by Allen J. Sheinman | June 01, 2015
 The 231-room Embassy Row Hotel in Washington, D.C., has finished up a $15 million revamp of guest rooms, the fitness center, the lobby and other areas of the property.

 In Farmington, Pa., the 318-room Nemacolin Woodlands Resort has completed a $30 million renovation that included upgrades to guest rooms, public spaces and the 32,000-square-foot Executive Conference Center. New features include the four-room Holistic Healing Center.

 The 553-room Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel has unveiled a $27 million refresh, including the new Renaissance Presents Events lobby area, offering live music, wine tastings and more.

• The 553-room Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel recently unveiled the fruit of a $27 million lobby and guest-room renovation. The lobby alone has a plethora of new features, including the VIP Club Lounge, the Artist Studio, the Navigator (a central station manned by a group of concierge-like local experts), the Coffee Bar and Library, and wallpaper and artwork extolling the history and highlights of the Windy City.  

• The 129-key Sea Palms Resort and Conference Center on St. Simons Island, Ga., has completed a renovation that gave guest rooms new bedding, flat-screen TVs and balconies; redesigned and expanded the conference center to 10,000 square feet; added a new health club, and more.

• In Bermuda, the 410-room Hamilton Princess and Beach Club, a Fairmont Managed Hotel, has completed a more than $90 million renovation and restoration (the hotel opened in 1885). The latest work saw the creation of Marcus, a harbor-side restaurant from celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson; the renovation of all 88 guest rooms and suites in the Gazebo Wing, including all new furnishings and expanded Wi-Fi capabilities; and a redesign of the surrounding grounds. The property has more than 30,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting space.

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Hip new hotel. At press time, the 168-room Hotel Eastlund is due to open this month in downtown Portland, near the Oregon Convention Center. This stylish property features original modern art throughout, two eateries by famed restaurateur Dave Machado and more than 5,300 square feet of flexible meeting and event space.

More Debuts
 In Brazil, the 298-room Hilton Barra Rio de Janeiro has opened in the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood. Designed to reduce energy and water consumption, the property is strategically located near the site of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games and a 15-minute drive from some of the city's best beaches. Features include a dramatic 120-foot-high lobby adorned with the work of local artists; a signature restaurant that seats 140; a rooftop pool and fitness center; and 14,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, including 10 meeting rooms and two ballrooms, with a total capacity for up to 950 people. The hotel offers planners a Meetings Simplified program, with bundled services for smaller gatherings.

 The 257-room Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago is now open, set in a 22-story, 1927 art deco office building on West Monroe Street in the Windy City's downtown. This marks the first property in Hyatt's new "lifestyle brand for modern explorers," which aims to "put guests at the center of the action in the best destinations." The hotel has 2,513 square feet of meeting space and multiple dining options, including the upscale French bistro Cochon Volant Bakery Brasserie and Bar.  

 The 165-room Art Hotel Denver is set to open this month just south of downtown, with guest rooms featuring floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Rocky Mountains and Denver skyline. The hotel's 4,100 square feet of meeting space can accommodate up to 170 people; other features include the Fire restaurant, the Terrace Bar and the brand's own Art Museum.

• The 82-room Hampton Inn & Suites Houston North IAH has opened just five miles from George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. The property features free Wi-Fi throughout, a 24-hour business center with complimentary printing, 1,500 square feet of meeting space that can accommodate up to 125 people, and a fitness center.

• In Florida, the 90-room Hampton Inn & Suites Vero Beach Downtown has opened with a fitness center and a 1,900-square-foot meeting space that can host up to 80 people.

• In the capital city of Costa Rica, the 115-room Hilton Garden Inn San Jose La Sebana recently debuted, just 20 minutes from Juan Santamaria International Airport and directly across from the National Stadium. The hotel has 1,932 square feet of flexible meeting space that can accommodate up to 120 people, plus an outdoor pool and the 24-hour Pavilion Pantry.