Global hotels group Starwood Hotels & Resort plans to open up to 10 W hotels in the UK, including up to five in London within 10 years.

Starwood has already announced plans to open the first of its upmarket, design-led lifestyle hotels in Manchester in late 2010, followed shortly with a opening in London’s Leicester Square.

Starwood’s president, global development, Simon Turner said he was keen to open a W hotel in Edinburgh and more in London.

We need 24/7 cities that have real excitement and activity, and I’m a huge fan of Edinburgh - it’s a great city,’ he said.

Turner said London was diverse enough to be home to up to five W hotels.

‘We are celebrating our 10th anniversary in December. By our 20th anniversary, I’d expect to see three to five W hotels in London,’ he said.

Turner predicted the fourth quarter of 2008 would see a lot of uncertainty and instability in the hotel sector, whereas 2009, would be a year where various markets and economies will settle down and start slowly rebuilding.

Turner said he felt Starwood would be well placed to survive the downturn due to the diversity of its market segments served, revenue sources, geographic locations and the diversity of owning nine hotel brands - St. Regis, the Luxury Collection, W, Westin, Le Méridien, Sheraton, Four Points, Aloft and Element.

But he thought independent boutique operators in London could struggle.

'It will get harder to find the heads to fill the beds. But we can reach throughout the globe to fill a hotel [through it s Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty programme,' he said. 'But it would be too expensive for an independent to reach out to into a global marketplace.'

'We have nine brands, but it would be difficult for just brand to standalone as a single entity in the current environment.’