Expanded partnership makes Design Hotels Starwood's 11th brand

Seven months after Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide launched the Tribute Portfolio—which it calls its 10th brand—the company has added an eleventh, expanding its partnership with Design Hotels that will see the company elevated to a full brand within the hotel company's portfolio. According to a spokesperson for Starwood, "the goal of this partnership is to boost exposure for Design Hotels across Starwood’s distribution and loyalty platforms."

Starwood has been what it calls "a majority but passive investor" in the Berlin-based Design Hotels since it signed an agreement to acquire 49.8 percent of the company's shares from Arabella Hospitality SE, one of Starwood's longtime partners in Germany. At the time, the dollar amount was not disclosed, and the financial details of the expanded partnership were similarly not made public.

Design Hotels has served as a global distribution, sales and marketing affiliation for nearly 300 independently owned and operated hotels and resorts for more than 20 years. It will continue to operate independently from Starwood under the leadership of Founder and CEO Claus Sendlinger and his team in Berlin, Germany. Gulf News reports that the expanded partnership with Starwood offers a distribution and loyalty benefit to member hotels and does not change the business model of Design Hotels, whose sales, marketing and development teams will remain distinct.

Select member hotels of the Design Hotels network will now be bookable through Starwood’s websites under the expanded partnership, including the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City and the C-Hotel in Lake Como, Italy. More hotels will be added next year and beyond.

On the day of the announcement, shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide ended its last trade with a loss of -0.92 percent, and closed at $71.84.