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Orient-Express Hotels to Open the Hotel Splendido Mare
in Portofino, Italy
--
"Sister" Property to World-Famous Hotel Splendido Opens June 15
Following Extensive Renovation
 
Portofino, Italy, New York - May 13, 1998 - Orient-Express Hotels Inc. today announced the June 15, 1998 opening of the Splendido Mare, an existing structure that had been a rendezvous for aristocracy, royalty, artists and intellectuals since the beginning of the twentieth century. Acquired by the company in 1997, the building has since been renovated and will now serve as a "sister" property to the 69-room Hotel Splendido, the legendary property set on a hillside above the picturesque village of Portofino, Italy, renowned for its excellent service, fine cuisine and relaxed ambiance.

Orient-Express Hotels owns and operates a collection of luxury hotels, trains and cruises located around the world. The Splendido Mare is the company's fourth hotel in Italy, its seventh in Europe, and its 16th hotel worldwide.

Offering 16 guestrooms and suites, most with balconies and terraces overlooking the bay of Portofino on the Italian Riviera and the castle of San Giorgio, the Splendido Mare has completed a meticulous renovation. As part of the building was erected over structures that existed during pre-Roman times when the Ligurian people inhabited the land, the renovation was spearheaded by Italy's celebrated architect Luciana Penna, who masterfully joined several rooms to create larger double rooms, suites and junior suites. All refurbishment efforts adhere to strict architectural restoration guidelines as established by the local authorities. The property's interiors
were created by Parisian designers Gerard Gallet and Jean Michele Ley, known for their designs found at most Orient-Express Hotels luxury properties located throughout Europe, including the Hotel Cipriani in Venice and the Villa San Michele in Florence.

Overlooking Portofino's famous waterfront "Piazzetta" (little square), Splendido Mare was, since the early-1900s, known as the "Nazionale," created and managed by retired fisherman Silvio Gazzolo, and the only hotel in Portofino. Nazionale offered visitors arriving by horse-drawn mail coaches Portofino's best seafood, the area's only "osteria," and a clean bed. Built on the site of the Splendido Mare's premiere dining outlet, "The Chuflay Bar," stood an orchard and a well, and Gazzolo's hotel that was lovingly maintained by his family for three generations after his death. The property's exterior has been restored to look exactly as did when Silvio's doors first welcomed foreign travelers.

In addition to complimentary shuttle coach service between the two properties, guests of the Splendido Mare will be invited to enjoy the facilities at the Hotel Splendido, including tennis and fitness services, dining outlets, and use of a private speedboat with driver for parties of seven or more.

All air-conditioned guestrooms of the Splendido Mare are tastefully appointed and will feature direct dial telephone, mini bars, color satellite television, hair dryers and scales. Additionally, safe deposit boxes, valet parking, laundry and dry cleaning, babysitting, rental cars, drivers, newspapers and mail services will be offered. A Concierge will secure theater tickets, and arrange visits to nearby attractions, golf and other excursions. The hotel's "Chuflay Bar" -- named to remember the beginning of the century when the Chuflay in nearby Rapallo was the restaurant bar for the elite who have long patronized the Italian Riviera -- borders the bustling Piazzetta.
Featuring cocktails, afternoon tea, and breakfast, brunch and dinner, the Chuflay Bar also will offer "birds eye" views of strolling residents and visitors, and many of the famous from the worlds of entertainment, art, fashion and industry. The restaurant, under the direction of Executive Chef Luca Orini and the watchful eye of Restaurant Manager Santo Aiosa, will offer indoor and al fresco dining options, and a sumptuous selection of Mediterranean delicacies, including fresh fish, pesto, Ligurian olive oil seasoned with herbs, and homemade desserts.

Located just steps from the docking facilities of the Portofino Yacht Harbour, which accommodates vessels up to 30 meters (roughly 98 feet), the Splendido Mare will arrange special services for yachting passengers. Known as the "Jewel of the Riviera" and crowned by hills resplendent with pine trees and olive groves, Portofino is a charming fishing village boasting an atmosphere of pure sophistication and elegance, where small fishing boats moor alongside colorful sailing crafts and seafaring yachts.

Based in London and founded in 1976, Orient-Express Hotels (OEH) owns and operates leading hotels, trains and cruises around the world. Each OEH entity, famous in its own right, offers a distinctive style and heritage, and is known for an unparalleled commitment to luxurious accommodation, personalized service and award-winning cuisine. In addition to the Splendido Mare, Orient-Express Hotels include: Hotel Cipriani Palazzo Vendramin - Venice, Italy; Hotel Splendido - Portofino, Italy; Reid's Palace - Madeira, Portugal; Hotel Quinta do Lago - The Algarve, Portugal; Villa San Michele - Florence, Italy; Hotel de la Cite - Carcassonne, France; Charleston Place - Charleston, South Carolina; Windsor Court Hotel - New Orleans, Louisiana; '21' - New York, New York; La
Samanna - St. Martin, French West Indies; Copacabana Palace - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; The Westcliff - Johannesburg, South Africa; Mount Nelson Hotel - Cape Town, South Africa; Gametrackers - Botswana, Southern Africa; The Observatory Hotel - Sydney, Australia; and Bora Bora Lagoon Resort - Tahiti, French Polynesia. The company's world-famous trains and cruises include the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, British Pullman, Eastern Oriental Express, the Great South Pacific Express, and the Road to Mandalay. Additional information can be found at the company's Web site located at http://www.orient-expresshotels.com.

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Contact:
Orient-Express Hotels Inc.
  Patricia Harper
212/302-5055
 Pharper5@compuserve.com
 

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