We are one of the world’s largest hotel and leisure companies. We conduct our hotel and leisure business both directly and through our subsidiaries. Our brand names include the following:
St. Regis® (luxury full-service hotels, resorts and residences) are for connoisseurs who desire the finest expressions of luxury. They provide flawless and bespoke service to high-end leisure and business travelers. St. Regis hotels are located in the ultimate locations within the world’s most desired destinations, important emerging markets and yet to be discovered paradises, and they typically have individual design characteristics to capture the distinctive personality of each location.
The Luxury Collection® (luxury full-service hotels and resorts) is a group of unique hotels and resorts offering exceptional service to an elite clientele. From legendary palaces and remote retreats to timeless modern classics, these remarkable hotels and resorts enable the most discerning traveler to collect a world of unique, authentic and enriching experiences indigenous to each destination that capture the sense of both luxury and place. They are distinguished by magnificent decor, spectacular settings and impeccable service.
W® (luxury and upscale full service hotels, retreats and residences) feature world class design, world class restaurants and “on trend” bars and lounges and its signature Whatever\Whenever® service standard. It’s a sensory multiplex that not only indulges the senses, it delivers an emotional experience. Whether it’s “behind the scenes” access at Whappenings, or our cutting edge music, lighting and scent programs, W hotels delivers an experience unmatched in the hotel segment.
Westin® (luxury and upscale full-service hotels, resorts and residences) is a lifestyle brand competing in the upper upscale sector around the globe. Each hotel offers renewing experiences that inspire guests to be at their best. First impressions at any Westin hotel are fueled by signature sensory experiences of light, music, white tea scent and botanicals. Westin revolutionized the industry with its famous Heavenly Bed® and Heavenly Bath® and launched a multi-million dollar retail program featuring these products. Westin is the first global brand to offer in-room spa treatments at every hotel and the first to go smoke-free in North America. The Westin Superfoods® menu is an unique way we bring renewal to guests, with foods considered best for providing disease-fighting and health-enhancing benefits due to their high nutrient and antioxidant content.
Le Méridien® (luxury and upscale full-service hotels, resorts and residences) is a European-inspired brand with a French accent. Each of its hotels, whether city, airport or resort has a distinctive character driven by its individuality and the Le Méridien brand values. With its underlying passion for food, art and style and its classic yet stylish design, Le Méridien offers a unique experience at some of the world’s top travel destinations.
Sheraton® (luxury and upscale full-service hotels, resorts and residences) is our largest brand serving the needs of luxury and upscale business and leisure travelers worldwide. We offer the entire spectrum of comfort. From full-service hotels in major cities to luxurious resorts by the water, Sheraton can be found in the most sought-after cities and resort destinations around the world. Every guest at Sheraton hotels and resorts feels a warm and welcoming connection, the feeling you have when you walk into a place and your favorite song is playing — a sense of comfort and belonging. Our innovation, the Link@Sheraton(SM) with Microsoft, encourages hotel guests to come out of their rooms to enjoy the energy and social opportunities of traveling. At Sheraton, we help our guests connect to what matters most to them, the office, home and the best spots in town.
Four Points® (select-service hotels) delights the self-sufficient traveler with a new kind of comfort, approachable style and spirited, can-do service — all at the honest value our guests deserve. Our guests start their day feeling energized and finish up relaxed and free to enjoy little indulgences that make their time away from home special.
Aloft(SM) (select-service hotels), a brand introduced in 2005 with the first hotel opened in 2008, provides new heights, an oasis where you least expect it, a spirited neighborhood outpost, a haven at the side of the road. Bringing a cozy harmony of modern elements to the classic American on-the-road tradition, Aloft offers a sassy, refreshing, ultra effortless alternative for both the business and leisure traveler. Fresh, fun, and fulfilling, Aloft is an experience to be discovered and rediscovered, destination after destination, as you ease on down the road.
Element(SM) (extended stay hotels), a brand introduced in 2006 with the first hotel opened in 2008, provides a modern, upscale and intuitively designed hotel experience that allows guests to live well and feel in control. Inspired by Westin, Element hotels promote balance through a thoughtful, upscale environment. Decidedly modern with an emphasis on nature, Element is intuitively constructed with an efficient use of space that encourages guests to stay connected, feel alive, and thrive while they are away. Primarily all Element hotels are LEED certified, depicting the importance of the environment in today’s world.
Through our brands, we are well represented in most major markets around the world. Our operations are reported in two business segments, hotels and vacation ownership and residential operations.
Our revenue and earnings are derived primarily from hotel operations, which include management and other fees earned from hotels we manage pursuant to management contracts, the receipt of franchise and other fees and the operation of our owned hotels.
Our hotel business emphasizes the global operation of hotels and resorts primarily in the luxury and upscale segment of the lodging industry. We seek to acquire interests in, or management or franchise rights with respect to properties in this segment. At December 31, 2009, our hotel portfolio included owned, leased, managed and franchised hotels totaling 979 hotels with approximately 292,000 rooms in approximately 100 countries, and is comprised of 63 hotels that we own or lease or in which we have a majority equity interest, 440 hotels managed by us on behalf of third-party owners (including entities in which we have a minority equity interest) and 476 hotels for which we receive franchise fees.
Our revenues and earnings are also derived from the development, ownership and operation of vacation ownership resorts, marketing and selling vacation ownership interests (“VOIs”) in the resorts and providing financing to customers who purchase such interests. Generally these resorts are marketed under the brand names described above. Additionally, our revenues and earnings are derived from the development, marketing and selling of residential units at mixed use hotel projects owned by us as well as fees earned from the marketing and selling of residential units at mixed use hotel projects developed by third-party owners of hotels operated under our brands. At December 31, 2009, we had 22 owned vacation ownership resorts and residential properties (including 13 stand-alone, eight mixed-use and one unconsolidated joint venture) in the United States, Mexico, and the Bahamas.
Due to the global economic crisis and its impact on the long-term growth outlook for the timeshare industry, during the fourth quarter of 2009 we evaluated all of our existing vacation ownership projects, as well as land held for future vacation ownership projects. We have thereby decided that no new vacation ownership projects are being initiated and we have decided not to develop certain vacation ownership sites and future phases of certain existing projects.
At December 31, 2009, approximately 145,000 people were employed at our corporate offices, owned and managed hotels and vacation ownership resorts, of whom approximately 34% were employed in the United States. At December 31, 2009, approximately 39% of the U.S.-based employees were covered by various collective bargaining agreements providing, generally, for basic pay rates, working hours, other conditions of employment and orderly settlement of labor disputes. Generally, labor relations have been maintained in a normal and satisfactory manner, and management believes that our employee relations are satisfactory.
Where You Can Find More Information
We file annual, quarterly and special reports, proxy statements and other information with the Securities & Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Our SEC filings are available to the public over the Internet at the SEC’s web site at http://www.sec.gov. Our SEC filings are also available on our website at http://www.starwoodhotels.com/corporate/investor relations.html as soon as reasonably practicable after they are filed with or furnished to the SEC. You may also read and copy any document we file with the SEC at its public reference room located at 100 F Street, NE, in Washington, D.C. 20549 on official business days during the hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please call the SEC at (800) SEC-0330 for further information. Our filings with the SEC are also available at the New York Stock Exchange. For more information on obtaining copies of our public filings at the New York Stock Exchange, you should call (212) 656-5060. You may also obtain a copy of our filings free of charge by calling Investor Relations at (914) 640-8165.