Ground was broken today in Puerto Rico as Regent Hotels & Resorts (www.regenthotels.com) announced its newest luxury development, The Regent Palmas del Mar Puerto Rico. Joining in the ceremonies were top government officials, property developers and executives of Regent Hotels & Resorts, including the Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico AnÝbal Acevedo Vilß, Luis F. Mu˝iz, Chairman and CEO of RPR Development, LLC, and Bj°rn Gullaksen, President, the Regent Luxury Group. Officials gathered at the ocean-front site of the resort, approximately 30 minutes southeast of San Juan, to ceremoniously commence construction on this comprehensive new luxury development, which will be anchored by a showcase new Regent resort.

Scheduled to open December 2011, The Regent Puerto Rico will be the focal point for one of the premier integrated luxury resort communities in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. The new Regent will join the existing portfolio of luxury resorts in the Americas, including The Regent Palms Turks and Caicos and The Regent Bal Harbour, Florida. Additional Regent Hotels & Resorts are located in Europe and Asia, with eight properties under construction globally.

"We are pleased to introduce Regent Hotels & Resorts for the first time in Puerto Rico," said Bj°rn Gullaksen, President, Regent Luxury Group. "We look forward to offering the distinctive Regent Experience to visitors and guests at the Palmas del Mar resort, as a new Caribbean destination for luxury travelers," he added.

The 150-room Regent Puerto Rico will offer beachfront accommodations and interiors by award-winning designer Trisha Wilson, whose work includes Little Dix Bay Villa and Spa in Virgin Gorda and The Palace of the Lost City Hotel, Suncity, South Africa.

"We are delighted to bring the Regent Experience, with its iconic Asian heritage, to this exciting new development," said Luis F. Mu˝iz, Chairman and CEO, RPR Development, LLC. "The uncompromising quality and service reflective of the Regent heritage aligns with our vision for this luxurious new destination," he added.

The Regent Puerto Rico will include 96 guestrooms and 52 suites as well as a spectacular 5,500-square-foot Presidential Suite and a Presidential Beach Cottage, featuring expansive views of the Caribbean Sea, neighboring island Vieques and Puerto Rico's lush rainforest. The Regent Puerto Rico will also offer 153 Regent-branded residences.

Resort amenities will include a signature restaurant from a renowned culinary operator, three private pools, preferred tee times at nearby championship golf courses and a 16,000-square-foot spa featuring five over-water spa suites. The Regent Puerto Rico will also offer an on-site ballroom and chapel for destination weddings and events.

Located thirty-five minutes southeast of San Juan, The Regent Puerto Rico will be part of a comprehensive and exclusive resort community. Among Puerto Rico and the Caribbean's top resort communities, Palmas del Mar offers the largest tennis center in the Caribbean, featuring 22 courts, as well as a country club, yacht club, equestrian center, 18 restaurants and two championship golf courses from Reese Jones and Gary Player. The community also offers a 160-slip marina within walking distance of The Regent Puerto Rico.

The Regent Puerto Rico marks the latest in the luxury brand's global expansion, which includes upcoming properties The Regent Maldives (2009); The Regent Phuket Cape Panwa, Thailand (2009); The Regent Manila Bay, the Philippines (2010); The Regent Emirates Pearl Abu Dhabi (2010); The Regent Bangkok, Thailand (2010); The Regent Dubrovnik, Croatia (2011); and The Regent Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2011).