April 19, 2006

Hilton Hotels and Resorts now allows guests to print boarding passes for 18 major airlines at the check-in/check-out kiosks in 37 Hilton lobbies. The free service also lets guests check in for their flights, change seats and request upgrades. A list of Hilton properties with kiosk service can be found at under Hilton Hotels & Resorts News.

On April 10, the 81-room Days Inn & Conference Center-Fredericton Oromocto in New Brunswick, Canada, marked its grand opening with Aboriginal ceremonies. The three-story property, owned by the Oromocto First Nation, is 15 minutes from the Fredericton Airport and includes a full-service restaurant and lounge, an indoor pool and a fitness center. Three meeting rooms (the largest is 1,850 square feet) can be used individually or combined to make a 4,000-square-foot ballroom.  Two boardrooms also are on-site.

An affiliate of Oxford Capital Group LLC announced last week that it had purchased the Cass Hotel, a 165-room property in downtown Chicago, for an undisclosed amount. HCP Oxford OBG Cass Property Company LLC plans a major renovation and is considering reflagging the hotel.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, in conjunction with its Starwood Preferred Guest program, has launched a blog called The Lobby From SPG ( The travel blog -- noting new properties, talking up attractions and restaurants, providing "inside" information from Starwood and more -- will include contributions from experts such as W concierges. William Sanders, the self-titled Starwood Lurker who has been featured in USA Today, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, will be a regular columnist.

The Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa opened yesterday in Summerlin, Nev., a Las Vegas suburb. The $925 million Station Casinos property has 415 guest rooms, a casino, a 35,000-square-foot spa, nine restaurants, an upscale food court, a 16-screen cinema and 94,000 square feet of meeting space, including four ballrooms and 10 meeting rooms. Phase II of the project will add 435 rooms by early next year.

Chef Charlie Palmer -- whose eateries include Aureole in Los Angeles and New York City and Charlie Palmer Steak in Las Vegas and Washington, D.C. -- will open a boutique-style, nongaming condohotel in Las Vegas in mid-2008, to be called the Charlie Palmer Condominium Hotel. The $400 million property, one block west of the Las Vegas Strip, will offer 400 guest rooms and three restaurants overseen by Palmer. Also planned are a nightclub, spa and pool.

The Fairmont Mayakoba opens April 21 close to the city of Playa del Carmen on Mexico's Riviera Maya. The property originally was set to open December, but was delayed by damage caused by Hurricane Wilma. The 397-room hotel has four restaurants, a spa, an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus golf course and 40,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space. The property is part of the Mayakoba Resort, a $2 billion, mixed-use development that also will include the Laguna Kai, a Rosewood Resort, and Banyan Tree Mayakoba, both scheduled to open next year.

A $38 million renovation has been completed at the 1,675-room Atlanta Marriott Marquis. The property has 120,000 square feet of meeting space.