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Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (HOT - Analyst Report) is investing in the growth of The Luxury Collection brand. Recently, the hotelier announced an additional €300 million investment for the renovation of hotels under The Luxury Collection brand in Europe and the Middle East. The latest investment will include the overhauling of Hotel Imperial in Vienna, Excelsior Hotel Gallia in Milan, Santa Marina resort in Mykonos, and Grand Hills in Broumana.

Starwood’s Luxury Collection brand will debut in Lebanon with the renovation of Grand Hills, which will reopen in December, this year, as a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa. The hotel, with 115 rooms and 53 suites, will be located at the entrance to the mountain village, Broumana, and offer a spectacular view of the Zaarour Mountains and Mediterranean Sea.

The year-long renovation of Hotel Imperial located in Vienna’s Ring Boulevard, which traces its roots way back to 1863, will be completed later this summer. Another hotel scheduled to be ready this summer after extensive revamping, is the 100-room hotel Santa Marina in Greece. The 235-room Excelsior Hotel Gallia, located at the Piazza Duca d’Aosta, Milan, is another notable addition to the brand.

Europe ranks high among the famous tourist destinations of the world because of its rich cultural history as well as scenic destinations. Although recent economic volatility across Euro-zone resulted in a drop in the number of tourists, moderate improvement in the beginning of this year, is expected to give a major boost to tourism. In our view, Starwood is striving to capitalize on this demand.

In the past two years, Starwood has been renovating hotels in Europe. In fact the hotelier invested more than €150 million to refurbish four European hotels under The Luxury Collection brand These include The Gritti Palace in Venice, Prince de Galles in Paris, Hotel Alfonso XIII in Seville and Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastian.

Further, Starwood redesigned several hotels under The Luxury Collection brand including Hotel Bristol in Vienna, Hotel Danieli in Venice, Hotel Pitrizza and Hotel Romazzino at Costa Smeralda in Sardinia. Additionally, the brand completed the renovation of The Park Tower Knightsbridge in London.

Starwood currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the hotel industry include Intercontinental Hotels Group plc (IHG - Snapshot Report), Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp. (VAC - Snapshot Report) and Wyndham Worldwide Corp. (WYN - Analyst Report). All these stocks have a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
 

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