February 01, 2006

On Jan. 25, the InterContinental Hong Kong announced completion of a US$2.5 million, 7,000-square-foot Presidential Suite, the largest in Hong Kong. The four-bedroom suite has two-story glass windows overlooking Victoria Harbour, a 2,500-foot wraparound terrace and amenities such as a rooftop infinity swimming pool, a Jacuzzi, a private gym, airport limousine service and 24-hour butler service. The suite costs US$11,183 per night.

On Jan. 31, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Zhejiang Nine Dragons Development Co. Ltd. announced a deal for Starwood to manage the Westin Zhejiang Resort at Nine Dragon Hill, China. The resort property, comprising a 350-room hotel, 16,000 square feet of meeting space, two 18-hole golf courses, a marina for private yachts, a waterfront retail complex and dining outlets, is scheduled for a mid-2008 opening.

A new resort condo hotel called The Blue will be built adjacent to the 18-hole Blue Monster golf course at the 693-room Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami. Ground will be broken on the project this spring. Plans call for a pool area with cabanas, a business center, a lobby with bar, a movie theater and a library. The first of 250 guest units will be opened in summer 2007, and guests will have access to all facilities at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa, which has approximately 90,000 square feet of function space, including 40 meeting rooms and the 10,710-square-foot Grand Ballroom.

Small Luxury Hotels of the World this week launched its newest luxury service, Club Concierge. A silver membership will be open to all Small Luxury Hotels of the World's "The Club" members and will entitle guests to priority ticketing for fashion, arts and sporting events. Gold membership will be available only to those who have made one room reservation through the online site, www.clubslh.com, and will include all the benefits of the silver membership, as well as personal shopping and last-minute dining requests at in-demand restaurants. Depending on the nature of the request, Club members will incur a small fee.

LaSalle Hotel Properties announced on Monday that it has agreed to purchase the 751-room Westin Michigan Avenue in Chicago for $215 million. The property, which has 37,700 square feet of meeting space, will continue to be managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. The Westin will become LaSalle's second property in Chicago, along with the Chicago Marriott Downtown.

The 257-room Sheraton Cincinnati North Hotel in Sharonville, Ohio, opened last week after a $20 million transformation of the building that formerly housed a Radisson property. The new hotel, across the street from the Sharonville Convention Center, offers 17,000 square feet of meeting space, including an 8,320-square-foot ballroom.

The $44 million Residence Inn Denver City Center opened last week with 229 suites and one meeting room, plus a 24-hour business center.

Kahala Mandarin Oriental, one of Oahu's top hotels, will be known simply as The Kahala after March 1, when it is taken over by Landmark Hotels Inc. The new hotel managers and owners are planning a $20 million-plus investment into the property to renovate guest rooms and public areas.