Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) today announced an agreement with Sunmarina Operations Co., Ltd., part of Ishin Hotels Group, to debut the iconic Sheraton brand in Okinawa, Japan. The 200-room Sheraton Okinawa Sunmarina Resort will be located directly on Sunmarina Beach, boasting panoramic views of East China Sea. Demonstrating the brand’s global reach, Sheraton Okinawa Sunmarina Resort is scheduled to open in mid-2016 after an extensive re-branding of the existing Sunmarina Hotel, with an additional 45 rooms being added in early 2017 through the construction of a new-build tower.
“Starwood is thrilled to be re-entering Okinawa with its most global and iconic brand, Sheraton,” said Lothar Pehl, Senior Vice President, Operations and Global Initiatives, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Asia Pacific. “Sheraton is set to add more than 150 new hotels globally by the year 2020, and the signing of Sheraton Okinawa Sunmarina Resort underscores the brand’s accelerated growth trajectory.”
With its contemporary design, signature amenities and a wide variety of leisure, sports and marine activities, the Sheraton Okinawa Sunmarina Resort will feature 245 stylish guestrooms, including 18 suites with balconies that offer stunning views of the East China Sea. The resort will offer guests more than 3,800 square feet of modern meeting and event space, as well as a large outdoor pool, a marina, state-of-the-art fitness facilities, tennis courts and a relaxing spa. In addition, the hotel will offer guests a variety of culinary experiences, including an all-day dining destination, a specialty restaurant and a lobby lounge.
“Okinawa is ever-popular with local and international visitors, and has evolved into a highly sought-after beach resort destination for increasingly affluent global travelers,” said Michael Nigitsch, CEO of Ishin Hotels Group. “Our partnership with Starwood and its iconic Sheraton brand will allow us to cater to travelers’ needs while raising the bar for Okinawa’s upper-upscale hospitality offerings.”
Located on the Okinawa main island, guests at Sheraton Okinawa Sunmarina Resort can look forward to enjoying the area’s tropical climate, broad white sand beaches, pristine coral reefs and rich native culture. The beachfront hotel is approximately an 80-minute drive from Naha Airport via Route 58, and it provides easy access to Okinawa’s famed attractions, including Churaumi Aquarium, home to whale sharks and manta rays; and traditional villages.
“We are very excited to partner with Ishin Hotels Group in this conversion project, bringing the Sheraton brand back to Okinawa after a long hiatus,” said Rajit Sukumaran, Senior Vice President, Acquisitions & Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Asia Pacific. “The brand is set to enhance the local hospitality landscape, offering both business and leisure travelers the opportunity to relax amid a beachfront setting while enjoying the highly-personalized service and thoughtful amenities that have become synonymous with the Sheraton name.”