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Playa Hotels & Resorts, S.L. Acquires the 249 all-suite Grand Baja Resort & Spa in
San Jose del Cabo, Mexico; Will Add 476 new Suites and Rename
The Barcelo Los Cabos Resort

    
PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain and MCLEAN, Va., Oct. 2, 2007 - Playa Hotels & Resorts, S.L., announced its acquisition of the 249 all-suite Grand Baja Resort & Spa set against the dramatic Los Cabos desert landscape and overlooking the Sea of Cortez in the state of Baja California Sur, Mexico. The upscale resort will be operated by Barcelo Hotels & Resorts and will be renamed The Barcelo Los Cabos Resort, a Barcelo Premium branded hotel. The hotel will undergo a major renovation and expansion including an additional 476 suites resulting in 725 guest suites in total by the end of 2009. In addition, several new restaurants, meeting space, services and amenities will be added; ultimately delivering a true luxury resort experience.
    
This is the seventh hotel purchased in Mexico by Playa Hotels & Resorts. Since its inception in 2006, Playa has also acquired: The Barcelo Costa Cancun Hotel; The Barcelo Tucancun Beach Hotel; The Barcelo La Jolla de Mismaloya Hotel in Puerto Vallarta; The Barcelo Karmina Palace Hotel in Manzanillo; The Barcelo Ixtapa Hotel and The Barcelo Huatulco Beach Hotel. In addition, the company owns three properties in the Dominican Republic: The Barcelo Punta Cana Resort and The Barcelo Dominican Beach Resort in Punta Cana and the Sunscape Casa del Mar in La Romana.
    
“Baja California Sur, and the greater Los Cabos area, is a prime resort location with good air lift and an existing strong market,” said Bruce Wardinski, Chairman & CEO of Playa Hotels & Resorts, S.L. “The region’s dry climate combined with its dramatic scenery and beautiful surf makes it a favorite destination for travelers. The Grand Baja Resort is an incredible property in a great location along the area’s ‘hotel row.’ Our plans for expanding the resort and upgrading all services and amenities, along with branding the hotel as a Barcelo Premium hotel will help to deliver an excellent return on our investment,” added Wardinski.
    
The Barcelo Los Cabos Resort
    
The beachfront resort will be re-named The Barcelo Los Cabos Resort, a Barcelo Premium branded hotel, and will operate as an upscale resort during the renovation and expansion. Presently the hotel offers a selection of 249 all-suite accommodations ranging from junior suites to one and two bedroom suites, as well as a Presidential Suite. All guest suites include private terraces and spacious living and dining areas. The hotel is located only six miles from the San Jose del Cabo International Airport and is in the center of the area’s shopping and dining district.
    
Resort amenities include a free-form swimming pool, Jacuzzi, a fitness center with sauna and steam rooms, a full service Spa with a selection of treatments, as well as tennis courts. Presently there are 2300 square feet of meeting and banquet facilities, as well as a business center and an Internet cafe with high speed connections. For dining the hotel has three restaurants and three lounges in addition to a delicatessen market and a shopping arcade. And for golfers, the hotel enjoys access to four nearby golf courses in this world renowned golf destination.
    
The planned property renovation will occur in phases, with Phase One including the renovation of the existing hotel tower. Phase Two will include the construction of two new towers with 476 additional guestrooms with additional conference facilities, resort amenities and restaurants.  The entire renovation is expected to be complete in 2009.
    
About the Companies
    
Playa Hotels & Resorts, S.L.
    
Playa Hotels & Resorts, S.L., a Spanish company, is a private equity fund that focuses on the acquisition and development of all-inclusive beachfront resorts in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean. The company currently owns properties in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Additional information can be found on the Company’s website at http://www.playahr.com.
 
Grupo Barceló, headquartered in Palma de Mallorca, Spain announced the formation of a new company within its portfolio: Playa Hotels & Resorts, S.L. (Playa). Playa will focus on the acquisition and development of all-inclusive beachfront resorts in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean. 

To date, Playa Hotels & Resorts, S.L. (Playa) has raised more than $580 million in equity funding commitments from a small group of international institutional investors, including Barceló, Merrill Lynch Global Principal Investments and Marathon Asset Management. 

Barceló Crestline will be the asset manager for the Playa portfolio. Bruce Wardinski, President and CEO of Barceló Crestline, will also be the Chairman and CEO of Playa Hotels & Resorts. 

The new company is headquartered in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. 

Playa is anticipating aggressive growth through the acquisition and development of allinclusive beachfront resorts in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean. Playa's initial portfolio will consist of four properties in Mexico: the Barceló Premium La Jolla de Mismaloya in Puerto Vallarta, Barceló Premium Ixtapa, the Barceló Premium Huatulco and the Barceló Premium Kármina Palace in Manzanillo. All future acquisitions will also be branded and managed by Barceló Hotels & Resorts.

Upon announcing the formation of the new company, Mr. Wardinski said, “We are excited about this opportunity which allows Playa to exclusively focus on growth in these key resort markets. Our team’s years of experience in hotel acquisition, development and creating value for investors, combined with Barceló Hotels & Resorts’ tremendous brand recognition and over two decades of experience in this region, creates a formidable partnership. Playa will take advantage of $1.2 billion in total capital to actively purchase existing resorts as well as develop new resorts in attractive resort locations. This combination of investment and operations expertise will drive superior returns for our investors while offering an outstanding resort experience for our guests,” added Wardinski.

Barcelo Hotels & Resorts
    
Barcelo Hotels and Resorts is among the world’s top 35 largest hospitality and travel companies. Barcelo was established in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, in 1931 first as a transportation company, and then as a hotel and travel company. It is a family owned, privately held hospitality company renowned for more than 75 years of service excellence and innovative spirit in the tourism industry.
    
The Company owns, manages or franchises hotels in 15 countries with 150 properties worldwide. Barcelo Hotels and Resorts are found in key European destinations, in North America, the UK, Africa, and in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Company offers a large variety of hotels and resort types to accommodate all travelers from budget-minded to upscale guests. The resorts provide all-inclusive vacation programs making vacation planning and holiday enjoyment easy. For more information or reservations visit: http://www.barcelo.com.
    
Note: Certain matters discussed herein are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Certain, but not necessarily all, of such statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, such as “believes,” “expects,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “estimates” or “anticipates” or the negative thereof or comparable terminology. All forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the actual transactions, results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future transactions, results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These may include: (i) national and local economic and business conditions or governmental regulations that will affect demand, prices, wages or other costs for hotels; (ii) the level of rates and occupancy that can be achieved by such properties; (iii) the Company’s ability to compete.

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Contact:

James Carroll
Playa Hotels & Resorts, S.L.
571-382-1700
jac@playahr.com

 

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Also See: Playa Hotels & Resorts, S.L. Acquires the Ocean Bavaro Spa and Beach Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Resort to be re-branded as the Barcelo Dominican Beach Resort / September 2007
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