In these competitive times, most hotel companies across the globe are trying to augment guest satisfaction and gain a better foothold in the industry. Hence, brand conversion and remodeling has become an in-trend among hoteliers, especially in the past couple of years. Following the trend, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (HOT - Analyst Report) has unveiled a hotel in Portland, Maine under its brand Westin. The hotel is a strategic renovation of a landmark property in the heart of the city. Prior to the renovation, the property was known as Eastland Hotel. This hotel marks the entry of the Westin brand in the state. It is owned by Rockbridge and managed by New Castle Hotels & Resorts.
The company spent $50 million and one and a half years to renovate the existing hotel to Westin Portland Harborview. As a part of the renovation project, the public spaces, the ballroom, the rooftop lounge and also the lobby have been refurbished to make this a top appealing spot. The strategic renovation in this very popular destination will likely boost revenue per available room.
The Westin Portland Harborview has 289 guest rooms and suites, two dining outlets, a spa and all signature amenities of the brand. The hotel is just a few minutes away from the city's best dining, shopping, and art galleries, as well as the Old Port District.
Recently, Portland was declared as the Foodiest small town by Bon Appetit magazine. Also, it was named as the fifth hippest city in the U.S. by Travel & Leisure magazine. Starwood looks forward to gain from this positive publicity.
Starwood is comprehensively working on its assets to offer an advanced and customized travel experience to its guests. At present, a few other Starwood-branded properties are also going through extensive renovation. Recently, Starwood Hotels & Resorts entered into an agreement with Aggie Grey’s Hotel & Bungalows and Aggie Grey’s Lagoon, Beach Resort & Spa on the island of Upolu Samoa to renovate and operate the two properties. With these agreements, the company has entered into the market of Samoa for the first time. Post-renovation, they are expected to reopen by mid 2014.
Other hoteliers are also in the fray and are focusing on renovation and refurbishment to attract customers. Recently, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Marriott International Inc. (MAR - Analyst Report), completed a $2 million renovation of its iconic spa resort, The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami in Key Biscayne, Fla. Under the remodeling project, the resort’s spa fitness center and salon were upgraded.
Starwood presently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the hotel sector include Home Inns & Hotels Management Inc. and Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. , both with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).