Global Financial Group Announces Plans to Develop $300 Million Luxury Resort Village in Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica

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The resort village will overlook Brasilito Bay on the Pacific Coast, and will feature the Hyatt Regency Azulera Resort & Spa, a Greg Norman-designed championship golf course, shops, condominiums, townhouses, villas, and private luxury homes.

Global Financial Group, Morristown, NJ, has announced plans to develop Azulera Resort Village, a $300 million dollar resort community, in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. The company first revealed their plans on May 18 in San Jose, Costa Rica, before an audience of 170 leading Costa Rican government officials and dignitaries, including newly elected President Oscar Arias.

The resort village will overlook Brasilito Bay on the Pacific Coast, 40 miles from the international airport in Liberia. Spanning 557 acres (225 hectares), the community will feature the Hyatt Regency Azulera Resort & Spa, a Greg Norman-designed championship golf course, shops, condominiums, townhouses, villas, and private luxury homes. In addition, there will be a commercial village strip, which will offer residents access to the finest goods and services in a convenient and secure setting.

“To create Azulera Resort Village, we have assembled a dream team of designers, architects and hospitality companies, whose portfolios include some of the world’s most celebrated resort destinations and golf courses,” said Anil Kothari, president and chief executive officer of New Jersey-based Global Financial Group. “With a collaboration of this caliber, Azulera will be the premier resort community on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast.”

Construction is scheduled to begin in July 2006. The project’s first phase—the hotel and golf course—is scheduled for completion by the end of 2008.

Hyatt Regency Azulera will be centerpiece of new resort

The Hyatt Regency Azulera will be the newest resort destination in Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica’s most coveted vacation destination. The bio-sensitive luxury resort will sit in a 47-acre tropical forest that stretches from mountain peaks to the rugged Pacific Coast. Nestled within a pristine forest, Hyatt Regency Azulera will provide an elegant, yet unobtrusive retreat, where guests can enjoy the area’s dramatic scenery.

“Few locations boast more spectacular landscapes,” said Victor Lopez, senior vice president of development, Hyatt Hotels Corporation. “Hyatt is thrilled to be offering guests a unique Costa Rica experience in Hyatt Regency style that includes exquisite facilities and impeccable service in this vacation paradise.”

Elegant, with jungle tours nearby

Blurring the line between indoors and outdoors, the Hyatt Regency Azulera will feature high-end, low-rise buildings designed to showcase the beauty of the natural terrain. Driving up to the resort, guests will find a round, open-air reception, affording views of the encircling forest.

The Hyatt Regency Azulera will house 214 guestrooms and suites dispersed in clusters of freestanding, low-rise buildings. Each cluster will have its own courtyard and pool. Strolling through the gardens, guests will encounter a kaleidoscope of colors from bursts of native foliage.

Guestrooms and suites will reinforce the eloquent blending of indoors and out. Each spacious room will offer a comfortable sitting area, large desk and elegant furnishings crafted from indigenous hardwoods. In-room amenities will include Hyatt’s Grand Bed, featuring luxurious Sealy Posturepedic mattress, down blankets, 250-thread-count triple sheeting and plush pillows. In each guestroom, sliding doors will open onto an expansive private terrace that blends into green landscapes and vibrant gardens. Guest rooms will include a plunge tub or hammock angled to visually capitalize on the area’s natural beauty.

Azulera’s residential community will include between 800 and 1,000 condominiums, townhouses and single-family villas. The condominiums will be available in one, two and three-bedroom units. Each spacious accommodation will feature a gourmet kitchen and private terrace with sitting area and plunge tub. Condominiums also will house a living room and adjacent terrace with open-air dining area for sunlight by day and stargazing by night.

“From the outset, our goal was to design a resort community that complements the magnificent landscapes,” said Patrick Burke, AIA, principal and studio head, Michael Graves & Associates. “Guests will sit back in plush comfort and discover the panoramas and ecological wonders of a resort paradise.”

Hyatt Regency Azulera’s other features will include open-air restaurants, main pool with ocean views, fitness center overlooking the resort’s private beach, high-end coffee shop and bakery, and spa. The holistic spa will offer rest and rejuvenation in steam room, sauna and Pompeian-style treatment rooms surrounding soothing tropical gardens.

Across the way from the reception area, meeting and banquet rooms will sit in a cluster around luxuriant gardens. Meeting rooms will feature large windows to ensure that business people confined to meetings all day can still enjoy views of the surrounding woodlands.

Greg Norman-designed golf course

Designed by golfing legend Greg Norman, the championship 18-hole, 7,132-yard Azulera course will challenge golfers with a diverse mix of terrain, including arroyo and mountain forest. Many of the holes, including the signature 18th, will offer players stunning views of Brasilito Bay and Isla Loros, the nearby island wildlife preserve.

Wedged between the mountains and Pacific Coast, the course will rise from approximately six feet to an elevation of more than 300 feet. The undulating track will thread its way through arroyo and mangroves, then ascend through swaths of mountain forests. Described by Norman as breathtaking, the Azulera design strives to preserve the natural habitat, including, tropical forest, mangroves and other natural buffers.

After finishing their round, golfers will be able to dine or socialize in the clubhouse, a visual centerpiece perched on a mountain ridge and offering dramatic Pacific views. A pro shop, driving range and practice putting green also are planned.

“With its diverse mix of terrain, Azulera will offer golfers unparalleled visuals and challenges over its seaside-to-mountain course,” explained Norman, World Golf Hall of Famer and president and chief executive officer of Greg Norman Golf Course Design. “We’re delighted to be working on this extraordinary piece of Costa Rica.”

Paradise found

At the Hyatt Regency Azulera, guests will stay as busy as they like. In additional to golf, recreation will include cantering along sprawling beaches and kayaking down mountain streams. Just off Guanacaste’s Pacific Coast is an angler’s paradise, teeming with billfish. Guided nature hikes will take visitors on trails that zigzag past waterfalls and the scenic woodlands of the refuge.

The Hyatt Regency Azulera Resort & Spa will be a bio-sensitive, luxury resort located in Guanacaste Province on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast, 40 miles from the Daniel Oduber International Airport in the nearby town of Liberia and, closer, the Tamarindo airport, situated within 15 minutes of the resort. The resort will house 214 guestrooms and suites and 100 condominiums. It will sit in a 47-acre tropical forest sandwiched between mountains and the rugged Pacific Coast. Along with stunning views, guests will enjoy a Greg Norman-designed, 18-hole golf course; luxury spa; gourmet restaurants; pools; meeting rooms, and ballroom – all surrounded by pristine forests and vibrant tropical gardens.

Additional information can be found on the Azulera Resort Village press page at http://www.azulera.com.

For additional information, please contact:

Amanda Jackson                

YPB&R Public Relations            

(407) 875-1111    

Katie Meyer

Global Hyatt Corporation

(312) 780-5701

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