Starwood Capital Group certainly deserved this award. It has been one of the major movers and shakers in the UK hotel market for years now.
Their model of acquiring hotels and portfolios which have potential to improve, then undertaking thoughtful and market-led rebranding, renovation and refurbishment projects and exiting at a substantial profit margin is one many would seek to emulate.
Starwood has also been at the forefront of hotel technology, exploiting the benefits of asset management software Duetto Scoreboard and a dynamic pricing strategy. Most recently, their creation of the Principal Hotel Company from the assets of the Principal Hayley, Four Pillars Hotels and De Vere Venues portfolios would have achieved substantial savings from "clustering".
The process which saw three companies, Principal Hayley, Four Pillars Hotels and De Vere Venues, merge into one, realised annual savings of more than £5 million through head office synergies, invested capex to the value of more than £200 million to date and implemented a three year-long technology overhaul at a cost of around £3 million, culminating in the creation of a leading lifestyle hospitality platform.