July 20, 2005

The Swissotel Krasnye Holmy Moscow opened on July 18. The 34-story hotel, one of the tallest buildings in the Russian capital, has 235 rooms, two restaurants, a spa and 5,500-square-feet of meeting space.

Rezidor SAS Hospitality, in a $42 milllion joint venture with the government-sponsored funds of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, will expand its portfolio in Africa. Over the next five years, the hospitality company expects to open more than 50 Radisson SAS and Park Inn hotels in countries including Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Currently, Rezidor SAS has two properties in Cape Town, South Africa, the Radisson Waterfront Hotel and the Park Inn Greenmarket Square.

The 129-room Radisson SAS Hotel & Spa Cork has opened in Cork, Ireland. The property has 11 meeting rooms, a ballroom, a business center and a spa with nine treatment rooms.
The 577-room Hilton Sydney in Australia opened on July 15. The US$300 million property features four floors of meeting space totaling approximately 40,000 square. In the heart of Sydney's business district, the hotel has a spa and fitness center, a restaurant and two bars.

Berry Hill Plantation Resort in South Boston, Va., now owned and managed by Benchmark Hospitality International, has reopened following a multimillion-dollar renovation. The 92-room former plantation homestead features 12 meeting rooms, wireless Internet service and a full-service spa. Benchmark has unveiled plans for an expansion that will include an additional 100 guest rooms, a 12,000-square-foot conference center, an 18-hole championship golf course and 700 homes.

The Park Hyatt Washington, D.C., will close Aug. 1 for a seven-month, $24 million overhaul, which will include the redesign of its 220 rooms, lobby and restaurant. The property will reopen for business March 1.

The 228-room Hilton Santo Domingo opened July 12, by the Caribbean Sea in the capital city of the Dominican Republic. The hotel has 17,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 4,644-square-foot Hilton Meetings conference center and a 7,203-square-foot ballroom. The property anchors a mixed-use facility that includes a mall and a casino.

Conrad Hotels announced plans for its first Caribbean property last week, a 250-room resort on the Bahamian island of North Bimini. The Conrad Bimini Bay Resort and Casino, to be completed in 2008, will offer five miles of beach, spa, marina and casino, as well as residential units. A future phase will include an 18-hole Robert Trent Jones II golf course. Meeting space figures have not been finalized.

The former Marina Hotel in San Pedro, Calif., will be reflagged a Doubletree after an $8.5 million renovation beginning this August and finishing up by summer 2006. The 226-room hotel, 20 miles from downtown Los Angeles and eight miles from the Long Beach Convention Center, offers 16,000 square feet of meeting space and two restaurants.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts will take over management of the 444-room Sutton Place Hotel in Newport Beach, Calif.Õs business zone near John Wayne Airport. A $22 million renovation, including guest room and lobby updates and the addition of a spa, is expected to wrap up early next year, when the hotel will be renamed the Fairmont Newport Beach.

The W San Francisco opened its new Bliss Spa last week, the second installment in a series of collaborations between the hotel and day-spa lines. Future Bliss and W pairings are set for Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. Nail treatment stations at the 5,000-square-foot San Francisco outpost come with private flat-screen televisions, DVD players and headphones.  

The 410-room Wyndham Palm Springs in Palm Springs, Calif., was acquired by Highland Hospitality Corp. last week for $57 million. The recently renovated property, adjacent to the currently expanding Palm Springs Convention Center, offers 27,000 square feet of indoor meeting space; it will be managed by Crestline Hotels & Resorts.