by Matt Alderton | March 13, 2015
With the opening of its latest hotel in Mexico, the Four Points by Sheraton Cancun Centro, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide now has 94 hotels in Latin America and the Caribbean, the company announced this week, forecasting another strong year of growth in the region in 2015.

"2014 was a great year for Starwood in Latin America and the Caribbean with growth at both ends of our business," said Jorge Giannattasio, senior vice president and chief of operations for Starwood Latin America and the Caribbean. "Demand for business and leisure travel and interest in our innovative, design-led brands increased as demonstrated by solid growth in openings and signings, the two cornerstones of our aggressive expansion strategy."

Starwood currently has 13 hotels in the pipeline in Latin America and the Caribbean, all of which are set to open by 2017. Last year alone it signed eight new agreements in Latin America, including deals to open three new hotels in The Luxury Collection and five mid-market hotels under the Four Points by Sheraton and Aloft brands.

Highlights of Starwood's regional development pipeline include Solaz, a 131-room Luxury Collection hotel opening in Los Cabos, Mexico; the Santa Maria, a 180-room Luxury Collection hotel opening in Costa del Este, Panama; and the W Panama, opening in Panama City. All three are scheduled to debut in 2017.

"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. 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," said Victor Vazquez, vice president of development for Starwood Latin America and Caribbean. "In 2015, we will continue a balanced growth approach to drive development across all of our brands."