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Starwood Hotels Hits 200th Hotel Milestone In Asia Pacific



Maldives Promotion House – Powering ahead in Asia Pacific, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has announced it has surpassed the 200th hotel milestone with a flurry of recent openings in China, India, Thailand and Malaysia. Starwood continues to widen its lead as the largest operator of four and five star hotels in Asia Pacific with plans to reach over 320 hotels by 2014.

“The opening of our 200th hotel in Asia Pacific underscores the vitality of this market and its importance to our future growth,” President and CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. Frits van Paasschen said. “Demand for our high-calibre brands continues to soar across Asia’s many dynamic markets, driven by phenomenal economic growth and significant increases in outbound travel, particularly from China and India.”

Asia Pacific is Home to Starwood’s Highest, Largest and Tallest Hotels

Starwood’s diverse portfolio in Asia boasts several record-setting properties including its highest, largest and tallest hotels. The soon-to-open, 100-story St. Regis Shenzhen tops the charts at 441 meters. Starwood’s most highly elevated hotel is The St. Regis Lhasa, perched on the Tibetan Plateau, and its largest property is the nearly 4,000 room Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central located on the Cotai strip – the “Las Vegas” of Asia.

“In 2001, Starwood had around 80 hotels in all of Asia Pacific, just ten years later we are celebrating the opening of our 200th hotel,” Chairman and President of Starwood’s Asia Pacific Division, Miguel Ko said. “Through the strength of our brands and our strong teams, we’ve more than doubled our footprint and added over 40,000 jobs to the region. Starwood’s momentum continues, we will open nearly 35 hotels in 2012 and welcome over 10,000 new associates to our team.”

Eye on China and India

China will play an outsized role in global travel within the next decade as one of the world’s fastest growing travel markets, with 100 million outbound travellers expected by 2015.  Starwood now has 86 hotels open in China and nearly 100 more in development and expects to open one hotel in China every two weeks through the end of 2011. Nearly half of Starwood’s future hotels in China will fly the Sheraton flag, building on the brand’s 30-year legacy in the country, which has paved the way for robust growth across Starwood’s other world-class brands.

India is now Starwood’s fourth largest market and a close second to China in terms of future hotel development. Starwood now has more four and five star hotels than any other hotel company in India, where it expects to open its 50th hotel in 2013 and have 100 hotels either open or in development by 2015.   Starwood also announced earlier in the year the signing of the first W in India – W Mumbai, followed by the recent signings of W Noida and W Goa Retreat.  With the introduction of W Hotels as well as the entry of the first St. Regis in India with St. Regis Noida, eight of Starwood’s nine brands will fly their flags in India including W, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Le Méridien, Westin, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton and Aloft.

Trends Picking up in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia

Starwood is experiencing robust demand in many of Asia’s other fast-growing economies including Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Following the recent opening of Four Points by Sheraton Resort Langkawi, Starwood will grow 30 percent in Malaysia in the next three years with plans to open another four hotels including Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan, Sheraton Desaru Resort, The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur and W Kuala Lumpur.

In Indonesia, Starwood will add another four hotels by 2012 to its current portfolio of 12 properties. With the opening of Aloft Bangkok Sukhumvit 11, Thailand will be the first country in the South East Asia region to have eight out of nine Starwood brands. Today, Starwood has a robust footprint of 18 hotels in Thailand with another six openings planned by 2014.


JA Resorts & Hotels welcomes Khumar Askerova as Director of Sales and Marketing for the Indian Ocean



JA Resorts & Hotels has announced the appointment of Khumar Askerova as the new Director of Sales and Marketing for the Indian Ocean region. Khumar brings with her an impressive 25 years of experience in sales and marketing within the hospitality industry, and a key appointment to the regional team.

The appointment will see Khumar overseeing sales for the company’s Indian Ocean flagship property JA Manafaru in the Maldives and two properties in the Seychelles, the boutique JA Enchanted Island and luxury villa residencies at JA Enchanted Waterfront.

Khumar is a seasoned sales specialist with a diverse background in the hospitality sector. Fluent in English, native in Russian and Azerbaijani, with a good command of Portuguese and Turkish, Khumar’s multilingual skills underscore her ability to connect with a global audience.

Khumar’s most recent role as the Regional Director of Sales & Marketing at COMO Hotels saw her successfully manage a portfolio of key partners, and her expertise extends to new hotel openings, where she has played pivotal roles in the launch and success of four upper-scale Marriott hotels.

Additional Maldivian experience was gained whilst Khumar was Group Director of Sales & Marketing at Lily Beach Hotels also in the Maldives, where she led a cluster team, overseeing sales, reservations, marketing, and revenue for two islands in the Maldives.

Robert El Khoury, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at JA Resorts & Hotels comments, “We are confident that Khumar’s wealth of experience, strategic vision, and leadership qualities will contribute to the ongoing success and growth of our unique properties in the Indian Ocean. We warmly welcome her to our team and look forward to further developing our international presence with Khumar’s global expertise.”

Khumar holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Management from Baku State University. She has also obtained certificates in Executive Revenue Management & Strategic Pricing from the Institute of Hotel Management and eCornell Hotel Revenue Management Certificate.

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JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa promotes Mohit Dembla to General Manager



JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa, renowned as a haven for families and multigenerational travel, has announced the promotion of Mohit Dembla to the position of General Manager.

Mohit Dembla, a seasoned hotelier with extensive experience in the hospitality industry, began his career with The Oberoi Group and later contributed his expertise to prestigious brands including Taj Hotels, Kempinski Hotels, and Minor International across India, the Seychelles, and the Maldives. In 2014, Mohit joined Marriott International as Complex Front Office Manager at Hyderabad Marriott Hotel & Convention Centre and Courtyard by Marriott Hyderabad. His journey with Marriott International continued in 2018, when he joined JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa as Resort Manager for the grand opening. 

Through his tenure at JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa, Mohit has played a key role in developing and implementing strategies that set the tone for the resort’s success. His dedication, leadership, and commitment to delivering exceptional guest experiences have been integral to the resort’s growth. Demonstrating exceptional managerial skills, he has overseen day-to-day operations and made significant contributions to the resort. His promotion to General Manager is a recognition of his outstanding performance, vision, and ability to lead the team in a dynamic and competitive industry.

Mohit’s leadership centers on fostering a people-first culture, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and teamwork throughout all departments, which has contributed to the resort’s success, consistently delivering exceptional experiences to valued guests.

As General Manager, Mohit Dembla will continue to prioritize teamwork, excellence, innovation, and guest satisfaction. He expressed his gratitude, stating, “I am honored to take on the role of General Manager at JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa. This resort holds a special place in my heart, and I look forward to continuing my journey here with an exceptional team, crafting unforgettable moments for our guests.”

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THE OZEN COLLECTION welcomes new General Managers: Elisabeth Alleyne at OZEN LIFE MAADHOO and Monica Coppetta at OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI



Elisabeth Alleyne and Monica Coppetta, join as the General Managers at OZEN LIFE MAADHOO and OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI, respectively, continuing with the progressive brand’s tradition of women leading the resorts.

THE OZEN COLLECTION, an exceptional hospitality brand by Atmosphere Core, is thrilled to announce the appointment of two new General Managers: Elisabeth Alleyne at OZEN LIFE MAADHOO, effective from October 2023, and Monica Coppetta at OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI, effective from November 2023. In their new roles, these two veteran leaders will continue to build upon the strong brand foundation of REFINED ELEGANCE, positioning their respective resorts as the destination of choice for sophisticated global travelers.

Elisabeth Alleyne, a Swedish-Barbadian National, brings over two decades of diverse hospitality experience across Europe, the Caribbean, and in leading luxury cruise liners. A passionate leader, Elisabeth is adept at running smooth operations, regardless of the size of the property. She will play a pivotal role as the General Manager of OZEN LIFE MAADHOO, and says, “My leadership style involves inspiring colleagues with creativity, innovation, and dedication, ensuring opportunities for skill building, internal promotions, and professional development. I will always be hands-on and visible in operations, making sure our guests have an unforgettable visit.”

Italian hotelier Monica Coppetta possesses a strong business acumen, a drive for results, and the ability to articulate luxury, having worked in global boutique and luxury environments for over two decades. With a proven track record in delivering results, whether from the perspective of profit, process, or people, Monica is a perfect fit for the role of General Manager at OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI. She states, “I like to connect emotionally with my team, inspiring them to bring their best every day. Creating an inclusive work environment is very important to me, one where women – and all colleagues – are heard, cared for, and have equal opportunities.”

From the very beginning, influential female leaders have shaped the brand. Women are integral to the workforce at THE OZEN COLLECTION, and both properties have always had women General Managers. This appointment further adds to the stellar female senior leadership already in place at Atmosphere Core.

We have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion across the company’s portfolio of three brands and eight resorts. And I am delighted to welcome the two talented and dedicated hoteliers, Elisabeth Alleyne and Monica Coppetta to our team.” says Ashwin Handa, the Senior Vice President of Operations at Atmosphere Core.

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