Starwood opens 5-star hotel in Birmingham (UK/US)

In a major move which will give Birmingham its first five-star hotel, Ballymore confirmed this week that US operator Starwood Hotels & Resorts has entered into an agreement to open a new 198 bedroom Westin Hotel &Spa at its Snowhill scheme.

The Westin Birmingham, which is due to open in early 2010, will form part of Phase III of the development, where Ballymore commenced construction last August. The property will occupy a landmark 23-storey tower overlooking St Chad's Cathedral.

Speaking about the deal, Ballymore Director, Jonathan Haigh said, "We are delighted to be working with a world-class operator of Starwood's calibre to create a new five star hotel and spa at Snowhill. Their experience and track record in the luxury end of the market is exceptional and this project will further add to Birmingham's growing status as a global city."

Michael Wale, Senior Vice President, Director of Operations, North West Europe, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, said, "We are thrilled to be opening the first Westin property for England in Birmingham. The city has become one of the UK's key cities for corporate, meetings and incentive business and there is strong demand for a brand like Westin to establish a presence in the region. In addition, we are very pleased to have the opportunity to work with Ballymore on a second European hotel project."

Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council, added, "Starwood Hotels & Resorts' decision to open a Westin hotel at Snowhill is a major milestone for the city and one that we warmly welcome. The arrival of the first 5-star hotel in Birmingham underlines the city's ever-increasing importance as a business and lifestyle destination, not just nationally but internationally."

Starwood Hotels & Resorts is one of the world's largest hotel and leisure companies, operating under Westin and a number of other internationally-renowned brands including St Regis, W Hotels, Luxury Collection, Sheraton and Le Meridien. The group currently operates over 890 hotels worldwide, with more than 266,000 rooms in over 100 countries.

The Westin Birmingham is the first Westin hotel in England and second in the UK joining the Westin Turnberry Resort in Ayrshire, Scotland. The property is the 10th hotel in the UK for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, joining sister properties under the Sheraton, Le M

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