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June 1 2010

Sheraton Hotels & Resorts Debuts in the Black Sea Resort Destination of Batumi

The Sheraton Batumi Hotel is the first internationally branded Hotel in the City and the Sheraton brand's Second Hotel in the Republic of Georgia

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Jun 01, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) and Nurol Insaat ve Ticaret A.S. today announce the official opening of the Sheraton Batumi Hotel, Georgia. The 203-room Sheraton Hotel is the first internationally branded hotel in the emerging Black Sea destination of Batumi and is part of the brand's strategic expansion that will add approximately 50 new hotels and over 20,000 rooms to the Sheraton portfolio over the next three years.

The Sheraton Batumi was designed to appeal to both business and leisure travelers and features 43 suites including one penthouse with breathtaking views of the Black Sea. The property is the second Sheraton hotel in the Republic of Georgia, joining its sister property the Sheraton Metechi Palace in Tblisi. Located on the eastern coast of the Black Sea, just minutes from the center of Batumi and within easy reach of the international airport, the white lighthouse tower of the Sheraton Batumi Hotel, designed in the style of the Batumi lighthouse of Alexandria built by Alexander the Great in 290 B.C., has already become a landmark in the city.

"Sheraton has historically been one of the first Western hotels to enter developing markets and when travelers from abroad and other emerging markets increase their travel internationally, they will stay with hotel brands they know from home," said Hoyt H. Harper II, Senior Vice President for Sheraton Hotels and Resorts. "The Sheraton Batumi is emblematic of our continued focus to grow the Sheraton brand's already robust presence globally by working with our proven development partners to ensure we have best-in-class properties wherever our guests want to travel."

The seaside resort city of Batumi is Georgia's main port, located near the Turkish border at the terminus of both railway and pipe lines originating in the Caucasus states. In recent years, the city has become a regional center for investment and development. In addition to a boom in its freight handling and manufacturing capabilities, Batumi is also host to a growing number of cruise ships which have included the destination on their Black Sea itineraries. Batumi boasts a sub-tropical climate and wide beachfront, and is known for its coffee mills, magnolia blossoms, fruit, and fish markets.

"Reaching out to new frontiers is part of Starwood's global development strategy and the reputation of the Sheraton name will assist further positioning Batumi as a destination for the international traveler," said Roeland Vos, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East. "We are delighted to once again partner with Nurol Insaat ve Ticaret A.S., with whom we have a long lasting relationship at the magnificent Sheraton Ankara Hotel & Convention Center in Turkey."

"We are proud to be working with Starwood Hotels & Resorts to bring the iconic Sheraton brand to Batumi," said Mr. Nurettin Carmikli, Chairman of the Board Nurol Insaat ve Ticaret A.S. "The Sheraton Batumi Hotel is already a symbol of Batumi's strong development and exciting future and we look forward to strengthening our long-term business relationship with Starwood Hotels & Resorts in Batumi."

The property offers one all-day dining restaurant "Sunflower" on the ground floor and a lounge restaurant and bar "Veronica" with stunning vistas of the Batumi skyline. The hotel's ballroom is the largest in Batumi at over 10,000 square feet and is ideal for weddings or corporate events. For smaller meetings and conferences the hotel has six other state-of-the-art meeting rooms and a fully equipped business center. Leisure amenities include an 8,000-square foot Shine Spa for Sheraton as well as indoor and outdoor swimming pools and the brand's signature fitness offering - Sheraton Fitness by Core Performance. Created in partnership with Core Performance, a training and lifestyle brand built by the experts who train professional athletes in every major sport, the program helps travelers train and eat healthy while on the road and features a state-of-the-art gym experience and healthy dining options. Another key feature of the property is the brand's signature hotel offering: The Link@SheratonSM experienced with Microsoft(R), a unique lobby lounge that enables guests to stay connected with instant access to information and technology for work, leisure and social networking. An independently operated casino will be located on the ground floor, with a dedicated entrance.

About Sheraton Hotels & Resorts

Helping guests make connections at more than 400 hotels in 75 countries around the world, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts is currently implementing a $6 billion worldwide, multi-year revitalization program. This effort includes a $275 million investment in renovations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Sheraton is owned by and is the largest and most global brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc, one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1000 properties in nearly 100 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels 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 Méridien(R), Sheraton(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft(R), and Element SM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc, one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.

About Nurol Insaat ve Ticaret A.S.

Nurol Insaat ve Ticaret A.S. is a Turkish construction company, listed among the world's largest contractors with a portfolio of completed projects valued at US$11bn. As well as the Sheraton Batumi Hotel, it owns the 414-room Sheraton Ankara Hotel & Convention Center in the capital city of Turkey, and has extensive experience in developing real estate. The Nurol Group was founded in Ankara in the 1960s, and it currently comprises of 39 operating companies in seven major sectors, including construction, trading, tourism and hotel management, finance and insurance, and defence. For further information, please visit www.nurolconstruction.com.

SOURCE: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Nadeen Ayala, 914-640-8259

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