Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) recently announced the newest member of the company`s prestigious Luxury Collection - the exclusive Blue Palace Resort & Spa located on the Greek island of Crete. The Blue Palace is a luxurious 204-room hotel in Elounda and is owned by well-known Greek hoteliers, the Sbokos family. The hotel will officially join The Luxury Collection in January 2004.
The resort, which opened in July 2003, is situated in the upscale coastal area of Elounda, in the northeast section of Crete - the largest of the Greek Islands. The contemporary style guestrooms are positioned in low-rise bungalows, suites and villas and over half of them have their own private swimming pools. The resort also has a 21,500 square-foot state-of-the-art thalasso therapy spa, which includes 22 treatment rooms and three Thalasso pools.
“We are delighted that the Blue Palace will be joining The Luxury Collection and Starwood,” said Roeland Vos, President of Europe, Africa and Middle East Division of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “It is a fabulous resort that complements our existing Luxury Collection properties in Europe and will be our third property in the Greek Islands. Starwood is very focused on Greece and the Greek market and has recently re-opened our flagship hotel in the country, the Grande Bretagne in Athens, which symbolizes luxury hospitality in the country.”
“We felt that Starwood and its Luxury Collection brand was the best fit for us,” stated John Sbokos, Managing Director of the Blue Palace. “The global recognition of The Luxury Collection brand and its firm association with the quality of excellence in the mind of the discerning traveler is perfect for the Blue Palace. Furthermore, we feel certain that Starwood will help us to maintain the consistency of excellence that a hotel bearing The Luxury Collection brand requires.”
The hotel is situated approximately two miles from the village of Elounda, nestled into a small cliff and opposite the isle of Spinalonga. The property has a 650 foot beach, which is accessed by a panoramic lift. The Blue Palace will also feature a variety of dining outlets including a fine dining restaurant and a Greek “taverna.” The property will operate on a seasonal basis and will be open from April to November and will re-open for the 2004 season next April.
The Luxury Collection, by Starwood Hotels & Resorts, is an elite group of distinctive handpicked hotels from imperial palaces, romantic hideaways, and historical landmarks to tropical resorts that are recognised as some of the finest hotels in the world. With 77 hotels and resorts in 28 countries, each hotel has its own unique qualities, which reflect the essence of the destination and offers grandeur paired with unrivalled personal service and attention to detail.
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 105,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. With internationally renowned brands, Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor 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 www.starwood.com