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Capella Brand is Launched

Horst Schulze, CEO of West Paces Hotel
Group LLC, today announced the launch of a new top-tier hotel brand—Capella
Hotels & Resorts
.  The announcement marked the second recent brand launch by
West Paces Hotel Group, which earlier this year announced the creation of
Solis Hotels and Resorts.Capella expresses the passion of a man who has come to define and lead the
luxury market, and Schulze indicated that the brand would mark a clear
departure for the entire luxury hospitality sector.  “The needs and desires of
today’s top-tier consumer have changed,” he said.  “Capella will be focused on
choice—and we will offer choices that no other hotel in the world can
  Schulze knows the luxury traveler intimately, having guided the modern
incarnation of Ritz-Carlton hotels as President and COO, and then Vice
Chairman of the storied company through 2002.  During his tenure with
Ritz-Carlton, he and his team created a style associated with the best in
luxury travel.  Schulze believes, however, that the very essence of luxury
service must now change.  “Luxury hotels today require their guests to choose
in advance the type of experience they will enjoy,” Schulze said.  “The
hotel’s style and service determine that experience.  It’s time for the
customer to determine the experience.”
  Schulze has assembled a team of former Ritz-Carlton executives who believe
there is a unique opportunity for Capella.  As existing five-star brands have
looked to broaden their audience, they have left open a niche at the upper
reaches of luxury travel that is going unfilled.
  Capella promises the unique benefits of the finest boutique hotels,
including superb architecture and interior design, privacy, individualized
service and attention to detail—combined with the amenities of the world’s
great luxury hotels and resorts. Capella is about luxury that is not
contrived, for travelers who desire enriching experiences and superb service,
rather than ostentatious displays of consumption.
  The new brand’s name itself is drawn from the star Capella, Alpha star of
the constellation Auriga, the Charioteer.  Capella, the sixth brightest star
in the night sky, is actually one of the sky’s most famous “double-stars,” or
binary star formations, reflected in the double-star logo of the new brand.
The double star motif reflects the overriding focus of the new brand as an
intimate relationship between hotel and guest.
  True to the European origins of the new brand’s founder, Capella Hotels &
Resorts will launch as an international brand—announcing four hotels and
resorts in Ireland and Mexico initially, with other European destinations to
follow soon after.  Locations in major U.S. destinations will be announced in
the future.
  Each Capella property will provide 100 rooms or fewer, allowing for an
experience in which the hotel staff operates as if from a sixth sense of the
guest’s needs, from the driver waiting at the airport, to an arrival at the
hotel reminiscent of the way in which one is greeted at a close friend’s
estate.  The setting itself is always at one with the destination—from
stunning castles in Ireland to extraordinary beachfront property in Mexico.

    Capella Resort & Spa, Pedregal de Cabo San Lucas will open in Cabo San
Lucas, Mexico in 2007.  The property will encompass 24 spectacular
mountainside and oceanfront acres at the very point where the Pacific
Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez, near the legendary rock formations known
as “Land’s End.”  The 66-room resort will be complemented by 31 shared
ownership residences (Capella Residences) and 20 private, full ownership
casonas (Capella Casonas).  The resort will enjoy immediate proximity to
the world-class Cabo Marina and is within walking distance to the shops,
dining, and entertainment of Cabo San Lucas village.

    Capella Resort & Spa, Punta Nizuc will be the second Capella resort to
open in Mexico in 2007.  The 70-suite hotel and spa will include world-
class meeting facilities, 40 fractional ownership villas and 100 private,
full-ownership residences.  The resort will also afford access to two
Jack Nicklaus-designed championship golf courses and a coral reef-
protected beach.  Located just 10 minutes from the Cancun International
airport, the grounds of Capella Resort & Spa, Punta Nizuc are home to 20
acres of lush red mangrove.

    Capella Resort & Spa, Castlemartyr, a historic Irish castle dating back
to the 12th century, will be restored to its original grandeur by Capella
Hotels & Resorts. Scheduled to open in 2006, this idyllic retreat will
boast 106 guest rooms, a Library Bar, Billiards Room, three meeting
rooms, a world-class spa and an 18-hole, Ron Kirby-designed, links-style
golf course.  Guests of Capella Resort & Spa, Castlemartyr will also
enjoy carriage tours of the grounds, which are home to a historic chapel,
the tomb of the third Earl of Cork, and Mitchell’s Woods.  The resort
will be nestled among Castlemartyr village’s picturesque woodlands, lakes
and gardens.  The village enjoys significance as the one-time home to the
earls of Shannon, and the graveyard where Richard 4th Earl of Shannon is
buried lies nearby.

    Capella Resort & Spa, Dunboy Castle, also set to open in Ireland in 2006,
will be another extraordinary castle in the Capella Hotels & Resorts
collection.  Located on the Beara Peninsula in the village of
Castletownbere, Dunboy Castle was built by the O’Sullivan Beare Clan in
the 15th century to guard the harbor of Berehaven. It served as a center
for the import and export trade of Ireland until the famous siege of
1602, in which the English crown (Elizabeth I) sent an army of 2,000
soldiers to overrun the castle.  A garrison of 143 men held on valiantly
during a two-week siege, but the castle was eventually taken - leading to
the demise of the O’Sullivan Beare Clan’s stronghold.  Capella Hotels &
Resorts will transform the property into an 82-suite resort featuring a
wine bar, cigar terrace and an intimate spa with eight treatment rooms.
Such luxuries as helicopter service to and from nearby Waterville Golf Links will be offered.