August 08, 2007

The 250-rooom Grand Cascades Lodge has opened in Vernon, N.J., part of the Crystal Springs Resort complex. A Biosphere indoor pool is scheduled to debut in the fall, featuring a translucent retractable roof. The 14-treatment-room Reflections Spa also will open in the fall. The property offers more than 31,000 square feet of meeting space. Guests have access to amenities at the lodge's sister property, the 175-room Minerals Hotel & Spa, and at the area's six golf courses.

The former Del Lago on Lake Conroe, a resort near Houston, has been renamed the LaCara Resort & Spa. Built on 175 acres, the currently closed property is undergoing extensive renovations and will reopen next summer with 445 suites, 75,000 square feet of meeting space and a 30,000-square-foot spa and fitness facility. The resort will offer a 3.5-acre pool complex, a redesigned golf course and more.

About $20 million is being spent to perk up the lobby and guest rooms of the Hyatt Regency Miami; renovations should be complete early next year. The 612-room property offers more than 100,000 square feet of meeting space.

Rocco Forte Hotels has been rebranded as the Rocco Forte Collection. The nine-property hotel group has a new website,; the site has a dedicated meetings section.

The 109-room Capella Castlemartyr opened Monday in Cork, Ireland. The property, a 17th-century manor house set on 220 acres that include the ruins of a 1,000-year-old castle, has four meeting rooms, a spa with 10 treatment rooms, an 18-hole links-style golf course and two resident Irish setters, Earl and Countess.

A new 207-room hotel, to be known as the Westin Hotel Research Triangle Park, is coming to Durham, N.C.Õs Imperial Center Business Park. The hotel will be built in tandem with a new headquarters for Quintiles Transnational Corp., a contract research firm for the pharmaceutical and health-care industries. The property, to open in 2009, will have a spa, a fitness center and a restaurant; the meeting space has yet to be determined.

Two boutique hotels in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle's 125-room Hotel Vintage Park and Portland, Ore.'s 107-room Hotel Vintage Plaza, have been sold. The two properties have been and will continue to be managed by Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants of San Francisco.