SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA-Starwood Hotels and resorts opened a W hotel here this week, its first in Asia and its third internationally. The New York-based hotel company broke ground for the $100-million project in 2000. Named W Seoul-Walkerhill, the property includes three restaurants and a day spa.The two other existing W hotels located outside the US are in Sydney, Australia and Mexico City. In July, Starwood announced an agreement for two more W hotels in Asia, one in Hong Kong slated to open in 2008 and another in Shanghai for which a timetable has not been announced. Walkerhill is a resort town outside of Seoul. The development team for the project included Studio GAIA, Tony Chi and Associates of New York and Aaron Tan of RAD, Hong Kong. In addition to the restaurant and spa, the hotel has 1,500 sf of meeting space and a full-service business center.Including the US, there are 19 W-branded hotels, each owned and operated by Starwood. The first W Hotel opened in New York in December 1998, and there are now five W Hotels in New York City. W’s first international property, W Mexico City, opened its doors in December 2003. New W Hotels are under construction in Montreal, Dallas and Fort Lauderdale.

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