Starwood Acquires Bliss from LVMH

21st Jan 2004

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) announced today that it has acquired Bliss from LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world`s leading luxury goods group. As part of the acquisition, Starwood plans to launch Bliss spas in its W Hotels. The first Bliss spa designed for W Hotels is expected to debut at the W New York late this year, followed by spas in the W New York - Times Square, the W Los Angeles - Westwood, W San Francisco, the W Chicago - Lakeshore and the W Chicago - City Center. Additional Bliss Spas in the U.S. and abroad will be rolled out as W Hotels continues its rapid global expansion.

Often credited with kick starting the mid-90`s spa revolution, Bliss currently operates three stand-alone day spas, one in Soho, New York, one on East 57th Street in New York, and one on Sloane Avenue in London. W Hotels will additionally focus on strengthening Bliss` other business lines including its robust products catalog, featuring Bliss and Laboratoire Remede brands, and its international retail business in outlets such as Sephora, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman-Marcus, Bloomingdale`s, Macy`s, Harvey Nichols, and Harrods. Bliss` revenues last year were $40 million.

“Bliss is a hip, lifestyle brand that is a perfect fit for W guests, complements the brand and enables us to further enhance the W Hotels hotel product offering as a distinctive lifestyle brand,” said Barry S. Sternlicht, Starwood`s Chairman and CEO. “I have long admired Bliss` entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and marketing and I think the marriage of Bliss and W will result in many exciting new innovations, particularly as W enters the resort and residential markets.”

Bliss founder and renowned skincare authority, Marcia Kilgore, will serve as the Chief Creative Consultant for Bliss, and consult on various areas of operation including product development and design, advertising, and promotional work. “This is a very exciting opportunity for Bliss, and brings along with it the concrete and synergistic opportunities for expansion that we`ve always hoped for,” stated Kilgore. “It`s a perfect fit, a great step in the right direction for us as a brand, and an obvious platform for us - as a still fledgling beauty brand - to get our products into the hands of a very targeted market of travelers. We`re looking forward to helping W guests find Bliss.”

Starwood is no stranger to the spa industry, and currently operates a collection of more than 180 spas around the world including the award-winning Spa Gaucin at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort & Spa in Dana Point, California; The Centre for Well- Being at The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona; The Carita Spa at The St. Regis New York; The Spa at The Westin Turnberry Resort in Scotland and the renowned AltiraSPA at the Mardavall Hotel & Spa in Mallorca, Spain.


Bliss will be operated as a subsidiary of Starwood, with its own headquarters, management team and advisory board. Bliss` existing executive management team will remain and assist during the transition period.

The first W Hotel opened in New York in December 1998. There are now five W Hotels in New York City (W New York, W New York - The Court, W New York - The Tuscany, W New York - Union Square and W New York - Times Square) and 19 hotels brand-wide in the U.S. and abroad. W`s first property in Latin America - the W Mexico City - recently opened its doors and two new W Hotels are currently under construction in Seoul and Montreal and just recently, properties have been announced for both Dallas and Fort Lauderdale. In addition, there are more than a dozen W Hotels in the development pipeline in city and resort destinations around the globe.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) 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



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