by Michael J. Shapiro | March 13, 2015
Starwood Hotels & Resorts is continuing its accelerated expansion in Latin America and the Caribbean, based on openings and signings. With the late-February debut of the 112-room Four Points Cancún Centro in Mexico, the lodging giant now has 94 hotels in the region, with 13 additional properties in the pipeline that will open by 2017. Starwood signed eight new agreements in Latin America in 2014, including three Luxury Collection properties and five midmarket hotels. Five of the eight agreements were in Mexico, more than any the company has signed before in the country in any one year.

"We continue to see increased demand for luxury accommodations across Latin America, which drove signings for us last year in markets like Mexico and Panama," said Victor Vazquez, vice president of development for Starwood Latin America and Caribbean. "At the same time, there are many opportunities to grow our specialty select brands in secondary cities, which is very important in the region as business travel rises domestically. In 2015, we will continue a balanced growth approach to drive development across all of our brands."
Starwood currently operates 19 hotels in the region under its three luxury brands, The Luxury Collection, St. Regis and W. Three more are in the pipeline, which should bring the total to 22 luxury properties by 2017. Upcoming openings include the 131-room Solaz, a Luxury Collection Hotel, in Los Cabos, Mexico; the 180-room Santa Maria, a Luxury Collection Hotel, in Costa del Este, Panama; and the 203-room W Panama in Panama City.