October 24, 2007

The 320-room Renaissance Glendale Hotel, a John Q. Hammons property, opens today in Glendale, Ariz., just outside Phoenix. For meetings, the property offers the 95,000-square-foot Convention and Media Center. A spa, two pools and a fitness center round out the amenities.

A fire damaged at least one first-floor room at the 180-room Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City, Utah, over the weekend. Guests were evacuated from 16 rooms on the first and second floors. The hotel was 66 percent occupied at the time. The cause of the fire still is being investigated and the damage still is being assessed, but a spokesperson for the property said repairs will be made in time for the opening of ski season.

Dallas' 143-room Mansion on Turtle Creek, a Rosewood Hotel, currently is undergoing a $20 million renovation project. Now known as the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, the property is redesigning its restaurant, following the defection of its long-time chef, Dean Fearing, to the new Ritz-Carlton, Dallas. The refurbished restaurant will open in early November. Guest-room renovations will begin early next year, and the 6,000 square feet of meeting space also will be redone. A completion date for the renovations has not been set.

According to local news reports, Starwood Hotels & Resorts will bring a 300-room Westin and a 140-room Aloft to the Glorypark project next to the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. Both properties also will offer residences for sale.

According to Lodging Econometrics, a total of 814 hotels, representing 139,133 rooms, are in EuropeÕs construction pipeline, half of which are expected to open in 2008. The United Kingdom leads the charge with 277 projects or 40,441 rooms, nearly one-third of which are being built in London. Most of that development is being fueled by preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games. Portugal, Austria, Turkey, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic each have between 15 and 30 projects under construction.

Hampton Hotels has announced a brand-wide initiative to "non-scent" its 145,000 hotel rooms in response to results from a survey of its guests, which indicated 86 percent prefer the smell of fresh air and linens to cleaning products that mask unwanted odors. As part of the initiative, a joint effort with Procter & Gamble, housekeepers at the brand's 1,450 properties will use P&G's Febreze Linen & Sky product to eliminate all lingering guest-room odors.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts unveiled a new development and service strategy this week aimed at increasing its appeal to Generation X consumers. According to president Peter Strebel, Wyndham will target development in first-tier markets, such as Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego and San Francisco, and accelerate global growth in markets such as Europe, the Caribbean and Mexico. Currently, nine Wyndham hotels are in the development pipeline in these destinations, including four in New York City. On the service end, Wyndham unveiled a one-on-one customer-service training program, which focuses on personalization. Wyndham also has partnered with companies known for their creativity, such as Cirque du Soleil and VTech Electronics North America, to tap into younger consumers' appetite for innovation.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group will open a new 125-room resort on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts in 2010. The 50-acre property will have five restaurants and bars, a 225-seat ballroom, three additional meeting rooms and a 15,000-square-foot spa with 11 treatment rooms. The resort will be the sixth Mandarin Oriental in the Caribbean.

A symbolic groundbreaking ceremony of the $32 million, 220-room Macon Marriott City Center Hotel at the Macon Centreplex in Macon, Ga., took place Monday. The true groundbreaking will happen next spring, and the opening is planned for late 2009. The hotel will be connected to the convention center and offer 4,000 square feet of meeting space. According to local news outlets, the groundbreaking is a big step because the project has been a controversial topic for city officials over the past few years. Two city commissioners had planned to file a resolution yesterday to delay the hotel because they believe the project should be in the hands of the new mayor and council who will take office in December, according to the ABC-TV news affiliate

Ocean Land Investments will open two connecting hotel properties and a 28-slip marina in Pompano Beach, Fla. The six-acre project, the Pompano Beach Resort, will include a 264-room waterfront Hilton with a 6,500-square-foot ballroom, 5,000 square feet of additional meeting space and a 3,200 square foot restaurant. The second, unnamed hotel will have 317 rooms, a 5,500-square-foot ballroom, 2,500 square feet of other meeting space and an oceanfront restaurant. Construction will begin on the Hilton property in February 2008 with completion set for October of 2009.
The 140-room Hotel Indigo West End in Nashville will open on Friday with 1,995 square feet of meeting space. The first seven floors open this week, while floors eight through eleven will debut in November. A spa with seven treatment rooms opens next spring.
The Pinellas County Commission in Florida passed an ordinance last week allowing its municipalities to increase the density of hotel rooms in their areas, if they choose. According to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, old zoning laws were preventing new properties from being built and existing hotels from adding more rooms.

Golden Tulip Hospitality Group has launched Golden Tulip South East Asia in Bangkok. The office will oversee development in countries including Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. According to Golden Tulip, the company plans to develop a portfolio of 40 hotels in the area through conversions and new-builds by 2011.

The 203-room Le Royal Monceau in Paris is getting a new look and new management. This winter, Raffles Hotels and Resorts will add the landmark property to its portfolio. The hotel will close for a complete revamp; when it reopens in late 2008, the Monceau will have 152 guest rooms with butler service and five restaurants. At press time, Raffles did not have specific information on changes to the six meeting rooms and 15,000-square-foot spa.

The 170-room Golden Tulip Antwerp Center opened last week in Belgium. The property has 13 meeting rooms, a restaurant and a jazz lounge.

Homewood Suites by Hilton has opened its first hotel in Mexico, a 102-room property in the business and industrial hub of Torreon, Coahuila, west of Monterrey in the northern part of the country. The hotel is part of a new, 26,000-square-foot entertainment complex called Intermall Laguna, which also will feature a restaurant, an ice rink, a small amusement park, a movie theater and retail shops. The hotel itself offers an exercise facility, a putting green, an outdoor pool with sand and a poolside bar.