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The 253-room L'Habitation de Lonvilliers Resort (formerly the Le Meridien)
Acquired by Carlson Hotels Worldwide; Planning Total Transformation to
the Radisson St. Martin Resort and Spa
ST. MARTIN, French West Indies (November 1, 2005)---Carlson Hotels Worldwide today announced a major strategic expansion in the Caribbean with the acquisition of a premier beachfront resort property in French St. Martin with plans to transform it into a showcase Radisson Resort and Spa in 2006.

Jay Witzel, president and CEO of Carlson Hotels Worldwide and CEO of Carlson Cruises Worldwide, said the company has acquired the 253-room L'Habitation de Lonvilliers Resort (formerly the Le Meridien) on the French side of St. Martin. The company is investing $60 million for the acquisition plus extensive renovations and new construction which will create the luxurious new Radisson St. Martin Resort and Spa. The acquisition also includes a leasehold on an adjacent 160-slip marina. The current resort operation is expected to be closed for construction work in early 2006 and reopen as the Radisson prior to the year-end holidays in 2006.

"The addition of the Radisson St. Martin Resort and Spa will complement our current showcase resort in the Caribbean, the Radisson Aruba Resort & Casino, as we pursue an expansion strategy of offering destination resort properties in key Caribbean markets," Witzel said.

The site of the Radisson St. Martin Resort and Spa features 1,600 feet of beachfront on Anse Marcel, one of St. Martin's best preserved bays. This picturesque, exclusive cove on the Northwest coast of St. Martin is surrounded by mountains on three sides and by a magnificent white sand beach on the Caribbean Sea to the West.

The location is approximately a five-minute drive from Grand Case, a small village which is known as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean with numerous acclaimed restaurants including some operated by the top chefs of Paris. Orient Beach, site of an underwater marine reserve and coral reef, is ten minutes away. The hotel is a 15-minute drive to the French side capital of Marigot, approximately 25 minutes to the cruise port of Philipsburg and 30 minutes to the international airport.

Carlson acquired the property from the French company SOFRAPAR, owned by Mr. Simon Smadja in conjunction with Banque Populaire Val de France. Mr. Smadja also owns C.I.E.C. Engineering, which has been retained to oversee all of the engineering, design and construction work on the Radisson St. Martin Resort and Spa. C.I.E.C. Engineering has extensive experience in project management in the hospitality industry including the recently completed Radisson SAS Paris Boulogne and a Radisson SAS hotel under construction in Marseille, France.

Vision as a World Class Resort

A total transformation of the existing hotel property is planned during 2006 to create the new vision of the Radisson St. Martin Resort and Spa. This project will include reconstruction and complete renovation of all existing guest rooms and public spaces to create large, luxuriously decorated accommodations with flat-screen televisions, large bathrooms and premium amenities. Guest accommodations, totaling 253 rooms and suites, will be located in several three-story buildings surrounding the pool and garden areas plus waterfront "villas" adjacent to the property's marina
The grounds of the property will be totally redesigned with the construction of extensive lush tropical gardens, water lagoons, a "lazy river" recreational pool plus a signature swimming pool which will be located in the area between the guest rooms and the beach. The project will also include construction of a new spa facility which will offer a full range of treatments plus health and wellness facilities and programs forguests. The Radisson St. Martin Resort and Spa will also offer a 6,000 square foot ballroom and two new restaurants will also be created within the property.

"The vision for the Radisson St. Martin Resort and Spa will focus on combining its tranquil and majestic sea-side location with world class facilities and services to provide our guests an exotic and relaxing resort experience," Witzel said. 

Minneapolis-based Carlson Hotels Worldwide includes five hotel brands, totaling more than 905 locations in 69 countries.  


Joan Cronson
Carlson Hotels Worldwide
Phone:  763-212-1418

Also See: Great Bay Beach Hotel & Casino, St. Maarten Undergoes $10 Million Renovation / November 2004
The Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino Re-Opens after Multi-Million Dollar Renovation / March 2005


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