On Dec. 1, Regent Hotels & Resorts
opened the 500-room Regent Beijing, the brand's second property in
China. On Jinbao Street, in the heart of Beijing's commercial zone,
the Regent includes four restaurants, a lounge and a spa. In-room
amenities include free high-speed wireless access, plasma TVs, DVD
players and views of the Forbidden City. Depending on seasonality,
the property can accommodate groups requiring blocks of up to 150
guest rooms and offers a range of function rooms, as well as a
The 36-room Ice Hotel in Quebec City is
set to open on Jan. 5. This year's version of the hotel,
constructed from 15,000 tons of snow and 500 tons of ice, will
feature a playground for children and a suite with a private spa.
The hotel bar, the N'Ice Club, will be designed to resemble the
lost city of Atlantis. Group rates are available at the hotel,
which will be open though April 1, 2007.
The Embassy Suites Hotel Waikiki Beach
Walk, a new resort set on the beaches of Oahu, has begun accepting
reservations for visits beginning Dec. 22, 2006. Owned and operated
by Outrigger Enterprises Group, the all-suite hotel features two
towers for a combined 421 rooms, as well as 24-hour business and
fitness centers, an outdoor swimming pool with a waterfall, and
2,000 square feet of meeting space.
UNITE HERE Local 5 and the Waikiki
Beach Marriott announced last Thursday that they have reached a
tentative contract agreement. While the details have yet to be
divulged, the union revealed that it is similar to contracts
previously signed with other Waikiki hotels, which included wage
increases of $2.40 an hour over four years for non-tipped employees
and $1.20 an hour for tipped employees.
The Hyatt Regency Bellevue (Wash.) is
planning a $90 million addition set for completion in April 2009.
Kemper Development, which recently submitted a design-review
application with the city, is planning to build a second tower with
351 rooms, bringing the grand total to 733, and a new
On Dec. 4, IFA Hotels & Resorts
announced it would build in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the $1
billion Kingdom of Sheba resort, which will be part of the
already-announced Palm Jumeirah development. The Kingdom of Sheba
will cover approximately 1.4 million square feet and be completed
in mid-2010. Approximately 300 of this property's rooms will be
condos -- with prices ranging from $1 to $7 million -- while 550
will be in a hotel called the Fairmont Kingdom of Sheba. Amenities
at the Fairmont will include a private beach and club; boutique
dining areas; health and fitness facilities; several pools, and
meeting space. In addition, the hotel will include the Fairmont
Heritage Place, Kingdom of Sheba, a residence club with 50 luxury
apartments, all with sea views and some with terrace pools.
Also in the United Arab Emirates, in
Abu Dhabi, will be a new development called Yas Island. Developers
Aldar Properties said the artificial island will have the world's
first Ferrari World resort with a theme based around the luxurious
Italian car company, Ferrari. The island also will contain 3
million square feet of shopping, a Ferrari-themed park, a museum
and a theater, as well as a championship-quality racetrack with a
Ferrari Driving School. Plans also call for two marinas, yachting
facilities, several restaurants, other resorts, a water park, three
golf courses, and a polo field and equestrian center. No opening
date has been released.
Loews Hotels will complete its purchase
of the 493-room Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas Resort, Spa &
Casino on Dec. 8, at which time it will be known as the Loews Lake
Las Vegas Resort. In Henderson, Nev., 10 miles south of the Las
Vegas Strip, the property has 40,000 square feet of event space,
including the 21,330-square-foot Casablanca Grand Ballroom.
The Rezidor Hotel Group on Dec. 1
announced the upcoming rebranding of the 1,200-room Pribaltiyskaya
Hotel in St. Petersburg, Russia. As of Jan. 1, it will become the
Park Inn Pribaltiyskaya. The property, which has a
50,000-square-foot water park and a spa, plans to renovate its
1,200 guest rooms and approximately 32,000 square feet of meeting
The Presidente InterContinental Cozumel
Resort & Spa, on the Mexican island of Cozumel, completed a $25
million redevelopment on Dec. 5. The redesign reduced the room
count from 253 to 220 but created the new category of Ocean Suites.
The resort's largest meeting room hosts up to 300 guests.
A new W Hotel officially has been
announced for downtown Austin, Texas. The W Austin Hotel &
Residences will feature 250 guest rooms and 200 condominiums in the
city's Second Street District. The property will be part of Block
21, a mixed-use development that will include the new home of the
"Austin City Limits" public television music show in a 2,000-seat
live music and event venue. A new facility for the Austin
Children's Museum also will be built, along with 25,000 square feet
of retail and restaurant space.
The JW Marriott Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz., will
undergo a $35 million renovation in celebration of its 70th
anniversary. Ground will be broken April 30 on a project that
includes the rebuilding and expansion of the ballroom to 22,000
square feet and the addition of two new restaurants. The 453-room
property features two golf courses and a 32,000-square-foot spa.
The current 40,000 square feet of meeting space will jump to about
47,000 square feet when construction finishes in April 2008.
A $9 million renovation has been completed at the 302-room
Inverness Hotel in Englewood, Colo. A 4,500-square-foot spa was
added as part of the project and the rooms all were redone. The
hotel's two restaurants also were repositioned: The Swan became
Baca, serving Colorado cuisine with a Spanish touch; the casual
dining area is now The Spotted Dog, an English pub-style
establishment. The 60,000 square feet of meeting space, which has
been approved by the International Association of Conference
Centers, received new ergonomic Herman Miller Aeron chairs and
upgraded A/V equipment.