COLUMBIA, S.C. - (June 15, 2011) - London 1 LLC the franchise ownership of the Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel, a Starwood Hotels property, is proud to announce that it has received its first AAA Four Diamond Award this year. The Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel in Columbia, South Carolina has achieved this prestigious status joining a select few of the best hotels within the state to be recognized as a AAA Four Diamond Award Winner.

The Sheraton Columbia Hotel is currently one of only two hotels within the Columbia Metropolitan area, and one of three Starwood Hotels within the state of South Carolina, including the Westin Poinsett and the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa to receive this recognition.

Only four percent of all AAA-approved lodgings are commended with the respected Four Diamond Award designation, which recognizes a distinguished level of hospitality, service and attention-to-detail within upscale facilities offering a variety of luxurious amenities.

The Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel offers an exceptional location and extraordinary amenities in the burgeoning Main Street area. Built originally in 1913 as the Palmetto Bank Building the building's ornate façade features motifs of plant life indigenous to the South including the palmetto tree, cotton boll and leaf, corn and vine, embellishment. Threatened with demolition in 1980, the building was saved and rehabilitated as part of a half-billion-dollar investment to revitalize the downtown Columbia area, and underwent adaptive reuse and became the Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel in 2008.

The Palmetto Building, now home to the Sheraton, is a 135 room boutique style hotel. Walking into the lobby you will find a mix of old and new. Our National Historic Registered bank vault is now, The Vault, a hip martini bar featuring drinks named after famous bank robbers. Walking over the original hand-cut tile mosaic that illustrates palm fronds will lead you to Perk Up, our Starbucks brewing café in the lobby. One floor below, originally part of underground Columbia, sits Main Street Restaurant, serving lunch and dinner to guests and locals alike. On the Mezzanine, formerly home to the bank's loan officers, is P.O.S.H., our breakfast venue. Resting atop the hotel is a truly unique spot considered "the jewel of Main Street", The Rooftop Bar.

"We're tremendously gratified to have received this exciting and prestigious designation as a AAA Four Diamond Award recipient," said Tony Malizia, Director of Sales at the hotel. "Being recognized for superior quality and service by AAA is a testament to our commitment to offering distinct and compelling brand experiences to guests at our unique hotel."

For additional information, please contact Tony Malizia, Director of Sales, Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel at

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,051 properties in 100 countries and territories with 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft and Element®. The company boasts one of the industry's leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit