June 27, 2007

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has 50 confirmed development projects to build its Aloft brand, which launched in 2005. Cities where the new brand soon will be springing up include Chicago; Minneapolis; Las Vegas; Atlanta; Beijing, China; Brussels, Belgium; Montr}al and Sydney, Australia.

A new 10,000-square-foot conference center has opened at the Red Mountain Spa in St. George, Utah. The property offers 82 rooms and the Sagestone Spa with 14 treatment rooms.

Hilton Hotels Corp. has revamped its online group-booking tool, called e-Events. The relaunched service, for events requiring 25 rooms or fewer, now is faster, enabling planners to reserve guest rooms and meeting space in real time and to set up F&B and A/V needs online up to a year in advance, without going through the RFP process.

Interstate Hotels & Resorts will manage three properties in the Oakland, Calif., area: the 484-room Oakland Marriott City Center, the 75,000-square-foot Oakland Convention Center adjacent to the hotel and the 162-room Courtyard by Marriott Oakland Downtown. The Oakland Marriott City Center and the convention center offer 89,000 square feet of event space, including 32 meeting rooms and three ballrooms. A substantial renovation of all three properties is expected over the next three years.

The 156-room Crowne Plaza Miami Kendall reopened on Tuesday. The hotel features an outdoor pool, a fitness center, a tennis court and 5,000 square feet of meeting space.
The 884-room Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort & Spa has completed part of a $30 million renovation, transforming the 30,000-square-foot lobby atrium with a new 60-foot bar with a glass mosaic water wall and a new sushi bar, and expanding its indoor marina. The refurbished 38,000-square-foot spa will open in July. The hotel offers 210,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space.

The 200-room Ritz-Carlton, Powerscourt, County Wicklow, will open in Ireland in October. The property will have 6,000 square feet of meeting space, two championship golf courses, a spa with 18 treatment rooms and a restaurant run by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.