WHITE PLAINS, NY-Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. again expands its upscale W Hotel line with the flagging of the W Walker Hill in Seoul, Korea. Operation of the 253-unit property will fall under a management agreement with SK Global when the hotel opens in early 2003. W Walker Hill will be the 20th opening in the W line since its inception in 1998.

“Seoul is such a vibrant city and the location of the hotel in the exclusive resort area of Walker Hill is an ideal fit for the W brand,” says Barry S. Sternlicht, Chairman and CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “Travelers from Asia-Pacific to the United States have responded especially enthusiastically to W hotels, and we hope to develop many more Ws throughout the region, and in world-class cities around the globe.” The branding campaign will target upscale leisure travelers and position the Hotel as the keystone of redevelopment in the Walker Resort area.

Additional locations include Atlanta, Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New Orleans, San Francisco, Seattle and Sydney. Also scheduled to open by the end of 2002 are W Hotels in Mexico City, Miami, San Diego. A new New York property, the Times Square W Hotel will hold its soft opening on Dec 27, with the official opening planned for early February 2003. Designed by Toronto-based Yabu Pushelberg, W Times Square will feature a glass-encased waterfall in the lobby, guest rooms with high-speed Internet access via infrared keyboards, secure e-mail, VHS and DVD players.

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