Sternlicht to Launch New Luxury Hotel Chain

Greenwich, Conn. -- Barry Sternlicht, former chief executive of Starwood Hotels and current head of the unrelated Starwood Capital Group, today announced plans to launch a chain of luxury hotels named after the landmark Hotel de Crillon, in Paris.

Starwood Capital will develop European-style Crillon hotels in major destinations throughout the world, according to a company statement.

"With the travel industry experiencing tremendous growth in many regions of the world, the time is right to launch a new, premium luxury hotel brand like the Crillon," Sternilcht said. "We will build and partner with global developers to expand this brand into the world's most important travel markets."

Today's announcement included no initial target for the number of hotels Starwood Capital plans to develop under the Crillon brand. However, Sternlicht said Starwood Capital last year raised $2.4 billion, which will provide financial backing for the venture.

Starwood Capital acquired the 147-room Hotel de Crillon, which opened in 1909 and is housed in a historical building commissioned in 1758 by King Louis XV, as part of its purchase earlier this month of French luxury brand owner Societe du Louvre.

Sternlicht's new luxury chain will compete with Starwood Hotels' St. Regis brand. Under Sternlicht's leadership at Starwood Hotels, the company acquired the original St. Regis Hotel, in New York, in 1998. The chain has since grown to a dozen hotels.

Sternlicht founded Starwood Hotels in 1995 and built it into a major hotel company, with brands that include Westin and Sheraton. In 1994, Sternlicht resigned as CEO of Starwood Hotels to form Starwood Capital Group, of which he is chairman and chief executive. He served as executive chairman of Starwood Hotels until last year.