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Caribe Hilton Celebrates 50 Glamorous Years On Dec. 9.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 7, 1999--

On Dec. 9, the Caribe Hilton, the "Grande Dame of the Caribbean," celebrates its 50th anniversary as one of the world's premier resorts.

"When the Caribe Hilton opened on Dec. 9, 1949, it set the standard in hotel luxury and offered guests the best," said Raul Bustamante, general manager and director of Hilton International Puerto Rico. "In 50 years, that hasn't changed."

When the Caribe Hilton opened in 1949, the world was amazed by its extraordinary features. The hotel was the first in Puerto Rico to offer guests radios in every room and push-button, individually controlled air-conditioning. Movie stars such as Elizabeth Taylor and Gloria Swanson flocked to the powdered coral beaches and enjoyed Ramon "Monchito" Marrero's now world-famous "Pina Colada," invented at the Caribe Hilton's Beachcomber Bar. The hotel featured a natural swimming pool filled with sea water, cabanas with radio and telephone and lounge chairs designed for the opening by New York designer Jens Risom, in a style now considered a classic. To furnish the hotel, 30 planeloads of uncrated furniture were airlifted to Puerto Rico, as a joint endeavor by Eastern Airlines and Pan American World Airlines. It was described as the "largest single commercial air movement of freight."

As a new century dawns, the Caribe Hilton prepares for another exciting 50 years with a $50 million renovation. "The new Caribe Hilton will retain the original hotel's glamour and class, offering travelers the best services and amenities," Bustamante said.

The hotel will reopen on Dec. 25, 1999, and unveil new guest and group entrances, a new lobby, new executive conference center, newly designed and relocated public areas, all-new swimming complex, a new pool bar and grill, brand new Palmeras restaurant and 644 fully redesigned guest rooms.

In March 2000, Morton's of Chicago, the renowned steak house restaurant, will open at the hotel. In June 2000, the San Cristobal junior ballroom with 6,550 square feet will open. The Caribe Hilton will have a total of 65,000 square feet of the finest, most flexible, sophisticated meeting space and 27 breakout rooms throughout the hotel including the auditorium, ballrooms and other meeting spaces at the property.

The hotel's first-class 15,000-square-foot spa, one of the most luxurious in Puerto Rico, will open in summer 2000. The full-service spa will take advantage of the hotel's natural surroundings and offer a three-lane lap pool, 14 massage and treatment rooms, oversized Jacuzzi, a beauty salon, juice bar and women and men's locker rooms with steam and sauna.

Hilton Hotels Corp. and Hilton International, a subsidiary of Hilton Group PLC, have a worldwide alliance to market Hilton, the world's best-known hotel brand. Collectively offering nearly 500 hotels in more than 50 countries worldwide, both companies are recognized as leaders in the hospitality industry.

For reservations contact your professional travel agent or the Caribe Hilton at 1-800-468-8585 or
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 7, 1999
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