The Leading Hotels of the World added five properties to its portfolio of independent hotels: the 153-room Rocco Forte Verdura Golf and Spa Resort in Sicily, Italy, which has an 18-hole golf course and meeting and event space for up to 300 guests; the 253-room Kameha Grand Bonn in Bonn, Germany, which has meeting space for up to 1,500 people; the 316-room Chateau Star River in Guangzhou, China, which has event space for groups of up to 950; and the 40-suite Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa in Sydney, Australia, which has meeting space for small groups of up to 50.
The 503-room Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel and Casino opened with a 500-slot machine casino, 35,000 square feet of meeting space, and access to more than 580,000 square feet of additional space at the adjacent Puerto Rico Convention Center. It is the first and only hotel in the Caribbean pursuing LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The Hotel Encanto opened in Acapulco with 44 custom all-white suites and a 60-seat high-tech auditorium.
The 127-room Sonesta Hotel Cusco opened as a business class property with meeting space for small groups of up to 100.
United Arab Emirates
The Aloft Abu Dhabi opened as the first Aloft Hotel in the Middle East with 408 loft-like rooms and meeting space for up to 1,100 people. Additional meeting space is available at the adjacent art Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre for groups of up to 5,000.
The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain in Tucson opened with 209 rooms, 44 individual and casita suites and several multiple-bedroom casita options. The Sonoran Desert property also has more than 44,000 square feet of meeting space, which includes a 9,000-sq. ft., a 5,000-sq. ft. and 2,100-sq. ft. ballroom; additional function space is available at the golf clubhouse.
The historic 199-room Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley unveiled 8,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space, which includes 2,000 square feet of new space and the renovated, 6,000-sq. ft. Crystal Ballroom. The entire property was renovated in September 2009.
Paradise Point Resort & Spa in San Diego is expected to complete a $20 million renovation of its 462 bungalow-style guest rooms and 35,000 square feet of bayfront meeting space by late February.
The San Diego North Convention and Visitors Bureau launched SanDiegoNorth.com. The new Web site is designed to be more user-friendly and will feature modifiable search capabilities, an interactive map of the area and other content for business and leisure travelers.
The Sheraton Downtown Denver completed a $70 million renovation of its 1,231 guest rooms, lobby, restaurants and 133,000 square feet of meeting space, which includes a 28,000-sq. ft. ballroom.
The Viceroy Snowmass opened in the new Snowmass Base Village development. The 173-room, ski-in/ski-out resort is a member of the Associated Luxury Hotels International and has 9,000 square feet of meeting space.
The 100 percent smoke-free Sheraton Suites Key West completed a multi-million dollar renovation of its entire property, including its 188 suites and 900 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting and event space.
The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club completed a multi-million dollar renovation of its 319 guest rooms and suites, pool complex and other public areas. The resort has 34,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting space, including a 22,000-sq. ft. event area in the Clubhouse & Spa.
Designed to be the first LEED certified airport in the U.S., the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport is expected to open in Panama City Beach in May. Beginning May 23, 2010, Southwest Airlines will offer non-stop service to Panama City Beach, Fla. from Baltimore, Md. (BWI); Nashville, Tenn. (BNA); Houston, TX (HOU); and Orlando, Fla. (MCO). Travelers also will be able to fly directly into the area from several other cities including Chicago, Dallas and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
The WaterColor Inn and Resort in Santa Rosa Beach was awarded the Florida Green Lodging Program’s Two Palm status. WaterColor is one of only three hotels in the state to attain this level of certification. The 499-acre property has 60 guest rooms in its Inn, numerous vacation home rentals and over 4,000 square feet of intimate meeting space.
The Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa joined Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI). The newly renovated property has 540 rooms, including five VIP and 240 two-bedroom suites, and 95,000 square feet of meeting space among 34 rooms. http://www.saddlebrook.com/
The Hampton Inn & Suites Savannah Midtown opened with 120 rooms and 2,000 square feet of meeting space. Other amenities include complimentary wireless Internet and hot breakfasts.
Sea Island Resorts, which includes the Mobil Five-Star Cloister at Sea Island and the AAA Five-Diamond Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club, joined Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI). The 40-room Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club and the 175-room Cloister at Sea Island have a combined 17,000 square feet of meeting space, which includes a 7,800-sq. ft. ballroom and several boardrooms.
The W Boston opened in the heart of the historic Theatre District with 235 guest rooms, 123 W-branded residences and 5,000 square feet of event space.
The Beach House opened at Edgewood Tahoe with lodging and meeting accommodations for up to 40 people indoors and 60 outdoors. In addition to the beachside two-story home, there is meeting space for up to 1,350 people in Edgewood Tahoe’s other venues.
One Atlantic opened 80 feet above the Atlantic Ocean with 10,000 square feet of indoor event space and a 2,000-sq. ft. outdoor terrace area. The venue has floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views of the beach, boardwalk and ocean and holds groups of up to 1,000.
The 1,980-room Hilton New York completed a $1 million renovation of its Trianon Ballroom triplex and Mercury Ballroom, which total more than 15,000 square feet. Including the hotel’s 25,000-sq. ft. Grand Ballroom, there is over 151,000 square feet of meeting space on-site.
The Strand, a member of the Green Hotel Association, opened with 177 rooms, 33 junior suites, a meeting and conference floor with space for up to 250 people, and a rooftop lounge with a retractable glass ceiling and walls.
The 391-room Trump SoHo New York, which recently opened with 12,000 square feet of meeting space and an additional top-floor events space with panoramic city views, became a member of the Leading Hotels of the World.
The Millennium Broadway Hotel New York updated its WiFi system. Its new Transbeam Internet system can provide secure 24/7 WiFi access for up to 1,500 users simultaneously.
The state’s largest hotel, the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower in downtown Portland became the first hotel in the state to be certified under the Green Key Eco-Rating Program. The 100 percent smoke-free property has 782 rooms and 66,000 square feet of meeting and event space.
The Founders Hall opened at the Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site in Charleston. The eco-friendly, state-of-the-art facility has a full kitchen, wood-burning fireplace and space for up to 300 guests in the Great Hall and 40 people in the Lounge.
The Chattanoogan won the AAA Four Diamond Rating for the second year in a row. It is the only full-service hotel in Chattanooga to win the award, and one of only 15 in the state to receive the honor. The property has 199 rooms with city and mountain views as well as 25,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 7,752-sq. ft. ballroom and an 85-seat amphitheater.
The AAA Four-Diamond InterContinental Houston was renamed the InterContinental Houston Near The Galleria to reflect its location just one block from the famous shopping district. The 485-room hotel has 50,000 square feet of meeting space throughout 23 rooms.