Starwood Hotels & Resorts has created a second brand of independent properties, with the launch of the Tribute Portfolio.
Focusing on four star hotels, Tribute Portfolio intends to complement Starwood's existing Luxury Collection of iconic, independent hotels and expand to 100 properties worldwide over the next five years, with initial growth in North America and Europe.
It joins the growing number of brands launched by the major global hotel companies to encompass individual properties, such as MGallery introduced by Accor, Autograph Collection from Marriott and Curio (Hilton Worldwide).
Tribute Portfolio has made its debt with the 393-bedroom Royal Palm South Beach, Miami, Florida, and will soon be joined by new hotels across the US in Nashville, Tennessee; Savannah, Georgia; and Charleston, South Carolina.
Adam Aron, chief executive of Starwood, described Tribute Portfolio as "an exciting solution for hotel owners of distinct properties who wish to maintain their independent spirit", while benefitting from the company's distribution, loyalty and sales platforms.
"Our mission with Tribute Portfolio is very simple: bring great hotels in great destinations to our loyal Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) members, who make up more than half of all Starwood stays."
Dave Marr, global brand leader for Tribute Portfolio, added: "Nearly 50% of upper upscale hotels in the US are independent, and likewise, 60% of four-star hotels globally are not affiliated with a brand flag. This provides Starwood with a vast landscape to grow Tribute Portfolio."
Tribute Portfolio will help Starwood, which operates more than 1,200 properties in some 100 countries, to enter locations where it currently has little or no presence. The company said that that its SPG members are, in particular, looking for more hotels in Rio de Janerio, Sao Paul, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Starwood now has 10 brands, five of which are represented in the UK: W, the Luxury Collection, Le Meridien, Sheraton and Aloft.