According to a report released by Smith
Travel Research, the average occupancy at hotels in the United
States was at 63.3 percent in May, a decline of 2.5 percent over
May 2007. The average daily rate, however, climbed 3.7 percent over
May 2007 to $106.95.
Renovations are complete at the
248-room Doubletree Hotel Denver-Southeast in Aurora, Colo. About
$6 million was spent to redo the guest rooms, meeting space, dining
outlets and recreation facilities. The rooms now have Sweet Dreams
by Doubletree beds, wireless Internet access, MP3-compatible clock
radios and in-room coffee from Wolfgang Puck. Technology offerings
in the 4,000-square-foot ballroom also have been upgraded. The
property offers 14,000 square feet of meeting space.
The 334-room Crowne Plaza Houston
North-Greenspoint has unveiled its completed renovations. The
property now features the Crowne Plaza Sleep Advantage program,
adding new bedding to all rooms, plus drape clips, night-lights,
sleep CDs, eye masks, ear plugs and lavender spray. Also, the
guest-room desks now have built-in charging stations. Elsewhere in
the hotel, the business center has been enlarged and wireless
Internet access has been installed throughout. Also receiving an
upgrade were the lobby and the 17,500 square feet of meeting
A grand opening was held last week for
the 94-room Costa d'Este Beach Resort in Vero Beach, Fla., a Gloria
and Emilio Estefan Personal Luxury Resort. The property includes a
Cuban-fusion restaurant called Oriente, a pool, a spa, a fitness
center and 1,170 square feet of function space.
The Lexington hotel at Orlando
CityPlace will be converted to the 227-room Crowne Plaza
Orlando-Downtown next month. The hotel, near the Amway Arena and
the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, offers 6,500 square feet of
meeting space, business and fitness centers, and a restaurant.
Guest rooms will receive new bedding and soft goods.
The 169-suite Embassy Suites Anchorage
has opened in Alaska, the state's first outpost of the all-suite
brand. The restaurant, called Pi Kitchen + Bar, serves contemporary
Alaskan fare. The property, two miles from Ted Stevens
International Airport and downtown Anchorage, offers 6,000 square
feet of meeting space, a business center, an indoor pool and a
Precor fitness center, among other amenities.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
has opened its first Aloft hotel in the United States, in Southern
California's Ontario-Rancho Cucamonga. The 136-room property,
approximately two miles from the Ontario Convention Center and
Ontario International Airport, features signature Aloft amenities,
such as the xyz bar, the re:mix lobby area, the re:charge fitness
center, a 24-hour cafe called re:fuel, and splash, an outdoor pool.
Rooms offer wireless Internet access, iPod and PDA hookups, and
flat-screen HDTVs. A 504-square-foot meeting area dubbed Tactic is
available for 12-person board meetings.
The 160-room Hollywood Holiday Inn will become the Hollywood
Heights Hotel next week, following the completion of renovations to
all guest rooms and public spaces. This fall, work will begin on
improvements to the hotel's restaurant. The property has two
meeting rooms that accommodate 63 people each.
The 364-room Wyndham Princeton
Forrestal Hotel and Conference Center will unveil a $7 million
renovation tomorrow. The former Merrill Lynch Conference Center now
offers 49 meeting rooms, 47,000 square feet of function space and a
400-seat amphitheater. The property is in a wooded area in
Plainsboro, N.J., just outside of Princeton and midway between New
York City and Philadelphia.
Homewood Suites by Hilton has launched the Suite Selection Tool.
Using the web-based program, prospective hotel guests can see floor
plans and images of different suites and their rates before
booking. Members of Hilton HHonors, the chain's loyalty program,
also can check in online at the site up to 36 hours before arrival,
at which point they can book a specific suite in the hotel.