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March 2008 - Special Hotels of the World introduces the newly opened Elba Costa Ballena Hotel, Spain

Special Hotels of the World (http://www.shotw.com), representing some of the world’s premium independent hotels, is delighted to announce this month’s opening of the luxurious new Elba Costa Ballena Hotel, in Costa de la Luz, southern Spain.

Heralded as a paradise town in southern Andalusia, Costa Ballena is a purpose built resort surrounded by lakes and parkland which takes its name from an ancient story about a large whale (‘ballena’) seeking sanctuary. Now, following 22 months’ development, the luxurious Elba Costa Ballena Hotel provides a new type of sanctuary ready to welcome discerning guests to the region.

The new €35 million (approx £27 million) hotel has been built in a traditional Mediterranean style by architect Jaime Martinez Molina from MMO Studios. The interior design is by Carlos Lafuente and uses marbles, woods crystals and ceramics throughout the hotel to create a sense of natural luxury.

Elba Costa Ballena’s 234 rooms all have a simple yet colourful theme running throughout, mixing greens with subtle turquoises. In total there are 213 double rooms (36m2), including six equipped for disabled guests and others which are interconnecting for families, 12 junior suites (39m2), eight suites (40m2) and 1 Presidential suite. All rooms offer a private terrace or balcony and either a sea-view or views of the surrounding golf course.

As a year-round destination, the 27-hole golf course is naturally one of the main attractions for guests visiting the hotel, having been designed by former world number two Spanish golfer José Maria Olazábal. The 18-hole course par 72, part links, course offers plenty of water and bunker challenges to test all standards of player, while the par 3 9-hole course is similarly designed to encourage the use of all clubs in a golfer’s bag.

For anyone who just enjoys the rooms’ views of the golf course, however, the hotel offers a 2000m2 Thalasso Centre and spa. Split into three sections, the centre includes a fresh sea-water Thermal Circuit incorporating a sauna, hammam, igloo, roman bath, Jacuzzi and whirlpool. Additionally a variety of spa and beauty treatments using Phytomer and Alquimia products can be enjoyed in any of the centre’s 14 private cabins.

If trying to mix business with pleasure, the hotel offers three fully equipped meeting rooms with a total capacity for 700 delegates. The largest single room is 311m2 which is able to accommodate 361 people theatre style, while business services and AV equipment are available as standard.

For incentive and leisure guests, there are also plenty of activities available at and near the hotel. These include: tennis; water-sports, including kite-surfing, windsurfing, diving and parasailing; excursions to nearby towns; trips to visit local wine cellars to indulge in a little wine-tasting; and for families there is even a nearby aqua park and aquarium. Having working up an appetite the hotel’s dining experiences also don’t disappoint, with the different bars and restaurants offering everything from al fresco show-cooking to exquisite fresh fish and sea-food dining.

Perfect for all types of guest, Elba Costa Ballena Hotel is also available at an affordable price. Rates at start from just €158 per double room per night (approx £121), including breakfast but subject to 7% VAT.

For further information, the latest offers and to book a stay at the Elba Costa Ballena Hotel, please contact Special Hotels of the World on 0800 032 4254 (in the UK) or +1 210 507 5995 (international). Alternatively log on to http://www.shotw.com/elba-costa-ballena

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Note to editors: The Great Hotels Organisation’s family of brands include Special Hotels of the World (http://www.shotw.com) and Great Hotels of the World (http://www.ghotw.com), a forerunner among luxury hotel marketing alliances representing over 240 of the world’s finest hotels and resorts. Both brands are driven by six core values, notably to keep members’ costs down, to view each member as unique, to be innovative with technology, to value the power of the alliance, and to maintain the quality and integrity of the brand. Whichever brand is right for your property, the Great Hotels Organisation has a different and customer-driven approach to hotel sales and marketing. The Great Hotels Organisation manages the “GW” private label GDS chain code and toll-free voice reservation numbers operate in the USA and Europe. Further information on the Great Hotels Organisation can be found at http://www.ghorg.com.

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