April 13, 2005

The 394-room River Bank Park Plaza in London opens tomorrow. The property has 17,000 square feet of event space in 10 meeting rooms, two ballrooms and the Thames Room, a function room with panoramic views of the River Thames and the city skyline.

The 91-room Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, on the island of Langkawi in Malaysia, opened April 11. On the border with Thailand and 300 miles northwest of Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, the resort includes 20 beachside villas, a lush spa, four restaurants and meeting space for up to 80 people.

Now open in Mescalero, N.M., is the 273-room Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino. The $200 million property in the state's southern mountains includes a 38,000-square-foot casino, a mountain golf course, skiing and 40,000 square feet of meeting space.

John Q. Hammons Hotels will build a Marriott Renaissance Hotel in Glendale, Ariz. The 320-room property will offer 80,000 square feet of meeting space and will open in fall 2006. The opening coincides with the debut of a new football stadium, home to the Arizona Cardinals.

Owners of the 154-room Hotel ZaZa in Dallas have purchased the 307-room Warwick Hotel in Houston. The plan is to close the Warwick in August for remodeling as a Hotel ZaZa, reopening in spring 2006.

Marriott International has been ranked number 12 in DiversityInc. magazine's list of Top 50 Companies for Diversity, up from 25th last year. Marriott is the only lodging company on the list, which rates companies according to a 300-question survey, including responses on CEO commitment, corporate communications, supplier diversity and minorities in management. Some 203 companies filled out the survey.

Last week, developers announced plans for a 150- to 200-room Westin on a 1.75-acre parcel in Portland, Maine. Additionally expected to feature 60 to 100 private residences, the privately funded project would cost $100 million. Developers will meet with the Portland Planning Board in May. If the proposal is passed, the property will open in early 2007.