December 03, 2003

The opening of the 500-room Paradisus Puerto Rico, which was set for Dec. 15, has been delayed to mid-February due to inclement weather on the site, Sol Melia announced Nov. 20.

Gaylord Entertainment, owner of the Opryland hotel brand, has changed the name of the Grapevine, Texas, property that will open in April. The $515 million, 1,511-room property is now known as the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center on Lake Grapevine. The hotel will offer 400,000 square feet of meeting space.

The Hershey Hotel in Hershey, Pa., breaks ground this month on an expansion to its three-year-old spa. When completed in December 2004, The Spa at the Hotel Hershey will be almost twice as large, growing to 30,000 square feet, and will offer a restaurant and 23 new treatment rooms for a total of 53.

On Nov. 20, Starwood Hotels & Resorts announced plans for Temenos Anguilla, a St. Regis Retreat. The luxury resort, located in Rendezvous Bay in Anguilla, will have 97 rooms and 36 private residences. The first homes will be ready by 2005, and the resort will open the following year. A Greg Norman golf course, the first layout on Anguilla, will debut in 2005. Around the same time, Starwood will be opening St. Regis properties in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., San Francisco and Singapore.

The 19-room Packwood House opens Friday in Skaneateles, N.Y., in the state's Finger Lakes region. Meeting planners are encouraged to use the neighboring 24-room Sherwood Inn's banquet facilities, which, following a renovation in early 2004, will offer 2,685 square feet of meeting space in addition to its 200-seat banquet facility.

A $35 million residential project, comprised of 38 condos, broke ground Nov. 25 at the 21-room Grace Bay Club, in Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, following the completion of a soft-goods renovation. The condos will be available for outside rental through an agreement with their owners. Also part of the expansion is a new lobby, a restaurant, a swimming pool on the beach, and a 4,000-square-foot spa and fitness center, the property's second.

The Memphis, Tenn.-based Peabody Hotel Group announced plans this week to expand its Orlando property and build two new hotels, one in Nashville and the other in Atlanta. All projects will go forward when financing deals with the cities are finalized. The $270 million expansion in Orlando will add 1,000 rooms for a total of 1,891, with work expected to begin early in 2005. Blueprints for the two new properties call for a $90 million, 400-room hotel in Nashville with 50,000 square feet of meeting space, and a $125 million, 500-room hotel in Atlanta. Marty Belz, chairman of the hotel group, said the Orlando plans are more definite because the expansion of the city's convention center is expected to increase demand for rooms. He added the Atlanta hotel will be in midtown, while in Nashville he is looking at two sites, both close to the city's convention center. "We also hope to do something in Washington, D.C.," he added, "but that is not in our immediate future."