FROM THE GROUND UP * In early August, the new Four Seasons Resort Aviara opened on 180 acres in Carlsbad, CA. Part of the 1,000-acre Aviara master-planned community, the 331-room luxury property is Four Seasons' first oceanview golf and tennis resort built on the U.S. mainland. In addition to an 18-hole golf course (which has been operating since 1991), six tennis courts, and a spa, the resort offers 29,000 square feet of function space, including a 12,000-square-foot ballroom. There are 331 rooms and suites in low-rise Spanish Colonial style buildings.
* Hotel Monaco Seattle opened in August with 189 guest rooms well suited to the upscale meeting attendee. Each room includes a personal fax machine, a stereo with CD player, a two-line speaker phone, and modem port. This sophisticated new property has nine conference rooms. The largest accommodates 160 persons for a banquet, and the executive boardroom seats 12.
* Another August opening was the Wyndham Old San Juan (PR) Hotel and Casino. The new $41 million waterfront property is well situated to attract cruise passengers before and after their sailing. The 240-room property offers 6,200 square feet of meeting space.
* The $98 million, 403-room Westin Savannah (GA) Harbor Resort broke ground in July overlooking the Savannah River. When it opens in 1999, it will be the centerpiece of a 700-acre, mixed-use development that will include the Georgia International Maritime & Trade Center. The hotel will have five meeting rooms and a 12,000-square-foot ballroom divisible into eight meeting rooms.
* Construction has begun on The Westin La Cantera Resort in San Antonio, TX, a complement to the 18-hole golf course and Six Flags Fiesta Texas theme park already in place at the La Cantera development. The 500-room property, scheduled to open in 1999, will have more than 38,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 17,000-square-foot ballroom.
ADDING ON * The 640-room La Quinta Resort and Club, 19 miles southeast of Palm Springs in La Quinta, CA, is building an approximately 18,000-square-foot spa to open next spring. La Quinta, which takes its recreation seriously with 72 holes of golf and 30 tennis courts, is equally enthusiastic about its relaxation. The spa will offer hydro tubs, wrap rooms, an outdoor massage area, a skin-care salon, and a fitness area, among other facilities. The resort has 25 meeting rooms, the largest of which accommodates 1,465 persons.
* Hamilton Park conference center in Florham Park, NJ completed an expansion early in June that added two private dining rooms, a 1,450-square-foot meeting room, and ten guest rooms, bringing its total to 219.
* Everything is big in Texas, especially the new ballroom under construction at the Adam's Mark Hotel Dallas. The 41,000-square-foot ballroom will be the largest in the state when it opens in October 1998 as part of a $150 million expansion. The project will add 60,000 square feet of exhibit space and five ballrooms and expand the guest room count from 505 to 1,825.
LOOKING ABROAD * Marriott has a presence in Paris again, now that its 192-room Paris Marriott opened on the Champs Elysees. The first new hotel in the prestigious 8th Arron-disement since 1925, the property will offer a business center, fitness facilities, and 5,506 square feet of meeting space.
* Hyatt is also making a move in Paris with the August opening of the Hyatt Regency Paris-Madeleine. While offering just two rooms for meetings, lunches, or cocktail parties, each of the boutique hotel's 86 rooms is equipped with two telephone lines and data port. Fitness facilities are available.
* About 90 miles from Vienna, a unique hotel has opened in the rolling hills of eastern Austria. Designed by painter-architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, the new Rogner-Bad Blumau Hotel has 271 rooms in nine multicolored structures that are built into the natural contours of the land, with roofs that are part of the meadow, complete with trees and shrubs. A tower unit accommodates 200 for conferences. Guests have use of three hot springs, Roman and Turkish baths, Finnish saunas, and a number of spa treatments. The 45-hole Rogner Golf Circuit is located nearby.*