Big global hotel operator eyes Philippines

Starwood may bring Sheraton to Resorts World


The Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort in Dubai. Starwood Hotels and Resorts president and CEO Frits van Paasschen said his group signed on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, a letter of intent with Resorts World Manila to explore the possibility of building a hotel under the Sheraton brand at Newport City, across from Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. PHOTO FROM FACEBOOK.COM

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc., the world’s biggest operator of high-end business and leisure accommodations, has taken the first step to re-enter the booming Philippine market, signing a preliminary agreement with Resorts World Manila on a five-star hotel project at the latter’s Pasay City development.

In an interview with the Inquirer, Starwood president and CEO Frits van Paasschen said his group signed on Thursday a letter of intent with Resorts World to explore the possibility of building a hotel under the Sheraton brand at Newport City, adjacent to the existing casino-hotel-mall complex and across from Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

“The Philippine market is very attractive to us. Businesses are booming and the government is fiscally strong,” he said. “This will also mark the re-entry of Sheraton in the Philippines after an absence of many years.”

Van Paasschen declined to disclose specific investment figures for the proposed project but said that, on the average, hotel rooms of the Starwood group cost anywhere between $350,000 and $500,000 to build.

Matthew Fry, Starwood Hotels Asia-Pacific senior vice president for acquisitions and development, added that the group would enter a particular market with an initial operation of between 300 and 350 rooms per hotel. At this level, a Starwood-Resorts World partnership for the new high-end Sheraton Hotel would be worth between $105 million and $175 million.

Starwood operates more than 1,000 properties in 100 countries. Its nine brands are St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Westin, Le Méridien, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft and Element. In addition to hotels, Starwood operates premier time-share ownership resorts.

According to Van Paasschen, his group has noted the growing demand from their existing clientele for accommodations in the Philippines, both from business travelers and tourists.

In particular, he said he admired the country’s track record in the booming business process outsourcing business, the manufacturing sector, the growing level of raw materials and agricultural exports, and even the increasing affluence because of remittances from overseas workers.

“This is a time when the economic environment appears to be [favoring] the Philippines for sustained growth,” the Starwood chief explained. “And the fiscal situation, the government debt—the perception we have, at least—the relationship between business and government today suggests to us that this is a very optimum time.”

Fry said the group was also looking at new hotel operations in Cebu and Boracay to meet the demand for resort hotels from their clients. According to Starwood, it was experiencing “unprecedented growth,” having emerged from the global economic crisis with a lean cost structure and a strong balance sheet.

In addition to gaining market share, it opened a record 250 hotels in the past three years and an additional 300 are under construction. Both W and St. Regis have doubled their footprint and Aloft became the fastest and first global launch of any new hotel brand.

Starwood’s biggest brand, Sheraton, also underwent a $6-billion revitalization program and was now seeing the best performance in its 75-year history.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Diablo_III

    Ngayon lang talaga sumigla ang economy natin. Ang daming investors na na attract. Sana tuloy-tuloy na ito.. 

  • Philaction

    Welcome to the Philippines.  The Philippine Action Group for Social Responsibility, Inc. – the South Luzon Group of the Productivity Improvement Circles Association of the Philippines (PICAP). 

  • Maurice

    Mabuhay Sheraton! Welcome to the Philippines (once again).

  • PaengSaAmerika

    The more foreign investments to come, the better for the country. This multi-national company would not invest its huge bulk of resources without seeing the good future for our country. Tayo na lang ang pipili ng ating kapalaran sa ikasasama o kung ibubulid natin ang sarili sa hindi maganda.

  • PaengSaAmerika

    Not really, the more resources coming in, the locals would be totally benefited. It will help create jobs and other opportunities. It all depends on our kababayans on how they take advantage of the situation. If it goes the wrong way, aka prostitution, drugs and all that, I think the local governments will have the primary tasks of preventing them to happen.

  • PaengSaAmerika

    I have been waiting for that good news. At last. I work at Starwood under Westin group but I always prefer Sheraton wherever I go. Le Meridien is my next choice for its youthful arrive. Westin Hotels are good but Sheraton has its own charisma that I fell in love with.

  • joboni96

    it’s more fun
    for foreign capitalists

    not for mom and pop
    pilipno tourism establishments

    dayuhan na naman
    ang mas makikinabang sa tourism

    no fun for us pilipinos

    • Carina Reyes

      puros ka complain! ang positive ng write up eh!

      • joboni96

        kolonisadong utak ka kasi

        mas gusto mo
        interes ng dayuhan

        kaysa pilipino

    • muddygoose

      Mom and pop? Yung mga backpackers magsi-stay dyan pero yung mayamang tourists will not. Highend hotels, particularly brand name ones, attract big spenders. These hotels have a symbiotic relationship with our tourism industry, but of course we have to ensure that we properly regulate and tax them.

      • joboni96

        mas maraming tourist
        hindi high end

        promote pilipino business
        not dayuhan business

        unless you’re
        kolonisadong utak

      • muddygoose

        Takot ka sa foreign investment? Gusto mo tourists na lowend?

        Makabayan ka ba talaga or makitid lang utak mo?

      • joboni96

        bwisit ako sa foreign investment
        na nagpapahina sa pilipino at
        kinocontrol ekonomiya namin

    • Diablo_III

      kung walang mag invest— complain… kung maraming mag invest —- complain. Ano ba talaga????

      • joboni96

        ekonomiyang pilipino
        para sa pilipino

  • efriend

    Sheraton dropped its management (now owned by Lucio Tan) of Century Park that’s why it is so dirty now – in the dingy part of Manila.

    The new Sheraton – welcome back to MNL!

  • Jayo Flipone Santiago

    Philippine Plaza is now managed by Sofitel.

  • main_man40

    di ba we had “westin” philippine plaza and century park “sheraton” before?  

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