Starwood Recruits Luxury Hotel Executive

An accomplished 19-year international hotel executive and expert in the art of service has been tapped by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) to spearhead W Hotels global expansion efforts.
Today, Starwood named Robert Koren as Vice President of Operations for W Hotels. Koren, who most recently managed Starwood`s award-winning luxury properties in Costa Smeralda, will be responsible for the future global development of the W brand, as well as oversee the hotel operations of W`s growing 16-property portfolio.

“We are delighted to be able to attract such a uniquely talented candidate like Robert, who possesses exceptional experience with some of the most highly-rated hotels in the world, to lead W to new heights of innovation and success,” said Barry S. Sternlicht, Chairman and CEO for Starwood. “Robert brings with him a wealth of international hotel experience after holding top operations positions that span across four continents, and his appointment marks Starwood`s commitment to the progression and further global development of the W brand.”

In his new role, Koren will oversee the ongoing development and evolution of the brand, and will also lead the efforts in building a brand operations team dedicated to ensuring that W remains the industry leader and innovator through the modern design, style and superior service. One of the first projects Koren will oversee is the development of W`s first property in Latin America, the 239-room W - Mexico City. Other openings in 2003 include the debut of the second W property in the Asia-Pacific region, the W Seoul - Walker Hill, and the W - San Diego in California.

With more than 19-years of experience, Koren has extensive knowledge of the international and luxury hotel market, and most recently served as the Area Manager for Starwood`s famed Costa Smeralda and Malta hotels, and as General Manager of the Hotel Cala di Volpe in Porto Cervo, Italy. Under his leadership, the Hotel Cala di Volpe was featured in Conde Nast Traveller`s UK list of the Top Golf Resorts in 2000, as well as the magazine`s Top 15 European Resorts 2000 List. In 1983, Koren joined Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, and held various operational positions in Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia. A graduate of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, Koren will be located at Starwood`s corporate offices in White Plains.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 740 properties in more than 80 countries and 110,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. With internationally renowned brands, Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchiser of hotels and resorts including: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, W brands, as well as Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit