With a $1.5bn mortgage debt due to be paid on 1 Feb 2011, affiliates of US-based hedge fund Paulson & Co have placed five hotels for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 of US law.

The hotels include Arizona Biltmore, La Quinta Resort & Club, Grand Wailea Resorts Hotel & Spa, Doral Golf Resort & Spa and Claremont Resort & Spa.

The five hotels were among eight properties the Paulson affiliates acquired at a bankruptcy auction.

The hotels have 3,000 rooms, 91,440m² of meeting space and 14 golf courses, according to Reuters.

The remaining three hotels, which are not part of Chapter 11, include JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, Ritz-Carlton Orlando and JW Marriott Desert Ridge.