Starwood Hotels & Resorts has created what "consumers will see as an 11th brand" by expanding its partnership with Design Hotels.
The group, which launched its tenth brand, Tribute Portfolio, earlier this year (see news, April 16), has been "a majority but passive investor" in Berlin-based Design Hotels since 2011.
Design Hotels will continue to operate independently from Starwood and "the expanded partnership... offers a distribution and loyalty benefit to member hotels and does not change the business model of Design Hotels".
The partnership means select Design Hotels are now bookable through Starwood's websites, apps and customer contact centres.
The properties include Gramercy Park Hotel, New York City; Ten Bompas, Johannesburg; the C-Hotel in Lake Como, Italy; Nira Montana in La Thuile, Italy; Nira Alpina in St Moritz, Switzerland; and Kruisherenhotel Maastricht in the Netherlands.
In addition, the ION Luxury Adventure Hotel in Iceland, the Tribe Hotel in Kenya as well as Grupo Habita's hotels in Mexico will join by the end of 2015.
Hotels set to join in early 2016 including Town Hall Hotel, London; Gezi Istanbul, Istanbul; The Waterhouse at South Bund, Shanghai; New Hotel, Athens; Wanderlust, Singapore; Les Bains, France; and Nest Hotel, South Korea.
More Design Hotels are expected to sign up in the next year.
Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) members who book stays at participating Design Hotels via Starwood will receive benefits including two Starpoints per eligible US dollar spent (three for Gold Preferred and Platinum Preferred members); night and stay credit towards elite status; high-speed wifi and bottled water in-room; Starpoints bonus welcome gift for Gold Preferred and Platinum Preferred members; and free night redemption from March.
Adam Aron, interim Starwood CEO, said: "Starwood's hotel guests and SPG members will see our new marketing partnership with Design Hotels as an 11th Starwood brand.
"It will create a special niche in our distinct portfolio of global brands and offer more options for travellers to stay with us around the world.
"These independent, design-forward hotels will benefit from Starwood's powerful loyalty and distribution platforms. They will also serve to help us enhance owner and shareholder returns and attract more high-value guests to SPG who make up more than half of all Starwood stays."