June 09, 2004

The 600-room Adam's Mark Houston has been reflagged as the Houston Marriott Westchase. The hotel was bought earlier this year by Pyramid Advisors LLC and the Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund. An $18 million renovation to the public areas and guest rooms has been completed.

The 263-room Radisson Edwardian Manchester opened Monday on the site of the British city's historic Free Trade Hall. In the heart of Manchester opposite the G-MEX Exhibition Centre, International Convention Centre (MICC) and Bridgewater Hall, the hotel has 20 meeting rooms and a spa.

Brown's Hotel in London has closed in order to undergo an extensive renovation to its public areas and 117 guest rooms. The landmark property, which was acquired by Rocco Forte Hotels last year, will add a fitness center and business center before reopening in spring 2005.

The Hotel Metropole Monte Carlo, formerly the Metropole Palace, has pushed its reopening from June to late July. This follows a 10-month renovation and redesign that downsized the number of guest rooms from 170 to 146 (including 46 suites), with 50 designated as nonsmoking. The project also added a spa and three meeting rooms, the largest of which accommodates 110. Also new at the property is La Villa, a meeting/function facility with two event rooms and an open-air terrace overlooking the Casino Gardens and the Mediterranean.

The Fairmont Kea Lani Maui in August will come under the ownership of Host Marriott Corp. Under the terms of the $355 million deal, the 450-room Wailea property will keep its name and will continue to be managed by Fairmont. "We hope this partnership is the first of many opportunities to build our relationship with [Fairmont Hotels & Resorts] through the future acquisition of hotels that Fairmont could manage," said Christopher J. Nassetta, Host Marriott Corp.'s president and CEO.

On Aug. 5, voters in Knoxville, Tenn., will say whether public funds can be used to construct a new downtown headquarters hotel adjacent to the Knoxville Convention Center. Last year, former Mayor Victor Ashe proposed financing such a property with tax dollars to help the struggling convention facility, which has been operating at a $9 million annual deficit. However, local hoteliers opposing the plan forced the issue onto the August ballot through a petition drive that collected more than 30,000 signatures. A spokesperson for current Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam said, "The mayor is neutral on this. He wants additional business for the convention center but hasn't come to any conclusion that a new hotel will be the best solution."

Wyndham International announced last week that the 104-room Lincoln Plaza Hotel in Reading, Pa., will become a franchised Wyndham hotel this fall. The hotel has 9,500 square feet of meeting space.

The 174-room historic Algonquin Hotel in New York City will close June 27 for a $3 million, one-month renovation. Public spaces will be renovated, and all the furniture in guest rooms will be replaced.

The 416-room Ritz-Carlton San Juan Hotel, Spa & Casino last week announced a $13 million renovation of the entire hotel, to finish by October. Highlights of the renovation are in-room safes with outlets, so guests can recharge their laptops while storing them, and a private dining room in the Vineyard Restaurant. Within three years, management of the Puerto Rico hotel plans to add a 10,000-square-foot ballroom, bringing the total amount of meeting space to 34,000 square feet.