November 15, 2006

The 194-room Hobby Airport Hotel has reopened as the Holiday Inn Houston Hobby Airport following a $1 million renovation. The property, which offers 3,000 square feet of meeting space, now has wireless Internet access, a new restaurant, flat-screen TVs in the rooms and a business center.

Marcus Hotels and Resorts has been chosen to manage the 483-room Resort Suites in Scottsdale, Ariz. The property, part of the Summit Hotels and Resorts, is made up of one-, two- and four-bedroom suites. The resort currently has 7,600 square feet of meeting space, but Marcus president Bill Otto said the company is thinking of increasing that amount along with renovating the rest of the property.

Ashford Hospitality Trust, which has completed its purchase of the 525-room Westin O'Hare in Rosemont, Ill., now will invest $6.1 million to upgrade the hotel's guest rooms and bathrooms over the next two years.

The 575-room Hyatt Regency Monterey (Calif.) Resort and Conference Center will undergo a $40 million phased renovation that should be completed by January 2008. The guest rooms, suites, public spaces, restaurant and surrounding grounds all will be refurbished, and an 8,000-square-foot spa will be added.

Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is buying the 273-room Ritz-Carlton Boston from Millennium Partners for $170 million, confirming speculation that a sale was imminent. The hotel is scheduled to be renamed the Taj Boston when the purchase closes on Jan. 11.

Construction begins this Friday in Newport, R.I., on a $4.8 million upgrade and transformation of the Hotel Viking's 78-room Viking Wing. The property's 14,000 square feet of meeting space also will get a facelift. Currently offering 222 guest rooms, the hotel will have 209 when the project is completed next May, after some suites are reconfigured.

A 2,100-square-foot Executive Learning Center will be unveiled today at La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, Calif., bringing the property's total to 50,000 square feet of meeting space. The hotel's 82-seat theater, which had been the site of Hollywood premieres, has been redesigned with tiered seating and 84 wired Internet connections.

Radisson SAS Farnham Estate has opened in County Cavan, Ireland. The property has 158 guest rooms, a spa with 19 treatment rooms and a conference center with 13 meeting rooms. An 18-hole championship golf course will open in mid-2007.

The 165-room Radisson SAS Hotel Lucerne has opened in Switzerland. The property has a fitness center and 10 meeting rooms.

All-inclusive resort company Palace Resorts announced its first property in the Dominican Republic, the 1,743-room Moon Palace Casino, Golf & Spa Resort, in Punta Cana. Rooms will feature double Jacuzzis and in-room liquor dispensers; the resort will offer a casino, a nightclub, a spa with 54 treatment rooms, 18 to 27 holes of golf, and a convention center with 60,000 square feet of meeting space. The rooms and basic amenities will open in late 2007; the casino, spa and golf will follow in 2008.

Last week, the 120-room Novotel Montreal Airport opened its doors. The property, the seventh Novotel in Canada, features 5,000 square feet of meeting space divided among seven meeting rooms and a ballroom. Additional amenities include a restaurant, a fitness center, a pool, a whirlpool and high-speed Wi-Fi access in guestrooms.