Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) and Vinos de los Herederos del Marques de Riscal signed a management agreement for the Hotel Marques de Riscal, a Luxury Collection Hotel, in Elciego, Alava, located in the heart of the Rioja wine region, south of Bilbao, Spain.
Scheduled to open at the end of 2005, the hotel will be developed within the Marques de Riscal wine complex and designed by internationally acclaimed architect, Frank O. Gehry. The project will be Gehry`s second masterpiece in Spain, where in 1997 he created the landmark Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, facilitating an urban revival in that city. Gehry is known as one of the most important living architects in the world, with other significant projects including the cutting edge “Experience the Music” project in Seattle, the Gehry House in Santa Monica and the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
The Marques de Riscal Hotel will be the most avant-garde member of Starwood`s prestigious Luxury Collection. Hotel guests will be able to select from a diverse array of suites and rooms designed by Gehry. The hotel will also feature a wellness center, a swimming pool, a large banquet hall converted from an ancient cellar, and a signature restaurant. The hotel`s restaurant will be one of the finest dining experiences in Spain. In addition, hotel guests will also have access to the Marques de Riscal vineyards, the wine museum and thestate-of-the-art process and elaboration center.
“We are extremely honored to have been selected by Vinos de los Herederos del Marques de Riscal to manage this outstanding new Luxury Collection hotel,” said Roeland Vos, President of the Europe Africa and Middle East Division of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “The Marques de Riscal landmark hotel will be a perfect complement to our existing Luxury Collection portfolio in Europe an elite group of distinctive handpicked hotels that are recognized as some of the finest hotels in the world.”
“We consider that Starwood, via its prestigious Luxury Collection, is the perfect complement for this project and for our own wine business, an association of brands which complements the needs of our most demanding customers and strengthens the commitment of Marques de Riscal to quality and innovation,” noted Alejandro Aznar, President of Vinos de los Herederos del Marques de Riscal.
Vinos de los Herederos del Marques de Riscal, is a leading company in the production of quality wines, going back more than 140 years, and has always been a pioneer and innovator in the wine industry. In 1860 it became the first cellar in Rioja to produce wines by the Bordeaux methods, and in 1973 it was the first cellar to introduce the Denominacion de Origen Rueda where it produces its famed white wines. Its products, sold in more than 50 countries, enjoy and have enjoyed the highest international distinctions, Diploma of Honour of the 13th Bordeaux Exhibition, the International Wine Competition in San Francisco, La Gran Cruz del Merito Agricola, as well as numerous awards and distinctions in prestigious industry publications such as The Wine Spectator, Decanter, etc. Committed to the strictest quality levels, Vinos de los Herederos del Marques de Riscal includes among its technical advisors the prestigious French oenologists, M. Pontallier de Chateau Margaux and M. Gimberteau of the University of Bordeaux. It is also the official wine of the Ryder Cup for Golf and of the European circuit of the PGA.
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