The 293-room Crowne Plaza Hotel
Houston-Medical Center permanently closes on Dec. 18. The property
has been purchased by the Baylor College of Medicine, which plans
to use it as part of an expansion.
A former Wyndham property near Newark
(N.J.) Liberty International Airport is now the Doubletree Hotel
Newark Airport. The Sweet Dreams by Doubletree Sleep Experience
(upgraded pillows, linens and mattresses) currently is being
installed at the 396-room property; the guest bathrooms will be
redesigned and renovated in 2006. The hotel offers more than 16,000
square feet of meeting space.
On Nov. 11, Larkspur Hospitality
announced the opening of the 125-room Larkspur Landing, Home Suite
Hotel, in Hillsboro, Ore. Formerly branded as a Candlewood Suites
property, the hotel has undergone a $1 million renovation,
upgrading soft goods in the rooms and refurbishing the lobby,
breakfast room, business center and the exterior. The opening of
the property brings to 11 the number of Larkspur Landing all-suite,
extended-stay hotels in Northern California and the Pacific
Hours after several online lodging news sites and the London Sunday
Times announced that Hilton Group CEO David Michels planned to quit
the company once the sale of its international hotels to Hilton
Hotel Group for US$6.26 billion was completed, a company
spokesperson denied any such intention on Michel's part.
Yeserday, the San Jose [Calif.] City
Council's heard a proposal for a $2 surcharge to be levied on top
of the 10 percent transient occupancy tax. The city's 35 largest
hotels have agreed to create a hotel business improvement district,
adding a charge of between 75 cents and $2 to their rooms in order
to boost marketing funds available to the convention and visitors
bureau. The surcharge could bring in an extra $1.6 million a
SBE Hotel Group bought Le Meridien Hotel Beverly Hills last week.
The 297-room property, with 10,000 square feet of meeting space,
will continue to be managed by Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts for
an indefinite period. SBE currently is considering renovation
options, one of which is a grand redesign by Philippe Starck.
Groundbreaking took place last week on
a 150-room Sheraton hotel in Tarrytown, N.Y., five miles from
StarwoodÕs corporate campus. The property, to open in January 2007,
will be managed by New Castle Hotels and Resorts. The Sheraton
Tarrytown will have four conference rooms comprising 1,750 square
Ground has been broken on a $5.2 million, 15,000-square-foot spa
at the 358-room Radisson Aruba Resort & Casino. To open in
November 2006, the spa will have two Swiss shower rooms, a couples'
suite, a wet room with a Vichy shower, three general treatment
rooms and two facial rooms.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has sold the 290-room
Westin Philadelphia to HEI Hospitality for $89 million. The hotel
will remain a Westin but now will be managed by Merritt
Hospitality, a subsidiary of HEI. A $10 million renovation is
The all-inclusive, 730-room Sunset
Jamaica Grande is now open in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, following a
yearlong, multimillion-dollar renovation. The property, formerly
the Jamaica Grande Resort, has 30,000 square feet of meeting