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PARIS-Starwood Hotels is gearing up to operate a new Westin Hotel in central Paris. The global chain has entered into a long-term management agreement with GIC Real Estate, the property investment arm of the Singapore government. The value of the deal has not been disclosed.

The landmark hotel, formerly the Intercontinental Paris Hotel, will be the first Westin in Downtown Paris and the fifth Starwood property in France. The hotel opened in 1878 and has long been considered a one-of-a kind asset. The hotel underwent a euro 46-million refurbishment in 1998, and the owners will invest an additional euro 12 million to convert this property to Westin Brand standards.

The Westin Paris, due to open in October, will comprise 438 rooms, including 76 suites. It also has a 4,300-sf ballroom as well as 11 meeting rooms, providing a total of 21,500 sf of meeting space.

“This was a rare opportunity to purchase a freehold, prime hotel in Paris,” states Dr. Seek Ngee Huat, president of GIC. Turning to the state of the hotel business in general, he adds that he expects, “strong growth in light of the anticipated recovery in the Paris hotel market.”

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