February 04, 2004

The 59-room La Residencia, on the Spanish island of Mallorca, reopened Jan. 30 following a $4 million renovation, according to owner Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. Once owned by Richard Branson's Virgin Group, the hotel was closed for three months to enlarge the spa and create the two-story Tower Suite in a 200-year-old tower. Work on the property's Son Fony restaurant will continue until mid-March.

About $60 million will be spent to build an eight-story, 298-room tower at the Green Valley Resort, Casino and Spa in Henderson, Nev., 12 miles south of Las Vegas. Its 10,519-square-foot ballroom also will be expanded, adding 85,000 square feet. When the work is completed in December, the resort will have a total of 499 rooms.

Serena Hotels, an African chain with properties in Kenya and Tanzania, has purchased the Nile Hotel International in Kampala, Uganda, at a cost of $19 million. The 85-room property, which includes the adjacent Nile International Conference Centre, with an auditorium that accommodates 1,500 and three additional meeting rooms, has been renamed Kampala Serena Hotel and will undergo an extensive renovation. Previously, the property was owned by the Ugandan government and managed by Tahar Fourati International Hotels. Serena takes over the property on Feb. 11.