BRUSSELS—Following the announcement of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. investing $300 million in coordination with its owner partners to expand and improve The Luxury Collection portfolio in North America, Starwood’s largest luxury brand has announced that it will expand its European portfolio by four. With the addition of Augustine in Prague, Caresse Resort & Spa in Bodrum, Falisia Resort & Spa in Portopiccolo, Italy, and Grand Hotel River Park in Bratislava to its portfolio, The Luxury Collection will surpass 100 hotels globally by the end of this year. This effort is made in tandem with the recent investment of more than $500 million by Starwood and hotel owners to restore some of the The Luxury Collection hotels in Europe.
“We look forward to building a long-term relationship with our owner partners with each of these exciting projects under The Luxury Collection brand as we continue to grow in both established and emerging destinations in Europe,” said Michael Wale, president, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa, and Middle East. “Growing in lockstep with the increasing global demand for luxury, Starwood remains focused on working with the right partners on the right properties in destinations emblematic of new luxury travel trends.”
“There is enormous untapped potential for The Luxury Collection; and with these new hotel openings, Starwood is putting a stake in the ground for The Luxury Collection to become the world’s largest luxury hotel brand by year’s end,” said Hoyt H. Harper II, global brand leader, The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts. “Owners of independent luxury hotels are finding tremendous value in Starwood’s powerful distribution, loyalty and sales platforms; and this announcement reinforces that The Luxury Collection is a brand that celebrates the unique character of each of its hotels while driving greater returns.”
Located in the Malá Strana district in the heart of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage center, Augustine is adjacent to Wallenstein Garden and within walking distance of Prague Castle and Charles Bridge. With just over 100 guestrooms and suites, the hotel occupies seven historic buildings, the largest of which is the 13th century St. Thomas Monastery — still home to the friars of the St. Augustine order. Set against a varied architecture of Baroque, Renaissance, and Gothic styles, the hotel’s elegant interiors reflect the building’s monastic history, complete with furnishings inspired by the 1930s Czech cubism movement. The hotel also features a ballroom, four meeting rooms, fitness center, and spa. Guests can eat Czech cuisine in The Augustine restaurant, as well as sip cocktails and beer in the Refectory Bar 1887, a barrel-vaulted hall that used to be the monastery refectory. Owned by Augustine Management S.R.O., Augustine marks the entry of The Luxury Collection brand into the Czech Republic.
Owned and operated by Rilke Srl, Falisia Resort & Spa is located in the exclusive Portopiccolo Sistiana beachfront development in northeastern Italy on the Adriatic coast. The resort will feature 65 elegant rooms and suites, a private beach with an infinity pool, two restaurants serving gourmet and healthy cuisine, a lounge bar, a spa, and three meeting rooms. Falisia Resort & Spa will become part of a contemporary and sustainable village. Offering breathtaking sea views, the resort is situated within a short drive from the airports in Venice and Trieste, and close to the borders of Slovenia and Croatia. Falisia will be the seventh Luxury Collection hotel in Italy, where the brand has its origins and continues to grow with the recent opening of the newly renovated Excelsior Hotel Gallia in Milan.
Marking the entry of Starwood and The Luxury Collection brand into Bodrum, a Turkish resort destination, Caresse Resort & Spa features 84 contemporary rooms, suites, and residences with panoramic views of the bay. Caresse offers five culinary venues, including Glass and Glass Lounge, La Plage beach restaurant, and a sushi bar. Luxury leisure facilities at the resort include a 17,000-square-foot spa, offering ESPA products and relaxing treatments; a yacht for private excursions; indoor and outdoor pools; a fitness center; and tennis and basketball courts. The resort’s white sand beach and overwater deck are ideal for events with up to 500 guests, while the two meeting and board rooms are suited for business presentations. The newly opened resort is the centerpiece of a development owned by A.E.B. Turizm Yatırım Ticaret A.Ş. (part of the Büyükhanlı Kardesler group of companies), which also includes 64 branded residences, a beach club, and various dining and retail venues.
Designed by Dutch architect Erick van Egeraat, Grand Hotel River Park is owned by Best Hotel Properties a.s., which will also take over management of the hotel when it joins The Luxury Collection in August. Grand Hotel River Park is at the heart of an expansive city development project, which includes residences, offices, and retail shops. Located directly on the river bank of the Danube, the hotel is situated 10 minutes on foot from the old city center. Grand Hotel River Park features 231 rooms and suites, two restaurants, a lobby bar, an indoor pool, as well as a fitness center and spa, two ballrooms, and five meeting rooms.
“We continue to see new-build opportunities in the region, such as Caresse and Falisia, which are part of multi-unit developments,” said Bart Carnahan, senior vice president acquisition & development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa & Middle East. “At the same time, conversions remain a key part of our growth strategy, enabling us to add established hotels, such as Augustine and Grand Hotel River Park into the Starwood system. With these new additions to The Luxury Collection, the brand will boast 43 unique hotels and resorts in Europe.”