Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide plans to open 41 hotels across the Middle East and North Africa within the next three years.
Marriott International has 70 hotels under development in Asia; 110 additional properties are in the planning stages.
Construction has begun on more than 20 MGM Resorts International hotels throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The company plans to open as many as 30 new hotels in China in the next three to four years.
AirTran began new seasonal nonstop service from Bermuda’s L.F. Wade International Airport to Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The service will run through Sept. 6, 2011.
Vancouver’s Loden Hotel opened a new restaurant — the Tableau Bar Bistro. It features a French-inspired menu, New York-style patios and two event spaces for groups of up to 20 and 35 diners.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts opened its first all-inclusive resort, the Westin Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal (formerly the Paradisus Playa Concha Resort). Renovations to the hotel’s 406 suites and public areas are under way and to be conducted in phases through the end of 2011. The resort has 6,500 square feet of meeting and banquet space and is adjacent to the Robert Trent Jones II golf facility.
Nonstop service between Fort Myers’ Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) and Aalborg, Denmark’s airport (AAL), will begin June 21 and run for five weeks. It will be the only nonstop flight between Aalborg and the United States.
Eight five-star luxury hotels earned the right to call themselves a “palace”: Parisian hotels Meurice, Bristol, Plaza-Athenee and Park Hyatt Paris Vendome; the Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat; Cheval Blanc and Les Airelles in Courcheval; and L’Hotel du Palais in Biarritz.
The Steigenberger Grandhotel Leipzig opened near the center of old Leipzig with more than 160 luxury rooms, 14 suites, a restaurant and bar, a spa and 5,400 square feet of conference space.
Jet Airways now offers twice-weekly first-class service to Newark (N.J.) International Liberty Airport from Mumbai. India’s leading private airline company also instated a reciprocal frequent-flier partnership with Alitalia and added 15 new flights from Hyderabad, its southern hub, to destinations throughout India.
The Irish government has abolished the air travel tax rate and will introduce a reduced VAT rate of 9 percent (formerly 13.5 percent) for tourism-related goods and services, including accommodations, catering, restaurants and admission to theaters, museums and sports facilities.
The Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa opened in Cabo San Lucas with 119 suites.
The Westin Lima Hotel & Convention Center opened with 301 rooms and the largest convention facilities in Peru, with 28,000 total square feet of space, including 10 meeting rooms and a grand ballroom.
The Palma Convention Centre, on the island of Mallorca, the Palma Convention Centre is expected to open in April 2012 with a 1,978-seat auditorium, a 1,000-seat sea-view restaurant, a 462-seat auditorium, meeting rooms for groups of up to 900, and a 2,400-sq. meter exhibit area.
A new museum of contemporary art and electric media, the House of Electronic Arts, opened in Basel.
The Rive Gauche Terrasse restaurant, the “living room of Zurich,” has reopened at the Baur au Lac hotel.
Raffles Hotels & Resorts plans to open a 180-room luxury hotel in Istanbul’s Zorlu Center project, which currently is under construction.
Boutique hotel pioneer Ian Schrager is developing five hotels under the new Public brand, which he describes as delivering “essential services” as inspired by Apple and Trader Joe retail stores. The first Public Hotel will open in October 2011 in Chicago. He also continues to develop the Edition boutique brand for Marriott International Inc.
Singapore-based Pan Pacific Hotel Group plans to open upper-upscale luxury hotels in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. Currently, The brand has four hotels in North America — in Whistler, Colo.; Seattle and Vancouver. and Whistler, Colo.
The AAA Four-Diamond Hotel Nikko San Francisco joined Associate Luxury Hotels International.
The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort and Spa received its green certification from the Sonoma Green Business Program for its compliance with all applicable environmental regulations and meeting program standards for conserving resources, preventing pollution and minimizing waste.
The Pebblebrook Hotel trust purchased the Mondrian Los Angeles from Morgans Hotel Group.
The Anaheim Convention Center now has an extensive composting program that is managed by Aramark. The compost soil will be used by the city’s landscaping team throughout the resort district to nurture its gardens.
The W hotel in downtown San Diego, which went into foreclosure last year, was purchased by the Rockpoint Group.
The city of Garden Grove is planning to build a 700-room convention hotel that will have 50,000 square feet of conference space, a resort pool and on-site dining.
A Hyatt Hotels Corp. affiliate purchased three hotels in the towns of Cypress, Emeryville and Sorrento Mesa that will be rebranded as Summerfield Suites.
The Ritz in Bachelor Gulch is in foreclosure; its management company owed Lehman Bros. $61 million. The property will remain open, however.
DiamondRock Hospitality purchased the 196-room JW Marriott Denver for $72.6 million.
District of Columbia
InterContinental Hotel Group plans to open 13 new hotels over the next three years in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Brands to be represented in northern Virginia and suburban Maryland include Holiday Inn, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites and Holiday Inn Express.
The Renaissance World Golf Village Resort and Convention Center in St. Augustine was awarded the AAA Four-Diamond rating for the first time.
The 341-room Sonesta Orlando Downtown now is a DoubleTree hotel.
The 600-room Marriott Biscayne Bay in Miami completed a two-year, $31 million renovation that added a ballroom, executive boardroom and coffee shop, and updated public spaces and guest rooms.
The Miami Airport Hilton is undergoing a $16 million guest-room renovation project that is scheduled to be completed by fall 2011.
The Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners approved a $27 million subsidy to build a 400-room Hilton Hotel connected to the existing Palm Beach County Convention Center.
Sanibel and Captiva islands both placed in TripAdvisor’s 2011 Travelers’ Choice beach awards. Sanibel ranked No. 6 among the Top 25 Beaches in the United States; Captiva ranked No. 8.
Renowned beach critic Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, aka “Dr. Beach,” named Siesta Key Beach the No. 1 beach in the nation for 2011.
The Comfort Suites Atlanta Downtown opened with 156 guest suites and two meeting/banquet rooms. The property is the first in Atlanta to reflect the brand’s new boutique-style identity.
Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint opened in the former Macy’s building on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta. The restaurant offers live entertainment and a menu of Southern dishes.
Construction will begin on a six-story 150-room Hyatt Summit Suites hotel this summer in northwest Atlanta. The property will be located near the Overton Park development at Interstate 75 and Cumberland Boulevard. The property is expected to open by summer 2012, and will have four restaurants, a pool and meeting space.
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa is scheduled to open in Ko Olina on Aug. 29, 2011, on the western side of O’ahu on 21 acres of oceanfront property. Amenities will include 359 hotel rooms, 481 two-bedroom villas, an 18,000-sq. ft. spa, several pools and an 18-hole golf course. The property also will have a 14,545-sq. ft. conference center and 48,685 square feet of outdoor event space.
The Hyatt Regency Chicago completed a $90 million renovation of its 2,019 guest rooms and suites and guest-room floor corridors.
The 1,193-room Hyatt Regency New Orleans is scheduled to open Oct. 19, 2011, after completing a $275 million redesign and revitalization project that doubled its meeting and exhibition space. The 32-story hotel will become the largest convention property in the city, with two 25,000-sq. ft. ballrooms, 64 meeting and banquet rooms, 21 executive-level meeting rooms, seven boardrooms and more than 80,000 square feet of exhibit space, including a 50,000-sq. ft. exhibit hall.
A $900 million project to bring a new major-league sporting arena, expanded convention center and hotel near Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is in the planning stages. The proposal would place the new convention and entertainment complex on the site where the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel and Convention Center currently stands.
Workers at the W Boston and Boston’s Back Bay Hotel have voted to join the Unite Here Local 26 union.
Construction has begun on a Radisson Blue Hotel near Bloomington’s Mall of America. The 500-room hotel will have 23,000 square feet of meeting space, on-site dining, a spa and fitness facilities, and is scheduled to open in March 2013.
The Sheraton Bloomington Hotel Minneapolis South is scheduled to begin renovations of its public spaces, restaurants and front desk/lobby area this summer and complete the project in first quarter 2012.
The Sheraton Omaha Hotel (formerly a Crowne Plaza) is scheduled to open in October with 223 guest rooms and 9,000 square feet of flexible meeting space after completing a $4 million renovation of its guest rooms and public areas.
The Sahara hotel and casino in Las Vegas closed May 16. The former “Rat Pack” hangout opened in 1952 and was one of three landmark post-World War II casinos still in existence.
The 110-room Fairfield Inn in Merrimack is being renovated and reflagged a Holiday Inn Express.
Hard Rock International plans to apply for the permits needed to construct a boutique casino hotel on the southern end of Atlantic City’s Boardwalk. It would have 200 to 500 guest rooms, a spa, parking garage and restaurants. The long-delayed Revel Casino, on the Boardwalk’s northern end, is expected to open in mid-May 2012.
Manhattan’s infamous Hotel Chelsea was purchased by Joseph Chetrit, who plans to upgrade and modernize the 127-year-old property. The setting of Andy Warhol’s 1966 film “Chelsea Girls,” the hotel is known as a home to artists ranging from Dylan Thomas to Patti Smith and as the site where Sex Pistols’ Sid Vicious murdered his girlfriend Nancy Spungen.
Clothing designer Tommy Hilfiger plans to convert New York City’s Metropolitan Life clocktower into a hotel.
Empire Resorts is in talks to build a $600 million casino resort at the Concord, a site three miles from its Monticello Casino & Raceway. Originally, Empire Resorts planned to expand the Monticello property.
The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, received its second consecutive AAA Five-Diamond award for 2012.
The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa in Asheville joined Associated Luxury Hotels International.
Construction is under way on a 107-room Hilton Garden Inn in Tulsa’s Celebration Station development. Two more hotels — a 103-room Residence Inn by Marriott and a 93-room Holiday Inn Express — are planned.
The DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia Center City opened Balcony Restaurant, a new comfort food-focused eatery.
The Chattanoogan earned the AAA Four-Diamond award for the fourth year in a row.
Construction on a new 296-room Hyatt near the Austin Convention Center is expected to begin this fall.
The 1,001-room Omni Dallas Hotel by the Dallas Convention Center is scheduled to open Nov. 11, a month ahead of schedule.
The Grand Hyatt DFW is undergoing a four-month, $13 million renovation of its guest rooms, meeting space, and restaurant and lobby areas. During the makeover, more than 1,200 pieces of art by local artist Richard Bettinger will be installed.
The Intercontinental Dallas completed a $25 million renovation of its meeting facilities, guest rooms and restaurant.
Dallas’ Hilton Anatole completed a $125 million renovation that added the Trinity Corridor — an enclosed, air-conditioned passageway that connects hotel and convention guests with the Trinity Ballroom and other indoor and outdoor meeting/exhibit spaces. The corridor overlooks the seven-acre Anatole Sculpture Park, which features sections of the Berlin Wall, an 18th-century Indian sandstone pavilion and a patio with a 28-foot octagonal fire pit, bar and herb garden.
The Seattle Marriott Waterfront completed a $4 million renovation of its 345 guest rooms, 13 suites, concierge lounge and fitness center.