February 23, 2005

The 417-room Royal Palm in Miami Beach, Fla., has been sold for $127.5 million. The city of Miami has OK'd a plan to convert 160 guest rooms in a separate area of the property into condominiums. The 257 rooms in the original tower will be operated under a new flag; the management company has not yet been chosen.

Hilton Worldwide Resorts announced plans to expand its portfolio, concentrating on adding 14 new luxury resorts by 2007 for a total of 73 such properties worldwide. Among the new resort locations are Venice, Fiji, Western Australia and Whistler, B.C.

Hyatt Hotels Corp. announced this week it is adding self-service check-in/check-out kiosks at more than 100 of its lobbies, across its Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Regency properties. The announcement follows a six-month trial period at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Chicago and the Grand Hyatt New York. Installation of the kiosks will take place throughout 2005.

Sonesta International Hotels Corporation announced Tuesday that it will manage the 124-room Discovery at Marigot Bay, a luxury resort opening late this year in St. Lucia. The eco-friendly Caribbean resort will feature a marina, spa and 2,500 square feet of meeting space.

The 977-room Hyatt Regency Hotel in Houston is in foreclosure, although the property will continue to operate normally. Rushlake Hotels USA, which was the owner, was funding renovations at the property; the final phase of that work, updates to 300 guest rooms, has been put on hold.

The former Adams Mark Hotel in Grand Junction, Colo., has been purchased by Stonebridge Companies. The 273-room property will be renamed the Doubletree Hotel Grand Junction this spring. The hotel has a 12,000-square-foot conference center.

Reopening March 1 is the renovated Hilton Houston Post Oak. The 448-room property offers 30,000 square feet of meeting space.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worlwide has announced plans to build a St. Regis luxury resort in Deer Valley, Utah, in the Deer Crest gated community. To open in fall 2007, the property will feature 26 private residences and 67 condominium hotel suites, for a total of 200 rentable rooms. A 24,000-square-foot spa also is planned.

Detroit's 413-room Hotel Pontchartrain, which was to have been auctioned off in March by creditors, was purchased last week by Shubh Hotels Detroit LLC for an undisclosed amount. Adjacent to the Cobo Center, the downtown hotel has run without a branded operator for the past several years. The new owners plan to renovate the property, including 13 meeting rooms offering a combined 13,450 square feet of space.

The 173-room Radisson Hotel Milford in Milford, Mass., completed a $1.7 million renovation. Common spaces including the lobby, restaurant and 10,000 square feet of meeting space have all been updated.

The 250-room Doubletree Hotel-Tarrytown, formerly a Hilton, opened last week in Tarrytown, N.Y., with new owners and a new management team, Pyramid Advisors LLC. A $10 million renovation of the property will begin this summer; in 2006, an 8,000-square-foot ballroom will be added. Currently the property has 16,000 square feet of meeting space.