Iberostar plans $50 million hotel

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PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico -- If it ain't broke, don't fix it. But make the next one better.

That appears to be the philosophy driving Iberostar Hotels & Resorts' expansion in Mexico, where the Spanish-owned hotel company is poised to open its sixth hotel in November, the 446-room Iberostar Paraiso Lindo.

The $50 million-plus property will be situated next to the Iberostar Paraiso Beach, which is adjacent to the Iberostar Paraiso del Mar.

Bettina Boskovsky, marketing manager for Iberostar, said the company's resorts in Mexico have enjoyed 90% occupancy this year.

"Americans are looking for places they are familiar with, that are secure and close to home, so they are coming to Mexico and staying at our resorts in record numbers," Boskovsky said.

She attributed much of the company's success to U.S. tour operators and travel agents, who account for 97% of business to its Mexico resorts.

Paraiso Lindo will be a more upscale version of its sister all-inclusive resorts. Rates will be about 20% higher, starting at about $140 a room.

For the increase, guests will have 24-hour room service and access to six restaurants, including a steakhouse and Asian, Cajun and Italian eateries. Paraiso Lindo guests also will have dine-around privileges at its sister properties, although the privilege will not be reciprocal for guests of the other resorts.

Paraiso Lindo will feature four three-story, bungalow-style buildings surrounded by courtyards and gardens.

The resort's rooms will be larger than those at its sister properties. All rooms will have marble bathrooms with showers, satellite TVs, coffeemakers and complimentary minibars.

Two presidential suites and 14 of the resort's 62 junior suites will offer whirlpools on their terraces. The resort will have five swimming pools, a spa and fitness center, an Internet cafe and a PADI dive shop.

Iberostar also plans to open a conference center with room for more than 1,000 people on the grounds of the Paraiso Lindo in December.

For more information, call (888) 923-2722 or visit the Web at www.iberostar.com.

To contact reporter Jorge Sidron, send e-mail to [email protected].

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