May 23, 2007

Westin Hotels & Resorts has announced the formation of the Westin Renewal Council, a panel of six lifestyle experts who will advise on initiatives regarding the brand's "personal renewal" concept. The Renewal council will be introduced to guests through an in-room television channel, which will include advice, recipes and tips on areas such as nutrition, physical fitness, psychology and style. The channel content is in development and is expected to begin appearing in Westin rooms by early 2008.

As of Sept. 1, Howard Johnson Canada's 3,500 guest rooms will become 100 percent smoke-free. All guest rooms currently are undergoing a thorough cleaning and restoration program; upon completion, each hotel will receive a smoke-free certification.

The 189-room Radisson SAS Hotel Marseille opened last week in the French city's Vieux Port section. The property has 10 meeting rooms and a fitness center.

The 336-room Curtis Hotel opened yesterday in Denver. Room names throughout the property, which offers 19,000 square feet of meeting space, are a bit quirky: Standard rooms are called "the real deal" and suites are "the bigger better deal"; meeting rooms have names like Patty-Cake and Duck Duck Goose; and the gift shop is the 5 & Dime.

The 272-room Renaissance Providence (R.I.) Hotel opens tomorrow with 10,000 square feet of meeting space. The hotel is attached to a 1,900-seat theater, home to the city's philharmonic orchestra, opera and ballet, which can be rented for group functions. Built inside the city's restored Masonic temple, which was constructed prior to the stock market crash in 1929 but never occupied, the hotel represents the largest historical restoration in state history, according to a spokesperson for the Renaissance.

The 316-room Bay Point Marriott Resort in Panama City Beach, Fla., has finished construction that added 82 new condominium units, upgraded the golf villas, expanded the spa facility and remodeled the entrance. The resort offers more than 40,000 square feet of function space.  

The Benson Hotel in Portland, Ore., has unveiled an enhanced lobby with a new restaurant and bar. The historical 286-room hotel offers 17,000 square feet of meeting space.

The 544-room Hilton San Francisco Financial District now is under the management of Prism Hotels & Resorts. The hotel completed a $45 million transformation in 2006 and now features 20,000 square feet of meeting space, a spa and a signature restaurant.