Langham Hotels International (LHI) the hotel operating and asset
management arm of Great Eagle Holdings Limited, announced today that the management contracts with the Starwood Group in relation to its
wholly-owned Sheraton Towers Southgate in Melbourne, Australia and Sheraton Auckland Hotel & Towers in Auckland, New Zealand would expire
by agreement on 31st December 2004.
LHI, the wholly-owned hotel operating subsidiary of Great Eagle, will take
over the management of both hotels from 1st January 2005 and operate them as the Langham Hotel, Melbourne and the Langham Hotel, Auckland
respectively, further complementing its other deluxe Langham properties in
London, Boston and Hong Kong.
The Langham in London, from which the Langham Group takes its name,
was opened in 1865 as one of Europeís first truly grand hotel and was purchased
by Great Eagle in 1996 following a US$150 million refurbishment that saw
the building restored to its original glory.
Commenting on the Langham Groupís plans moving forward, Kevin
Murphy, Vice President of Marketing & Development, LHI said, "We value
the reputation that our hotels in Melbourne and Auckland have each achieved over the years and are appreciative of the efforts Sheraton has
made in keeping them among the market leaders in their respective cities.
We look forward to many more years of providing customers with the deluxe international standard of fine hospitality offered by our Langham
Starwood will continue to provide corporate sales and marketing support to
the hotels while working with Langham to effect a smooth transition. The
existing management team and staff of Sheraton Towers Southgate and Sheraton Auckland Hotel & Towers will stay in place to continue with the
excellent operations of the hotel. "We are very proud of the highly professional and dedicated team at the hotels who are among the finest in
the hospitality industry. We know they will continue to provide the excellent
service that is associated with Sheraton Towers Southgate and Sheraton Auckland," said David Shackleton, Senior Vice President and Area
Managing Director, Australia/New Zealand/Fiji, Starwood Hotels & Resorts
"We value greatly the seven year partnership with Great Eagle Holdings
Limited in the management of these excellent hotels in Melbourne and Auckland and wish Great Eagle Holdings continued success with the hotels
under its hotel operating arm of Langham Hotels International," he added.
Says Murphy: "We are looking to extend Langham Hotels as a new luxury
brand alternative, both with our wholly owned properties where appropriate, and in partnership with other like-minded owners.
"We believe our own European origins with the Langham name and
intimate knowledge of Asian values, coupled with strong internationally experienced management, will allow some of that expansion for Langham
Hotels to occur in the coming years."