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Starwood Hotels & Resorts Advances Asset-Light Strategy with Closing of Sale of The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice

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Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) today 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 EUR105 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.

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.”

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.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 1,200 properties in some 100 countries and over 180,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis(R), The Luxury Collection(R), W(R), Westin(R), Le M’eridien(R), Sheraton(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, Aloft(R), Element(R) and the recently introduced Tribute PortfolioTM. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG(R)), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood recently announced plans to spin off its Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc. business, a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands, into a standalone public company by the end of 2015. For more information, please visit

About Jaidah Holdings

Jaidah Holdings is a Qatar based conglomerate, whose main focus is the long-term investment in the sectors of energy & engineering services, real estate development and hotels. Jaidah Holdings currently also owns the W Doha Hotel & Residences, the first W brand hotel in the Middle East and North Africa. For more information, please visit

Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made. Further results, performance and achievements may be affected by general economic conditions including the impact of war and terrorist activity, natural disasters, business and financing conditions (including the condition of credit markets in the U.S. and internationally), foreign exchange fluctuations, cyclicality of the real estate (including residential) and the hotel and vacation ownership businesses, operating risks associated with the hotel, vacation ownership and residential businesses, relationships with associates and labor unions, customers and property owners, the impact of the internet reservation channels, our reliance on technology, domestic and international political and geopolitical conditions, competition, governmental and regulatory actions (including the impact of changes in U.S. and foreign tax laws and their interpretation), travelers’ fears of exposure to contagious diseases, risk associated with the level of our indebtedness, risk associated with potential acquisitions and dispositions and the introduction of new brand concepts and other risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties are presented in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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