BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- Hilton Caribbean added its 14th hotel on its ninth Caribbean island with the recent groundbreaking of the 353-room Hilton Barbados.

The property is set to open in the fourth quarter of 2004.

The new resort is on the site of the original Barbados Hilton, which was demolished to construct the $90 million complex. Historic Charles Fort, built in 1650 by the Barbadian militia on the grounds of the new hotel, will be restored.

Located on the beach, Hilton facilities will include two restaurants, lounges, a pool complex, a fitness center, a meetings complex and a kids' playground.

"Barbados has always been an area of targeted expansion for Hilton Caribbean," said Daniel Hughes, vice president of operations, Hilton Caribbean. "We are glad to have this project underway and to again fly the Hilton flag on Barbados."

Meanwhile, the 72-room Fairmont Royal Pavilion in Barbados will reopen this month, following a five-month refurbishment program, representing an investment of $150,000 per room. Each room offers Internet access, DVD players, flat screen TVs and a balcony with a sea view. Public areas also were redone.

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

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