Chef Martin BerasateguiPlaya del Carmen, Mexico - Dec.13, 2011 - Paradisus Resorts, Melia Hotels International's luxurious all-inclusive brand, which expanded its portfolio in November with two new Mexican properties, Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda and Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla, announces its brand-wide partnership with seven-star Michelin Chef Martin Berasategui. The alliance introduces a unique concept by Chef Berasategui, whose eponymous restaurant in Lasarte-Oria, Spain is the recipient of three Michelin stars, to every Paradisus property starting with Playa del Carmen, where Passion by Martin Berasategui opens its doors today. The collaboration is part of the brand's mission to continue offering guests an uncompromised level of quality and service in every aspect of its all-inclusive experience.

Located in the prestigious Playa del Carmen enclave on Mexico's eastern Caribbean shore, the resorts, La Perla for adults-only and La Esmeralda for everyone, are the area's finest all-inclusive properties and are the only all-inclusive hotels in the Americas to boast cuisine by a Michelin-starred chef.

"By partnering with a chef of prestigious caliber such as Martin Berasategui, we are elevating the Paradisus brand and guest experience to a very unique level, one that is traditionally not associated with all-inclusive resort properties," said Bernard Wyss, Managing Director of Paradisus Playa del Carmen and Area Vice President for Paradisus Resorts. "This agreement also allows us to train and develop our kitchen and service staff at Berasategui's Lasarte restaurant under his direct supervision. We believe that this partnership reinforces Paradisus' commitment to providing our guests with an extraordinary food and beverage experience, one which exceeds what other properties in the region are offering."

An innovator of Basque cuisine, Chef Berasategui is known for utilizing molecular gastronomy and fresh seafood in his cuisine, which is light, extremely imaginative and crafted with masterful technique. He brings to Paradisus Playa del Carmen a concept that elevates guest experiences and exceeds expectations by showcasing unprecedented flavor profiles to guest's palates. The dishes and tasting menu at Passion by Martin Berasategui, where local seafood plays a starring role, is designed for pairings featuring the resort's most exquisite wines. Guests are able to choose pairings from three separate wine lists that have been created exclusively for the restaurant. Passion by Martin Berasategui is an adults-only gastronomic experience, serving dinner nightly within a beautifully decorated contemporary, yet elegant, space. Guests who book Paradisus' trademark Royal Service or Family Concierge upgrades are invited to one complimentary dinner at Passion by Martin Berasategui during their stay, reservations required. Additional guests of Paradisus Playa del Carmen are welcome to experience the superb cuisine for a surcharge, giving them access to the restaurant's a la carte menu or its tasting menu. Passion by Martin Berasategui is also accessible to local residents and visitors.

Chef Martin Berasategui

"With this new venture, my first in North America, I wanted to create an elegant restaurant incorporating Caribbean flavors into my signature cuisine in addition to a showroom for my team's service standards," said Chef Martin Berasategui. "I am extremely proud to open Passion by Martin Berasategui in Mexico introducing my cuisine to a country, culture, and heritage I have the deepest respect for; it is a privilege."

Passion by Martin Berasategui is a fine dining restaurant that juxtaposes Chef Berasategui's philosophy and style with the remarkable local ingredients of the Mexican Caribbean. One of the world's most accomplished chefs, Chef Berasategui started cooking in his teens, helping his mother and aunt in their family-owned eatery in San Sebastian, Spain. Training in France in addition to other unique culinary countries and cultures, influenced Chef Berasategui's approach to service and techniques.

Today, Chef Berasategui leads the culinary direction at Lasarte y Loidi at the Hotel Condes in Barcelona, the MB Restaurant at the Abama Resort in Tenerife, the Santo by Martin Berasategui at the Eme Hotel in Seville, the DOMA at the Silken Gran Domine Hotel in Bilbao and the Martin restaurant in Shanghai. Passion by Martin Berasategui is his first restaurant in the Americas.

Paradisus Resorts Playa del CarmenParadisus Resorts is an all-inclusive luxury resort brand owned and operated by Melia Hotels International, (formerly Sol Melia Hotels &Resorts) one of the world's most successful hotel companies. The growing brand has two hotels in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: Paradisus Palma Real and Paradisus Punta Cana. Boasting unique room categories and luxurious upgrade options such as the adults-only Royal Service and family-only Family Concierge, the resorts are ideal for a wide spectrum of guests including couples, family vacations, destination weddings and business travelers. The properties in Punta Cana each feature The Reserve at Paradisus, an exclusive resort-within-a-resort concept where guests experience private check-in and stay in residential style accommodations, among numerous other services and amenities. In November 2011 the brand expanded its portfolio with two new properties in Playa del Carmen, Mexico: Paradisus La Perla, an adults-only resort, and Paradisus La Esmeralda, a resort for everyone. The impressive facilities and signature amenities at both Playa del Carmen resorts include dramatic free-form pools, breathtaking artful landscapes, a YHI Spa, fourteen restaurants and eight bars providing guests with pure freedom to escape and indulge in all the properties have to offer. Paradisus Resorts will continue its growth with the opening of a brand-new property in Papagayo Bay, Costa Rica, scheduled to open in 2013.