Starwood Hotels & Resorts Advances Asset-Light Strategy with Closing of Sale of The Gritti Palace

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The FINANCIAL — Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. on May 12 announced that it has closed on the sale of The Gritti Palace, Venice to Nozul Hotels & Resorts, the owner of W Doha Hotel, and a wholly owned subsidiary of “Jaidah Holdings” for €105 million (approximately $117 million USD).

Starwood will continue to operate the hotel under The Luxury Collection brand flag under a new long-term management agreement, according to Starwood.

Adam Aron , CEO of Starwood on an interim basis, commented: “As we said on our quarterly earning’s conference call on April 29th, Starwood reaffirmed our confidence that, as part of our asset light strategy, we would complete $800 million in hotel dispositions in the balance of 2015, while maintaining these hotels’ continued participation in the Starwood system. The sale of The Gritti Palace is an important and positive step toward achieving our 2015 target.”

“We are delighted to collaborate with Jaidah Holdings to ensure the future success of this trophy asset and one of the world’s most iconic hotels,” said Simon Turner , President of Global Development for Starwood. “The sale of The Gritti Palace, Venice highlights our ongoing commitment to sell properties to the right long-term partners to create value for our shareholders. Amidst the strong transaction market, we’re seeing a surge in interest in our remaining assets from a broad array of investors worldwide.”

“We are proud to extend our relationship with Jaidah Holdings, for whom we have been successfully operating W Doha since its opening as the first W Hotel in the Middle East in 2009. Jaidah Holdings shares Starwood’s vision for the majestic Gritti Palace, Venice’s most celebrated hotel and an extraordinary representation of The Luxury Collection brand,” said Michael Wale , President, Europe, Africa and the Middle East for Starwood. “We look forward to our continued operation of the hotel, which completed a meticulous restoration a year ago.”

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Built in 1525 as the private residence of Doge Andrea Gritti, The Gritti Palace has built a reputation as one of the world’s most iconic and luxurious hotels. Many of the property’s 82 rooms (including 21 suites) offer breathtaking views of the Grand Canal and Santa Maria della Salute. The hotel, which joined The Luxury Collection brand in 1992, completed a significant restoration last May and features the world-renowned Club del Doge restaurant, Bar Longhi, and the Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Spa.


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