Starwood Hotels & Resorts has finally announced plans to open its first W hotel in Europe.
But it is Spain, not London, that will see the trendy hotel brand's debut when Starwood opens a 475-bedroom hotel on Barcelona's waterfront.
The W Barcelona hotel will open on the Nova Bocana of the Port of Barcelona in 2008.
Barry Sternlicht, chairman and chief executive of Starwood and creator of the W brand, said: "For more than five years, we have searched for the perfect opportunity to launch W in Europe. Barcelona is one of the few cities in the world in which Starwood did not have a presence."
He added that the group would be announcing several more W deals in Europe in the near future, citing London, Rome and Paris as possible sites.
In London, Starwood is understood to be eyeing a site on Park Lane and has also been linked to the Cumberland hotel in Marble Arch, one of the former Le M‚ridien properties now owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland.