May 24, 2006

Host Hotels & Resorts is buying the 732-room Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz., for $393 million. The sale is expected to close by the third quarter of this year. The property, which opened in November 2002 and will remain a Westin, offers about 70,000 square feet of meeting space.

Delta Hotels will manage the 99-room Royal Canadian Lodge in Banff, Alberta, which will be reflagged the Delta Banff Royal Canadian Lodge on July 1. Amenities at the property include meeting space for up to 80 attendees, the Evergreen restaurant and the Grotto spa.

Kerry Hatch, president of The St. Regis hotel brand, announced at Starwood's media summit that the company will roll out its ebutler service on June 1. Guests can e-mail requests to ebutler before they arrive or when they are on property and receive email response and confirmation. In addition, Hatch said St. Regis will place its Remède Spa amenities in all its guest rooms this, and will brand all St. Regis hotel spas Remède Spas.

The Hilton Garden Inn Manchester (N.H.) Downtown opened last week as part of a $70 million redevelopment along the Merrimack River. The 125-room hotel sits just beyond the centerfield wall of Stadium, home to Manchester's Double-A baseball team, and has unobstructed views of the field. The hotel has approximately 2,000 square feet of indoor meeting space; an outdoor patio and restaurant overlooking the stadium can accommodate up to 250 people.

A renovation and expansion has been completed at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Columbus (Ohio). Sixty "Villa Family Suites" have been added to the 278 newly renovated guest rooms, along with a 60,000-square-foot water park called Fort Rapids. The hotel has 10,000 square feet of meeting space.

A multimillion-dollar renovation is planned for the guest rooms, lobby and food and beverage facilities at the 186-room Westin Great Southern Hotel in Columbus, Ohio, which was purchased earlier this month by Marcus Hotels & Resorts. The work will be completed in the first quarter of 2007. The hotel has approximately 12,000 square feet of meeting space, which will not be part of the initial renovation.

Hilton Hotels Corp. has sold the 713-room Hilton Pittsburgh to Shubh Hotels Pittsburgh for approximately $28 million. The hotel will continue to operate as a Hilton under the terms of a 20-year franchise agreement.

A $40 million expansion and renovation of the Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas, will be completed in December. Guest rooms will be renovated and given rain showers and freestanding soaking tubs. The resort will have a new Club Lounge with 55 guest rooms, 16 executive suites, four presidential suites and two villas, bringing the total number of rooms to 180. Also, the restaurants will be improved, and the spa will get eight new treatment rooms, including a few open-air cabanas.

Groundbreaking has taken place on the $700 million Rum Cay Resort Marina on Rum Cay, in the Out Islands of the Bahamas. After residences and a marina for large yachts are built, a luxury hotel and spa will be erected. The hotel will be completed in 2010.

The Hilton St. Petersburg (Fla.) Carillon Park has opened as part of the Carillon Park business and entertainment site. The 227-room property has a 9,265-square-foot ballroom and five meeting rooms.