April 26, 2006

Reid's Palace, the 163-room luxury hotel overlooking the Bay of Funchal on Portugal's Madeira Island, reopened April 14 following a $10.5 million renovation. The property now offers 35 suites and 128 rooms, and a new conference room holds up to 150 people theater-style. Opening in mid-July is The Spa at Reid's Palace with five treatment rooms and a fitness center.

The Harvey Hotel DFW Airport in Irving, Texas, is now the Westin Dallas Fort Worth Airport. Before reflagging the 506-room property, Starwood Hotels and Resorts and the Procaccianti Group spent $25 million refurbishing the hotel. The Westin offers 38,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 10,521-square-foot ballroom.

Amsterdam-based Golden Tulip Hospitality Group will build a $100 million, 280-room hotel at Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas, just north of Dallas, according to the Dallas Morning News. The Craig Ranch Golden Tulip, scheduled to open in 2008, will offer about 40,000 square feet of meeting space. The property will be built next to the Tournament Players Club at Craig Ranch, comprising 18 championship golf holes designed by Tom Weiskopf.

Ground will be broken May 1 on the renovation of the Little America Hotel & Resort in Cheyenne, Wyo. The 188 guest rooms will get new carpeting and flat-panel TVs in Phase I, and a new entrance, coffee shop and 2,000 square feet of meeting space will be added. A 13,500-square-foot grand ballroom and another 4,500 square feet of meeting space will be built as part of Phase II, which begins this summer and will bring the property's total to 26,000 square feet of function space.

Hilton Hotels Corp. will open a property in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. The $70 million Hilton Kiev, which will open in mid-2009 a few blocks from the city's Opera House, will include 257 guest rooms, 13 meeting rooms, a ballroom for up to 350 people, two restaurants and a spa.

The first phase of a $10 million transformation has been completed at the 966-room Hyatt Regency Jacksonville (Fla.) Riverfront. The lobby, health club and pool at the former Adam's Mark Jacksonville were renovated and four restaurants were added.

W Hotels has launched W to Go, a text-messaging service, at select properties. The free service alerts guests when their rooms are available for check-in, if a package has arrived for them and when their dry cleaning has been returned, all using messages sent to their cell phones or PDAs.

Millennium Hotels & Resorts has opened a regional headquarters in Abu Dhabi. Millennium plans to develop 35 hotels in the Middle East and North Africa regions over the next five years.

The 80-villa InterContinental Resort and Thalasso Spa Bora Bora will open in a limited capacity next Monday on the private islet of Piti Aau in Tahiti. The resort is Tahiti's first to offer exclusively over-water accommodations. Some services and amenities will open throughout the rest of the year, including the resort gardens and tennis courts in June, and a helicopter port in September.

In taking over as vice president and general manager of the Hotel Nikko San Francisco last week, Anna Marie Presutti has become Nikko Hotels' first female GM. Presutti joined the company 18 months ago, and was promoted to vice president of sales and marketing a year later.

A 6,000-square-foot ballroom and a 3,000-square-foot event lawn will be added to the 215-room Miramonte Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, Calif., near Palm Springs. The new space, which opens in January, will boost the resort's total meeting space to 18,000 square feet.