Starwood completes Turnberry sale

Starwood has announced that the sale of the iconic 219-room Turnberry Resort, Ayrshire, Scotland, to Leisurecorp, the Dubai World company, for GBP 55 million (approximately USD$100 million), has been completed.Starwood has entered a 50-year management agreement to manage the hotel and after an extensive GBP 30 million (approximately USD$49 million) restoration, the property will become a member of its prestigious Luxury Collection portfolio.

“We are pleased to have completed this agreement with such a prominent and respected development and investment group such as Leisurecorp. We look forward to this deal being the first in a long term relationship with our new partners,” said Roeland Vos, President Europe, Middle East & Africa, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “Their vast experience in the sport, leisure and lifestyle investment market assures us that they will embrace the history and legacy of Turnberry and its internationally renowned Championship golf courses. We are also delighted that this iconic resort joins our distinguished Luxury Collection, a glittering ensemble of some of the world’s finest hotels and resorts. Turnberry’s beautiful setting, impeccable service and renovated style will combine to provide a uniquely enriching experience which fits perfectly with the Luxury Collection brand.”

“Turnberry is a significant addition to our property portfolio and we take seriously our responsibility of restoring the hotel and facilities to its former glory,” said Alan Rogers, Group-CEO, Leisurecorp. “At every stage, we will work with our own heritage consultant and with officers from South Ayrshire Council and Historic Scotland, to ensure that the work is carried out sensitively and sympathetically. When the eyes of the world fall upon Turnberry next summer at the 138th Open, we are determined that the venue will stand tall with pride, taking its rightful place as one of the top golf courses in the world.”

Leisurecorp, which has been operating in Dubai and across the world for several years identifying and acquiring sport, leisure and lifestyle related investments, plans a major renovation and restoration that will keep the history of this award-winning iconic hotel alive. The 101 year old hotel will close for refurbishment on 1 November 2008, to be restored to the vision of original architect James Miller, by renowned British interior designer Mary Fox Linton. The resort, which boasts two 18-hole Championship courses, including the world famous Ailsa Course, is scheduled to reopen in July 2009 as the venue for the 138th British Open Championship, the fourth time the resort will have hosted this world class golf event.

Starwood has also completed the sale of the 196-room Westin Excelsior in Venice Lido, Italy, the 191-room Hotel Des Bains in Venice Lido, Italy and the 31-room Villa Cipriani in Asolo, Italy to Estcapital-SGR S.p.A. for 164 million Euros (approximately USD$212 million).