July 25, 2007

According to the Denver Business Journal, Colorado's first W Hotel will be developed by Sage Hospitality Resources in downtown Denver. A parcel of land on the corner of Market and 16th streets is slated to hold the 180-room hotel. Construction will begin in 2008.

Details have been released of a $30 million transformation of the 292-room Vail Cascade Resort & Spa in Colorado. To take 18 months, the changes aim to position the resort as the top meeting facility in Vail Valley, by adding a new 4,000-square-foot executive conference area and 600 square feet to the Creekside meeting room, bringing the total meeting space to 40,000 square feet. All guest rooms also will be renovated.

The 884-room Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort & Spa has opened the 38,000-square-foot Spa Desert Springs. The facility offers a variety of amenities and relaxation treatments, including large steam chambers, whirlpools, saunas and Desert Rain Showers featuring five programmable showerheads. The spaÕs fitness center has a heated indoor pool and a yoga studio, and also offers personal fitness and nutritional counseling. A 600-square-foot private Spa Sanctuary with a personal butler and a private entrance is available. The Spa Desert Springs is part of a $35 million renovation that recently refurbished the lobby and added a sushi bar. The final phase of the renovation, to be completed in November, will place 37-inch HDTVs in each guest room.

The 238-room Battle House, an 1852 hotel in downtown Mobile, Ala., that had been abandoned since 1974, has reopened as a Renaissance hotel. Managed by PCH Hotels & Resorts, the property, which underwent a five-year, $25 million renovation, offers 28,000 square feet of meeting space.

Hilton Hotels Corp. has sold eight of its international properties to Morgan Stanley Real Estate, but will continue to manage all of the hotels under existing management contracts. The eight properties are Hilton Dresden, Hilton Dusseldorf and Hilton Weimar in Germany; Hilton Charles de Gaulle and Hilton Strasbourg in France; Hilton Luxembourg; Hilton Barcelona, and Los Zocos Club Resort in the Canary Islands. The sale of two more hotels to Morgan Stanley, Hilton Brussels and Hilton Zurich, is expected to be completed by year-end 2007.

Sonesta International Hotels Corp. will enter the Mexican market. Its first property, the 460-room Sonesta Gran Posada Resort is scheduled to open in 2009. The resort will feature eight restaurants, a full-service spa, a business center and meeting space for 300.

Marriott International announced this week that five of its brands, Courtyard, Residence Inn, Fairfield Inn, TownePlace Suites and SpringHill Suites now offer guests free WiFi in the U.S. And Canada. Combined, that makes for 1,500 new WiFi hotspots.