Starwood Hotels and Resorts announced on Friday the launch of Sheraton Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway, the first property managed by the group in India. The 230-room property, situated in Malleswaram, is the first greenfield Sheraton hotel in the “upscale” segment since the U.S.-based group entered into a new franchising agreement with ITC Hotels in 2007.

The property has been developed in association with the Brigade Group, a player in the real estate business. Hoyt Harper, Senior Vice-President, Brand Management, Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, said the company was planning to invest $5 billion in India in the next four years. “India is one of the fastest growing markets in the world,” he said.

Dilip Puri, Managing Director, India, and Regional Vice-President, South Asia, said the company planned to have a portfolio of 50 hotels with the Sheraton brand by 2012 and 100 hotels by 2015. Mr. Puri said India was the fourth largest market for Starwood. He said the company proposed to introduce its St. Regis brand in India soon. The revenues from managing fees, franchising and royalties generated by the Sheraton brand are significant, he said.

He said bulk of the spending in the next few years would be on the “upscale” segment, although Starwood would also make forays into smaller Indian cities. “By 2015, about 25-30 per cent of our portfolio will be under the Sheraton brand,” he said.

Mysore property

He said the group was developing another property in association with the Brigade Group in Mysore. “The hotel in Mysore should be ready within two years,” he said.

The group is also developing hotels in Chandigarh, Visakhapatnam and Amritsar, he said.