Coral and Hilton De-Brand

Last week, Coral Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Hotels Corporation announced a joint decision to dissolve their agreement to develop the Coral by Hilton brand. "This de-branding stems from a mutual and amicable decision," says Simon Suarez, executive vice president of Coral Hotels & Resorts. The decision was effective Oct. 31; all reservations are being honored by the four all-inclusive Coral Hotels & Resorts properties in the Dominican Republic. F.Y.I.

Coral Hotels & Resorts has been in operation since 1996. "We're a wholly Dominican-owned company," says Michele Olivier, vice president of sales, Coral Hotels & Resorts. "During the partnership with Hilton, we became a little more Americanized, which enhanced our product. The Hilton relationship helped put us on the map in the United States." Olivier notes that features and amenities at the four Coral properties will not change.

During the three years of the partnership, Coral saw a 38 percent rise in guests from the U.S.; during the same period visitors from the U.S. to the Dominican Republic increased 9 percent.

"We want to grow," says Olivier. "We had hoped the partnership would lead to more resorts, and we're presently talking to other potential partners."

According to Olivier, Coral Hotels & Resorts' plans for expansion include the Caribbean, Costa Rica and Panama, Cancun, Riviera Maya, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta. Call 800-863-9281 or visit www.coralhotels.com.

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