Westin Hotels


Westin Hotels

Westin Hotels & Resorts are an upscale [cite web|url=http://www.jdpower.com/presspass/pr/images/2002068afull.gif|title=J.D. Power and Associates 2002 North America Guest Satisfaction Survey|accessdate=2007-12-28] hotel chain owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. As of 2005 Westin operated over 120 hotels in 24 countries.

History

In 1930, hotel owners Severt W. Thurston and Frank Dupar, both of Yakima, Washington USA, formed a partnership in order to manage their hotels more efficiently. Together with Peter and Adolph Schmidt they formed Western Hotels, with seventeen properties, all but one in the state of Washington.cite web|url=http://www.wsulibs.wsu.edu/holland/masc/westin/front.HTM|title=Westin Hotels and Resorts Records, 1905-2004|publisher=Washington State University Libraries|accessdate=2007-12-28]

Early management developed each property individually. After more than two decades of rapid growth, prompting a name change in 1954 to Western International Hotels, many of its properties were merged into a single corporate structure in 1958, and the company went public in 1963. For its 50th anniversary in 1980, it changed its name again to the current Westin Hotels & Resorts.

In 1970, the chain was acquired by UAL Corporation. In 1987, UAL Chairman Richard Ferris announced a plan to make UAL into Allegis, a travel conglomerate based around United Airlines, Hertz Rent a Car, Hilton Hotels, and Westin and linked by Apollo. This strategy failed, however, and Westin was sold to Aoki Corporation of Japan. In 1994 Aoki sold it to Starwood Capital, real estate investment firm and parent of Starwood Lodging, and Goldman Sachs, an investment bank. In 1998 Starwood assumed full ownership of the company.

Westin claims to have been the first hotel chain to introduce guest credit cards (in 1946), 24-hour room service (1969), and personal voice mail in each room (1991). [cite web|url=http://www.starwoodhotels.com/westin/about/history.html|title=Westin History|publisher=Starwood Hotels|accessdate=2007-12-28]

Westin markets certain amenities available in its properties to the public under the brand name "Heavenly". In 2005, Westin became the first hotel company to gain a national retail store presence when Nordstrom started carrying the "Heavenly Bed" line in more than 60 stores.

Westin is reportedly refreshing its partnership with United Airlines. The company said they will begin offering products from their Heavenly Bed line on select United premium service routes between New York City and California. [ [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120338700381076063.html?mod=travel_left_column_hs February Special: A 29th Day to Save - WSJ.com ] ]

Gallery

References


=External links=
* [http://www.starwoodhotels.com/westin/index.html Westin Hotels & Resorts official site]
* [http://www.travelulu.com/WestinHotels Westin Hotels Review]
* [http://www.westin-hotelsathome.com/ Westin At Home] retail site


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