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Starwood Sheraton Re-Enters Dominican Republic

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In the current competitive environment, 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 have become a trend among hoteliers, especially in the past couple of years.

Following the trend, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (HOT) recently unveiled a hotel in Dominican Republic, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region, under its flagship brand Sheraton. This Sheraton Santo Domingo Hotel is owned and managed by Hoteles Nacionales, which spent $12.0 million on renovation to offer Sheraton brand’s signature services and amenities.

Formerly known as Melia Santo Domingo, this property marks the re-entry of the Sheraton brand in Dominican Republic. It will be the third Starwood hotel in Dominican Republic after Four Points by Sheraton Punta Cana Village (opened in 2012) and The Westin Punta Cana Resort & Club (opened in Jan 2014).

This renovated property with scenic views features 255 guest rooms and suites, a meeting space spread oven an area of 22,500 square feet, a casino, a pool, a spa, a fitness centre, and all signature amenities of the brand. Moreover, it is located close to the Colonial Center, the Las Americas International Airport as well as other attractions of the region. The upscale location and close proximity to major attractions will drive guest count.

Starwood Hotels is consistently trying to expand its global presence. Recently, the company declared that it signed 152 hotel management and franchise deals in 2013, reflecting an increase of 16% year over year. This is the company’s highest number of hotel signings in the past six years.

More than half of Starwood’s properties are situated outside the U.S., which give the company wide international exposure unlike any of its peers. With the rise in global travel demand, Starwood expects 2014 to be solid in terms of openings and new agreements. The company will continue to concentrate on fast-growing areas where demand is substantially high but supply remains limited.

Other hoteliers like Marriott International Inc. (MAR) and Hyatt Hotels Corp. (H) are also focusing on domestic and international expansion in order to withstand competition in the market.

Starwood currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The Marcus Corporation (MCS) is a better-ranked stock in the hotel industry with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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