Hilton Hotels Corporation Announces Return to Panama with Four Properties

New Hotels in Panama City Reinforce Company's Commitment to Grow in Central America

Beverly Hills, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hilton Hotels Corporation announces its return to Panama with the signing of four multi-year agreements in Panama City, Panama: two management agreements for a brand-new Hilton and new build Embassy Suites by Hilton hotel, one franchise agreement for a Doubletree by Hilton™ conversion and one franchise agreement for a newly built Hilton Garden Inn. Each hotel will represent the first in the country for each brand.

"We are truly excited about these developments in Panama City and being back in such a great city," commented Daniel Hughes, senior vice president of operations, Caribbean, Mexico, and Latin America, for Hilton Hotels Corporation. "These newest additions reinforce our commitment to add a number of properties to our Central America portfolio and to have a presence in one of the region's fastest growing destinations. We're looking forward to being part of a thriving city that continues to offer some of the best tourist attractions in the region."

The 351-room Hilton Panama will be a first class property developed by Star Bay Group, Inc., and Hilton Hotels Corporation will operate the hotel under the terms of a multi-year management agreement. Led by F&F Properties and its president Saul Faskha, construction of the Hilton Panama has begun and completion is scheduled for 2011. Located in Panama City's financial district, the hotel marks the Hilton brand's return to the capital. Just 13 miles from Tocumen International Airport and five miles from the Panama Canal, the Hilton Panama will boast an array of recreational facilities including an 8,200 square-foot fitness center, a 10,750 square-foot world-class spa, outdoor terrace swimming pool, and a Las Vegas-style casino. The property will have more than 22,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 7,500 square-foot ballroom. Dining options will include an upscale specialty restaurant, a three-meal restaurant with outdoor terrace and ocean views, and lobby bar. The 27-floor hotel will form part of a 68-floor mixed-use complex with 650,000 square feet of office space.

The Embassy Suites by Hilton Panama City will be developed by Sabadell Investment Inc. and Hilton Hotels Corporation will operate the hotel under the terms of a multi-year management agreement. Construction of the 306-room upscale, all-suite full service Embassy Suites by Hilton Panama City is scheduled to begin in 2009 with an estimated completion date of October 2011. Located in the prime financial district of Panama City, the hotel is approximately 12 miles from Tocumen International Airport and will feature a number of recreational facilities including fitness center, spa, outdoor swimming pool, gift shops, and casino. The property will offer a business center and more than 15,500 square feet of meeting space, including a 12,750 square-foot ballroom. Dining options will include a signature restaurant, a lounge bar, complimentary breakfast and evening reception area, and Flying Spoons outlet. The 21-floor hotel will be part of 71-story building with premier office space.

The Doubletree by Hilton Panama City will be developed and operated by Blue Star Hospitality, S.A., under a franchise agreement with Hilton Hotels Corporation. The 213-room property is undergoing an extensive renovation to re-brand as a Doubletree by Hilton hotel in Spring 2010. The eight-story hotel is strategically located at one of the city's most important intersections in the business district - Via España and Avenida Federico Boyd - across from the architecturally striking Iglesia del Carmen. The Doubletree by Hilton Panama City will offer a rooftop fitness center, pool and spa, retail outlets, 2,000 square feet of meetings space, and a full-service restaurant.

Developed by Metropolitan Hotels SA, the Hilton Garden Inn Panama will feature 163 spacious guestrooms and seven suites offering the Garden Sleep System® bed; ergonomic Mirra® chair by Herman Miller; complimentary wired and Wi-Fi high speed Internet access; high definition flat screen television; MP3 capable clock radio. The hotel also features a complimentary 24-hour business center; a comfortable lounge area to enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning or unwind at the end of the day with a refreshing beverage; and a total of 160 square meters of flexible meeting space -- ideal for business meetings, social events and wedding receptions. For dining options, the hotel will feature the Great American Grill® restaurant offering freshly prepared breakfast and dinner; evening room service and the 24-hour Pavilion Pantry® convenience mart with a selection of beverages, snacks, and sundries. Recreational facilities at the hotel will include an outdoor rooftop heated whirlpool; complimentary fitness center featuring Precor® cardio and strength equipment; and Stay Fit Kits® that can be checked out from the hotel front desk and enable guests to do yoga, Pilates and core workouts in the privacy of their guestroom or in the workout facility.

All properties will participate in Hilton HHonors®, the only guest rewards program that allows members to earn Points & Miles® for the same stay and redeem points for free nights with No Blackout Dates.

Ted Middleton, senior vice president, development, the Americas, for Hilton Hotels Corporation commented, "Hilton's expansion in Panama City is part of our overall plan to grow our portfolio of properties in the Caribbean and Latin America. Owners and developers understand the value of our brands and we are very optimistic about our growth opportunities in the region."

Panama City is the political and cultural center of Panama, and the financial center of Central America. Located at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal, the city is well known as the home of some of the tallest skyscrapers in Latin America. Tourists can explore a variety of attractions including the famous Bridge of the Americas spanning over the Panama Canal, tropical forests, and the city's old quarter featuring a waterfront promenade, theaters, museums, restaurants, and the presidential palace.

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