Accor plans to open more than 200 hotels throughout the Asia-Pacific region by 2014, including 60 in China, 63 in India and 35 in Indonesia.
Ovation Global DMC, a destination management company with more than 90 locations on four continents, has opened 10 new offices in Canada, Bulgaria, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Namibia, Slovakia and Sri Lanka.
The Iguazu Grand Resort Spa & Casino received 2011 World Travel awards for being “Argentina’s Leading Resort” and “South America’s Leading Casino Resort.”
Toronto’s Exhibition Place convention center won the Silver Facility Management Award from the Recycling Council of Ontario for its internal waste minimization program and outstanding achievement (through its GREENSmart environmental initiatives).
Vancouver’s BC Place stadium completed a $563 million renovation of its 55,000-seat arena, turf, digital signage, retractable roof and 50 private guest suites. The project also added 1,300 premium club-level seats and two club lounges.
Also in Vancouver, a four-star Hotel Indigo is slated to open in January with 10,000 square feet of meeting space in the Cambie Rise neighborhood.
TripAdvisor named Banff one of Canada’s Top 10 food and wine destinations.
Caesars Entertainment plans to open a 1,000-room, $470 million non-gaming luxury resort on the island of Hainan in 2014.
The Palace Dubrovnik hotel was recognized by the 2011 World Travel Awards as Europe’s leading resort. The Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik was named the best Croatian hotel; the Monte Mulini in Istria received honors for being the country’s best boutique hotel.
Beginning in summer 2012, hydroplane lines will connect the islands of Split, Dubrovnik, Sibenik, Zadar, Rijeka and Pula, among others.
The country’s first Doubletree hotel will open six miles from the Zagreb airport next spring with 152 guest rooms, a restaurant and bar, and 9,000 square feet of meeting space.
The AAA Five-Diamond Sanctuary Cap Cana now is managed by Salamander Hotels & Resorts. It will join sister properties, Fishing Lodge and Ocean Club, in Salamander’s new Grand Resorts at Cap Cana collection of luxury resorts.
Hamburg’s new music hall, the Elbphilharmonie, is scheduled to open in May 2012.
The 45 Park Lane luxury hotel opened in Mayfair on the site of the former Playboy Club London. Amenities include 45 rooms and suites, a Wolfgang Puck restaurant, a penthouse suite with panoramic views, a library, a private media room and a bar.
The Harrogate International Centre, halfway between London and Edinburgh, is scheduled to open two new exhibition halls totaling 35,521 square feet this month.
The Comfort Suites Grand Cayman is undergoing a $2 million (U.S.) renovation of its rooms and meeting facilities. Updates should be in place by early December.
The Westin Casuarina Resort & Spa on Seven Mile Beach received AAA Four Diamond awards for its lodging and fine-dining restaurant Casa Havana. It also received the Wine Spectator Award for Excellence.
Wyndham Hotel Group will operate three new hotels: the 154-room Wyndham Grand Agra by the Taj Mahal (opening in December), the 112-room Ramada Alleppey (opening in March 2012) and the 100-room Ramada Ghaziabad near Delhi (opening in March 2016).
Marriott International plans to open two new Boscolo hotels in Milan and Rome next year. This past September, two Marriott-operated hotels, the Boscolo Palace Roma and the Boscolo Venezia, opened in Rome and Venice, respectively.
Los Cabos will host the G20 Summit in June in a new, “green” 653,400-sq. ft. convention center.
The Hotel Hermitage completed a renovation of its 200 rooms and Winter Garden lobby, which was originally designed by Gustave Eiffel.
Hilton Worldwide is developing four new Russian hotels. The 158-room Hilton Garden Inn Volgograd is scheduled to open in 2012. A 432-room Doubletree by Hilton at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport and a 156-room Hampton Volgograd Profsoyunzyaya are expected to open in 2013. The 202-room Hilton Kazan will open in 2014.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts plans to open the 236-room Fairmont PekinMoscow in 2017. It will have 10,000 square feet of meeting space as well as a spa and fitness center.
The five-star Alpina Gstaad is scheduled to open in December 2012 with 57 spacious guest rooms and suites, an 82-ft. lap pool, a 21,500-sq. ft. full-service spa, a private cinema, on-site restaurants and lounges, a ballroom and several boardrooms. It will be the first five-star hotel to open in Gstaad in a century.
Bangkok received a 2011 World Travel Award for being “Asia’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination.” For updates on the current floods, consult the Bangkok Post.
United Arab Emirates
The Jumeirah at Etihad Towers opened in Abu Dhabi with 382 rooms and suites, a full-service spa and a conference center with meeting space for up to 1,400.
The Rocco Forte Hotel Abu Dhabi will open Nov. 7 with 281 guest rooms, a 2,360-sq. ft. ballroom, seven meeting rooms, seven restaurants, a spa and a 1,760-sq. ft. pre-function area for gatherings of up to 700 people. Meeting spaces are equipped with videoconferencing and Wi-Fi Internet connectivity.
The FarmLinks Golf Club at Pursell Farms in Sylacauga was named one of the 75 Best Golf Resorts in North America by Golf Digest.
The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, received a Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Award for being one of Arizona’s top three resorts.
A $20 million conference center is under construction at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. Scheduled to open in October 2012, it will have a 23,000-sq. ft. ballroom and 52,331 total square feet of space, bringing the resort’s total event space to 150,000 square feet.
Three Scottsdale resorts are under renovations. The Xona Resort Suites Scottsdale’s $4 million project will upgrade technology, exterior lighting, restaurants and its outdoor environment. The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North is investing $500,000 to renovate its banquet spaces. The former Trader Vic’s restaurant at Hotel Valley Ho is being transformed into a meeting facility for up to 400 guests.
Visit California is the new name for the California Travel and Tourism Commission.
The Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles reopened following completion of a two-year renovation project that remodeled its 103 guest rooms, 6,775-sq. ft. presidential suite and La Prairie spa.
The Anaheim Convention Center will begin offering free Wi-Fi Internet to all visitors, beginning in January. Other amenities include 1.6 million square feet of meeting/exhibit space, a composting program and LEED certification.
Huntington Beach has a new website for meeting planners considering the destination: MeetInHB.com.
The Hotel Diva in San Francisco is expected to complete a $2 million “reinvention” this month of its guest rooms, common areas and exterior. Its Perrier Lounge is scheduled to open in January.
Sausalito’s Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa completed a multimillion dollar renovation that added a full-service spa and renovated its guest rooms and cottages.
The 489-room Oakland Marriott City Center completed a $17 million renovation of its lobby, ballrooms, guest rooms and event space.
The Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. in Half Moon Bay opened a beer garden that has seating for 50, a stage and a dedicated bar.
The Silvertree Hotel and Conference Center and the Wildwood Lodge in Snowmass Village will close for renovations in April 2012. When they reopen in fall 2012, they will be operated as Starwood hotels.
The 350-room Ramada Plaza in downtown Hartford, formerly the Crowne Plaza, is under new management.
Salamander Hotels & Resorts now manages the Grand Golf Resorts of Florida Collection. Participating resorts include the Innisbrook Resort near Tampa, the Reunion Resort in Orlando and the Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast. In conjunction with the new collection, Salamander is promoting a Legends of Golf Trail, which traverses 200 miles and includes 162 holes of golf designed by Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Larry Packard.
The Renaissance World Golf Village Resort and Convention Center in Jacksonville/St. Augustine completed a renovation that added 15,000 square feet of meeting/event space. The complex now has more than 100,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor gathering space.
Cheapflights.com named Ponte Vedra Beach one of the world’s Top 10 getaways (without kids).
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater launched a new mobile website: visitstpeteclearwater.com.
Two of St. Pete/Clearwater’s most iconic hotels are getting facelifts. The 83-year-old Don Cesar Resort in St. Pete Beach is updating its lobby bar area, beachfront bistro and 277 guest rooms/suites. Renovations are scheduled to be complete by January. In downtown St. Pete, the Vinoy has revamped its front desk area to include a library, cafe and sundries shop. The historic hotel also added seating and an indoor/outdoor bar to its veranda.
The 781-room Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld completed a five-year, $35-million-plus renovation that revitalized its 185,000 square feet of meeting space and 65 suites, added an 8,000-sq. ft. event lawn and interactive open kitchen for group functions, and expanded its pool area.
The Omni Orlando Resort is scheduled to break ground on an expansion project in January to add 46,000 square feet of meeting space. Currently, the 720-room hotel has more than 70,000 square feet of meeting/event space.
The 240-room Mona Lisa Suite Hotel in Celebration has been acquired by Melia Hotels International, which will reflag the boutique property.
Renovations of the Fort Myers Beach Pier are under way and expected to conclude by December. The $864,000 project is replacing pilings, rails and beams along the 560-ft. pier.
In Braselton, Chateau Elan completed a $1.5 million renovation of its spa, Fleur de Lis restaurant and spa guest suites. It was the second part of a $3 million project that improved the spa’s 35 treatment rooms, relaxation areas and couples’ rooms.
The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort on St. Simons Island launched a new mobile-friendly version of its website: kingandprince.com.
The Pali Tower at the Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach is expected to open next month with 191 guest rooms. A second tower with 235 rooms is scheduled to open in spring 2012.
The Hyatt Regency New Orleans reopened after completing a six-year, $275-million redevelopment project. The hotel now has 1,193 guest rooms and 200,000 square feet of flexible event space.
The new True South Classic PGA Tour/FedEx Cup event will take place at the Annanadale Golf Club in Madison from July 16-22, 2012.
The Embassy Suites St. Louis-Downtown opened with 212 rooms adjacent to the America’s Center Convention Center.
Margaritaville Holdings opened its first casino at the Flamingo hotel-casino in Las Vegas. Part of the hotel’s $10 million expansion project, the Jimmy Buffet-themed casino features 22 table games and 220 slot machines.
The Sheraton Parsippany Hotel is undergoing a $15 million refurbishment project to refresh its guest rooms and public spaces. The renovation is scheduled to conclude by April 2012.
In Lake Placid, Whiteface Lodge’s Kanu restaurant received Wine Spectator magazine’s “Award of Excellence” for the fifth consecutive year.
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel received the 2011 North Carolina Travel Industry Association’s Tourism Excellence Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Development of Tourism in North Carolina.
The 77-room Hampton Inn Spring Lake near Fort Bragg was ranked among the Top 5 percent of the brand’s hotels, based on product quality and guest satisfaction scores.
The Sea Pines Resort in Hilton Head was named one of Conde Nast Traveler’s World’s Best “Top 150” hotels (reader’s choice). Its Inn at Harbour Town boutique property recently completed a renovation of its guest rooms, furnishings and public spaces.
The new Historic Cheraw Cell Phone Tour is a mobile-guided tour of Cheraw’s historic 10-block area that reveals 50 significant tidbits of information and includes 25 stops at homes, churches and businesses, many of which predate 1860. An online version will be added to cheraw.com in the next year.
The Wilderness at the Smokies resort in Sevierville began construction of its new, 7-acre “Adventure Forest” indoor park. The resort currently has a 7-acres indoor water attraction.
Construction is under way on White Lodging’s 296-room Hyatt Place hotel project in downtown Austin. The hotel is scheduled to open in spring 2013.
The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, has a new dedicated banquet drive and group arrivals area for hotel events.
Houston joined the BestCities Global Alliance, an international collaborative comprising convention bureaus. It is the first American city to join the alliance, which includes the cities of Cape Town, South Africa; Copenhagen, Denmark; Edinburgh, Scotland; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Melbourne, Australia; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Singapore (Republic of Singapore); Vancouver, Canada; and Berlin, Germany.
The Natural History Museum of Utah will open its Rio Tinto Center in Salt Lake City on Nov. 18. Designed to blend into its surroundings, the center was constructed using recycled and local resources to meet LEED Gold certification requirement. It will employ photovoltaic energy, radiant cooling and an extensive storm water catchment and management system to conserve natural resources. Exhibits at the center will focus on nine thematic areas highlighting Salt Lake City’s indigenous people, natural history, geological attractions and future potential.