On the 75th anniversary of its iconic Sheraton brand, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) picked a perfect way to celebrate the occasion - opening the largest hotel in Starwood's global portfolio this past week in China.
The opening of Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central also happens to be the largest hotel to open worldwide in 2012 and the 4,000-room hotel is the largest ever in Macau. The massive new hotel is part of Sands Cotai Central, Macau's newest, fully integrated resort and a premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination on the Cotai Strip
Consisting of two sleek towers overlooking the dazzling Cotai Strip development, the hotel is home to the world's largest Sheraton Club Lounge, a main ballroom the size of more than 11 basketball courts, more than 160,000 square feet of meeting space, three signature restaurants, and three outdoor pools with poolside cafes.
The opening widens Starwood's lead in Asia Pacific, where it is the largest operator of four and five star hotels and on track to reach more than 320 hotels by 2014.
Frits van Paasschen
"The opening of Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central represents an historic milestone for Starwood, for Sheraton, and for the hospitality industry as a whole," said Frits van Paasschen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. "Boasting unparalleled brand recognition and a rich legacy in Asia Pacific, Sheraton is the ideal fit for this spectacular new hotel in Macau, as the brand continues to lead Starwood's growth in the region."
Sheraton currently operates 95 hotels in Asia Pacific and expects to reach nearly 150 hotels by 2016. Propelled by the strength of the Sheraton brand, Asia Pacific is Starwood's fastest-growing global market. Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central is the second Starwood hotel to open in Macau, a leading destination for leisure, meetings, incentives and entertainment.
"We proudly welcome the world-renowned Sheraton brand to the Sands Cotai Central integrated resort," said Sheldon Adelson, Chairman, Las Vegas Sands and Sands China Ltd. "The development of the Cotai Strip, from a muddy swampland to the glittering center of tourism and leisure that stands before us today, represents a vision realized for the company."
Easily accessible by air, land and sea, Macau (Chinese spelling of the former Portuguese colony) was visited by 13 million tourists in the first half of 2012, with the majority coming from mainland China. Macau has surpassed Las Vegas as the world's biggest casino market since 2006 and is the only place in China where casino resorts are legal.
"Macao is well on its way to establishing itself as Asia's number one destination for business and leisure travelers," said Edward Tracy, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sands China Ltd. "Sheraton guests are now at the absolute center of the best offerings on the Cotai Strip at Sands Cotai Central, with pathways to adventure, fun and fortune all within reach - exquisite dining, duty-free shopping, world-class entertainment events, gaming excitement and the biggest and best meetings and conventions."
Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central is actually opening in phases. The first tower, known as the Sheraton Sky Tower, comprises 1,829 rooms, the 13,000-square-foot Sheraton Club Lounge, the Kashgar Grand Ballroom and additional meeting space. The hotel's second tower (Sheraton Earth Tower) opens early next year, and will offer an additional 2,067 rooms, as well as two more outdoor pools, one of which will offer spectacular views of the Cotai Strip.
Launched in 2012, Sands Cotai Central is the centre point of the Cotai. Featuring three celebrated hotel brands - Conrad, Sheraton and Holiday Inn - Sands Cotai Central offers visitors to the Cotai Strip an expanded offering of affordable luxury available nowhere else in Macau, with approximately 6,000 hotel rooms and suites, and 1.2 million square feet of retail, entertainment and dining facilities, and meetings and convention space.