August 25, 2004

The 125-room San Juan (Puerto Rico) Airport Hotel at the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport was rebranded last week as the Best Western San Juan Airport Hotel. The hotel can accommodate meetings of up to 125 attendees.

The 360-room Wyndham Wind Watch Hotel in Hauppauge, N.Y., on Long Island, became the Hyatt Regency Wind Watch Long Island on Thursday. The owners, Highland Hospitality Corp., will invest $10 million to upgrade the guest rooms, conference rooms and common areas. The hotel has 18,000 square feet of meeting space and is adjacent to the Hamlet Wind Watch Golf & Country Club.

The 366-room Four Seasons Cairo at Nile Plaza opened last week in the heart of the Egyptian city's Garden District, with views of the Nile and the centuries-old Citadel on either side. The property offers 20,721 square feet of function and meeting space, including a 10,764-square-foot ballroom, as well as seven restaurants and bars and an extensive health club and spa.

Arlington, Va.-based Interstate Hotels and Resorts, the largest independent hotel management company in the United States, yesterday announced plans to operate a luxury, 56-suite luxury hotel now under construction in downtown Iowa City, Iowa. The property, designed for guests on extended stays, is part of a $27 million, mixed-use project called Plaza Towers, which also will feature 4,000 square feet of retail space, a health club, apartments and a conference center. "We expect this development to become the focal point of the downtown area," said Steve Jorns, CEO of Interstate. The project is slated for completion in late 2005.

The 290-room Grand Beach Palace, Palace Resorts' new all-inclusive property in St. Thomas, USVI, closed on Sunday. Palace Resorts was planning on closing the resort Aug. 28 for a $12 million renovation but instead has closed it for good. This was the first venture into the Caribbean for the company, which operates six properties in Mexico. Palace has yet to make an official statement on the property.

The 253-room W Seoul-Walkerhill opened last week in South Korea's resort district. Just a short drive from downtown Seoul, the hotel features three restaurants, a full-service spa and 1,500 square feet of meeting space. The property is the first W Hotel to open in Asia.

In October, the 900-room Wilshire Grand Los Angeles -- the hotel closest to the city's convention center -- will begin a $50 million renovation of its public spaces, meeting rooms and guest rooms. Completion is set for October 2006.