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Ritz Carlton to Open South of San Francisco

March 25, 2001

Ritz-Carlton on Friday plans to open its first U.S. resort in a decade: Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, in Northern California. The opening is part of an ambitious expansion that will see a dozen hotels added to the 38-member luxury chain during the next two years.

The Half Moon Bay resort, about 30 minutes south of San Francisco International Airport, is on bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean and has two golf courses. Published rates for its 261 rooms range from $305 to $745. An introductory rate of $350 for ocean-view rooms, which usually cost $450, is in effect through the end of May, subject to availability.

About two-thirds of the rooms have ocean views. There are also a 16,000-square-foot spa; a fitness center with exercise machines, aerobics room and heated yoga room; two restaurants, a tearoom and a bar; a jogging and bike path; six tennis courts; and a Jacuzzi (but curiously, no swimming pool although a path leads down to a beach). Reservations: telephone (800) 241-3333.

Dismissing the recent economic downturn as a "blip" and not "long-term," Ritz-Carlton spokeswoman Vivian Deuschl said there has been "very strong" demand for luxury lodging in the last three years.Among the chain's other planned openings (all dates are tentative):

* New York: A high-rise hotel-condominium complex in Manhattan, opening late this year, and a hotel-and-penthouse complex, with residences priced as high as $45 million, in the renovated St. Moritz on the Park (at Central Park South), the dowager hotel that closed last year.

* Boston: This city's second Ritz-Carlton, in the financial district on Boston Common, is to open this summer and will include luxury residences. The other Ritz-Carlton, dating to 1927, will close late this year for a nine-month restoration.

* Florida: Five Ritz-Carltons are to open this year: three in the Miami area, one in Sarasota (with adjacent multimillion-dollar residences) and one in Naples on the southwest coast. The three in the Miami area are in South Beach, Key Biscayne and Coconut Grove.

* Georgia: The Ritz-Carlton Lodge at Reynolds Plantation will be on Lake Oconee, about two hours' drive from Atlanta. It will include a 26,000-square-foot spa and access to 81 holes of golf.

* Foreign: Slated for opening later this year are the 244-room Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul, and the 374-room Ritz-Carlton, Doha, in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar.

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