Who Owns Westin Hotel?

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Who Owns Westin Hotel?

Westin Hotel is a well-known brand of luxury hotels and resorts that operates in more than 30 countries around the world. The hotel chain was founded in 1930 as Western Hotels and has since grown to become one of the most recognized names in the hospitality industry. But who owns Westin Hotel today, and how did it become part of one of the world’s largest hotel companies?

Currently, Westin Hotel is owned by Marriott International, a global hospitality company that operates, franchises, and licenses more than 30 hotel brands, including Marriott, Sheraton, Ritz-Carlton, and W Hotels. Marriott International acquired Westin Hotel in 2016, as part of its merger with Starwood Hotels and Resorts, the previous owner of Westin Hotel. However, Westin Hotel has a long and rich history that dates back to 1930, when it was founded by two competing hoteliers in Seattle, Washington.

This article will provide some information and history on the ownership and development of Westin Hotel.

The Early Years of Westin Hotel

Westin Hotel was originally established as Western Hotels by Severt W. Thurston and Frank Dupar, two hotel owners from Seattle, Washington, who met by chance at a coffee shop in Yakima, Washington, in 1930. The two men decided to form a management company to handle all their properties, and help deal with the crippling effects of the ongoing Great Depression. They later invited Peter and Adolph Schmidt, who owned five hotels in the Puget Sound area, to join them, and together they created Western Hotels

The company started with 17 properties, mostly in Washington and Idaho, and expanded to Vancouver, British Columbia and Portland, Oregon in 1931, to Alaska in 1939, and then to California in 1941, assuming management of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed. Western Hotels also became known for its partnership with Victor “Trader Vic” Bergeron, the founder of the famous Trader Vic’s restaurant chain. The first franchised Trader Vic’s location opened in the Benjamin Franklin Hotel in Seattle in 1949, and soon became a popular attraction for guests and locals alike. Western Hotels helped Bergeron open more Trader Vic’s locations in its hotels across the country, creating a distinctive and exotic dining experience

Western Hotels expanded to Hawaii in 1956, assuming management of the Hawaiian Village Hotel, built by Henry J. Kaiser. Early management developed each property individually. After more than two decades of rapid growth, many of its properties were merged into a single corporate structure in 1958, focusing on bringing the hotels together under a common chain identity.

The Rebranding and Expansion of Westin Hotel

In 1958, Western Hotels decided to rebrand itself as Western International Hotels, reflecting its growing presence in international markets, such as Guatemala and Mexico. The company also adopted a new corporate identity, featuring a stylized “W” logo and a uniform design for its hotels. The company aimed to create a consistent and recognizable image for its brand, while still maintaining the individuality and character of each property.

In 1970, Western International Hotels merged with United Airlines, forming UAL Corporation, a diversified holding company that included transportation, hotel, and catering businesses. The merger gave Western International Hotels access to United Airlines’ extensive network and customer base, and allowed the company to offer more services and benefits to its guests, such as frequent flyer miles and package deals.

In 1981, Western International Hotels changed its name again, this time to Westin Hotels, a shortened and modernized version of its previous name. The company also introduced its new slogan, “Westin is more than a hotel. It’s a place where you can be at your best.” The company focused on enhancing its amenities and facilities, such as its signature Heavenly Bed, Heavenly Bath, and Heavenly Spa product lines, which aimed to provide guests with a comfortable and relaxing stay.

In 1988, UAL Corporation sold Westin Hotels to Aoki Corporation, a Japanese construction company, for $1.53 billion. The sale marked the first time that a Japanese company acquired a major American hotel chain. Under Aoki’s ownership, Westin Hotels continued to expand its portfolio, adding hotels in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East.

The Acquisition and Integration of Westin Hotel

In 1994, Westin Hotels was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, a newly formed hotel company that also owned Sheraton, St. Regis, and W Hotels. The acquisition was valued at $1.8 billion and created one of the world’s largest hotel companies, with more than 500 properties in 70 countries. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide aimed to leverage the strengths and synergies of its diverse brands, while still preserving their distinct identities and markets.

In 2016, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide was acquired by Marriott International, another leading global hotel company that owned more than 30 brands, such as Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and Courtyard. The acquisition was valued at $13 billion and created the world’s largest hotel company, with more than 7,000 properties in 131 countries and territories. Marriott International intended to integrate and optimize its portfolio of brands, while still offering guests a variety of choices and experiences.

As of 2021, Westin Hotels & Resorts is still owned by Marriott International, and is part of its luxury and premium category of brands. The hotel chain has more than 200 properties in over 30 countries, and continues to offer guests its signature amenities and services, such as its Heavenly Bed, Heavenly Bath, and Heavenly Spa. The hotel chain also focuses on promoting wellness and sustainability, through initiatives such as its WestinWORKOUT fitness studios, its SuperFoodsRx menus, and its Make a Green Choice program.

Conclusion

Westin Hotel is a prestigious and popular brand of luxury hotels and resorts that has a long and rich history in the hospitality industry. The hotel chain has been owned by several different companies over the years, and is currently owned by Marriott International, the world’s largest hotel company. Westin Hotel prides itself on providing guests with exceptional experiences, by offering them high-quality amenities and services, as well as a place where they can be at their best.


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