotel in Italy, bringing the brand’s signature style and sophistication to the world’s fashion and design capital.

W Milan will be located in the heart of the Brera district, a former artists’ enclave and now one of Milan’s most energetic cultural centers. Guests will enjoy close proximity to Milan’s famed restaurants, art galleries, retail shops and cafes crowding the narrow pedestrian streets surrounding the hotel, which will occupy a converted mid-20th century building, notable for its iconic character.

“As one of the global capitals of design and fashion, Milan is a perfect fit for the W brand,” said Ross Klein, President of Starwood’s Luxury Brands Group. “W Milan will mark a major step in our brand’s global expansion, pairing two style icons in the heart of one of the world’s most beloved destinations.”

W Milan is a highly anticipated addition to the brand’s seven recently announced hotels in Europe, Africa and the Middle East in key destinations, including Barcelona, Athens, St. Petersburg, Istanbul, Dubai and Doha.

“We are thrilled to introduce the W brand to Italy, providing our cosmopolitan guests with an insider escape in the cultural center of one of Europe’s most exciting cities,” said Roeland Vos, President of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Europe, Africa & Middle East. “Milan’s blend of commerce, cultural treasures, and world-class shopping make it a perfect choice for W’s continued worldwide expansion.”

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The hotel’s 76 rooms will include eight W suites and one Extreme Wow Suite. W Milan will also feature a signature restaurant, a destination rooftop bar, the W Living Room, and a spa and fitness center. A highlight of the hotel’s guest rooms will be W signature beds, featuring 350 thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets. Guests can also indulge themselves by using the Whatever/Whenever service, the hotel’s 24-hour concierge that can provide whatever guests want—from a pair of running shoes to private jet service—whenever they want it.

“We are very proud to provide the city of Milan with a unique opportunity to combine business, fashion, elegance and pleasure,” said Giuseppe Statuto, Chairman of Statuto Group. “Moreover, the new W project will solidify Statuto Group’s reputation as a leading developer of luxury hotels.”

In a city that weaves together European charm with modern influences, Milan is Italy’s transportation center, boasting a high-speed rail link and a superior subway system. The city’s two international airports are both less than an hour from W Milan.
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