(AGI) Rome, Sept. 16 - Starwood Hotels & Resorts on Wednesdayannounced that it has agreed to sell the Westin Excelsior Rometo Qatar's hospitality organisation, Katara Hospitality, for222 million dollars. The old hotel, which opened in 1906 in theheart of the Italian capital, will undergo a complexrestructuring in the coming five years. Its management willstay with Starwood. Italy is a "very promising market" in whichQatar intends to continue to invest, as evidenced by theinitiatives carried out recently in Sicily and Lombardy, saidSheikh Nawaf Bin Jassim Al-Thani, chairman of KataraHospitality, after signing the deal in Rome. Qatar has alreadyinvested about 800 million euros in various projects acrossItaly. These include the acquisition and renovation of theExcelsior Hotel Gallia in Milan, a historic hotel built in1932. "This agreement marks our third property in Italy. TheWestin Excelsior Rome is the epitome of what Katara Hospitalitylooks for in a hotel," the sheikh continued. "Its grand andstatuesque appearance is the ultimate in luxurious hospitality.The hotel is a welcome addition to our growing global portfolioof iconic properties, and we are delighted to be continuing toset the standard for luxury hospitality the world over."Michael Wale, president of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Europe,Africa and Middle East, also welcomed the deal. "We arethrilled to expand our relationship with Katara Hospitality,owner of both Sheraton Doha Resort & Convention Center and TheExcelsior Hotel Gallia, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Milan. Welook forward to working together on the continued success ofThe Westin Excelsior, an architecturally stunning property andone of the most iconic hotels in Rome," he commented. With theacquisition of the Westin Excelsior, Katara Hospitality owns 35properties, already opened or in development. (AGI). .