April 12, 2006

Hyatt Hotels & Resorts has launched a new non-smoking and bed-type guarantee across its entire portfolio worldwide. As part of the program, if a non-smoking room is not available at check in for a guest who reserved one, the guests will be given a choice of a $100 Hyatt gift card or 5,000 gold passport points as compensation. Diamond and Platinum members of Hyatt's Gold Passport program who reserve a room with specific bedding, but find it not available at check in, will receive 5,000 gold passport points, which is equivalent to a one-night stay.

Shanghai Li Xing Hotel Co. Ltd. to manage the 362-room Conrad Shanghai, scheduled to be completed in 2008. The property, to be the third Conrad-branded hotel in China, will include a spa, meeting facilities, eateries and recreational facilities. "When people think of luxury accommodation in Shanghai, they will think of Conrad," said Matthew Hart, president and COO for Hilton Hotels Corp.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide opened The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa in Fiji, the first Westin resort in the South Pacific. Starwood invested $15 million to renovate the 271-room hotel, formerly the Sheraton Royal Denarau, which has a two-tiered beachfront pool and a Heavenly Spa. The resort has nearly 5,000 square feet of indoor meeting space.

The Harvey Hotel DFW Airport was renamed the Westin Dallas Fort Worth Airport on April 6, Westin's parent company Starwood Hotels & Resorts announced. In the city of Irving, Texas, the 506-room property also debuted a $25 million overhaul. It has 38,000 square feet of meeting space.

Gemstone Resorts International announced last week that it will manage the 367-room House of Blues hotel in downtown Chicago, which was recently purchased by LaSalle Hotel Properties for $114.5 million. The former Loews property will undergo a multi-million renovation of its guest rooms, meeting space and public areas, as well

Sol Melia Hotels and Resorts' fifth Paradisus resort, the 554-room Paradisus Palma Real in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, held its grand opening April 5. All the rooms at the upscale all-inclusive resort come equipped with Jacuzzis, spa-jet showers, plasma TVs and private terraces. More than 25,000 square feet of meeting and event space is available.

Developer Cypress Equities announced last week it had purchased a 480-acre uninhabited island near Harbour Island and Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas. Royal Island will be the home to a residential community and luxury hotel, spa, golf course and marina. Further details on the hotel will be forthcoming.

The 102-room Lodge at Tiburon reopened last week in Tiburon, Calif., 10 miles from San Francisco, after a $6.5 million transformation and repositioning into a more upscale experience. The hotel offers 5,000 square feet of meeting space.

The 252-room Doubletree Guest Suites Anaheim (Calif.) Resort/Convention Center opened last week, next to the Anaheim Convention Center. The all-suite hotel offers workstations in all the rooms and 7,500 square feet of meeting space, including a 6,500-square-foot ballroom.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide launched a $20 million, "Greetings," advertising campaign this week for its Sheraton brand. As part of the multi-million "Warm Welcome" experience launch, guests will be greeted by a designated Sheraton Ambassador, each hotel's lobby will feature Sheraton's new signature lobby scent, a natural hypoallergenic fragrance, and guests will receive a complimentary ten-minute phone card and a signature prepaid postcard.

The 273-room Four Seasons Hotel Boston announced on Monday that it will complete a three-year, $43 million comprehensive renovation of the hotel before the end of the month. The project created 6,000 square feet of additional meeting space, bringing the hotel's total to 15,600 square feet, most of which is illuminated by natural light. Design firm Babey Moulton Jue & Booth developed the hotelÕs new look.