A report by Bloomberg.com on August 25 stated that sources at Starwood Hotels & Resorts are willing to let some of its properties reduce their level of service—and number of stars—until the industry begins to recover. In speaking to HOTELS magazine today, a Starwood public relations executive called the conversation with the Bloomberg reporter “hypothetical” and added that not one of its luxury hotels in the United States has recently lost a star in Mobil or AAA ratings.
Starwood went on to release the following statement:
“St. Regis and The Luxury Collection continue to view Mobile Star and AAA Diamond ratings as an important third-party validation of the world-class service levels in our hotels. Both St. Regis and The Luxury Collection wholeheartedly support and endorse their hotels´ participation in these programs. Therefore, our luxury brands continue to maintain the high level of service and product that our luxury guests expect from St. Regis and The Luxury Collection properties. We are not aware of any hotels within these brands that have fallen below their current star ratings and it is absolutely not our intent for them to do so. Our expectation is that all Luxury Collection properties maintain a minimum 4-star rating and we are proud that the vast majority of our St. Regis properties operate at a 5-star level.
“Given the current challenging economic environment, we as responsible owners and operators have diligently implemented protocols to control costs, largely behind the scenes. This is particularly crucial in the luxury segment where our guests’ expectations are understandingly high and we believe there has been no discernable impact on the guest experience. Some examples of cost cutting include, consolidating vendors and leveraging the collective buying powers of Starwood’s brands. We are proud that even in this difficult environment, we’ve maintained high guest satisfaction scores across our luxury brands and are thrilled that our new hotels are opening to high ratings.”