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 Sol Melia Announces Half-Billion-Dollar Five-Year
Expansion Plan for Mexico
ACAPULCO, Mexico - April 27, 1998 - An aggressive Mexico expansion plan encompassing three new resort properties, one new business hotel and a new brand unveiling in Puerto Vallarta, all part of a half-billion-dollar investment in the next five years, was announced today by Sol Melia Hotels.

The announcement was made during the 23rd Annual Tianguis Turistico, Mexico's largest trade show andmarketplace for wholesalers, tour operators and travel agents from 40 countries.

"This month signals the start of our increased brand recognition in several key areas of Mexico," said Faustino Martinez, director of Mexico for Sol Melia's Americas Division. "We have just opened the 150-room Melia Los Cabos All Suites Beach Golf Resort, our third hotel in Los Cabos, joining the Melia San Lucas and Melia Cabo Real Beach Golf Resort. The Melia Los Cabos is a five-star luxury resort with the largest suites in the region, spa facilities and access to all the nearby championship golf courses," said Martinez.

"At the same time, we're enhancing our existing presence in Puerto Vallarta's Marina Vallarta district with the 370-room Melia All-Inclusive Beach Resort, our company's new Melia brand all-inclusive product which was first launched this year in Juan Dolio, Dominican Republic."

Sol Melia has also begun construction of the 450-room Paradisus Tulum All-Inclusive Beach Resort, at Xca Chel in Quintana Roo, about 35 minutes south of Cancun's International Airport, to open in 1999/2000. The Paradisus brand is the company's luxury all-inclusive brand already in existence in Cozumel and in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The Paradisus Tulum will join two other Quintana Roo-based properties, the Melia Cancun Beach Spa Resort and the Melia Turquesa, both in Cancun.

"Our third new resort property to open by the end of this year is the Melia Azul Ixtapa," Martinez added. "We are also in negotiations for a business property on Reforma in Mexico City and hope to have this hotel open by the beginning of the millennium."

For the year 2000 and beyond, Sol Melia will be putting comprehensive refurbishment programs into place at several other properties in Mexico. According to Emanuel Schreibmaier, vice president of sales and marketing for Sol Melia's Americas Division, the company's resort products have been very successful in Mexico and there is much enthusiasm about not only enhancing a presence in existing destinations, but also having something new to offer in Ixtapa, the Tulum Corridor and Mexico City.

"We look forward to meeting a variety of needs through a strategic mix of resorts, all-inclusive and business properties in the country," Schreibmaier said. "We would like to be a major contributor in promoting increased tourism to Mexico."

In addition to the company's planned expansions in Mexico, Schreibmaier explained that Sol Melia has also begun management of the 194-room Melia Guatemala (formerly the Hotel Las Americas) in Guatemala City and will open the 432-room Gran Melia Caracas Hotel, Suites Conference Center in Caracas, Venezuela, this June, providing a whole new dimension of business, conference and special events facilities and services in Caracas and Central America. Other new Americas projects include the 185-room Melia Lima in Peru, to open this fall, and the 258-room Melia Tropical All-Inclusive Beach Golf Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, to open by the end of 1998.

Sol Melia is one of the world's most successful international hotel companies with its three brands -- Melia Hotels, Sol Hotels and Paradisus Resorts -- totaling more than 225 hotels in 25 countries worldwide. Reservations for any Melia Hotel, Sol Hotel or Paradisus Resort can be made through a travel agent or by calling (800) 33-MELIA (63542). Hotel information can also be obtained by accessing Sol Melia on the World Wide Web at

 Kathy Hernandez 

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