More than half of the $400 million budgeted by LXR Luxury Resorts to renovate, redesign and upgrade its 23 properties in the U.S, the Caribbean and London is targeted at the collections five Caribbean resorts, according to Barry Lewin, LXRs president for the Caribbean and Hawaii.

The resorts, all former Wyndham properties, are El San Juan Hotel & Casino and the Condado Plaza Hotel & Casino, both in San Juan; El Conquistador Resort & Golden Door Spa and Las Casitas Village in Fajardo, Puerto Rico; and the Rose Hall Plantation Resort & Country Club in Rose Hall, near Montego Bay, Jamaica. The properties will undergo renovations over the next few months.

To bring these Caribbean properties up to speed, LXR has brought in great architects, interior designers, restaurateurs and a spirit of commitment to excellence and service, said John Tolbert, LXRs president of sales and marketing.

By the end of the year, major guest room renovations at LXRs Puerto Rico properties will be completed, with projects in the public areas set to follow.

Here is a rundown:

" Condado Plaza Hotel & Casino in San Juan. The $65 million renovation project will begin in June with completion set for December. Renovations will be done on a floor-by-floor basis with little interruption to daily hotel business.

Some of the redone 570 rooms will be ready as early as July and will feature a color palette of whites accented with bright orange, red and pink.

The three pool areas, lobby and restaurant also will be renovated.

" El San Juan Hotel & Casino. The $52 million renovation project includes a complete makeover of the resorts 382 rooms,  to be followed by enhancements to the pool areas, the lobby and the casino.

" El Conquistador Resort & Golden Door Spa. Enhancements to the 918-room resort include a new ballroom and conference center, which break ground in April and will open in March 2007.

Officials said the ballroom will be the islands largest.

Also planned is a second funicular that will move up to as many as three times the number of guests between the various levels of the resort from the Marina Village to Las Olas and Las Brisas levels.

The funicular will be completed in the second quarter of next year.

A nine-hole, Arthur Hills-designed golf course will be added to the property, giving El Conquistador a total of 27 holes of golf on three courses.

Newly designed ferry boats will be added to the existing fleet next year. The ferries carry guests throughout the day and evening from the resorts marina area to private Palomino Island, 20 minutes away.

The renovation and expansion budget for El Conquistador is $80 million, excluding the golf course investment.

No renovations are planned for Las Casitas Village, which recently expanded from 90 to 157 casitas with one, two or three bedrooms. It also recently added an infinity pool.

" Rose Hall Plantation Resort & Country Club. The $35 million renovation project at the 488-room resort gets under way in May, with completion of the guest rooms set for the end of the year. Additional improvements are planned for the rest of the resort.

Although LXR owns and operates each property, there is no LXR identification in the property name, said Lewin. The individuality of each resort comes first. Our properties are not cookie-cutter hotels.

LXR was formed less than a year ago as a spin-off of the Blackstone Group, a New York-based private investment firm.

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].

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