Horst Schulze, former president and chief operating officer of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. and an internationally recognized authority on the luxury hospitality business, told GlobalAtlanta that a new resort he is launching in Israel is one of his favorites worldwide.

Mr. Schulze said that in a one to 10 ranking he could not imagine what a perfect “10” would be for a hotel site. But as the founder and CEO of Atlanta-based West Paces Hotel Group LLC, which is launching new high-end brands in the business, he added that the “Arbel by the Sea” project on which he is working in Israel ranks as a “nine-plus,” the highest designation he would ever grant.

“In a one to 10 ranking, I really don’t know what a 10 is, but I can say that the site on Mount Arbel, which looks out over the Sea of Galilee, is a nine-plus,” he said in a telephone interview.

Although he is working to develop luxury resorts and hotels in other locations in Europe, Mexico and the United States, he said that they trail as “eights.”

Israel Golf Resorts LLC, a Delray Beach, Fla.-based resort development company, arranged for its Israeli affiliates to contract with the West Paces group to provide pre-development consulting and long-term resort and golf club management services for the future resort to be located above the western shore of the Sea of Galilee.

Scheduled to open by 2008, the resort is to be known as “Arbel by the Sea Resort and Golf Club.”

Despite the political turmoil in the Middle East, Mr. Schulze said that he expects no difficulties in launching the hotel and membership apartments.

The hotel rooms, which he expects to be priced at about $300 a night, will appeal to tourists internationally, including church groups from Atlanta and other cities in the U.S., he asserted.

Europeans, primarily French Jews who visit Israel several times a year, will be interested in buying membership apartments, he said, as will Israelis.

A nearby kibbutz will provide the complex with fresh foods, and guests who visit the nearby countryside will be able to meet with Bedouin nomads and go to archeological digs revealing Roman, Crusader and Ottoman history.

Mr. Schulze said the project is in keeping with his development of projects that provide “spectacular surroundings” and “memorable experiences.”

Mr. Schulze is scheduled to speak at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School on Tuesday, Nov. 8, as part of a GBS Eagles conference on high-growth private companies.

To learn more about the West Paces Hotel Group, visit www.westpaceshotels.com.