December 01, 2002
Meetings & Conventions: Newsline newsline.gif (8042 bytes)International Focus Cuba

Lakeside luxury: Lugano’s Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola

Unlike its neighbors, Switzerland did not have to scramble earlier this year to change its national currency into euros. Among the few holdouts on the continent, the Swiss have remained loyal to their native franc.

What Switzerland did get in March 2002 was a new national carrier, called Swiss. The airline cropped up from the remnants of defunct Swissair, which folded its wings in 2001. The new airline serves many of the same U.S. gateways as did its predecessor (Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York City and Washington, D.C.).

In other regional news:

The 305-room Hotel Crowne Plaza, adjacent to the city’s Palexpo exhibition center and near Geneva International Airport, has begun construction on a new seven-story wing that will add 195 guest rooms (for a total of 500). The property also is adding to its meeting facilities (which currently consist of nine meeting rooms) with a conference room for 1,000, a ballroom for 800, four smaller meeting rooms and a business center. Plans also call for a new fitness center, a bar and a restaurant. Work should be finished in September 2003.

The 162-room Royal Hotel reopened this summer, following a renovation.

Hotel La Reserve, a five-star, 119-room resort on the outskirts of Geneva, is set to reopen next month, following a two-year renovation.

In this French-speaking city, the Hotel d’Angleterre just finished a renovation of its 74 guest rooms, public areas and three meeting rooms.

The new 186-room Hotel Alpha-Palmiers opened in May. The property, which offers 20 meeting rooms, a business center, a fitness center and two restaurants, plans to add 24 guest rooms next year for a total of 210.

A complete makeover has transformed the 93-room Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola, in this lovely lakeside Ticino town, into a pastel-hued five-star property.

The 235-room Montreux Palace hotel has opened a new spa with 10 treatment rooms and indoor and outdoor pools. The property, now part of the Raffles chain, also has a new restaurant, Jaan.

The Royal Plaza has reopened following a complete renovation of its public spaces and health center; the 147-room hotel also added six suites.

St. Moritz
The 184-room Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains, formerly the Parkhotel Kurhaus, is set to open this month in this popular winter resort town. The hotel, now renovated and upgraded, has five meeting rooms and a conference center.

The 163-room Dolder Grand Hotel will close for the first half of 2004 for refurbishment. The project will add a wellness center, a spa and new function space.

The Hilton Zurich Airport added 14 meeting rooms this year, for a total of 21.

Work has begun on a 130-room Park Hyatt next to the city’s congress center. It should open in late 2003.

Chicago 1928The Event Place has opened in an old factory shed in Glatfelden, just outside the city. Up to 600 can gather here for Chicago gangster-style parties.

Lisbon’s 194-room Pestana Carlton Palace Hotel, formerly the Palácio Valle Flor, opened last year. The main building, a national monument, was restored to its grand 19th-century ambience, and two wings were added to house the guest rooms. The property has 15 meeting rooms, a fitness center, formal gardens and an outdoor pool. (011) 351-291-209100; Back to NewslineM&C Home Page
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