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First Westin Arrives in India

Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Vatika Group, one of the leading real estate and hospitality players in India, announced an agreement to build The Westin New Delhi Hotel & Residences in Gurgaon, India. Scheduled to open in 2007, and managed by Starwood, the hotel marks the entry of the Westin brand into India and its continued expansion in Asia.
The Westin New Delhi Hotel will feature 300 rooms, five restaurants, 17,500 square feet of meeting space, a 16,000 square-foot health and spa center, as well as upscale retail outlets. Located strategically in Gurgaon, the emerging central business district of New Delhi, the hotel will provide travelers easy access to key convention and commercial offices.

Vatika Group is also developing a major residential complex in Vatika City, a five minute drive from the hotel. The Westin New Delhi Residences will be comprised of 150 Westin managed residences offering a selection of 1,500 high-end two, three, four and five bedroom apartments which will be sold to individual owners.

“This year, tourist arrivals to India have been growing at a rate of close to 20% compared with last year,” said Miguel Ko, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Asia-Pacific. “We are very excited to be working in partnership with Vatika Group to introduce Westin and its many innovative and signature services and products to travelers visiting New Delhi in the future. We expect this to be the first of several hotel projects we will work on with Vatika.”

India, Asia’s fourth largest economy, has been very aggressive and successful with driving tourism to showcase everything from its beautiful beaches and mountains to spiritual and rural destinations. New Delhi, India’s capital city, is located in northern India, and is the country’s center of government and home to many governmental officials. Gurgaon, situated south-west of the capital in the state of Haryana, is among the fastest growing satellite cities in India. Gurgaon began its development as a major satellite city of Delhi in the early 1990s and since then, close to 15 million square feet of commercial space has been developed, housing various multi-national companies that prefer the location in the satellite city due to availability of space, quality office space and relatively more affordable rents, which are limited in the current New Delhi central business district.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts expanded its portfolio in Asia significantly over the last year with the opening of five new hotels in 2004 and a strong development pipeline is in place with 23 hotels under development throughout Asia Pacific scheduled to open over the next four years.