November 17, 2004

Benchmark Hospitality International, Hixon Properties Inc. and Hines Interests have announced they will build the Hotel Contessa on the San Antonio, Texas, River Walk. To open in November 2005, the 265-room luxury property will offer 13,500 square feet of meeting space and a spa.

The former Hilton Inn in Dallas has been purchased by Realty America Group and Behringer Harvard Funds, which plan an $80 million redevelopment of the property. The property will reopen in mid-2006 as the 185-room Hotel Palomar, a young brand run by Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. The hotel will have about 8,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 5,000-square-foot ballroom.

The 654-room Hyatt Regency Orange County completes the final leg of a $52 million renovation this week with the $7.5 million overhaul of its south tower guest rooms. Besides a new emphasis on dark oak and deep marble, the rooms also feature newly gutted and revamped bathrooms. As before, the property provides 65,000 square feet of meeting space, four on-site dining options, two swimming pools and one neighboring golf course.

InterContinental Hotel Group announced Nov. 15 the opening of a 155-room Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites in King of Prussia, Pa., near Philadelphia. The hotel was converted from a McIntosh Inn.

The 225-room Holiday Inn San Juan is scheduled to reopen tomorrow in the Isla Verde neighborhood of San Juan, Puerto Rico, after being shuttered since 1998. A $19 million renovation restored the hotel, which has 15,000 square feet of meeting space. Also in San Juan, the 240-room Wyndham Old San Juan was reflagged as a Sheraton last week, after a $7 million renovation. The hotel now has 11,300 square feet of meeting space.