January 30, 2008

St. Augustine, Fla., will get a 225-room Westin as part of the San Sebastian Harbor Resort. The property will include a 10,000- to 20,000-square-foot conference center as well as a spa, a parking garage, a boardwalk promenade and a 65-slip marina. The hotel will open in fall 2010.

A propertywide renovation has begun at the 303-room Barton Creek Resort and Spa in Austin, Texas. The 150 Tower rooms will be refurbished from top to bottom, and 42-inch flat-screen TVs will be installed. A new lobby, a coffee market and agift shop will be built; the restaurant will be repositioned, and facilities for families, called Fort Barton, will be added. For meetings, the Barton Creek Room and an adjacent lobby will be combined into a new, 3,200-square-foot event space. All the work should be finished by November. The property offers 43,000 square feet of meeting space and four top-notch golf courses.

Yesterday marked the opening of the Hotel Terra in Jackson Hole, Wyo. The first of a planned collection of "green" hotels from the Terra Resort Group, the 72-room property is seeking LEED certification for its design and operating practices. The hotel offers a spa, two restaurants, a snow-sport rental shop and wireless Internet access throughout. In early 2009, the property will add a 4,000-square-foot ballroom.

The 389-room Park Plaza County Hall in London will open Friday. The property, in the city's South Bank section, has six meeting rooms.

The 198-room Westin Birmingham will open in England's second largest city in early 2010. The property, part of the Snow Hill mixed-use development, will have a ballroom, four meeting rooms and a WestinWorkout gym. It will be the first Westin in the United Kingdom.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is selling three hotels in Italy to an Italian investment firm. The properties are the 196-room Westin Excelsior and the 191-room Hotel Des Bains, both in Venice, and the 31-room Hotel Villa Cipriani in Asolo.

The landmark Caledonian Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland, will undergo a three-year refurbishment and expansion. The property, managed by Hilton Hotels, will update its 230 guest rooms and add 50 more, for a total of 280. The project also includes the conversion of the hotel's fitness center into an upscale spa. The Caledonian has 12 meeting rooms.

A 22-story, 239-suite Cambria Suites hotel will open in late 2009, one block from Madison Square Garden and Penn Station in New York City. This marks the brand's second hotel planned for the city, following the announcement of a 300-room Cambria Suites Brooklyn Bridge Hotel, also scheduled to open in late 2009. Guest room amenities at both properties will include flat-screen TVs and complimentary wired and wireless high-speed Internet access. A casual dining area, a coffee bar, a fitness center, a 24-hour convenience store and approximately 1,000 square feet of meeting space also will be available at each property.

The new, 96-suite Aura Cozumel, a Wyndham Grand Bay Hotel, opened this week on the island of Cozumel, off the coast of Mexico's Riviera Maya. The $22 million boutique hotel is adjacent to the 402-room Wyndham Cozumel Resort and Spa and is the first newly constructed Grand Bay property. Each of Aura's four low-rise buildings offers direct access to a small pool that connects with a larger, central pool. On the premises are two gourmet restaurants, three bars, two meeting rooms, a business center, two dive shops and a private pier.

The former Doubletree Club Northeast hotel in Philadelphia will begin doing business as The Four Points by Sheraton as of tomorrow. The 190-room property just went through a $10 million makeover, which included upgrading the guest rooms with 32-inch plasma TVs, Wi-Fi and wired Internet access, and new beds and pillows. The hotel has 5,575 square feet of meeting space, a new restaurant and a pub. An indoor pool is slated to open in April.