May 31, 2006

In June, InterContinental Hotels Group will convert the Hilton Philadelphia/Cherry Hill, in Cherry Hill, N.J., to the Crowne Plaza Cherry Hill, following a $5 million renovation. The 408-room hotel has 43,000 square feet of meeting space, including two ballrooms and 20 meeting rooms.

The Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City, Utah, is in the middle of a $7 million renovation. Expanded dining and lounge areas will be reopened by July 1, while an enlarged and renovated lobby will debut in October. Four junior suites are being constructed, to be available by March 2007. The 175-room property offers the 20,000-square-foot Olympic Conference Facility.

On Monday, Accor Hotels & Resorts announced the simultaneous opening of two Sofitel-branded properties in Nanjing, China. The 279-room Sofitel Galaxy Nanjing, is a downtown property with a grand ballroom accommodating receptions of 750, 11 additional breakout rooms and five restaurants. The 140-room Sofitel Zhongshan Golf & Resort Nanjing is a 20-minute drive from the city center. The property offers a ballroom accommodating 300, plus eight conference rooms. Other amenities include a spa, a salon, a fitness center, indoor pool and 27-hole Gary Player-designed golf course surrounding the hotel. Three more Sofitels are scheduled to open in China before the end of the year.

The Portland Airport Sheraton Hotel reopened its doors after spending $5.5 million to upgrade the property's bar and restaurant, remodel the grand lobby and add a 2,500-square-foot meeting room. A third of the hotel's 213 guest rooms also have been refurbished; the rest will be finished by 2007. The hotel offers more than 22,500 square feet of meeting space.
The Seattle Marriott Hotel Sea-Tac Airport has upgraded all 459 guest rooms, completing the first phase of a $15 million, multiyear renovation. The next phase, which includes a redesigned lobby area, fitness center, additional landscaping, and building and equipment upgrades, will be completed over the next several months. The hotel has more than 18,500 square feet of meeting space.

ResortQuest Hawaii will assume management of the Courtyard by Marriott Kauai at Waipouli Beach next month. The 311-room hotel, which will be renamed ResortQuest Kauai Beach at Makaiwa, will undergo renovations.

Pacifica Hotel Co. has purchased two hotels in Marina del Rey, Calif. The 157-room Marina del Rey Hotel & Marina has seven meeting rooms. The 110-room Marina International Hotel & Bungalows has two meeting rooms and 25 bungalows. Renovations are at both properties expected to begin late this year or early next year.

Plenty of news emerged from Aruba last week. The 481-room Wyndham Aruba has shed the Wyndham flag and will become a Westin, perhaps as early as this winter; in the interim, it is operating as the Aruba Resort, Spa & Casino, all the furniture in the rooms is being replaced, and a $90 million renovation is planned. Also, a website debuted for Meet Aruba, the Aruba Hotel and Tourism Authority's group sales and marketing arm. The site is up at