NEW & IMPROVED

NEW…The Lexington hotel opened recently in downtown Orlando, featuring 227 luxury studios and suites. Each urban-styled unit offers a 40-inch plasma screen TV, wet bar, refrigerator, microwave, “ultra plus” bed with leather headboard, a Kohler Spa shower head and granite countertops. A six-story spa and fitness center will open next March. The Lexington is part of downtown Orlando's CityPlace development…At Grace Bay Beach in the Turks & Caicos, Phase IV of The Alexandra Resort will open next spring and Phase V will break ground in winter 2007. The two new buildings promise “utter luxury” in studio, one- and two-bedroom ocean view suites. Egyptian cotton linens, expansive views, beachfront balconies or patios, fully equipped stainless-steel and granite kitchens and teak furnishings are some of the appointments…San Diego's The Keating is scheduled to open this fall. This “lifestyle” hotel features interiors by Italian design team Pininfarina, responsible for such luxury brands as Ferrari and Maserati, with clean, ergonomic design and historical details. Each “stanza” (Italian for “guestroom”) will feature high ceilings, exposed brick walls and oversized windows. The 35-room boutique hotel is owned and operated by BOND Urban Habitat and San Diego real estate developer Edward Kaen. …To design his new 150-room property in Doha, Qatar, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Thani, a member of the Qatari Royal Family has chosen J/Brice Design International of Boston. The $30-million-dollar project is slated to open in mid-2007. The Hotel Khalifa will feature a French chateau motif that will counter the international architectural style that dominates the city. The lobby will boast a grand stairway and four-story atrium with a water feature. In addition to 150 guestrooms, the four-story red brick, granite and yellow ochre stucco structure will include four duplex super-suites with such amenities as an Olympic-size pool, luxury spa and fitness center, and ballroom-conference space with state of the art audio-visual equipment… 21cMuseum Hotel opened recently in Louisville, KY. Conceived as a celebration of 21st-century art and design, 21c combines a 90-room luxury boutique hotel with a showcase museum of contemporary art dedicated to collecting and exhibiting important living and emerging artists. Located in the heart of the city's arts and theater district, the $26-million property links five historic buildings that have been renovated by New York architect Deborah Berke. 21c was built by Louisville developers Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown. Denver-based Sage Hospitality manages the property.

IMPROVED… A four-month makeover of Lighthouse Pointe at The Westin Grand Bahama Island Our Lucaya Resort was recently completed. All 198 ocean-view rooms feature new furnishings, including Westin's signature Heavenly Bed and Bath, new sofas, armoires and carpeting. Eighty-six new entry doors create adjoining accommodations. New landscaping complements a fresh new exterior of teal hues and Bahamian limestone…The Atlanta Marriott Marquis recently unveiled a $38-million renovation of all of its 1,675 guestrooms and suites. Located in the heart of Peachtree Center, the hotel, owned by Host Marriott, is a leader in the city's revitalization of this convention destination. Aiming to balance style, technology and comfort, each newly appointed room incorporates contemporary wood furnishings, silver light fixtures and a palette of earth tones…Raymond Management Co. recently completed a million-dollar renovation of its Hampton Inn in Columbia, MO. The makeover includes new guestroom furnishings, new guest bath vanities and new floor coverings. Guestrooms now feature the “Cloud Nine Bed — the New Hampton Bed Experience,” with features such as a choice of feather or foam pillows, a plush down-like comforter, a crisp white duvet and upgraded mattresses…Los Angeles landmark and celebrity-frequented Sportsmen's Lodge Hotel recently completed a multi-million-dollar guestroom renovation. Located in Studio City in California's San Fernando Valley and designed by Elizabeth J. Monroe, the casual-yet-elegant gold, green and red guestrooms are comfortably chic, exuding the feeling of a secluded lodge, and overlook extensively landscaped grounds…The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa has unveiled a $200-million-dollar expansion. The new space features restaurants from Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck and Michael Mina, as well as 36,000 square feet of new casino floor space…The AAA Five Diamond and Mobil Five Star Four Seasons Hotel Boston has unveiled new guestrooms and corridors, marking the end of a $43- million hotel-wide renovation project, the largest renovation to the property since opening in 1985. The project also added 6,000 square feet of meeting space. Design firm Babey Moulton Jue & Booth created a new look based on “a modern New England home,” incorporating contemporary design and technology with Boston's old world charm… CSM Lodging unveiled last month the Residence Inn by Marriott Portland North Vancouver in Vancouver, WA. The full-scale renovation features over-sized studio and two-bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens, comfortable living areas and wireless high-speed Internet access, as well as an outdoor pool and hot tub… The Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa celebrated its 30th anniversary with a $70-million renovation. The grand lobby overlooks the Pacific and the property's lush landscaping. The 532 nautically inspired guest-rooms promise “enclaves of comfort,” with 11-inch mattresses with feather bed toppers, 300-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets and six down pillows…Midwestern Hotel Partners, LLC, has remodeled the Kansas City Airport Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel. Updates include new bedding, televisions, heating and cooling units, carpeting and wallpaper in its 249 guestrooms; refurbishing of all public areas; and the redesign of the 250-seat ballroom… The Omni Chicago Hotel recently completed a three-year $9.3-million renovation. The 347-suite hotel now boasts plasma TVs in each room, stainless steel bathroom fixtures, granite-topped wet bars, a redesigned fitness center and the new 676 Restaurant and Bar operated by chef Robert Gadsby…After a $40-million makeover, Sofitel Los Angeles has reopened. Designers Cheryl Rowley and Yabu Pushelberg, celebrated chef Kerry Simon and nightclub entrepreneur Rande Gerber helped to reshape the property. The redesign reflects a modernist sensibility in all of the hotel's spaces from the dramatic two-story lobby to the restaurant, bar, pool and spa. The 295 guestrooms evoke Hollywood glamour with lacquers in cream, cinnabar and chartreuse, as well as exotic Macassar Ebony and limed white oak finishes. The property also features the first LeSpa, Sofitel's signature spa brand, in North America…The Biltmore in Coral Gables, FL recently emerged from a $40-million renovation. The iconic hotel has introduced several new spaces, including a luxury spa, poolside restaurant, private, luxuriously furnished poolside cabanas and lushly renovated grounds.


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