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PORTUGAL, SPAIN-The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. LLC has assumed management of an historic resort here in the Estoril coastal region. The new management has sparked a new name and a $20-million makeover slated to start next year.

The upgrade will include more guest rooms and a 16,000-sf spa by spring 2006, according to the Chevy Chase, MD-based hotel company. In advance of that, the resort has been renamed the Penha Longa Hotel and Golf Resort.

The 177-room resort is located in the National Park of the Southern Sintra Mountains, in the historic Portuguese town of Sintra, declared a World Heritage site by Unesco. As for the golf, the resort includes two courses designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr.–the Atlantic, an 18-hole championship course, and the Monastery, a nine-hole executive course.

In addition to the new spa, there will be a complete renovation of the main hotel building, as well as the addition of the exclusive Club Level, with special rooms, dedicated concierge, keyed elevator access to the private lounge, and food and beverage offerings throughout the day. The golf clubhouse also will be renovated and new restaurant concepts will be added.

The resort will remain open during the renovations. The Penha Longa is the fifth Ritz-Carlton operated hotel in Europe, joining Wolfsburg, Istanbul, Barcelona (The Hotel Arts) and Berlin (opening January 2004).

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