Hard Rock and Sol Melia to Open the First Hard Rock Hotel in Europe

Hard Rock Hotel in Madrid to Combine Rock Star Chic with European Style & Luxury

Dynamic Sensory Experience and ‘Love All, Serve All’ Mantra Hallmarks of HRH in Madrid

MADRID, Spain, Dec. 12 /PRNewswire/ — The Hard Rock Hotel in Madrid will soon rock onto the European scene, bringing renewed vitality to the historic Gran Hotel Reina Victoria, deep in the heart of Spain’s capital. The joint venture, managed by Spain’s largest hotel group, Sol Melia and the U.S.-based Hard Rock, brings the Hard Rock Hotel brand to Europe for the first time ever, transforming the hotel interior into a sleek and contemporary space while maintaining the architectural integrity of the building’s exterior. Scheduled to open in late Spring 2006, the 192-room Hard Rock Hotel in Madrid will offer guests a total sensory experience combined with one-of-a-kind service, guaranteed to exceed expectations.

“We are thrilled to bring Hard Rock hotel to Europe for the very first time,” says Trevor Horwell, Vice President of Hard Rock Hotels. “The Hard Rock Hotel in Madrid will epitomize the ideal of urban luxury and is guaranteed to deliver to our guests the unique and dynamic experience for which Hard Rock has become famous.”

Enlisting the talents of renowned British architect Keith Hobbs of United Designers and American nightlife entrepreneur Rande Gerber, the Hard Rock Hotel will create an atmosphere that is sophisticated yet sensual. Famous for his modern design and discerning taste, Hobbs’ vision will guarantee a visually impressive space. Rande Gerber is the founder of Midnight Oil Company and has partnered with his brother, Scott Gerber, to create After Midnight Company. Meanwhile, the Gerbers will introduce one of their signature sexy, chic lounges and restaurants to the European nightlife scene.

“Sol Melia, known for its world-class properties, will bring to our loyal guests and locals the most exciting destination hotel concept that Madrid has ever seen,” says Angel Palomino, Executive Vice President of Development for Sol Melia Hotels and Resorts. “A high-quality product designed to compete with Madrid’s best hotels and touting our service excellence, the Hotel Rock Hotel in Madrid will be a valuable asset to the city while serving as a paradigm for future European Hard Rock hotels.”

The Hard Rock Hotel in Madrid uses a restricted palette and a family of colors to play upon the contrast of the old and new — a juxtaposition of historic existing architecture and contemporary design. The design team concentrated on the hotel as a whole linking all the spaces to embody the spirit of the Hard Rock brand.

Upon entering the lobby, guests will encounter a long dynamic space filled with natural light that offers intriguing glimpses of the drama unfolding beyond. The ambiance of the space will be skillfully orchestrated by the hotel’s Vibe Manager. This ‘cultural ambassador’ ensures that guests experience a cool, calm and contemporary culture, an urban retreat, a place they can call home.

Hard Rock Hotel in Madrid’s personalized concierge service practices the mantra — Love All, Serve All — 24 hours a day — 7 days a week. Whatever the elaborate need, the Hard Rock in Madrid’s concierge will go to the ends of the earth to ensure a seamless experience.

The Hard Rock Hotel in Madrid is an option for both business and leisure travelers, packed with amenities designed to exceed every guest expectation beginning with contemporary designed rooms, accented with timeless artwork featuring the work of a variety of musical artists including rhythm & blues, jazz, rock, etc. Poised to meet its guests’ discerning taste, deluxe & supreme rooms feature plush feather top bedding with three hundred thread count cotton linen, dark hardwood floors, an oversized work station, iPod connection and a cocktail bar. All rooms are electronically equipped with a state-of-the-art home theatre entertainment center featuring a 32-inch plasma television and CD/DVD while WiFi Internet access and laptop safe ensure convenience and safety all at once.

In the select Dream Rooms, guests will have access to every possible service and amenity through the personalized concierge service, which includes complimentary pressing, iPod use and beverages from the cocktail bar. A special service will even be provided to guests who come with their own car which will be cleaned and washed and made ready for the next day. All Grand Suites offer a private terrace while The Tower offers breathtaking views of the Plaza Santa Ana and Plaza del Angel. Once the legendary room choice of Spain’s leading bullfighters, The Tower offers guests a 360 degree view of the city and a complimentary bottle of champagne with which to enjoy it.

The Hard Rock Hotel in Madrid’s bar and dining venues will be just as impressive as the rest of the hotel. In typical Rande Gerber fashion, the new restaurant is sure to attract the city’s fashionistas, hipsters and movers & shakers with a seductive combination of globe spanning cuisine and scintillating ambience. The centrally located bar with its luxurious finishes and modern, eclectic furniture will appeal to everyone, ensuring easy access for late night rendezvous’.

“The design of the restaurant, lounge and rooftop bar will incorporate the glamour and excitement of Madrid with the richness of cutting edge design,” said Rande Gerber, Founder of Midnight Oil Company and After Midnight Company. “As with all of our properties, we will work to create a unique vibe in our lounge and roof deck, and implement an international mix of music.”

The Roof Top Bar of the Hard Rock Hotel will be Madrid’s hallmark hotspot. Guests will come for the drinks… stay for the music… and love the scene. Whisked up from the ground floor in a private elevator, guests and the public alike can experience the Hard Rock Hotel’s Terrace Bar where the people are as dynamic as the unobstructed, panoramic city views that overlook the famous Plaza Santa Ana. To accent the fabulous outdoor space, lounge chairs can be enjoyed to sun during the day or gaze at the stars at night. Indoors, guests can enjoy the comfortable lounge or take a seat at the exclusive VIP Bar, where Madrid’s most glamorous guests will gather for unforgettable private parties.

Also ideal for business meetings and events, The Hard Rock offers 4,400 square feet (more than 400 square meters) of meeting, reception and conference space, which can be separated into seven individual spaces. Located on the Conference Level, the hotel features state-of-the-art equipment, adaptable to suit many needs. Guests can also make use of the 24-7 Business Center, which features high-speed internet, computers, fax and scanner.

Not to be missed is the Hard Rock’s “Rock Shop,” a new retail project developed especially for the Hard Rock hotels. Stephanie Nelson, expert buyer and product developer for Hard Rock Hotel boutiques, has used the inspiration of musicians to launch a new artist-inspired collection. The result is the Rock Shop, a fashion boutique which will compliment the style and glamour of Hard Rock Hotel guests. The unveiling of the updated Rock Shop promises to become the go-to fashion spot for all movers, shakers and music fanatics. The Rock Shop will feature exclusive collections of fashion designs from the world’s best music artists, such as I.AM and Edun, as well as lifestyle items such as fine linens and bedding, unique picture frames and exquisite, hand-crafted candles, to name just a few. This is in addition to traditional Hard Rock branded items and memorabilia, as well as personal sundry items.

The Hard Rock Hotel in Madrid is centrally located with easy access to all major attractions including the Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza and Reina Sofia Museums, Retiro Park, Parliament, Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, the Royal Palace and the business and shopping districts, with plenty of eating and drinking options. Barajas Airport is only 14 km from the hotel and Atocha Train Station is about 2 km away.

About Sol Melia Hotels and Resorts

Founded in 1956 in Palma de Majorca (Spain), Sol Melia is the largest resort hotel company in the world. Notwithstanding its resort leadership position, more than 50 percent of its hotels are in urban locations and is by far the largest hotel company in Spain, and one of the leading European hotel groups both in the city and resort hotel markets. The company’s portfolio currently comprises over 350 hotels in 30 countries on four continents and provides employment to more than 29,600 people within its Melia, Tryp, Sol, Paradisus and Sol MeliaVacation Club brands. For more information on Sol, visit http://www.solmelia.com/.

About Hard Rock

With 120 high-energy Hard Rock Cafes and 13 Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos in more than 40 countries, Hard Rock International is one of the world’s most globally-recognized brands. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise, Hard Rock Live performance venues and an award-winning website. Hard Rock International, Inc. is owned by The Rank Group Plc (NASDAQ:RANKF) . For more information on Hard Rock, visit http://www.hardrock.com/.

About the Joint Venture

Lifestar Hotels LLC, the joint venture between Hard Rock Cafe International and Sol Melia SA, provides hotel owners a unique proposition to access the Hard Rock Hotel brand through long-term management agreements.

Madrid will be the fourth Hard Rock Hotel to be part of the joint venture since its formation in 2003, the others being in Chicago, which opened in 2003, New York, scheduled to open in 2005, and San Diego which is due to open in 2006.

About Midnight Oil Company and After Midnight Company

Rande Gerber is the founder of Midnight Oil Company and along with his brother Scott are the founders and operators of After Midnight Company. The company, an evolution of their trademark brand, The Whiskey, was created to develop innovative nightlife, hotel, restaurant and lifestyle concepts. Rande Gerber founded The Whiskey nearly 15 years ago, and he has since become the most influential nightlife proprietor in the country. His extraordinary success with The Whiskey Bars has established Gerber as the preeminent tastemaker, with an uncanny ability to create chic, seductive bars with modern glamour that reflect the times and national moods. Since then, the Gerbers have expanded this nightlife brand and vision, developing hotel bars with W Hotels and Ian Schrager. The Gerbers were also tapped by Giorgio Armani to redevelop his Armani Cafes nationwide and by Donald Trump to transform Trump Parc on Central Park, now Whiskey Park. The Gerbers newest ventures include Stone Rose, located in Manhattan’s Time Warner Center, a partnership with Maxim Magazine to develop Maxim Lounges, and Las Ramblas hotel, condominium, and casino in Las Vegas. For additional information, visit http://www.mocbars.com/.

About United Designers Europe Ltd

With leading design projects such as the Metropolitan Hotel in London, the Clarence Hotel in Dublin, and Parrot Cay Resort under his belt, Keith Hobbs and his internationally-renowned team, United Designers, are currently working on a vast range of exciting and exclusive projects worldwide. As well as the exciting Las Ramblas hotel project in Las Vegas, these include the Dolder Grand Hotel in Zurich, the Hard Rock Hotels in Madrid and New York, and Le Meridien Hotel in Dublin. Other projects in the pipeline include The InterContinental Hotel Miami, several hotel projects in Ireland, and the refurbishment of the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans that was due to open the same day New Orleans was devastated by flooding. The driving force behind the company is their determination to excel, coupled with a sympathy and ethos of design and a passion for everything new and creative. Aside from its reputation, the success of United is based on the fact that the company relishes a challenge and offers a professional level of service and creativity that cannot be beaten. It is the fact that United continues to bring an energy and insight to every project they undertake at a global level that has put the company at the pinnacle of their profession.

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