The 413-room Empire Hotel in New York
City put the finishing touches on a $47 million renovation this
week. Improvements include a new lobby bar on the ground floor, a
redesign of all rooms and suites, and the addition of the
13th-floor pool deck with several cabanas, which will accommodate
150 guests. The hotel offers 2,100 square feet of meeting space
divisible into three separate rooms.
About $25 million will be spent to
renovate the suites at the 1,338-room Caribe Royale Orlando
All-Suites Hotel and Convention Center, and the 279-room Buena
Vista Suites Hotel. Enhancements at both properties will include
new soft goods, wall coverings, flooring and bathroom surfaces;
42-inch flat-screen TVs for the living rooms and 37-inch
flat-screen TVs for the bedrooms, and new closets and safes. Both
properties will start renovations in August; work at the Buena
Vista will finish by the end of 2008 and at the Caribe Royale by
InterContinental Hotels Group will open
a second Hotel Indigo in San Antonio at the north end of the River
Walk. The 149-suite property, opening in early 2009, is a
conversion of a Hawthorn Suites. The hotel will have two small
meeting rooms. Its sister property, the 91-room Hotel Indigo San
Antonio, opens in the fall.
The 288-room Embassy Suites
Philadelphia has completed a $10 million renovation, which included
upgrades to guest rooms, the fitness center and the property's
4,000 square feet of meeting space. The Center City hotel also
added a business center and redesigned a number of public spaces,
including the lobby bar.
RockResorts terminated its marketing license and service agreements
with the Lake Tahoe Development Co., which had been developing the
Chateau at Heavenly Village, a hotel/convention center project in
South Lake Tahoe. The developer recently put the project on hold
due to financing issues. Plans had called for RockResorts to
operate the property's condo-hotel.
The 120-room L'Auberge Del Mar,
approximately 20 minutes north of San Diego, will reopen Friday
following a $25 million propertywide renovation. New features
include an open-air lobby; a pool deck; the Bleu Bar; a
2,000-square-foot outdoor terrace, and luxe amenities in guest
rooms, such as custom-designed furniture, iPod docking stations and
42-inch flat-screen TVs. Additionally, the hotel's 15,000 square
feet of indoor and outdoor function space has been completely
redesigned. A new signature restaurant is slated to open in
September, followed by a new 4,500-square-foot spa in December.
The 76-room Fairmont Zimbali Lodge has
opened in South Africa. The property, in a coastal forest reserve
on the north coast of KwaZulu Natal, has three function rooms, a
spa and a Tom Weiskopf-designed golf course. Next year, Fairmont
will open the 157-room Fairmont Zimbali resort, which will have a
signature Gary Player golf course, Willow Stream Spa and meeting
The 209-room Radisson Hotel Addis Ababa will open in EthiopiaÕs
capital city in late 2009. The hotel will have a restaurant,
meeting facilities and a fitness center.
The 103-room Capella Castlemartyr in County Cork, Ireland, will
debut its Capel Suite, a 3,500-square-foot event space, this month.
The resort property has four additional meeting rooms.
InterContinental Hotel Group announced
this week that the first hotel to carry the new Holiday Inn sign,
which is part of that chain's $1 billion introduction of the new
logo, will be the 226-room Holiday Inn Manhattan 6th Avenue, which
opens June 12. By year-end, 1,000 of Holiday Inn's 3,200 hotels
around the world will be rebranded, with the remaining properties
done by 2010. IHG said the relaunch strategy, which included a
remodeling of public spaces and new service standards, was aimed at
giving Holiday Inns a more contemporary lifestyle image.
In an effort to gain an international
presence and penetrate new markets, Loews Hotels has launched a new
sales effort. The new international sales strategy will be
supported by a dedicated website, www.loewshotelsintl.com, which features the chain's
entire portfolio, rates through 2010, as well as downloadable
high-resolution images. In addition, a new staff position,
executive director of international wholesale accounts, has been
created to support the reach into international markets.