A year after launching its aloft Hotels brand, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. announced plans for an "upper upscale" extended stay brand inspired by its Westin Hotels brand.

Code named "Project ESW," Starwood said in a release that the new brand will feature a sophisticated, residential product designed to be more home-like in an industry saturated with look-alike brands and generic features.

Starwood will debut the yet-to-be-named brand to top hotel developers next week at the New York University International Hospitality Investment Conference.

"Project ESW" will have signature Westin elements such as the Heavenly Bed, Heavenly Bath and Westin Workout Powered by Reebok, as well as new products designed for long-term guests. Westin has partnered with Manhattan-based residential architect Costas Kondylis and interior design firm AvroKO.

"Project ESW," which will consist exclusively of new-build properties, will have urban-inspired studios and one-bedroom suites. Highlights include large kitchens, custom-designed closets and built-ins, in-room offices and gourmet pantries with dinner selections, local wines and micro-brews, and a variety of "healthy" food and beverage options. Like sister brand Westin, "Project ESW" hotels will be entirely smoke free.

Starwood initially considered acquiring an existing extended stay brand but ultimately decided to start from scratch, said Steven J. Heyer, chief executive officer, in a release.

With the introduction of aloft Hotels and "Project ESW" Heyer said that 1 million Starwood guests have stayed in an extended stay hotel in the last year, enough to support more than 150 "Project ESW" hotels each night.

Plans call for the first "Project ESW" hotel to open in Lexington, Mass., in late 2007. A second is scheduled to open shortly thereafter in San Francisco.

White Plains, N.Y.-based Starwood (NYSE:HOT) owns or operates approximately 850 properties in more than 95 countries and has 145,000 employees. In the Tampa Bay area, Starwood operates the Tampa Westin Harbour Island, the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk, the Sheraton Suites Tampa Airport, Westin Innisbrook Golf Resort and the Sheraton Sand Key Resort.