NEW YORK — Starwood Capital Group, a global private investment firm focused on real estate and energy, has promoted Arash Azarbarzin to chief executive officer of its subsidiary company, SH Hotels & Resorts, effective immediately. Azarbarzin succeeds Starwood Capital Chairman and CEO Barry Sternlicht as CEO of SH Hotels & Resorts. Sternlicht will remain chairman and continue to be involved with the organization.
Azarbarzin has more than 30 years of industry experience, including leadership roles at St. Regis Hotels, W Hotels, Four Seasons Hotels, and as a founding member at sbe hotel group, among others. As president of SH Hotels & Resorts, his strategic vision, leadership, and operational expertise continuously fueled the growth and performance of the SH portfolio, including the company’s 1 Hotels, Baccarat Hotels, and Treehouse Hotels brands. Azarbarzin holds a degree in hotel and restaurant management from United States International University and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. In 2020, Azarbarzin joined the board of directors of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and AMAALA Development Advisory Board.
“I am delighted to promote Arash to the role of CEO of SH Hotels & Resorts to help lead the growth of the company and its brands across the world,” said Sternlicht. “Over the last year, the industry has experienced tremendous upheaval and Arash has shown steady leadership and helped position us for a bright future. I am confident that under his leadership, we will continue to see significant increases in guest satisfaction, build excellence in SH Hotels & Resorts, as well as true advocacy for our overall mission of sustainability in everything we do.”
In Azarbarzin’s three years as president of SH Hotels & Resorts, he spearheaded the openings of 1 Hotel West Hollywood, 1 Hotel Haitang Bay, and launched the company’s newest brand, Treehouse Hotels. Under Azarbarzin’s leadership, all 1 Hotel properties, as well as Baccarat New York and Treehouse London, claimed spots on Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Award lists. He has also made headway in reducing overall climate impact for the entire organization, including establishing real-time energy monitoring, decreasing resource use, and securing certification as a Carbon Neutral Organization. Azarbarzin is poised to lead the company as it expands internationally in cities like Paris, London, Saudi Arabia, Copenhagen, Manchester, and Toronto as well as domestically in San Francisco, Miami, Nashville, and Kauai.