December 14, 2005

Construction is under way on the Westin Beale Street Hotel in Memphis, Tenn., a $40 million, 203-room upscale property across from the FedExForum basketball arena, home to the Memphis Grizzlies. A floor of the hotel has been designed with basketball players in mind, with tall ceilings, doors and showerheads. The property is expected to open in the first quarter of 2007.

A preliminary agreement has been signed to develop the 350-room Westin Curaçao Resort and Casino. The Netherlands Antilles resort will feature a 15,000- to 20,000-square-foot spa; more than 20,000 square feet of restaurant, lounge and meeting space; a 15,000-square-foot casino, and 260 timeshares. The resort is expected to open by December 2008.

The boutique 41-room Adara Hotel has opened in Whistler, British Columbia, the popular ski resort. Rooms feature fireplaces, high-speed Internet connections, luxury bedding and linens. Some units have flat-screen TVs, full kitchens and mountain views. Hotel amenities include 24-hour guest services, an outdoor heated pool and a hot tub.

A more than $5 million renovation has been completed at the 251-room Marriott Plaza San Antonio. The work refurbished the guest rooms, lobby, public areas, restaurant and bar.

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has purchased the 204-room Caleo Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz. The company plans to add a new restaurant and to renovate the resort, with work to be completed by the end of 2006. A $9 million refurbishment of the property was finished at the end of 2004, when the hotel's name was changed from the SunBurst Resort to the Caleo Resort & Spa. The property offers 14,000 square feet of meeting space.

Hilton Hotels Corp. announced this week that eCheck-in, its new online check-in service program, is available to its Gold and Diamond VIP Hilton HHonors members. The eCheck-in program allows members to check in from 36 hours before to within two hours of arrival at the property. The service will be implemented across Hilton's portfolio of brands, including Hilton, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Hampton Inn & Suites, Conrad and Hilton Garden Inn by January 2006.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts will manage a new resort, the Fairmont Zimbali, in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province. The property, to open in 2009, will include a championship golf course and a spa.

Brown's Hotel in London has reopened following a $34 million, 20-month refurbishment. The property, now part of Rocco Forte Hotels, has 117 guest rooms, including 15 suites; six meeting rooms; a restaurant, bar and tea room; and a gym with three spa treatment rooms.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts has announced a new hotel will open in Prague in early 2009. To be named Le Royal Méridien Prague, the 165-room property will be in the Czech Republic capital's historic district. It will offer a restaurant, a street café and a bar. The amount of meeting space has not yet been determined. This is the first new Le Méridien to be announced following Starwood's acquisition of the brand.