Starwood, Rockbridge and New Castle Hotels & Resorts Unveil First Westin in Maine
Portland, Maine/ Stamford, Conn. – December 13, 2014 – Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced the debut of its world-renowned Westin brand in Portland, Maine following the strategic conversion of a landmark property in the heart of the city’s Arts District. Owned by Rockbridge and managed by New Castle Hotels & Resorts, The Westin Portland Harborview is the state’s first Westin hotel, featuring 289 guest rooms and suites, two dining outlets, a day spa and all of the brand’s distinctive signature amenities. Formerly known as the Eastland Hotel, The Westin Portland Harborview completed an 18-month, $50 million restoration and renovation project prior to raising the Westin flag.
“As one of the oldest and most prominent landmarks in Portland, we are excited to revitalize the hotel and reintroduce it as a Westin while maintaining its rich history,” said Jim Merkel, Rockbridge CEO. “The Westin Portland Harborview will be a top lodging destination along the eastern seaboard and will serve as the anchor for downtown Portland’s historic Arts District.”
Built in 1927 and widely considered to be Portland’s “grand dame,” The Westin Portland Harborview was stripped to its earliest “bones” of concrete, bricks and steel and restored with an eye toward preserving the historical integrity of the hotel and its façade, while incorporating all the Westin brand’s distinctive services and amenities. The project was financed, in part, through historic tax credits provided by U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation.
“We are delighted to expand the Westin brand’s reach to the vibrant city of Portland, the cultural hub of Maine,” said Brian Povinelli, global brand leader for Westin Hotels & Resorts and Le Meridien. “The Westin Portland Harborview offers travelers the chance to rejuvenate in a scenic, waterfront setting while enjoying all Westin brand’s signature programs and amenities, designed to send them home feeling better than when they arrived.”
“For nearly a century, the Eastland was a beacon of hospitality in this port city, and we believe it was worth the extra effort that comes with restoration to ensure that The Westin Portland Harborview would remain a distinctive part of Portland’s tourism landscape,” said Gerry Chase, president and COO of New Castle. “The result is a hotel that will feel familiar to Westin guests, but is still uniquely Portland. I am confident that this is exactly the right combination to ensure the hotel’s success for the next chapter in its storied history.”
“With more than eight million annual overnight and day visitors, I am excited to officially welcome the Westin Portland Harborview to our city. With Rockbridge’s investment of more than $50 million into restoring the historic Eastland Park, we are thrilled to give visitors and locals back this beautiful property. The Westin Portland Harborview offers visitors a downtown Portland historic hotel experience centrally located to Maine’s premier shopping, dining, entertainment and cultural activities,” said Portland Mayor Michael Brennan.
As part of the renovation project, the public spaces at The Westin Portland Harborview were redesigned to reflect their earliest incarnation. The ballroom, host to the city’s most prestigious events and social occasions, has been restored right up to its soaring vaulted ceiling and mezzanine spaces. The famed Top of the East rooftop lounge, with its panoramic views of the harbor and downtown Portland has been restored and expanded to so it can reclaim its position as the top local gathering spot. Even the hotel’s iconic, oversized lobby chandelier has been reimagined for the present.
“Portland has a great reputation as a hip destination with its own distinct personality,” said Bruce Wennerstrom, general manager of The Westin Portland Harborview. “By combining the historical charm of this landmark property with the Westin brand’s emphasis on wellbeing, we have created a hotel that will resonate with our neighbors, vacationers and the event and meeting planners who are increasingly looking to Portland for their functions and special occasions.”
The Westin Portland Harborview offers the Eastland Grand Ballroom, historically the city’s most well-known and elegant event space, which features a 1,640 square-foot balcony level and 5,529 square feet total. Eight additional meeting rooms bring the hotel’s total meeting space to 15,000 square feet capable of accommodating groups from 25 to 350 people.
The sensory-rich environment at The Westin Portland Harborview offers a respite from the rigors of travel and sets a welcoming tone. The Westin brand’s innovative programs and instinctive service transform every aspect of a guest’s stay into a revitalizing experience. All guestrooms and suites reflect the elegance of the original, while embracing contemporary comforts including the world-renowned Westin Heavenly® Bed and the Heavenly® Bath enhanced with the brand’s Heavenly® Shower, Heavenly® Robe and White Tea Aloe bath amenities, in-room and high-speed Internet access. The hotel also will offer the Westin brand’s signature SuperFoodsRX® menu, which includes nutrient-rich and delicious options to tempt every palate.
The Westin Portland Harborview is home to the city’s newest day spa, Akari, as well as a signature Westin Workout Studio, complete with New Balance gear lending and running maps. The hotel offers two restaurants including C2, named for the hotel’s Congress Square location and the historic significance of the neighborhood, and Top of the East, the highest point in the city, open nightly for cocktails and light fare.
Located at 157 High Street in the heart of Portland’s vibrant art district and directly across the street from the Portland Museum of Art, The Westin Portland Harborview is within easy walking distance of the city’s best dining, shopping, and art galleries, as well as the Old Port District. Recently ranked the fifth hippest city in the U.S. by Travel & Leisure magazine readers and the #1 Foodiest small town by Bon Appetit, Portland is celebrated for its live music scene, fine dining, independent boutiques and eco-friendly lifestyle.
For additional information and reservations, please go to www.westinportlandharborview.com.
About Westin Hotels & Resorts
Westin Hotels & Resorts offers innovative programs that transform every aspect of a stay into a revitalizing experience. All Westin signature services – like the Heavenly Bed®, delicious SuperFoodsRx® and WestinWORKOUT® studio – have been designed with the guests’ well-being in mind. Westin hotels, with more than 190 hotels and resorts in nearly 40 countries and territories, is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,162 properties in nearly 100 countries and 171,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and Element®. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG®), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
Rockbridge is an integrated hotel investment firm that has executed on over 325 hotel investments in 43 states over the past two decades. Since 1992, Rockbridge’s team has invested nearly $3 billion in the hospitality industry as part of approximately $5 billion of total transaction capitalization. The principals of Rockbridge have formed and managed ten hospitality-focused investment funds with predominantly institutional investors. For additional information about Rockbridge, visit www.rockbridgecapital.com.
About New Castle Hotels & Resorts
Westin Portland Harborview is owned and operated by Shelton Ct. based New Castle Hotels & Resorts, an award-winning independent third-party hotel manager, owner and developer with more than 30 hotels and resorts and nearly 5,000 rooms under contract or in development. New Castle’s growing portfolio of hotels spans 10 states and three Canadian provinces and includes several of Canada’s historic landmark resorts. The privately-held company was established by CEO, David Buffam in 1980 and consistently ranks among the top hotel management and development companies in North America. New Castle is a preferred operator for diverse brands within the Marriott, Hilton and Starwood families. For additional information, please go to www.nchr.wpengine.com.
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