New GM named at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

Bruce Brainerd has been named General Manager for The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. He joins the ocean-front resort from Hyatt Hotels, where he was most recently general manager of the Hyatt Regency La Jolla. Brainerd will be responsible for overseeing the 396-room resort that includes more than 25,000 square feet of indoor meeting space and 54,000 square feet of outdoor space.

"Bruce brings a wealth of experience to his new responsibility and we are very pleased to have him as the new general manager for The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel," announced Hank Biddle, Ritz-Carlton Regional Vice President, Western Region. "We look forward to his new perspective and fresh ideas as the resort approaches its 25th anniversary," Biddle added.

With more than 20 years of industry experience, Brainerd began his hospitality career working for AIRCOA managed properties located in Napa, California and Denver, Colorado. He soon joined Hyatt Hotels Corporation, working his way through the Finance and Operations disciplines. Past positions include Assistant Controller at the Hyatt Regency DFW Airport, Controller for the Hyatt Regency Austin and General Manager at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach. His hospitality background also includes several positions within Hyatt's corporate office, including Manager of Hotel Accounting and Director of Domestic Hotel Operations.

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A $40 million renovation and redesign was completed in November 2005 and The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel now offers a dramatic, stylish and elegant look. The renovation included sophisticated updates to all guestrooms, the lobby area and other public spaces, as well as the creation of Restaurant 162', an ocean-view restaurant, The Ritz-Carlton Spa and an oceanfront fitness center. Phase Two of the renovation, scheduled to be complete in early 2008, is a redesign of the hotel's meeting space, providing a consistent look and feel with the guest rooms and public areas. The design retains the ornate mouldings and crystal chandeliers in the space, but makes it brighter with cream walls and millwork, transparent sheer draperies, and colors reminiscent of the California coast. A patterned stone floor in cream marble and brown granite is a highlight at the bottom of the grand staircase that brings guests from the lobby level to the conference level. The project also includes a selection of new contemporary artwork and sculpture, much of it from California based artists.

Consistently ranked among the best resorts in the world, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel is located halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego and sits on a 150-foot bluff with panoramic white-water views of the Pacific Ocean and two-miles of sandy beach. For more information or reservations call 800-241-3333, the hotel directly at 949-240-2000, a travel professional or visit The Ritz-Carlton Web site at www.ritzcarlton.com

Deanne French/ Director of Public Relations/ The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel/ One Ritz Carlton Drive/ Dana Point, California 92629/ 949-240-5088

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