January 25, 2006

On Jan. 18, Carlson Hotels Asia-Pacific announced development of the 238-room Radisson Plaza Hotel Tianjin, in Tianjin, China, one of the country's foremost industrial cities. The 23-story property, set to open in July 2007, will feature conference and banquet facilities, club floors, an executive lounge, restaurants, two bars, retail, 24-hour room service and a spa. The hotel will be the fourth Carlson property currently under development in China.

The 282-room Cologne Marriott Hotel opened Jan. 15 near the historic Cathedral at the heart of this German city. The property offers 12 conference and meeting spaces, including a grand ballroom, plus the restaurant "Fou, the crazy brasserie," featuring singing waiters, and the Pluesch Bar & Lounge.

On Jan. 20, it was announced that the 364-room Kahala Mandarin Oriental Hawaii, in Honolulu on the island of Oahu, is to become an independent property. The hotel will sever links with the Mandarin Oriental hotel chain on March 1.

Westin will operate the 232-room hotel at Le Paradis, a 554-acre luxury resort development opening August 2007 in St. Lucia. Features include an 18-hole Greg Norman golf course, a spa with 26 treatment rooms, and meeting space for 600. After opening, work will begin on a luxury boutique hotel, shopping district and marina. This announcement marks the fifth Westin resort under development in the Caribbean, in addition to the four currently open.

The 554-room Paradisus Palma Real in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, opened in December. Each room has a Jacuzzi, flat-screen TV and private terrace; the property also has an 8,611-square-foot spa and 17,200 square feet of meeting space, including 10,700-square-foot ballroom. The property is the fifth Paradisus resort in the Caribbean region and the second in Punta Cana.

John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts purchased 30 acres of land on Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Mo., last week and might decide to build a hotel and convention center on the property. The cost of the acquisition was not disclosed. "We look forward to working with the city of Osage Beach to provide new economic growth to this beautiful area, and we are entering into a market study to determine if a luxury hotel or resort, convention and exposition center and/or an upscale condominium development are best suited for the land," said John Q. Hammons in a statement.

General Motors and the Detroit River East Partners, LLC, have reached an agreement to develop 13 acres along the Detroit River, immediately east of the GM Renaissance Center. Specific plans have yet to be determined, but include a mix of commercial, residential, retail and entertainment development. Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick created the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy in 2002 with the vision to create a five-mile walkway along the river that will average 62 feet in width. One half-mile of the walk opened in 2004 in front of the Renaissance Center. Construction of the east riverfront is expected to cost more than $250 million.