Starwood to manage six small luxury inns in Mexico

By Jorge Sidron

MEXICO CITY -- Starwood Hotels & Resorts said it assumed management of six small luxury inns in Mexico under an agreement with Mexico City-based Grupo Plan Planificacion S.A. de C.V., the real estate development firm that owns the properties.

The six inns, which include four former private haciendas dating from the 17th century and two beach resorts, are being marketed under Starwood's Luxury Collection division.

The six inns are: the Careyes Beach Resort in Costa Careyes, the Tamarindo Golf Resort in Manzanillo, and the Hacienda Temozon, Hacienda San Jose, Hacienda Santa Rosa and Hacienda Uayamon, all in the Yucatan.

This is not the first time Starwood and Grupo Plan have joined forces. Last year, the two firms announced an agreement to develop the first W hotel in Latin America, the 239-room W Mexico City, which is scheduled to open in the capital city's swanky Polanco neighborhood in 2002.

"We are very excited about the addition of these unique hotels to Starwood's portfolio," said Osvaldo Librizzi, president of Starwood's Latin America division.

The Hacienda Santa Rosa offers guests plenty of quiet spaces in which to reflect, such as this pool. The resort's 10 rooms offer terraces and access to private gardens, while its grounds feature fruit trees and landscaped spaces where peacocks roam freely. The addition of the inns to Starwood's Mexico portfolio, which includes 11 Sheraton and Westin hotels, "allows us to offer our guests the broadest range of lodging options in Mexico," said Librizzi.

Luis Bosoms, executive director for Grupo Plan, said the firm tapped Starwood for its brand clout and marketing knowhow.

"One of our goals at Grupo Plan is to create options to bring back to Mexico the sophisticated traveler looking for a unique vacation experience," Bosoms said.

Denis Ebrill, senior vice president of Starwood's Latin America division, said the six properties will undergo an estimated $2.5 million capital improvements program to bring them up to par with the rest of the Luxury Collection brand.

"The Careyes is probably going to demand more than the others in terms of capital expenditures, so we will wait to flag that one until the investment is complete," Ebrill said, although he noted the Careyes is bookable via the Luxury Collection reservations system.

In Latin America, Starwood also manages the Park Tower in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the San Cristobal Tower in Santiago, Chile, under the Luxury Collection banner.

The following is a brief description of the six inns.

The 12-room Hacienda Uayamon features a large swimming pool surrounded by the ruins on the estate.

  • The 12-room Hacienda Uayamon is the "newest" of the luxury inns, having been converted from a private home within the past six months, according to Starwood.
  • The hacienda is located in the Yucatan state of Campeche, about two-and-a-half hours by taxi from the Merida Airport. The inn includes a large swimming pool surrounded by the ruins on the estate. Rates start at $200 per night, single or double.

  • The Hacienda Temozon, about 35 minutes by taxi south of Merida airport, was one of the Yucatan's most important haciendas.
  • Instead of room numbers, each of its 26 rooms bears the name of the various businesses that occupied the hacienda throughout its history, including the carpentry room, the school room, the pharmacy and the cuarto del patron (the hacienda owner's master suite).

    Rates start at $319 per night, single or double, and many rooms have their own plunge pools.

  • The 11-room Hacienda San Jose is located 45 minutes by taxi east of the Merida Airport near the Chichen Itza archaeological site.
  • The hacienda's rooms feature high ceilings and brightly colored tiled floors and walls. Many of the rooms feature private plunge pools.

    A master suite comes with its own living room and a large terrace overlooking a private garden and pool. Rates start at $315 per night, single or double.

  • The Hacienda Santa Rosa's 10 rooms have terraces and private gardens. Interiors feature bronze bed headboards, hand-embroidered bed linens, hammocks and many original furnishings from the 17th century building.
  • Santa Rosa's grounds feature fruit trees and landscaped gardens in which peacocks roam. Rates start at $315 per night, single or double.

  • The Careyes Beach Resort is located 60 miles north of the Manzanillo Airport on Costa Careyes. A Mediterranean-style resort with Mexican touches, the Careyes features a horseshoe-shaped, two-story building overlooking a private beach.
  • Each of the resort's 51 rooms features ocean views, and many come with private balconies and plunge pools. The interior reflects a Mexican/Mediterranean folk style with local Parota wood, colorful ceramics and bright handpainted furnishings. Rates begin at $240 per night, single or double.

  • The 29-room Tamarindo Golf Resort is situated 40 minutes by taxi north of Manzanillo Airport. The beachside resort is set within 2,000 acres of rain forest and boasts an 18-hole golf course with ocean views.
  • Built in 1994, the resort features palapa-style freestanding bungalows with floors and furnishings made from local hardwoods. Rates start at $375 per night, single or double.

    For details, call (800) 325-3589 or visit the Web site at www.luxurycollection.com.

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