June 08, 2005

The 350-room Hilton Barbados opened Monday. The property's 10,000 square feet of meeting space includes 4,000 square feet of conference rooms and a 6,200-square-foot ballroom.

Ku, a 27-suite resort in Anguilla, will open on Oct. 15. The luxurious but affordable resort will have a dive center and a small spa.

Ground was broken June 1 on the MGM Grand Macau in the Chinese port of Macau. Due to open in the second half of 2007, the 600-room hotel will have a casino, a spa, convention and entertainment facilities (no specifics as yet) and a price tag of $975 million. Las Vegas-based MGM Mirage will own half the property together with Macau-based Pansy Ho Chiu-King.

Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts will manage a new hotel in Kota Kinabalu, the capital of the Malaysian section of the island Borneo. Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu will have 292 rooms, a ballroom, several meeting rooms, a spa and a rooftop pool, among other facilities. The hotel will open in late summer.

The Rome Cavalieri Hilton has completed a four-year $45 million renovation, which upgraded the property's 370 guest rooms, meeting rooms, spa and public areas.

Oman unveiled plans this weekend for a $15 billion tourism development called Al-Madina al-Zarqa, or The Blue City. The seafront sprawl, spanning nearly 9,000 acres, will break ground by December of this year and will include a port, numerous hotels and resorts, two golf courses, swimming pools, tennis courts, a theater and an aquarium. Although officials expect the project to take 15 years to complete, the first phase, including five of the development's resorts (offering a total of 2,000 rooms) and one of its golf courses, should be ready by 2009.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts will manage a new 400-room hotel in Guangzhou, China, the capital city of Guangzhou province. The Westin Guangzhou will feature 13,000 square feet of meeting space, four eateries, a health club, a spa and an indoor swimming pool when it opens in 2007. "China's fast-growing travel sector has raised the demand for upscale and international hotel products and services," said Miguel Ko, president of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Asia Pacific. With the addition of the Westin Guangzhou, Starwood has a total of 24 hotels open or in development in China.