by Michael J. Shapiro | December 07, 2011

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide will acquire a 49.8 percent stake in Berlin-based Design Hotels AG, a provider of distribution, sales, marketing and consulting services to a collection of independent hotels. Design has more than 200 member hotels in 40 countries. Starwood purchased the shares from longtime German partner Arabella Hospitality SE, which is now focusing primarily on hotel ownership and asset management; Starwood manages or franchises 20 of Arabella's European properties. Design Hotels will not participate in Starwood's reservation system or guest loyalty program.