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Hilton Opens 263 room Hotel Built for the Conference Market, 
The Hilton Portorosa on the Island of Sicily
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., April 2, 2007 – Hilton Portorosa, a preeminent leisure and conference hotel in the northeast region of the legendary island of Sicily, has opened its doors, representing the second Hilton hotel in Sicily and the second Hilton Worldwide Resort in Italy. The spectacularly located new hotel is framed by a private sandy beach on one side and Sicily’s premier tourist port, the Portorosa Marina, on the other. The 263-room, nine-story hotel boasts one of the largest conference facilities in Sicily. 

Welcoming the new addition to the Hilton Family of Hotels, president for Hilton Hotels Europe, Wolfgang M. Neumann, said, “This is an important hotel for us. Hilton Portorosa provides yet another exciting stop in a growing network of 11 Hilton Family Hotels in this country and it signals our second Hilton in Sicily, a destination that is fast becoming the newest getaway for seasoned travelers to Europe.“

Hotel General Manager Luigi Sorge added that Sicilian hospitality, combined with the strength of the Hilton brand, will attract new travelers to the corner of the island. “This is the real Sicily. The hotel’s proximity to Mount Etna, the Aeolian Islands, the Sanctuary, the Greek Theatre of Tindari and Taormina makes it a destination where culture and work can go hand in hand with fun and relaxation. Portorosa is an ideal alternative for the Riviera and the Amalfi coast.“ 
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Built for the conference market

The hotel has been purposely built for the conference and leisure market and has one of the largest and most modern Conference Centers in Southern Italy, with almost 2,000 square meters of meeting space that can accommodate up to 1,200 delegates over two floors.  

The largest function room, the 843 square-meter Sala Maestrale, has seating capacity for 900 and can be divided into three independent soundproof meeting rooms. The room is complemented by a large foyer with a bar, reception area and cloakroom which are suitable for exhibitions, coffee breaks and banquets. An additional four meeting rooms, anchored around a full service business centre, are located on the ground floor of the hotel.

Facilities

All 263 rooms feature contemporary, designer-led interiors bursting with natural sunlight from the floor to ceiling double windows and offering sizeable terraces. Almost all rooms have vistas over the port or the sea and each has a satellite TV, high-speed internet connection, mini-bar, and safety deposit box. 

Facilities include a private beach with powdery white sand, a spa with a line-up of wellness treatments and personal pampering programs, an indoor heated pool and an outdoor pool with sweeping views over the Gulf. There are also four shops, a private mooring for 12 boats, a shuttle service to Catania airport and Barcelona railway station, parking for 450 cars and a reserved area for buses and coaches. 

Restaurants

Three full-service restaurants offering a diversity of flavours and ambience include Re Ruggero, a ground floor outlet serving international specialities, Marina, which dishes up authentic Sicilian fare adjacent to the pool, and the rooftop La Perla, positioned for functions and providing spectacular views of the Tindari promontory and the Aeolian Islands. The Lobby Bar offers light snacks and cool drinks while the Beach Bar is flanked by the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Hilton Portorosa Sicily is situated near two major Sicilian roads and is connected to the Catania Fontanarossa international airport by a helicopter service in 18 minutes and accessible by private yacht directly from Portorosa Marina, the number one tourist port. 

Historic background

The hotel is situated in the Gulf of Patti, in Furnari, an 800-year old historic town set between the Tyrrhenian Sea and Nebrodi Mountain.

The exact origin of Funari is hotly debated. Legend has it that King Ruggero II D’Altavilla donated the hilly town to farmer Antonio Furnari in 1120 AD as a reward for the kindness given to the Sovereign’s much-loved greyhound following a hunting accident. The Municipal coat of arms, which depicts a greyhound in a red field, supports this legend. According to other accounts, the origins of Furnari date back to 1300, when Filippo Furnari moved to Sicily from Genoa. In exchange for services to Emperor Frederick II, Funari was bestowed the title of Baron and given 1,300 hectares of land. Funari built a castle on the site, giving rise to a feudal town managed and governed by his family for the next four centuries. 

In 1691, the land, which had since transformed into a dukedom, was sold to Antonio dei Principi Marziani. In 1813 feudalism was abolished and the small town became known as the "Municipality of Furnari.” Today the area boasts a large number of sites of historical and archaeological importance, as well as churches and monuments.

Hilton Hotels Corporation opened its first hotel in Italy in 1963 with the launch of the legendary Rome Cavalieri Hilton. Including the Hilton Portorosa, the company now manages or franchises 11 Hilton family of brand hotels in Italy accounting for 2,738 rooms. Hilton hotels are located in Milan, Florence, Rome, Rome Fiumicino Airport, Palermo and Sorrento, Hilton Garden Inn hotels are located in Florence and Rome Airport and two Scandic by Hilton properties are in Bari and Siracusa. In addition, HHC has three hotels in predevelopment stage, including the flagship Hilton Molino Stucky Venice, which opens in June this year following a four year multi-million dollar renovation of a 19th century flour mill. 

Hilton Hotels Corporation (NYSE:HLT) is the leading global hospitality company, with more than 2,900 hotels and 500,000 rooms in more than 80 countries, including 105,000 team members worldwide.  

Contact:

Elisa Maroino
Marketing Manager Italy
elisa.maroino@hilton.com
Tel +39 06 35093030

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Also See: Rome Cavalieri Hilton Completes $45 Million Renovation / June 2005

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